Mary-Jean Cowell Professor Emeritus collaborated on a pre-conference intensive workshop with Sandi Stratton-Gonzalez at the National Dance Education Conference in Miami, Florida in October. Held annually in the fall, a typical NDEO National Conference includes three full days of over 250 workshops, master classes, panel and paper presentations, social events and performances. A full day of pre-conference intensives precedes the official start of conference.
One of her research interests is Michio Ito, a Japanese born dancer who contributed to the development of modern dance in the United States . Her articles on Ito have appeared in the Dance Research Journal and Dance Chronicle. Shorter essays on Ito are now posted on several websites. Cowell wrote a short biography on Ito which can be found on the Michio Ito Foundation website at https://www.michioito.org/about. Michio Ito (1893-1961) is a more in depth view of his life can be found on the Michio Ito Foundation website at https://www.michioito.org/about.
In 2009 she was the resident scholar for Utah Repertory Dance Company's summer session focused on Michio Ito's technique and repertoire. Her most recent presentations on Ito's work and life were a November 2017 lecture that she was invited to give at Waseda U. (Tokyo)—“The Ongoing Significance of Michio Ito and His Work in the Contemporary Dance Landscape”—and a January 2018 Ito workshop that she presented (with Bonnie Oda Homsey) for New York City public school teachers as part of the Dance Educator Master Choreographer Series sponsored by the NYC Department of Education.
Previously she lead lectures and technique classes during a guest residency at DeSales University in November, 2013, and a panel, "Michio Ito's Enduring Legacy," for the National Dance Education Organization (NDEO) national conference. In November, 2014 she co-presented, "Developing Collaborative Dialogue in and across Disciplines" for the NDEO conference. Another interest, developing new integrated learning methods of dance pedagogy, has been shared in workshops given at previous NDEO conferences. Cowell served twelve years as a board member of the national American College Dance Association, the last six as Regional Director for Central Region. She is a past board member of the Society of Dance History Scholars and the Missouri Dance Education Organization (now Missouri Dance Organization).