Experience › IAD Faculty

Click on an IAD faculty to learn about them

Janice Kaushal

The faculty in the Institute of Art & Design are seasoned professionals who keep up with the changing marketplace and evolving design industry expectations. As Dean, I know our faculty bring passion and experience to their work because they teach some of RMU's most dedicated and directed students. Our philosophy in the Institute of Art & Design is simple: Bring the highest quality faculty together with students who are eager and motivated to learn, and amazing thing can happen.


As the Institute of Art & Design continues to build on it's high quality programs, I look forward to seeing our students create the kinds of relationships with our faculty that make university such a memorable experience. RMU has been successful in helping students reach their goals both professionally and personally, and I know we can help you do the same.

Agnes Rowsey

My name is Agnieszka Jachymczyk Rowsey or simply Agnes. I teach Art and Design at the Orland Park campus of the of Robert Morris University's Institute of Art and Design. I am currently a full time Faculty member and a Senior Teaching Fellow. I teach freshman, sophomore, junior and some senior level classes. Some subjects you might find me teaching are: drawing, photography, typography one and two, Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign, Flash and Dreamweaver. My favorite classes include projects that revolve around book making in one form or another, thus typography, and publication design are my favorite. Books have always been my beloved form of design because, story telling is one of my preferred forms of expression and so I perused it in College. For my undergraduate studies I earned a Bachelors degree in Art and Design with a concentration in Graphic Design From Columbia College Chicago. I also hold a Masters of Art degree in Interdisciplinary Art with a focus in book making form Columbia College Chicago. During my studies I spent a semester abroad in Florence Italy where my love of the printed page changed in to an obsession.

My art is my design; I worked as a freelance Graphic Artist for 5 years before I discovered teaching. My projects varied from menus, logos, to corporate and packaging design. I decided to give teaching a go because, socially freelancing got a bit lonely. After my first day of teaching at Robert Morris University, I was hooked. Today I volunteer my design skills for no-profit, entities, like the Lake County Arts Magazine, or as part of my Senior Fellows Project for Robert Morris University. My last art show was Rock Paper Scissors, where I exhibited several 3 by 9 foot paper cut outs. Currently I am preparing for another artist book run and I am experimenting with interactive books for the iPad. My cubicle is always open to visitors and I like spending my time helping students with design problems.

Carolyn Pavelkis

Carolyn Otto was born in 1975 in Streator, Illinois, where she spent her adolescent years dreaming of the big city. She moved from the small, midwestern town in 1993 to study modern dance at Columbia College in Chicago. Quickly her creative interests expanded, and after completing her undergraduate degree in Journalism in 1997, Otto applied and was admitted into the MFA Photography program at Columbia. During graduate school, she began teaching photography and design classes at Columbia College and Robert Morris College, and in 2000 Otto began a one-year artist-in-residency full time teaching position at Columbia, which she still regards as a dream year of teaching and learning and one of her greatest achievements.

In the summer of 2001, Otto married her long time boyfriend, Craig Pavelkis, in Negril, Jamaica, and then began teaching full time at Robert Morris College in the fall. She continued exhibiting photographic work in and around Chicago and teaching full time until 2004, at which time Otto and her husband quit their jobs to follow a decade long dream. They packed up their Lincoln Park apartment and drove to Colorado to roam around mountain towns and take a well-deserved break. As it turned out, the newest edition to the family was on his way, and after four months of high-altitude life and lots of snow, the Pavelkis family returned to Chicago to prepare for the birth of Alexei, born in 2005.

These days, Carolyn Otto Pavelkis photographs often, teaches photography and graphic design classes full time once again at Robert Morris College, and is awaiting the birth of her second child. She is currently shooting an ongoing series of nature photographs and a series of documentary style portraits of her family.

Rob Kosin

Began teaching at Robert Morris in 2008. Prior to that taught Film and Video production at Columbia College. Have had 27 years of experience in the Film/Video/TV industry, including live broadcast television, corporate and educational video production, along with collaborations with independent film and video producers.

Hold degrees in Psychology/Sociology from Loyola University, and Film/Video from Columbia College.

