Dr. Debra Jean Ambush

Lecturer, Art History, Art and Design, and Art Education, Towson University

Dr. Debra Jean Ambush

Debra Jean Ambush, Ph.D. is a distinguished Lecturer in Art History, Art and Design, and Art Education at Towson University. She was 2017 recipient of the National Art Education Association Woman’s Caucus’ Maryl Flether DeJong Award for her work organizing a tribute to the late Peggy Cooper Cafritz honoring her founding of the Duke Ellington School for the Arts.

Dr. Debra Jean Ambush has taught art in the public school system in Maryland for thirty years. She has served for five years as an adjunct professor at the Corcoran School of Art and Design at George Washington University where she has taught a variety of courses including Introduction to Research Methods, Assessment and Evaluation, and Classroom Management. She served on thesis committees and taught thesis seminar.

Dr. Ambush has received many awards, including the Montgomery County Education Association Jaworski Civil Rights Grant, Maryland Art Education Association Educator of the Year Award, Montgomery County Public Schools Women in the Arts Award, Getty Fellowship in Art Education, Corcoran Faculty Research Grant and The Ohio State University Deans
Fellowship. She is past chair of the National Art Education Association affiliate, Committee on Multi-Ethnic Concerns. She has served on the Advanced Placement Test Development Committee training AP Studio art teachers around the country including the Virgin Islands.

In 2104 she received the National Art Education Association J. Eugene Grigsby Jr. Multi-Ethnic Concerns Award. She currently serves on the Editorial Review Board for the NAEA Art Education Journal. In 2013 she served as a Guest Co-Editor for an issue on Culturally Responsive Teaching for the Art Education Journal. Her research has been focused on African American Aesthetic Traditions as well as the history of African Americans in Art Education. Her publications include an essay in the exhibition catalog Ashe to Amen, an invited paper for Penn State @ 50 Art Education Seminar now available on the Penn State Online Conference Proceedings, Spring 2016. An upcoming publication by Vernon Press on
Women and African American Educators will include her chapter entitled Harvest for the World. The History of African Americans Art Educators. A recent 2013 exhibition, commemorating the 50th anniversary of Wesley Seminary Dadian Gallery, featured her panting Ancestral Legacy. Her recent exhibition, Dwellings (2016) highlighted woodblock prints inspired by 19th-century photographs and letters from her own family historical archive.

She earned her MFA and Ph.D. from Ohio State University.