Vanessa López, awarded the 2011 NAEA Eastern Region Middle Level Art Educator award, earned her Master of Arts in Art Education in 2009. As an art educator in Baltimore City Public Schools, Vanessa served as a member of the Professional Peer Review Committee and as Seminar Leader for the Maryland Practitioner Teacher Program in Art for the Baltimore City Teaching Residency Program. After ten years teaching in Baltimore City Public Schools, Vanessa joined MICA's MAT faculty.
Vanessa published her MAAE research in Art Education Journal and she later contributed the NAEA book, Culture as Commons. She has given multiple presentations at National Art Education Association annual conventions, served on the writing team for the National Core Arts Standards in Visual Arts, and coordinated the 2010 National Art Education Association convention in Baltimore. Vanessa currently serves on the Fine Arts Advisory Panel for the Maryland State Department of Education.