Through teaching I try to encourage artistic self-expression, social awareness and community engagement among students. To this end, I have collaborated with students on projects with the following groups: Peace and Dignity Journeys, Teenliving and Project Onward.

Claire Epperly

I am a teacher, a web designer and a mixed media sculptor. I've taught Art and Design at Robert Morris since 1998. I teach a range of classes, including web design and foundation art classes such as drawing, 2D design and color and composition. I have a BA in history from the College of Wooster and an MFA in industrial design from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). I've worked on web design projects for organizations such as the Illinois Arts Council, the Greater State Street Council, and Latino Art Beat. I’ve shown my mixed media sculptures in venues like the Chicago Cultural Center, Woman Made Gallery, the State Street Gallery at Robert Morris College, and The Tubac Center of the Arts in Arizona.

Mary Russell

Mary Russell is a Chicago based artist. She received her MFA from the School of the Art Institute in Chicago and she is presently a full-time instructor at Robert Morris College. For the past decade she has been collaborating with poet Gerard Wozek on videopoems which have screened at numerous conferences in the United States and at festivals abroad including the Sadho Poetry Film Festival in New Dehli, India, the 2003 papertigermedia poetry launch in Brisbane, Australia, and the Zebra Poetry Video Film Festival in Berlin, Germany. Along with Wozek, she has co-facilitated workshops on the evolving genre of poetry video as well on the art of nature journaling. She continues to shoot, edit, and direct poetry videos and short films and contributes to college curriculum in the area of digital cinema. Her residency with film director Peter Greenaway at the Swansea Institute in Wales, led her to document and create a short biographical sketch on Greenaway that premiered in Poitiers, France in 2007.

Shelley LaMantia

I have been a graphic designer for over 15 years and a painter for most of my life. I studied painting at Pratt Institute in New York and illustration at Ray College of Design in Chicago. I have paintings in several private collections in the US and Europe.

As a graduate student I studied Visual Communication at the University of Illinois where I became interested aesthetics and the philosophy of art as well as the creation of art.

For the past 6 years I have served as curator for The Sangamo Club’s private collection of artwork, and for the past 2 years have been the Director of the RMU Springfield gallery. I have been teaching in the graphic design program at RMU since 2000.

Mei-Fen Chen

Dr. Mei‐fen Chen is a member of Institute of Art and Design faculty at Robert Morris University since 1998. She is the curriculum Chair of Master of Management, Design & Media program, and the Senior Teaching Fellow for The Teaching Institute. Dr. Chen has master and doctor's degrees from Indiana University at Bloomington. She teaches courses in interactive design management, user experience, digital imaging and illustration, interactive web development, and multimedia animation. Her research goals focus on a number of theory models, especially those centered on designing effective tools by integrating rich media formats to allow educators to facilitate their teaching experiences not only for e-learning courses but also in classroom settings. In light of approaching theory into practice, the current case study is taking hold in the world by blending inter-disciplinary and experiential learning process together to assist a better understanding of the relationship between education, work, and technology.

Dr. Chen is not only an active member in the professional world for digital media education. She is also a practicing digital media artist, maintaining her own design studio. Her digital artwork has been shown in many art exhibitions.

Mike Kelly

Mike Kelly received his MFA from the University of Michigan. He joined the RMU faculty in 1993 and initiated the Graphic Design program on the Orland Campus in 1995. He has been Assessment Chair and ran the Multimedia Program in Chicago as well as a 3D Modeling and Animation Program. He has helped IAD students to create 2D, 3D and mobile games as well as graphic design, motion graphics and ePortfolios.

He is the owner of Onestop Desktop Multimedia. In partnership with award winning Art on the Loose, he has created games and interactive kiosks for a variety of museums including the Museum of Science and Industry, the Chicago Historical Society, the Newberry Library, the Bronzeville Children's Museum, and the Dusable Museum, in addition to interactive media for clients like the American Society for Clinical Pathology and the National Urban League (as noted in How and Communication Arts Magazines), and graphic design for clients like Northwestern University Traffic School and Robert Morris University.

He has most recently moved into app development and mobile game creation, and is currently working with his Masters of Management in Design and Media Graduate Students to develop an iPad game that will help to socialize children with Autism. He also has a game called Space Nuts available for free download from iTunes.