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Faculty Spotlight: Brent Shoulders

By Alexandria Trujillo, Panhandle State Collegian on 12/08/2016 Brent Shoulders —Photo Courtesy Campus CommunicationsBrent Shoulders —Photo Courtesy Campus Communications

Goodwell, Okla. — Art professor and creative artist Brent Shoulders of Sunray, Texas has been a part of the Panhandle family for many years. His story starts here.

Shoulders originally went to school for math and engineering, but he fell in love with geology and physical education. He graduated with three degrees from Panhandle in 2000: Health, Physical Education and Recreation, Natural Sciences with an emphasis in Geology and Humanities with an emphasis in Art. He went on from there to earn a Masters in Ceramics in 2007 and an MFA in painting in 2010, both from West Texas A&M.

In 2000, Shoulders started working at Panhandle State. He did labs for classes such as geology, earth science and physical geology, and he has taught many art classes. He mainly focuses on ceramics and sculpture, but he has taught “basically everything but photography and art history.” This includes art appreciation, jewelry, print making and many more.

Brent Shoulders got involved in Art almost coincidentally. He explained, “I took an art appreciation class and had to produce something, so I sculpted cow skulls out of clay. The professor said I should take ceramics, so I did.” He went on from there to become an extremely skilled artist who contributes tremendously to the education of his art students.

His favorite thing about Panhandle State is that it has a very family-like environment. He likes that it is a very friendly campus and a great place to work. He states, “The best thing about teaching here is the amount of academic freedom. You’re allowed to be forward-thinking. It is an extremely laid back environment even though we are very hard-working and dedicated to seeing Panhandle grow and the Art Department grow.”

He also mentions that he loves being able to introduce new information in his classes and allow the students to experiment and push boundaries. He elaborates on his philosophy in teaching by quoting Benjamin Franklin. “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I remember, involve me and I learn.” Brent Shoulders explains this by saying, “anyone can be knowledgeable, but not everyone can understand. Wisdom is to know when, how, why to apply the information.”