We Asked the Instructors

We Asked the Instructors

Tuesday, August 2, 2016 in Ask an Instructor

No matter where you are in your ISA career, there are courses to help you reach and maintain your credentialing goals.

The pathway is easy to follow, with many courses being offered onsite, online or by distance education. These ISA courses are taught by successful members who are excited to share their wisdom with you, regardless of your history with the organization. Whether you’re a new member or a veteran, we’re confident that there’s something in the lineup for you.

Luckily for us, the sharing doesn’t end when the instructors leave the classroom! This blog post explores some of the top tips, favorite courses and highlights of ISA membership for our instructors. Take a look at their answers, get to know our instructors better, and don’t be surprised if you find yourself inspired to sign-up for one of our upcoming courses this fall.

Why do you enjoy teaching for ISA?

Valerie Hale

"Early in my ISA education, I was supported by generous teachers and was awarded Foundation for Appraisal Education scholarships. It is an honor to pay it forward. Teaching inspires me to grow and expand my own knowledge." - Valerie Hale, Antiques and Residential Contents

"Students are always interested, ask good questions and have good senses of humor. It's stimulating for a teacher to have an active audience." - Ellen Amirkhan, Oriental Rugs

What benefit can a student expect from your course?

Daphne Rosenzweig, ISA CAPP

"Students learn about major aspects of Asian cultural, religious, technical, historical and period styles affecting appraisals of Asian Art. They will be able to appreciate some of the important marks, why the "feel" of objects is important, what is potentially important provenance information, how the presence of standard accompanying objects alters valuations and so much more." - Daphne Rosenzweig, ISA CAPP, Asian Art: Japanese Prints and Asian Paintings and Screens

What do you like best about the course you teach?

Kirsten Rabe Smolensky, ISA CAPP

"I love teaching methodology because it is at the heart of what every ISA appraiser does, regardless of their area of specialization. It is what ties us all together." - Kirsten Rabe Smolensky, ISA CAPP, Core Course and Requalification

Leon Castner, ISA CAPP

"Watching the 'light go off' in student's minds, i.e. they understand. I also love the interaction within the class, student's stories, and sharing tips I've learned that will make their professional journey easier." - Leon Castner, ISA CAPP, Core Course, USPAP and Requalification

What piece of advice would you like to give your students?

Susan Lahey, ISA AM

"Handle as many pieces of Asian Art as possible at auction previews. There is no substitute for the experience gained this way. Touch is often as important as sight when evaluating art. (This is great advice no matter what you're learning about.)" - Susan Lahey, ISA AM, Asian Art: Asian Ceramics

Mickey Logan, ISA CAPP

"Network with other appraisers through contacts you develop at conferences, classes and through the ISA forum. Recognize that you will never know everything and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Be kind and tactful to your clients, especially to those to whom you have to deliver not so good news. Above all, be honest in all your dealings. Remember, your reputation is all you've got." - Mickey Logan, ISA CAPP, Core Course and Antiques and Residential Contents

What do you like about being an ISA member?

Meredith Meuwly, ISA CAPP

"I love ISA for the breadth and depth of knowledge available from a variety of educational platforms, as well as my fellow appraisers who are extraordinary at what they do." - Meredith Meuwly, ISA CAPP, Fine Art and Modernism: Prints, Photographs and Multiples

What was your favorite ISA course that you've taken?

Cathy Peters, ISA CAPP

"I really don't have a favorite. I've learned from them all. I think in another life, I was a perpetual student." - Cathy Peters, ISA CAPP, Fine Art and USPAP

Libby Holloway, ISA CAPP

"Of course I’m partial to ARC but the course I’ve learned the most from is the Requalification course. I learn so much from the other students. You’re never too old or wise to make your reports better, even if you’ve been appraising a long time." - Libby Holloway, ISA CAPP, Antiques and Residential Contents

Don’t hesitate to contact the instructors and ask them your own questions. Almost everyone made the comment that there are no bad questions...sounds like an invitation to reach out to them!

For more information on these and other offerings from ISA, please visit our Education webpage.


  1. 2016 Courses
  2. Accreditation
  3. CAPP
  4. Certification
  5. Education

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