Inquiry: The Journal of the Virginia Community Colleges

Author Bio(s)

Lisa Nanni-Messegee is an Assistant Professor of Theatre and Communication at Northern Virginia Community College, Loudoun. She is a published playwright (“Carol vs. Christmas,” co-written with Todd Messegee; “Just So, Mr. Kipling”, to be released this Fall by Eldridge Plays and Musicals.) She was also a part of a team of writers who wrote the Hallmark Channel movie, “Matchmaker Santa.” Lisa holds a B.A. from Western Illinois University, an M.A. from Kansas State University, and an M.F.A. from Minnesota State University-Mankato. Teresa Burns Murphy is a freelance writer. She holds a B.A. and an M.Ed. from Harding University, an M.F.A. from George Mason University, and an Ed.D. from the University of Memphis. While teaching at Lyon College in Batesville, Arkansas, she was awarded the Lamar Williamson Prize for Excellence in Teaching and was the recipient of the Association of Independent Liberal Arts Colleges for Teacher Education Scholar Award for her research on violence and peacemaking in the public schools.


President Obama’s “Educate to Innovate” initiative emphasizes training in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). More recently, arts have been added to STEM, resulting in the acronym STEAM: Science and Technology interpreted through Engineering and the Arts, based in the Mathematical elements. However, should the arts be used only to cultivate better scientists? Or might the arts be valued apart from of their service to math and science?