Leadership; Corcoran School Grand Staircase


At the Corcoran, we focus on combining creativity, empathy and innovation to connect our creative practice to the greater good. Our leadership embodies these principles.


Lauren Onkey

Lauren Onkey is the new director of Columbian College's Corcoran School of the Arts and Design as of July, 2021. Dr. Onkey brings to the Corcoran two decades of hands-on experience in the arts and cultural studies, paired with considerable scholarly achievement in her field. She most recently has served as the Senior Director at NPR Music, where she led a team of journalists, critics, videographers, and podcast makers and provided the editorial vision in creating innovative cross-platform music journalism. With her innovative vision and commitment to exploring opportunities for creative and cultural partnerships, Dr. Onkey will be a tremendous asset to the Corcoran’s students and faculty.


More About DR. ONKEY


Kym Rice

Mary Coughlin is the Assistant Director of Academic Affairs of the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design Associate Professor and Head of Museum Studies Online Certificate. Professor Coughlin has an interest in the conservation challenges of contemporary museum collections, particularly with respect to plastic. Before coming to GW full time, she worked for five years in the Objects Conservation Laboratory of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History where she conserved objects as diverse as FDR’s leg braces and Star War’s C-3PO and R2-D2.


More about Director Coughlin





Strategic Advisory Council


The Corcoran Strategic Advisory Council is the director's advisory body for the Corcoran. Comprised of distinguished national and international alumni, those from the philanthropic sector, and acclaimed artists and designers, the Council works to address issues impacting the growth and development of the Corcoran.

They help to promote the mission of GW and the Corcoran through their work on the Council. Members serve on a volunteer basis, typically for three­-year terms.



Erin Kuykendall

Erin Kuykendall

Assistant Professor, Director of Graduate Studies, Decorative Arts & Design History, in partnership with Smithsonian

Kevin Patton

Kevin Patton

Director of Graduate Studies, Interaction Design 

Siobhan Rigg

Siobhan Rigg

Program Head, Design
Associate Professor, New Media, Studio Arts



Sidney Stevens NEXT 2021

Updates from the Corcoran

What a year it has been! Many of you have bravely faced personal, professional and academic challenges. We are proud of the way you and our students have approached these challenges with grace and creativity.

In 2020-2021, the Corcoran was thrilled to announce the launch of our new Master of Arts in Interior Architecture. The program aims to create ethical, socially-conscious design thinkers and leaders in the industry of the built environment. The IA MA is now accepting applications for its inaugural class.

In addition, the Corcoran is thrilled to invite you to NEXT 2021: a dynamic, innovative, end-of-year celebration that gives students, faculty and D.C.’s art community the opportunity to see the latest in contemporary art, creativity and scholarship, presented by the graduating class of 2021. This year, for the first time in its history, NEXT will be a hybrid virtual and physical experience, with outdoor installations on GW’s Foggy Bottom campus that will be on view until mid-summer 2021, as well as a website (next.corcoran.gwu.edu) where you can see students’ projects—from research papers to series of paintings to radio plays.

Although we wish we could experience this event in person, we were impressed with how students have creatively adapted to the circumstances of the times. As you’ll see, this particular year, the global pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement have profoundly impacted these young artists. Students in last year's DesignLab, under the guidance of Professor Matt Guastaferro, and 2020 alumni Maddie Goldstein and Emily Recko, also worked hard to develop the branding for the event.

Lastly, there were some incredible student and alumni accomplishments from the past year. First-year graduate student Kaitlin Santiago built a functioning solar panel system to restore power to her Florida home after it was hit by Hurricane Sally. Undergraduate senior Julia Matsumato created Contact Tracing, an embroidered book that explores the lost sense of touch that has come about amid the pandemic, which was acquired by Gelman Library. Students conducted research on the connection between music and politics during the 2020 election season as part of Professor Loren Kajikawa's Music and Politics course. Visiting Artist Paul Rucker is working with our students on an upcoming work about economic resilience on Black Wall Street. And finally, we would like to extend a special thank you on behalf of the Corcoran community to Pat Sheridan, BFA '99, and his company Modus Create for their $10,000 gift to the GW Cares Fund for Corcoran students facing financial hardship due to the pandemic.

Image credit: "Look it's a fish! I caught it, see, see!," from 'The Plan' by Sidney Stevens, Fine Art BFA 2021 (velour, cotton broadcloth, wood, paper, wire, plastic)


Highlighted Past Events: Salon Doré Series on Equity

Innovative thinkers from diverse fields gathered at the Corcoran for the Salon Doré Series, where they discussed issues of equity through the lens of culture and creativity. The setting itself was a powerful symbol of inequity, a French neoclassical salon that was originally meant for the privileged. Grounded in the perspective of the performing and visual arts as important drivers of positive social change, the discussions were community-focused and wide-reaching, centering on creative problem-solving with a goal of formulating fresh, groundbreaking solutions to the pressing problems of our times.

MORE ON Salon Doré



2021-2021 William Wilson Corcoran Visiting Professor of Community Engagement

Paul Farber, the 2020-2021 Visiting Professor of Community Engagement, is Director and Co-Founder of Monument Lab. He also currently serves as Senior Research Scholar at the Center for Public Art & Space at the University of Pennsylvania. More

3D Printer printing PPE

GW Community Collaborates to Produce PPEs for Hospital Workers

As hospitals cope with a shortage of personal protective equipment due to increased demand during the COVID-19 pandemic, groups of students and faculty members from across disciplines at the George Washington University have come together to find immediate responses to the needs of health care professionals at GW Hospital. More

Worker cutting metal and sparks flying

Phase One of Our Renovations is Now Complete

GW launched a multiyear, multiphase renovation of the Corcoran School's Flagg Building. After a two year process, phase one of the Flagg Building renovation is now complete with active pedagogical spaces on every floor of the building.

Pat Sheridan

Alum Pat Sheridan (BFA '99) Donates to Corcoran Students Facing Pandemic Hardship

Corcoran alum Pat Sheridan and his company, Modus Create, donated $10,000 in aid to Corcoran students. More