Helayna  Thickpenny

Faculty, Humanities

Helayna has taught at Mission College for more than 20 years. She teaches all periods of Art History from ancient though modern art, as well as interdisciplinary Humanities classes that focus on the art, literature, music, philosophy, and religion of particular historical periods from ancient through modern. She also has research interests in ancient Greek and Roman art and Renaissance art.

In addition, Helayna is Coordinator of the Art Department Museum/Gallery Internship class (Art 20) in which students can volunteer work hours as interns at local museums in exchange for college credit. She is a Guest Curator and Board Member, Triton Museum of Art, Santa Clara.

As an instructor for Humanities 30 (Travel to Europe), she leads student educational tours to Europe in order to visit cultural and historical sites. These trips are open to the Mission/West Valley community of students, family and friends. In recent years Mission College groups have visited Italy, France, Spain, England, Germany, Austria, Belgium, and Luxembourg.


M.A., Ohio State University
Graduate Work, University of Chicago & American School of Classical Studies, Athens 
B.A., Ohio State University

Courses Taught 

Art 004: Art Appreciation
Art 001A: Survey of Western Art I (Ancient through Medieval)
Art 001B: Survey of Western Art II (Renaissance through Modern)
Art 001D: History of Modern Art
Humanities 001A: Human Values in and from the Arts I
Humanities 001B: Human Values in and from the Arts II
Humanities 030: Cultural Studies (Travel to Europe)

Awards, Honors, Publications

2011: "What the Artist Knows" exhibition catalog, Kristin Lindseth Rivera: Sculpture
2009: Curator, A Closer Look: Four Bay Area Sculptors, Triton Museum, Santa Clara
2001: Voted Outstanding Faculty Member of the Year by Mission College students
1996: Mission College Academic Senate Award for Publishing Excellence
1995: Mission College Academic Senate Award for Teaching Excellence

Fast Facts

Born and raised in New York City. Works on animal rescue/welfare issues. Favorite things to do: go to museums, travel, read, and practice piano.

Favorite Quote

"If a man aspires to a righteous life, his first act of abstinence is from injury to animals." ~ Albert Einstein



helayna thickpenny

Helayna Thickpenny
phone: 408-855-5287
email: helayna.thickpenny@wvm.edu
office: GC-337D