Faculty Biographies

Roger Eriksen

Associate Professor Roger Eriksen graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Film Production from Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, in 1978 and received a Master of Fine Arts in Environmental Art from The University of Idaho, Moscow, Idaho, in 2002.

Mr. Eriksen has over twenty years experience in computer graphics in Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Canada, and the US. He taught graphic design for over seven years at the Wellington Polytechnic School of Design (now part of Massey University) in Wellington, New Zealand.


Jenna Neilsen

Professor Jenna Neilsen received her BA from Ohio Northern University and her MFA in theatre pedagogy from Virginia Commonwealth University.

She teaches Voice for Performance, Styles of Acting, Acting, Public Speaking and Costume Design/Construction. Jenna has acted and directed in theatres in the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic and studied acting at Queen Margaret University College, a leading conservatory in Edinburgh, Scotland.

She has presented her research in both theatre pedagogy and theatre history nationally at the South Eastern Theatre Conference, the Mid-America Theatre Conference and the Association of Theatre in Higher Education Conference.


Eugene Schilling

Professor Eugene Schilling received his BFA degree from the University of Nebraska and a MFA from Colorado State University. Professor Schilling is responsible for all levels of painting as well as advanced level drawing courses. In addition to his teaching assignments he is also the Gallery Director for the ASU Art Department.

He has exhibited paintings and drawings both nationally and internationally, including exhibitions at the Berman Museum of Art in Collegeville, PA, the Museum of Neon Art in Los Angeles, CA and the Isetan Museum of Art in Tokyo, Japan.


Claire van der Plas

Assistant Professor Claire van der Plas graduated MFA from University of Auckland, New Zealand in 2004. She also has a BFA from Auckland and a BA in political science from Canterbury University, NZ.

While primarily a painter Claire thinks pigeon-holes are for mail and also works in other media including installation, performance and collaborative art when the opportunity arises.

Claire has previously taught at Western Carolina University, The University of Auckland, NZ and LaSalle-SIA College of the Arts, Singapore. She has exhibited in New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Malaysia and the United States.


Margaret Doell

Professor Margaret Doell received her BFA in photography from the University of Manitoba and her MFA in printmaking from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada. In 2012-13 Margaret was honored to spend a year as an ACE (American Council on Education) Fellow at UCCS (University of Colorado Colorado Springs), immersed in Higher Education Leadership Development opportunities.

Since returning to ASU she has been serving in a split role as Art Department Chair and Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Doell spent time as a resident artist at the Banff Centre for the Arts and the West Baffin Eskimo Co-op and taught at Concordia University, Mount Allison University and the University College of the Cariboo (now Thompson Rivers University) before coming to Adams State in 1996.

She has exhibited her work across Canada and the United States and her work in printmaking was included in the book "The Best of Printmaking: An International Collection." Margaret has taught art criticism, all levels of photography and printmaking, and a variety of graduate level theory classes during her time at Adams State.


Dana Provence

Professor Dana Provence received his MFA in sculpture from the University of North Texas of Denton and his undergraduate degree from Baylor University of Waco, Texas.

Professor Provence is responsible for instruction in all levels of sculpture and metalsmithing, in addition to teaching art appreciation. He taught at Midwestern State University prior to joining Adams State. Dana is a nationally exhibited artist and a member of the International Sculpture Center and a charter member of the South by Southwest Regional Sculpture Organization.


O. Gustavo Plascencia

O. Gustavo Plascencia was raised in the northern Mexican state of Coahuila and attended the Escuela de Artes Plasticas “Ruben Herrera” in Saltillo, Coahuila Mexico before immigrating to the USA. He received his Master of Fine Arts at the University of Colorado in Boulder in Photography and Media Arts and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography from the University of Texas at Arlington. Plascencia is currently teaching all levels of digital photography, traditional film methods, and art appreciation.

Plascencia’s works have been shown nationally and internationally including: Museo de Las Americas (Denver, Colorado), Instituto Fotografico de Medellin (Medellin, Colombia), The International Center of Bethlehem (Bethlehem, Palestine), The Polytechnic University of Valencia (Valencia, Spain), and the Academia de Bellas Artes San Carlos (Mexico city, Mexico).

In addition, Plascencia has participated in the artist-in-residency programs at; Arte Studio Ginestrelle (Assisi, Italy/2011), Contemporary Artists Center (Troy, NY/2011), Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts (Saratoga, WY/2012), and Old School Residence (Gorna Lipnitsa, Bulgaria/2012).


Jenny Gawronski

Assistant Professor Jenny Gawronski was raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in ceramics and Bachelor of Science in Art Education degrees in 2001 from Pennsylvania State University.

She then continued to study ceramics as a post baccalaureate student at University of Colorado at Boulder and in Gothenburg, Sweden at Högskolan för Design och Konsthantverk, School of Design and Craft. In 2008 she received her Master of Fine Arts in ceramics from Louisiana State University. Gawronski currently teaches all levels of ceramics as well as the art education course sequence.


Beth Bonnstetter

Beth Bonnstetter received her bachelor's degree from Regis University in Communication Arts, her masters in Speech Communication from Colorado State University, and her Ph.D. in Communication Studies from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.

She was involved in college radio all through her undergraduate career, and has worked for the Denver affiliate of Radio Disney. She has been the faculty adviser for Adams State's radio station, KASF-FM, Grizz Radio, since 2008.

Dr. Bonnstetter teaches a variety of Mass Communication courses at Adams State, including Basic and Advanced Media Writing, Fundamentals of Media Communication, Media Law and Ethics, and the Rhetoric of Popular Culture.

She also directs the communication internships and radio practicum courses. Dr. Bonnstetter's research has been published in the Journal of Popular Film and Television, the Journal of Film and Video, the Southern Communication Journal, and Text and Performance Quarterly.


Matthew Schildt

A native of Long Island, New York, Matthew Schildt received a bachelor's degree in Music Technology and Music Composition from Lebanon Valley College and his Masters and Ph.D. in Music Theory/Composition from Kent State University.

At Adams State, Matthew teaches Music Theory, Composition, Aural Skills, Technology, and upper strings. He has taught Music Theory, Piano, American Music, and Music Technology courses at Kent State University, Hiram College, and the University of Akron.

An active composer, Matthew has written works for a variety of ensembles. His compositions have been performed at Society of Composers, Inc. and College Music Society conferences and have been played on radio stations in the United States and Germany. His composition Drift for string orchestra received the Kent State University Creative Arts Award in 2002.

Matthew has presented on diverse topics at various music conferences, including the International Conference on Twentieth-Century Music in Brighton, UK. He received awards for best graduate student presentation at the College Music Society, Great Lakes Chapter Conference and the Southwest/Texas Popular Culture/American Culture Association Conference.

As a performer, Matthew has performed on viola and piano in various classical, folk, jazz, and rock settings. Matthew played piano on the soundtrack to the PBS documentary "Still Waiting: Life After Katrina" and currently performs with the Celtic group "Tripping Upstairs" featuring other ASU faculty members.