Revisiting the 2016 College of Fine Arts Recognition Awards Recipients

Posted by College of Fine Arts Dean's Office on Apr 20, 2017 4:40:17 PM

College of FIne Arts Recognition Awards Plaque.jpg


From professors who leave a lasting impact on their students to administrative employees who exceed the expectations of their role, there's no shortage of talented, passionate and hardworking people in the College of Fine Arts. Each year in April, to celebrate the service and contributions of some of our finest faculty and staff members, the college hosts its annual College of Fine Arts Recognition Awards reception.

As we approach the presentation of the 2017 awards, which will take place on Monday, April 24 in the lobby of the Dalton Center, we thought we'd revisit last year's reception. Below you'll see the exemplary individuals who took home an award last spring and whose names will forever adorn the College of Fine Arts Recognition Awards plaque in the Dalton Center's lobby.


Outstanding Staff Award

This Outstanding Staff Award is given to a staff member who has demonstrated a willingness to take on special projects, extraordinary job performance, exemplary volunteer or community service or professional outreach. This award recognizes a staff member who exhibits enthusiasm, innovation, forward-thinking ideas and teamwork. The 2016 recipient of the Outstanding Staff Award was Stacey Tyler. Here's what Stacey's nominators had to say about her:

Stacey is a problem-solver; she doesn't wait for someone to answer her questions, she takes charge and does the research needed. With an eye to detail and by developing productive relationships with various offices on campus, Stacey preempts problems by contacting the offices concerning questions prior to submitting paperwork. She works with numerous offices to clarify procedures and facilitate and streamline processing.

Stacey learns systems quickly and is equally fast to decipher how these systems can best serve the department. Her advice to the chair and faculty is based on her thorough knowledge of departmental and university operations and what will best facilitate the completion of a project. Stacey is a gem in the Department of Dance and an asset to the College of Fine Arts. I hope you will give her nomination serious consideration.

 Associate Dean Scott Irelan; Stacey Tyler.jpg

Excellence in Teaching Award (part-time)

The Excellence in Teaching Award (part-time) is given to a part-time Instructor who has accumulated a record of achievement as an instructor. The 2016 recipient of the Excellence in Teaching Award (part-time) was Keith Hall. Here's what Keith's nominators had to say about him:

I was so impressed by Keith's innovative teaching that I raved about it a few nights later during a working dinner with the Faculty Senate's Ad Hoc Committee for Revising General Education and our guest Dr. Paul Gaston-an international expert on 21st-century  educational models. The following day, Keith received an email from the WMU Office of Faculty Development, asking if they could post a video vignette of him as one of the instructors across campus that exemplify outstanding learner-centered classroom pedagogy (the video series is under development).
He is always outstanding in his command of the material, his connection with his students, and his lively lecture/demonstration/active teaching model with tremendous student interaction. He is highly organized and always engaging.

Associate Dean Scott Irelan and Keith Hall.jpg 

Excellence in Creative Research Award

The Excellence in Creative Research Award is given to a full-time faculty member who has demonstrated excellence in the area of creative research activities. This may include peer-reviewed performances, exhibitions and publications, collaboration with CFA colleagues or other professional artists, activities at professional venues outside of Western, and other related activities that demonstrate scope and breadth of high quality work. The 2016 recipient of the Excellence in Creative Research Award was David Curwen. Here's what David's nominators had to say about him:

Every aspect of David’s work helps project the future of dance not only at the university level but also on a larger scale. Through his own research and project development, specifically with technology, he encourages students to explore their imaginations. This past Winter Gala Dance Concert, David collaborated with Kevin Abbott and utilized the motion capture software to create projections for his piece. Through this project, he inspired his dancers and the department to reach outside of our small dance community.


Associate Dean Scott Irelan; David Curwen.jpg

Excellence in Service Award

The Excellence in Service Award  is given to a faculty member or administrator who has made a significant contribution in the area of service that supports student activities, the university, college, school or department, or professional organizations at local, state, regional, national or international levels. The 2016 recipient of the Excellence in Service Award was Karen Bondarchuk. Here's what Karen's nominators had to say about her:

Karen has been actively engaged in service to the Frostic School of Art, College of Fine Arts and the University at large. As Area Coordinator for the Foundation Art Program she has mentored part-time faculty, scheduled classes, managed class support budgets, Managed portfolio review entering student submissions, contributed to CFA Medici donor events, created and implemented the Annual Foundation Exhibition and most recently has coordinated Foundation Day.

She has contributed throughout the years to the shared governance of the school through active engagement in committee service....She contributes her time in the community and you can find her in her studio at Park Trades Center for the majority of Art Hop events.


Associate Dean Scott Irelan; Karen Bondarchuk.jpg


Excellence in Teaching Award (full-time)

The Excellence in Teaching Award (full-time)  is given to a full-time faculty member who has contributed significantly to course preparations, curricula development and classroom activities and has demonstrated excellence in the area of teaching activities during the immediate past and current academic years. The 2016 recipient of the Excellence in Teaching Award (full-time) was Julie Evans Little. Here's what Julie's nominators had to say about her:

Considering the difficulty of the courses taught by Professor Little, it is significant to note her consistently high student evaluation scores. She is described by the music faculty and students as passionate, dedicated, caring, nurturing and patient, committing many extra hours to tutoring her students beyond class time and her scheduled office hours.

For 21 years, Julie Evans Little has always received outstanding evaluations from her students, the School of Music, the College of Fine Arts, and the university. She is an incredibly dedicated, caring, and innovative teacher who is the vital conduit that connects the academic and performance aspects of the School of Music's undergraduate curriculum. No other single individual makes such an essential and lasting impact on all of our undergraduate majors and minors.


Associate Dean Scott Irelan; Julie Evans Little.jpg 

Distinguished Professor Award

The Distinguished Professor Award is given to a full-time, tenured professor who has demonstrated excellence in teaching, creative research, and service during ten or more years of employment at WMU. The 2016 recipient of the Distinguished Professor Award was Jay Berkow. Here's what Jay's nominators had to say about him:

Jay’s creative research is truly impressive; he is a much sought after professional director and playwright, he is the co-author and director/choreographer of the Off-Broadway hit JOLSON & CO. which ran for two seasons in NY, has been seen in regional theatres across the U.S. including the highly praised production at the Theatre at the Center, as well as a United Kingdom national tour.

Professor Berkow is also a dedicated teacher. He is tireless in his work on curriculum development and he consistently works to ensure that class content is relevant and tied to an ever- changing industry.   He is energetic, funny, focused and committed in his classroom. And the success of his work is clearly evidenced in the achievements of his alumni who grace Broadway stages, national touring houses, cruise ships, NY supper clubs and many other prestigious venues.

Professor Berkow truly embodies the WMU pillar of a student-centered institution; building intellectual inquiry and discovery into undergraduate programs in a way that fosters knowledge and innovation, and transforms wisdom into action.


Associate Dean Scott Irelan; Jay Berkow.jpg 



Please join us in celebrating this year's College of Fine Arts Recognition Awards recipients.

Monday, April 24 at 5:00 p.m. - Dalton Center Lobby

Refreshments and hors d'oeuvres will be provided. 

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