Najette has worked with ceramics since high school and has been expanding her talents through Ohio State courses
The collaborative piece Najette entered in the Staff Arts and Crafts Show
Whether keeping an academic building operating or creating art, Najette Kanoun believes in collaboration. By profession, she’s a full-time Ohio State engineer, and in her free time, she’s an art student.
Najette, a building envelope engineer in the Office of Administration and Planning, explores her artistic talents in Ohio State classes.
“I take any class I find interesting,” Najette said. “I try to take advantage of the many opportunities at Ohio State. I like learning as much as I can and as long as I’m learning, I’m still growing.”
Najette uses the Faculty and Staff Tuition Assistance Program, which pays general and instructional fees for eligible employees who take courses at Ohio State. Support for faculty and staff education is part of the total rewards of working at Ohio State.
In the art classes Najette takes, she collaborates with other art students to build on each other’s pieces and create unique items that combine different art disciplines.
“Everyone has their own story; therefore, when you collaborate and every story comes together, it changes a bit because of the interaction. You walk away with a completely different, unique story,” Najette said. “The same goes with collaborating in my role as an engineer – I’m part of a bigger team working together to find solutions.”
Through art classes, Najette is able to “think outside the box,” experience new ideas and work with new people. As a civil engineer, she keeps Columbus campus buildings safe, dry and in working order, and is “thinking inside the box” of a building.
This fall, Najette received the Staff Arts and Crafts Exhibit People’s Choice Award for a wood burning piece she entered. As with most of her pieces, this was a collaborative effort – one artist drew the bee, a college provided the material and she used created the dimensional pattern and burned the drawings into the wood.
Najette felt honored and surprised with the recognition. She said there were many great pieces in the show and the talents of faculty and staff are admirable.
Get to know more about Najette in this video below.