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MIAD Values Recognition Award: Marie Larson

Marie Larson

Marie Larson

Marie Larson, Director of Academic Affairs, received the September 2023 MIAD Values Recognition Award at the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design (MIAD). Larson’s nominations detail her embodiment of MIAD’s Core Values of Courage, Integrity, Kindness and Inclusion.

The MIAD Values Recognition Award (VRA) celebrates faculty and staff who consistently model MIAD’s values of courage, integrity, kindness, community, innovation and inclusion. After employees nominate a colleague for the award, a committee made up of faculty, staff and previous VRA winners convenes to vote on the month’s recipient. Awardees receive a $250 prize.

Larson is in her fourteenth year working in Academic Affairs at MIAD and graduated from the college in 2000 with a degree in Drawing. In her nominations, one colleague said, “In the years that I have worked with Marie, she has proven to be an exceptional member of the MIAD community—someone who is looked up to and respected by a multitude of faculty, staff, and administrators who know and work with her. Marie is exceptionally generous with her time and support and is one of the first who academic faculty and staff go to when they are frustrated or need a problem solved. Her kindness and compassion are always evident.”

On what keeps her at MIAD, Larson explains, “It’s not just how creative everyone is, but also how invested in the work that we do, the education we provide. The way we’re invested in each other. We really see each other’s work … You can be here and do work that’s not necessarily aligned with your creative practice, but you still get fed and you still get to be part of the community.”

Larson’s nominator continues, “Marie is a supreme listener and is able and willing to provide feedback and discussion on even the most difficult of subjects (courage). She does this with incredible tact and sensitivity, carefully choosing her words to provide a logical, calm base for reflection and consideration of diverse points of view (inclusion). She remains generous and thoughtful even in the most demanding situations and has served as an important moral and ethical compass during tough conversations (integrity). Fairness is front and center in all her dealings. And she always opts for hearing and including multiple points of view in decision-making.”

“I had a great experience here as a student,” continues Larson, “and I kept in contact with a lot of the faculty that I had connected with. I came back because this community felt like a home, and also really nourishing.”

Guiding students, staff and faculty through the academic process, not to mention compiling, organizing and submitting data for MIAD’s accreditors, Larson profoundly impacts the MIAD community. “Her patience, thoughtfulness, generosity, compassion and inclusiveness provide a model that we all should embrace,” finishes her nomination.

Learn more about MIAD’s Values Recognition Award or nominate a colleague at


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