Dr. Saadia N. Lawton is an educational consultant and an independent interdisciplinary scholar. Saadia holds a Bachelor’s in History and a Master’s of Professional Studies in African and African American Studies from the historic Africana Studies and Research Center at Cornell University. She earned a Ph.D. in Art History, with a certification in Material Culture Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is a three-time Mellon Foundation Fellowships recipient for dissertation research and is working to convert her dissertation into a book manuscript, Contested Meanings: Philadelphia’s Nineteenth-Century Audience Responses to Black Icons and Identities.
Her previous work experience includes teaching art history and performing museum-related work at Lucy Craft Laney Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Milwaukee Art Museum. In her former role as Director for the Center of Excellence in Visual Arts, she served as the liaison for the Lincoln-Barnes Foundation Partnership and coordinated the Museum Studies certification program. During her tenure, she also served as acting chair of the department. In this role, she led and edited the Middle States Assessment standards report.
It was this latter experience, coupled with the volunteer work she continues to perform as a member of the Museum Committee of College Art Association that motivates her to supplement her art history training with an emphasis on operational leadership for non-profit organizations. As a result, she identified the National Urban Fellows Program as the best forum to achieve this goal.
In her mentorship placement as Special Assistant to the Director of East Coast Operations for St. Bernard’s Project, she helped identify ways to operationalize disaster recovery practices for the Friends of Rockaway. She worked with the Departments of Construction, Development, Supply and Logistics, and Client and Volunteer Services to recommend improvements that streamline various processes. In addition to her assigned responsibilities, she implemented professional development clinics for AmeriCorps workers as a means to augment their experience.