2017 Faculty Excellence Awards

Jodi Lightner

Assistant Professor, Art
College of Arts & Sciences


Winston & Helen Cox Fellowship Award



Art has always been her first passion but while Jodi Lightner was working on her Master of Fine Arts, she realized teaching was a worthwhile pursuit as well.


The assistant professor of art is being recognized as this year’s Winston and Helen Cox Fellowship Award winner for her impressive record as an artist and educator.


Jodi was hired by MSUB just two years after she earned an MFA.


“Professor Lightner was hired to teach painting and drawing in the spring of 2012 after a nationwide search that yielded 177 applications, which demonstrates the high esteem in which she is held by her colleagues in the department,” a colleague said. “Since joining our department, Jodi has continued to pursue professional opportunities, and has been successful in securing exhibitions of her work and in being invited to other campuses as a visiting artist.”


While at MSU Billings, Jodi has received a number of internal and external grants to support her creative endeavors.


Additionally, Jodi is a leader in foundational education, serving a three-year term as the Fine Arts representative on the General Education Committee and acted as advisor for the Art Students League.


She also believes in international education and has proudly represented the University abroad. In 2013, Jodi was chosen by administration to represent MSUB at a partner campus in Xuchang, China. She played a key part in students traveling to Italy and Spain in 2014 and taught a painting course at the Pieve International School near Perugia, Italy in 2015.


“I love the autonomy students have at the college level,” Jodi said.


“They are young, individual adults choosing to be here and choosing to learn and I get to be able to help them explore their future and help set them on a successful path.”