Gulf Coast State College in Panama City Gets Head of Information Arts Division

PANAMA CITY – Gulf Coast State College has a new head of its visual and performing arts division.

Jennifer McAtee arrives at GCSC Dallas, where she was coordinator of the music department at El Centro College for six years. She joins the faculty of GCSC with the intention of providing more opportunities in the arts.

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“I’m so thrilled to be part of a college where everyone is so supportive of each other and the arts,” McAtee said of her new position. “So far everyone has been kind and welcoming, and it’s been a wonderful experience, and I’m happy to be part of this family.”

McAtee received her doctorate in April from the University of Aspen. His personal and professional background has centered around music, including owning a private piano studio business, teaching as an adjunct professor at Ozarks Technical Community College (OTC) in Missouri, and creating and the growth of OTC’s first music department.

The Visual and Performing Arts Division of GCSC is located on the college's campus in Panama City, 5230 WUS 98, and offers certificates, associate degrees in arts, and an associate degree in science.

It’s always been her dream to live by the beach while still doing what she loves, McAtee said. She expresses a passion for arts and education advocacy and plans to continue to do so at GCSC.

“I know a lot of the arts haven’t come back since Hurricane Michael, and we want to bring those opportunities to the community,” McAtee said. “Plus, we hope we can offer more to people who come to experience the arts in our programs.”

Jason Hedden, former president of Gulf Coast State College's division of visual and performing arts, will now serve as executive director of recruitment and community relations.

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Jason Hedden, former president of the visual and performing arts division, said he looks forward to what McAtee will bring to the program. Hedden will now serve as Executive Director of Recruitment and Community Relations at GCSC.

“Jennifer is a perfect fit for the department already. She brings a lot of fresh ideas and perspectives to the program, and I’m excited to see where she’s going,” Hedden said. “I think college visual and performing arts are in a unique position to be part of these new places that are coming to the community.”

As the new president, McAtee said she hopes to bring more events to GCSC while continuing to grow the arts scene in the community. Some of his plans include partnering with local schools, hosting more shows each semester, and connecting with the arts community.

GCSC’s Visual and Performing Arts Division is located on the college’s campus in Panama City, 5230 WUS 98, and offers certificates, an Associate of Arts degree in Art, Music, and Drama, and an Associate’s degree in Science in Entertainment Technology.

To learn more about the college’s Visual and Performing Arts division and its programs, visit

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