The creative arts and teaching have always been my avocations, and when the planets are properly aligned, I am blessed with one or both as my vocation.
I was embraced by the muse of poetry early in life. My first mentor was Dr. Suess, but in time I found e. e. cummings and William Blake, Gwendolyn Brooks and Robert Frost. I loved to write poetry (& still do). Some days I’d plop right down on the sidewalk and write down words from random attacks of inspiration. Thanks to these efforts, I won several poetry awards in my youth, most notably the Gwendolyn Brooks Illinois Poet Laureate Award. I eventually did move into different literary arts like epistle writing, travelogue, and creative nonfiction. Writing is my greatest passion: my identity for many.
I started studying piano at the age of six; it was one of those good-for-you things, and I resisted having to practice. I did, however, love to sing, and write songs. Eventually my piano teacher gave in and gave me a guitar (an electric one with an amp!) and I taught myself with the help of a friend. I have been in several choirs, and I was also a founding member of the a cappella group Mixed Company during my years at Yale University. I have performed sometimes solo, other times in groups, sometimes by design, other times by chance.
As the daughter of an artist, I have been both creator and connoisseur of visual arts all of my life. (Here I am by my first work shown at the Art Institute of Chicago at the age of three.) I spent hours in an advertising agency where my dad worked, creating art using tools that few children get an opportunity to use.
I have “officially” studied drawing, sculpture, photography, 2-D design, architecture, graphic design, video, computer graphics, animation, art history, watercolors & weaving. I am proficient in many tools, and create art in myriad media.
As the daughter of a Chicago Public School teacher, I have had a lifelong passion for teaching, learning, and creative communication of information. I have taught in the classroom, in after-school programs, and in “teach the teacher” programs in the Chicago Public Schools. I have been a private tutor for over 20 years.
On the information front, I worked in a library at Yale as a student, and later served as a medical librarian and webmaster in the University of Chicago. In the corporate world, I was a research and web manager, then consultant/video producer, at The Kennedy Group, a healthcare IT consulting agency. In 2000, I began my own multimedia business, and I “graduated” to teach in higher education.
For the past seven years, I was on the faculty at Columbia College Chicago, and the best mathematics course ever designed for artists/writers/musicians. Created by the Institute for Science Education and Science Communication, the class allowed me to incorporate creative tactile and virtual interactive media into my teaching, to enable students to support each other in groups, and to encourage my students to tap their creativity to understand amazing mathematical ideas that we wrestled with in class. Many students felt the course changed not only their views on math, but also changed their lives. For purely political reasons, the course was canceled, but I’m hoping to resurrect the course in informal settings, like neighborhood art schools, after-school programs, assisted living facilities and math cafés.
Merging the arts and communication over the past twelve years, I have been an independent producer of video, web, and interactive media projects for universities, corporate clients, non-profit organizations and individuals. I have produced several corporate promotional videos on tape and on CD-ROM, and assisted on a documentary of Heinz von Foerster for the Viennese government, worked as a location sound mixer and boom operator on films, and have been a recording engineer for live concerts as well as CDs. I programmed and assisted with the concept and design of many of the interactive exhibits for the opening of the Cyberspace gallery at the Adler Planetarium and Astronomy Museum in 2001. live concerts. I had solo retrospective show in 2003, and have participated in shows at Columbia.
I am a member of the Association of Mutimedia Communicators, Engineering and Recording Society of Chicago (EARS), Company of Friends (Fast Company), the Special Libraries Association, the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), the Metropolitan Mathematics Club of Chicago, and Digital Eve Chicago . I have volunteered in both the production and education departments at the Adler Planetarium and Astronomy Museum, and in the studios at the Center for Book and Paper Arts at Columbia College Chicago. I also work as an alumni interviewer for Yale University undergraduate admissions.
When I’m not working, studying, or volunteering, I’m skippering
my boat Sloop John B. on Lake Michigan, being mom to my dog Cap’n Jack, skating on the streets of Chicago as a member of National Skate Patrol, skiing in some mountain range somewhere as me, or exploring the world.
Schuy (sky) Jewell