Binod Shrestha, director of the CVAD Foundations program and associate professor, was awarded the Foundations in Art: Theory and Education's 2023 Master Educator Award at the FATE 2023 Conference, April 13, at the Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design, Denver, Colo.
The award celebrates a FATE member with more than ten years of collegiate teaching experience. The nominee exhibits lasting commitment and significant contributions to Foundations education and FATE as a professional association.
Shrestha has spent more than 16 years dedicated to foundations pedagogy and curricular development at public and private universities. As the director of the UNT CVAD Foundations program, one of the most extensive in the country, Shrestha provides leadership on foundations pedagogy that supports all majors in the college. The program includes mentorship and professionalization of graduate teaching assistants and lab instructors with a shared vision of inclusion — diversity, equity, and access, e.g., regular mentorship meetings, supportive literature, process on seeking support, access to training on mental healthcare, workshop sessions to address classroom issues and diversity of content. In alignment with UNT's identity as a Hispanic-Serving and Minority-Serving institution, Shrestha leads a diverse team that offers culturally diverse content to a diverse student population. The core principle of Shrestha’s leadership is ‘care’- for students, graduate teaching assistants, instructors, and staff members. Shrestha also participates in the college leadership team.
At CVAD, Shrestha spearheaded the data-driven two-year-long participatory engagement with all college stakeholders that re-imagined and transitioned the first-year curriculum to an innovative multi and cross-disciplinary making-based curriculum. This curriculum change broke the mold and supports all visual art and design education disciplines. The new curriculum at CVAD provides agency in intercultural knowledge and conceptual and material exploration to students beyond skill building.
Shrestha serves as a board member of the National Council of Arts Administrators and the FATE diversity and inclusion committee member and is engaged in mentorship in foundations curriculum and pedagogy. As an arts administrator, he has participated in Emerging Arts Administrators Fellowship, NCAA; Early Career Leader Training, NASAD; Academy for Anti-Racist Leadership, Penn State; AICAD BIPOC Academic Leadership Institute; Inclusion, Equity, and Community Building Series, UNT, among others.
Shrestha earned M.F.A. from Bangalore University, Bangalore, Maine, and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, Pa. Shrestha’s research interest lies in the body, memory, the notion of home, and the intersection of violence. He has exhibited artworks in the U.S., India, Nepal, and China, at the Minneapolis Art Institute Museum and Beijing Biennale. He has received a McKnight Individual Artist Fellowship from the Southwest Minnesota Arts Council, the Art Matters Foundations Grant, and the Skowhegan Fellowship in New York City. Before joining the UNT College of Visual Arts and Design, Shrestha worked at the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse, Wis., and the University of Tulsa, Okla.