Sherry Penn-Crawford (Ph.D., 1975) served UI&U in a professional capacity as Assistant Vice President & Associate National Dean/Core Faculty Member in the Graduate College following a varied career which includes also serving as Founder and Chair of the Dance Concentration/Department at Miami-Dade Community College, Visiting Professor at the University of Winterthur, Switzerland, as well as at San Francisco State University, the University of California – Berkeley, University of Louisville, Webster University, University of Florida, and Florida International University. Dr. Penn-Crawford’s academic areas of expertise include Performing Arts (Dance, Movement, Mime, Theatre, and Drama) as well as Psychology, Humanistic Studies, the Expressive Arts Therapies, Organizational Communication and Behavior, and Public Relations.
Dr. Penn-Crawford also served as Press Secretary and Director of Communication for then-Jefferson County, KY, Judge Executive Mitch McConnell prior to his becoming Minority Leader in the US Senate and she remains active in politics at local, state and national levels. Dr. Penn-Crawford is also considered a pioneer in the field of Expressive Arts Therapies, specializing in Dance/Movement/Mime, Puppetry, Poetry, and Theatre and has given numerous workshops and seminars both nationally and internationally. She is a well-known and highly respected professional choreographer for stage, screen and television, and has created more than 60 full-length productions and 200 individual works of dance art, and has also been a television writer/producer.
Dr. Penn-Crawford has been involved in interdisciplinary education and thinking her entire life. Her bachelor’s degree (University of Louisville) includes a double major in Psychology and Theatre with minors in English, Political Science, and Pre-Med Studies. She earned her master's degree and was granted ABD status from the University of Florida in Theatre (Dramatic Theory and Criticism) and Music Theory and Criticism. And, her Ph.D. (UI&U, 1975) concentration is in Communication Psychology and Performing Arts. She brought her interdisciplinary thinking to her role as Core Faculty Professor in the Graduate College where she served more than 250 Learners as Core and an additional 250 Learners as Second Core before being named Professor Emeritus in 2006. She also served as member and Chair of numerous faculty and university-wide committees during her professional tenure at UI&U.
Sherry Penn-Crawford also has served and continues to serve as a consultant for various organizations and individuals focusing in program development, constituency development, organizational communication, public relations and political image development.
Her love for and fascination with the uniqueness which is UI&U dates from her meeting with members of the first doctoral colloquium as well as the founders of the doctoral program and has remained steadfast throughout all the years of challenges and changes which our university has undergone. She believes deeply in the concept of interdisciplinarity and in encouraging all learners, faculty, staff, administrators, adjuncts, and alumni/ae to reach both inward and outward in order to fulfill their learning/educational visions and in providing the best mentorship along the path to that accomplishment. She is now very pleased to be serving UI&U in yet another capacity as a member of the Volunteer Alumni Board.