Spotlight: Art history professor spent time abroad, enjoys astronomy and sci-fi

VAPA professor Lauren Kinnee.
DeKeveion Glaspie | The Scribe
Nov. 9, 2015

DeKeveion Glaspie
[email protected]

Not everyone would guess that art and science would mix. But for VAPA professor Lauren Kinnee, astronomy is just as interesting as art history of ancient civilizations.

Kinnee holds a doctorate and master’s in art history of ancient Greece and Rome and is a visiting professor of art history.

Kinnee started at UCCS in 2009 and teaches Egyptian, Greek and Roman art history. This semester, Kinnee is teaching modern art, a special seminar on warfare and a class on visual culture in ancient Greece and Rome.

Kinnee said if she could have taken a minor when she was in college, it would have been in astronomy.

“I keep on thinking that I should take classes while I’m here. I was really into astronomy in general, but as well as planetary geology,” she said.

Born and raised in Colorado Springs, Kinnee grew up playing ice hockey and continued the hobby into her college years, while training as a yoga instructor.

She has studied both French and some Italian. She is also a volunteer interviewer for those who want to apply to Yale, her alma mater.

Additionally, Kinnee has spent time in Paris on and off since she was a child and in Rome, as part of a fellowship for research on Roman material.

After teaching at a community college in Michigan and at Colorado College, Kinnee came to UCCS and has been going back and forth between UCCS and CC, which she said provides her with many opportunities to branch out.

Kinnee said her favorite part of working at UCCS is the students and learning about the backgrounds that led them to attend UCCS.

“(At) other schools I’ve taught at, the students there go straight into college and do a lot of growing up there and I think that’s fantastic,” Kinnee said.

“But there are also a lot of kids who’ve been told their whole lives they had to go to college. Those kids I watch how much pain they are in, and they often wind up leaving and not coming back. Here I see a mix of both.”

Kinnee said she al so loves to see how she can help students achieve their goals.

She enjoys “Breaking Bad” and other TV shows about danger and murder.

“I love ‘Orphan Black’ and am big into sci-fi . I guess one of the things in my modern class was shocked by was that I played a lot of video games and one of my close friends is a video game designer,” Kinnee said.

10 years from now, Kinnee sees herself still living in Colorado Springs.

“Hopefully here, that would be nice, the thing is that the job market is really unpredictable in my area. So you can never know for sure,” she said.

“I think that if you had asked me that 10 years ago I wouldn’t have had any idea of what it would be like now, but now I think the only thing I know everything is uncertain but I love it here and I keep on getting chances to stay and I hope I keep getting more,” she added.

Next semester, she will offer classes about women in art, a senior capstone and an independent study on Georgia O’Keeffe.