Artist, Educator Kevin Spencer to Speak at RVCC’s Virtual Commencement
Kevin Spencer, an award-winning performing artist and educator who is a champion of using the art of magic to impact change in the lives of children with developmental disabilities and other special populations, will deliver the commencement address at Raritan Valley Community College’s virtual spring commencement, Saturday, May 15, at 10 a.m. Spencer also will receive an honorary degree during the ceremony.
Approximately 1,200 students are expected to be awarded associate degrees or certificates from RVCC during this year’s virtual event.
Kevin Spencer is an award-winning performing artist who, for more than 25 years, toured the world with one of the largest and most successful theatrical illusion productions in the U.S. He left behind a trail of accolades in his wake, including 2009 “International Illusionist of the Year,” 2015 “International Magician of the Year,” and “Performing Arts Entertainer of the Year,” an honor he received six times.
At the pinnacle of his career, Spencer stepped away from the stage and into classrooms and hospitals. As an educator, artist, consultant, and researcher, he works to create inclusive communities where everyone experiences an authentic sense of belonging and no one – for any reason – is relegated to the margins.
His work focuses on using the art of magic to impact change in the lives of children with autism, developmental disabilities, intellectual challenges, emotional disturbance, and those who have experienced trauma. His program, Hocus Focus™, was a 2020 nominee for the “Zero Project Award,” which recognizes innovative practices and models that improve the daily lives of people with disabilities.
Spencer is a leading voice in the performing arts industry (recipient of the North American Performing Arts Managers and Agents – NAPAMA – Artist/Agent of the Year in 2020); a Fulbright Specialist on arts integration for special populations for the U.S. Department of State; a faculty member in the department of education at Carlow University in Pittsburgh; a research consultant for the Occupational Therapy department and the Institute for Arts in Medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham; and an Approved Provider of Continuing Education for the American Occupational Therapy Association. He is considered the leading international authority on the therapeutic benefits of magic tricks in physical and psychosocial rehabilitation.
He received a B.S. in Interdisciplinary Studies from Liberty University, VA, and an M.Ed. in Arts Integration from Southeastern University, FL. He is a PhD Candidate in Special Education at Liberty University. Spencer also received a Certification in Autism Studies from the College of Applied Human Services, CA.
In 2016 he produced a short documentary, Powerful Medicine: Simply Magic, that showcases individuals of varying abilities who, through the art of magic, have overcome physical, developmental, and intellectual challenges. The documentary has earned 18 international film festival awards and continues to inspire audiences around the world.
Kevin Spencer has dedicated his life to making a difference in communities around the world – both on and off the stage. He is a pioneer who addresses the inequality of individuals with disabilities with creativity, confidence, and courage.
Ranked by WalletHub.com, Intelligent.com and Niche.com as the #1 community college in New Jersey, Raritan Valley Community College has been serving as an academic and cultural center for Somerset and Hunterdon County residents for over 50 years. The College has been nationally recognized for its service to the community, environmental stewardship, and commitment to diversity. It is home to a Planetarium, Science Education Institute, and an Honors College for high achieving students.
The College offers more than 90 associate degrees and certificates, as well as career training, small business assistance through the Small Business Development Center, and professional development courses. RVCC is located at 118 Lamington Road in Branchburg, NJ. For further information, visit www.raritanval.edu.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 19, 2021
Media contact: Donna Stolzer, 908-526-1200, ext. 8383