Makeda L. Kahlein

Makeda L. Kahlein

I love what I do because there is no greater honor than to motivate and educate. Makeda L. Kahlein , General Education Instructor , The Art Institute of Charleston, a branch of The Art Institute of Atlanta

How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience?

As a clinician, I incorporate my professional experience into everything we cover in class. I design projects to help students apply their knowledge to their field of study and their professional goals.

What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?

The group presentation on disorders is one of the most interesting projects I assign. We start with a trip to the Old Slave Mart Museum, where students learn about Charleston’s history and assess the generational influences of mental illness. They enjoy bringing own their reality into the classroom, as they discuss and dismiss stereotypes and preconceived biases. The transformation is wonderful and rewarding on many levels.

How does collaboration contribute to students’ success—particularly when students from various programs work together?

I employ a variety of group activities where students work closely with their peers from other disciplines. This format gives students a valuable opportunity to learn from each other’s experiences.

What’s the most important thing you impart to students to help them succeed in class and the real world?

Be authentic. And understand the difference between responding and reacting to life stressors. And know that this is an institution of higher learning, and we’re all here to help them succeed in their academic journey.

Anything else you’d like to share?

I believe creativity is essential in all disciplines. I’m grateful that I can incorporate creativity and fun in a subject that some students may be afraid to experience.