PANAMA CITY – Gulf Coast State College has a new leader for its Department of Visual Arts and Technology.
Jennifer McAtee comes to GCSC from Dallas, where she served as the music department supervisor at El Centro College for six years. She joined the GCSC team with plans to bring more opportunities to the arts.
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“I’m so excited to be a part of a college where everyone supports each other and the arts,” McAtee said of her new role. “So far, everyone has been kind and welcoming, and it’s been fun, and I’m happy to be a part of this family.”
McAtee earned her doctorate in April at Aspen University. Her personal and professional history revolves around music, including owning a private piano student business, teaching as an adjunct professor at Ozarks Technical College (OTC) in Missouri, and founding and developing OTC’s first music department. .
It’s always been her dream to live near the beach while still doing what she loves, McAtee said. She expressed interest in advocating for the arts and education and plans to continue that at GCSC.
“I know a lot of the technologies haven’t come back yet since Hurricane Michael hit, and we want to bring those opportunities out into the community,” McAtee said. “Furthermore, we hope we can offer more for people to come and experience art in our programs.”
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Jason Hedden, former president of the Association of Materials and Operations, said he is looking forward to what McAtee will bring to the program. Hedden will now serve as the senior director of recruitment and public relations at GCSC.
“Jennifer is already a good fit for the department. She brings new ideas and concepts to the program, and I’m excited to see where she takes it,” said Hedden. “I think the visual and performing arts at the college are in a unique position to be part of these new spaces that are coming to the community.”
As the new president, McAtee said she hopes to bring more events to GCSC as the arts scene continues to grow in the community. Some of her plans include partnering with local schools, hosting more shows each semester and connecting with the arts community.
The Department of Visual Arts and Operations is located on the Panama City College campus, 5230 W. U.S. 98, and offers certificates, associate of arts degrees in art, music and drama, and associate of science degrees in entertainment arts.
To learn more about the College of Fine Arts and its programs, visit gulfcoast.edu/arts.