Amber Mintert, assistant professor of art, has been named Higher Education Art Educator of the Year by the Missouri Art Education Association (MAEA).

“It’s an honor to know that people I work with recognize how seriously I take it and how passionate I am for what I do,” said Mintert. “To receive this award from my peers is a little bit humbling.”

Mintert joined the Missouri Southern faculty five years ago. Prior to that, she taught art at the high-school level in Webb City. She serves as the district representative for MAEA.

While her duties at Missouri Southern focus on art education and running the department’s fiber studio, her passion for working with younger students is never far from her mind.

“Right now I’m doing work for the Crystal Bridges Museum of Art (in Bentonville, Ark.),” she said. “They have a museum education program for fourth-graders, so I’ve been taking kids from Cecil Floyd Elementary in Joplin and Steadley Elementary in Carthage to visit the museum.”

The MAEA annually honors “those who have shown dedication to our beliefs to promote, preserver and perpetuate art education in the state of Missouri,” according to their web site.

After receiving word of her nomination, she submitted recommendation letters and her resume for consideration by the awards committee. She will be recognized during the association’s spring conference on April 13 in Kansas City. While she will be unable to attend, she will also be recognized during the National Art Education Association’s convention in March in Boston, Mass.

“It’s not why you do it, but it’s nice to be reminded that your work matters and nice to know that it’s appreciated,” she said.