ATLANTA— The College of the Arts at Georgia State announced the appointment of Associate Professor Michael White as the new interim director of the Ernest G. Welch School of Art & Design. White served as the school’s director from 2012-2018 and returns to the leadership role beginning Aug. 1. He succeeds Director Joseph Peragine, who for the past four years, is credited with seeing the school through the pandemic, developing new program initiatives and the expansion of studio spaces for students and faculty.
“We are pleased to have Professor White once again lead the charge at the Ernest G. Welch School of Art & Design,” said Wade Weast, dean of the College of the Arts. “As a previous director, he brings deep in-house experience for a seamless transition and continuity.”
Professor White came to Georgia State in 2002 and was tenured in 2008. He is both NCARB and NCIDQ certified and is a registered architect and interior designer in the State of Georgia with degrees from Mississippi State University and the Georgia Institute of Technology.
Professor White joined Georgia State following an extensive national career in interior architectural practice, most notably as Studio Director of the Atlanta office of Gensler — the nation’s largest interior architecture firm. His 20-plus years of professional experience in commercial interiors included more than one million square feet in projects for national clients including Aetna, the McDonald’s Corporation, Bank of America, BlueCross BlueShield, GTE, and Atlanta’s own legal powerhouse, King & Spalding.
Under his leadership, the interior design program at Georgia State has achieved significant clarity in scope and direction and has garnered added recognition of its faculty and students, with six of the nation’s top ten interior design firms now employing Georgia State alumni. Professor White recently concluded a four-year project as Co-PI on two STEAM-centric grants with Atlanta’s innovative Drew Charter Schools sponsored by the Georgia Governor’s Office of Student Achievement and the Goizueta Foundation. Outcomes of that work yielded online professional development modules in art & design and co-authored articles on the design and implementation of STEAM-centric professional development opportunities for K-12 teachers as a community outreach initiative by university art & design programs.
“Joe Peragine’s pandemic-era leadership over these past few tumultuous years was nothing short of extraordinary, and I am humbled to be able to return to this role as part of an incredible team of faculty and staff,” Professor White said. “Welch faculty are dynamic players in Atlanta’s arts community who model world-class creative practice and scholarship to our students through innovative and effective instruction. It is an honor to be called on to help advance the initiatives and goals of the university, the College of the Arts, and this outstanding group of arts professionals and scholars from the Ernest G. Welch School of Art & Design."