Lynn Sondag, professor of art and the Honors Program director, was presented with the Joseph R. Fink Faculty Achievement Award during Dominican University of California’s Fall 2022 Commencement, December 10.
The award was presented by Dr. Mojgan Behmand, vice president for Academic Affairs and dean of the faculty, at the gathering of students and faculty for fall commencement.
“A member of the Dominican University of California faculty for 20 years, professor Lynn Sondag has inspired her students as an exemplary faculty mentor, held numerous leadership roles on campus, shepherded program innovation, and invested in the cultivation of close and mutually respectful community partnerships,” Dr. Behmand said.
“Lynn was also instrumental in gaining accreditation for the Art Department with the Association of Schools of Art and Design. This achievement and her development of an art curriculum and honors program designed around community engagement adds to our university’s distinctiveness and illustrates the positive role Dominican can have in the community.”
The Joseph R. Fink Award, named for Dominican’s eighth president, honors a long-time faculty member’s exemplary achievements and dedication to the University. Recipients are recognized as outstanding teachers who have brought distinction to Dominican through research, creative work, service, or leadership.
Sondag has garnered attention for Dominican and the School of Liberal Arts and Education through her recognition as a fine artist in the greater San Francisco Bay Area and through public artworks to address issues of educational inequity, homelessness, environmental injustice, and racial marginalization. Throughout her career at Dominican, Sondag has served to empower marginalized communities while developing the university’s understanding of the valuable role art plays in promoting justice and community well-being.
In recent years, Sondag and her students have worked with people who are unhoused to create an educational art project for downtown San Rafael. She and her students also partnered with elementary school students in the Canal neighborhood to examine issues of environmental destruction and sustainability in their own neighborhood and the surrounding open space.
Sondag and Marin City youth worked to spread the word about the 2020 Census in their neighborhood. This past year she continued to collaborate with the Marin City organization, Performing Stars of Marin, to support their celebration of Marin City’s 80th anniversary. During the spring semester, Lynn and her students worked with Marin City youth to create artwork for the Legacy of Marin City, Marin City 80 exhibition.
Last summer, Sondag and a group of honors students worked with artifacts to recreate an interior of a home in Marin City and the sense of cultural identity that migrated with people when they came from the South. She received an award from Performing Stars for her dedication and for going above and beyond in her support of the Marin City 80 exhibition.
Additionally, this year, Sondag’s students alongside younger students from the community partner Next Generation Scholars, supported the work of the canal community leaders, Voces del Canal. The college and middle school students created postcards and yard signs to raise awareness of their campaign to bring more public lighting to neighborhood “shed light on the beauty of the Canal.”
Sondag received her MFA from California College of the Arts and her BFA from Savannah College of Art and Design.
Sondag’s other honors and awards include the Pamela Levine Arts Education Leadership Award, Youth in Arts, 2018; the San Rafael Chamber of Commerce Excellence in Education Award, 2013; and the Dominican University of California Full-Time Teacher of the Year, 2011.
Photo above of Lynn Sondag (center) receiving Fink Faculty Achievement Award at 2022 Fall Commencement ceremony flanked by Dr. Mojgan Behmand (left) and Dominican President Nicola Pitchford.