Leila Hicks started taking continuing education art classes just for fun in 1994. Her enjoyment of the arts led her to take so many courses that she eventually earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 2005.

Leila found that her desire to take art courses did not stop after she received her degree. “When I got the degree, I thought maybe I would do something with it, but it’s more fun taking classes than working,” she explained.

So she continued to take courses and began participating in Missouri Western’s college tuition exemption program for senior citizens.

Leila has taken classes in printmaking, painting, Spanish and more, but she loves the ceramics classes most. When she first enrolled in the continuing education classes back in 1994, she said she had never done ceramics before. “I fell in love with it,” she said. To this day, the chances are you’d find Leila in the Potter Hall ceramics studio.

As a natural extension of her love for art classes, Leila is also a member of the Missouri Western Arts Society and she serves on its advisory board. She enjoys helping not just the Department of Art, but the theatre and music programs, as well. “I’m very enthusiastic about the emphasis on the arts at Missouri Western.”

You can read more about Leila’s experiences with continuing education in the St. Joseph News-press.