MC senior's Investigative Study project includes teaching art to local children

Missy Doll never imagined that she would be running a camp all on her own. To make matters even more difficult, she was managing and teaching 32 children between the ages of 5 and 14.

Doll, a senior at Marietta College, took advantage of an incredible opportunity to work with children and learn more about the field she has chosen for the future. Doll, the daughter of David and Lynn Doll of Cincinnati, Ohio, is a double major in studio art and psychology.

She has a desire to pursue art therapy as a career. To learn even more about what her field has to offer, Doll chose to put together a children’s art camp, which was held at the Center for Families and Children on the campus of Marietta College.

“I wanted to give children an opportunity to do more than what they would usually do in an art class at school,” Doll said. “I wanted them to learn about artists of the past and present and a little about art techniques and color theory.”

Doll has found a passion for teaching art and studying how artwork plays into the psychological growth of children. Over the summer she designed and implemented a project that introduced children to the concepts of art, art history and expressing themselves through art. The children worked in a variety of media including chalk, oil pastels, colored pencils, and acrylic paints.

Through the Investigative Studies Program, Doll researched the effects of art therapy and looked at other camps that focus on this technique in order to prepare for her camp. She was able to be director, coordinator and teacher to all the students she encountered during their week together.

As a final collaboration, Missy arranged to have an art exhibit in the Hermann Fine Arts Center that will feature the works of about 30 of the children. This gives the children the chance to feel good about what they learned and have accomplished through their classes. The art show, “Kids and Canvas,” will run from 2 to 4 p.m. Nov. 13.

“I loved working with Missy,” said Dr. Mary Barnas, Doll’s mentor. “It is great when a student can really take what they have learned in the classroom and apply it. Missy is very organized, hardworking and was wonderful with the kids. It was just fun to watch her interacting with them during the camps.”

Barnas worked one-on-one with the Doll, and helped her achieve a greater learning experience from her study with this program.

Doll not only got the chance to teach the children, but she learned from them as well. She learned patience and understanding through the process of teaching and tutoring the children in their classes.

“The most challenging part of this project was being patient and understanding with the children,” Doll said. “I had to explain to them what the project of the day was going to be and help them execute each step.”

The Investigative Studies program, launched in 1997, provides students with an opportunity to pursue research and creative interest in a manner not found in a typical classroom setting. The program promotes intellectual curiosity and stimulates creativity in students. Each student who participates must study in their own academic discipline and in doing so they gain a sense of learning, sharing and commitment with a community of scholars.

“The opportunity to work on research or creative projects independently or with faculty mentors yields a number of benefits,” said Professor Grace Johnson, director of the Investigative Studies Program. “Most importantly, I believe that Marietta College’s Investigative Studies Program helps enhance students’ self confidence and prepares them well for the expectations of the world of work and graduate school.