Faculty Who Care
Janet Bixler joined the faculty at Central Penn College in the Fall Term of 2012 as a part-time instructor of Oral Communications. Over the next two years, she taught a variety of courses for the Humanities and Sciences department. With her theatre and education background she found great joy in teaching courses that focused on the development of the human spirit either through literature, study of the fine arts, exploration of performance and production or the first year experience class Freshman Seminar. In 2014, she was offered the opportunity to join the Central Penn family as a full-time professor and the theatre director of The Capital BlueCross Theatre on the Summerdale campus of Central Penn College. As the theatre director she directs plays, both original works and scripted material, produces both theatrical productions and events and manages the 240-seat flexible black box theatre for campus and community programs. She also is the advisor of the Central Penn Players drama club. During the theatre’s inaugural year, she produced and directed Knight of Theatrics: A Spectacle of Creative Expression, Fall Harvest ’14 Theatre Shorts, Knight of Success, Survivors Among Us: original production created with Central Penn students, The Central Penn Cabaret: Songs from Old and New Broadway Musicals, Fall Harvest ’15 Theatre Shorts and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde adapted by Jeffery Hatcher. Prior to her work with Central Penn College, she taught for Harrisburg Area Community College and Penn State Harrisburg. She also ran her own business, U-Cre8: offering creative drama residencies and workshops for ages 5-85. With her business she collaborated with teachers and administrators of both schools and arts organizations to devise, direct and produce original production pieces with multi-age participants.
I love reading quirky books where my imagination sparks new philosophical understandings of humanity’s foibles. When I’m not creating, doing, or attending live theatre, I enjoy visiting Midtown Cinema where I can see quirky independent films. I often explore our local museums: The State Museum of Pennsylvania and the Susquehanna Art Museum (SAM). But I don’t stay local when it comes to expanding my artist perspective. I regularly visit theatres and museums in NYC, Philly and Baltimore. If you haven’t experienced the Visionary Art Museum near Inner Harbor, well, but it on your bucket list. I recently traveled to New Mexico where I fell in love with the dry heat, vast skies and hot air ballooning.
Teaching is a dialogue between the facilitator and the receiver within an environment where at times roles reverse providing deeper understanding for everyone. A community of learners populates this environment where growth occurs as a result of each learner’s contributions. This community can only grow with mutual respect where all own their decisions, as well as the consequences of their actions. This community is on a journey together.
As a learner I value multiple approaches to acquiring and applying new information. Consequently, I use a variety ways to open the doors of learning for my student: class discussion, small group discussion and presentation, independent student initiated projects, presentations and papers, online journal entries, and experiential learning. I often bring in experts from the community to expand on the course objectives. I regularly get the students out of the classroom. Besides working in the library, computer labs and visiting with a variety of campus staff resources, I have taken my students to visit the ballet, theatre, symphony and Susquehanna Art Museum. It is my hope that together we will create an environment that inspires your curiosity and desire to ever increase your knowledge base.