Profile photo of Laurie Melnik Allen
Laurie Melnik Allen
Executive Director, Professor of Practice, Lyndhurst Chair of Excellence in Arts Education
Arts-Based Collaborative
M.F.A., The University of Central Florida; M.P.A., The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
  208 Patten House

Laurie Melnik Allen is the Lyndhurst Chair of Excellence in Arts Education and Executive Director of the Arts-Based Collaborative at UTC. Through her work at the collaborative, she facilitates arts-based learning across multiple fields and disciplines by aligning artistic elements and processes that encourage interdisciplinary alignment. An example of this is through her work integrating arts-based praxis into physician training as well as developing a Simulated Patient Actor Program at UTC in collaboration with the university’s highly regarded School of Nursing. In her 11 years at UTC, she has successfully attracted over 30 grants/contracts, presented over 25 conference sessions, worked on the national Model Cornerstone Assessment Benchmarking Team in elementary and secondary theatre for the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards (NCCAS), qualified as a National edTPA Scorer in Performing Arts, and has been recognized as the 2017 Grantsperson of the Year by the College of Arts and Sciences, the largest college on the UTC campus. In 2017, she led the transition of the Southeast Center for Education in the Arts under their new college home at UTC, the College of Health, Education, and Professional Studies (CHEPS), which led to rebranding the center by what it’s known by today, the Arts-Based Collaborative. Since joining the CHEPS family, she successfully launched the first university-named Affiliate of the national Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning Through the Arts in collaboration with her colleagues, which has led to recruiting and training a roster of 8 Wolf Trap  teaching artists serving early childhood classrooms across the Greater Chattanooga region. She has also been nominated for the UT President Award 4-years in a row (2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019), the University of Tennessee system’s highest employee honor. When she is not writing a grant to increase access to meaningful arts-based experiences, she is helping UTC’s teacher candidates in related arts successful complete their final residency and edTPA assessment.