Four Arts and Architecture faculty win college awards

University Park, Pa. -- Penn State's College of Arts and Architecture recently honored four faculty members with awards for outstanding teaching and mentoring. John Bowman, associate professor of art; Timothy Deighton, associate professor of music; and Charles Youmans, associate professor of music, received the Faculty Award for Outstanding Teaching. Norene Ferris, instructor of music education, received the Award for Excellence in Advising and Mentoring.

John Bowman is currently the professor-in-charge of the School of Visual Arts' drawing and painting concentration. An inspirational teacher who is highly respected by his students for his significant accomplishments as an exhibiting artist, his knowledge of historical and contemporary art and criticism causes students to continually seek him out for extended critiques of their work. Many of his former graduate students are now highly successful artists exhibiting in major cities in the United States and abroad. As a working artist who has lived in New York City for decades, John has been generous in sharing his experience and contacts with students, and has often been the bridge between art school and the art world. In addition to his own teaching and professional experience, he helps bring dozens of visiting artists to the School of Visual Arts, and then connects those artists with students beyond the lecture and classroom environment.

Timothy Deighton, a faculty member in the School of Music since 1997, has made significant contributions to Penn State by recruiting excellent viola students. The viola studio has emerged over his tenure as a vital and dynamic community of student musicians, and he has developed strong viola sections for the Philharmonic and Chamber orchestras. His Viola Ensemble has established a significant presence off-campus through performances at various viola society events in New York and in the public schools. With a framework for student development that is both nurturing and demanding, Deighton achieves very high student ratings and comments. His students have been successful in securing many competitive awards and fellowships and in gaining entrance to well-respected graduate schools for further study. Deighton is in demand as a guest artist-teacher at other institutions. He was one of only four violists to be invited to give master classes at the 2007 International Viola Congress, and has received a return invitation for 2009.

Charles Youmans, a faculty member in the School of Music since 1999, teaches courses in music history, including Music 005, one of the largest and most popular general education courses. He also teaches Music 262, an important required course for music majors, in addition to upper-level or graduate musicology courses each year. Youmans was involved in the development of an online course in film music, offered for the first time in spring 2008 to highly successful student reviews. He is academic advisor to fifteen to twenty students in the School of Music's B.A. program, and is also a popular advisor for senior projects, honors theses, M.A. theses, and exam and recital committees. Youmans has an international reputation as a scholar of late 19th-century Austro-Germany. His book, "Richard Strauss' Orchestral Music and the German Intellectual Tradition," was published in 2005 by Indiana University Press. He holds a residency this spring with the Institute for the Arts and Humanities, during which time he is writing a book on Mahler and Strauss and working on The Cambridge Companion to Richard Strauss, which he was commissioned to develop and edit.

Norene Ferris has been an instructor of music education in the School of Music since 2001. Her primary role has been coordinator of the Partnership for Music Teacher Excellence Program, which involves every music education student. She coordinates the student teacher placements, supervises students, and provides continuing education for cooperating teachers. She is the point person who advises, counsels, and instructs seniors, but also manages student concerns from the freshman year through graduation. Ferris helped to develop the freshman seminar in the School of Music. As an advisor, she is easily able to help students find their path because she has been, for many years, what many of them aspire to be-a public school music educator. Ferris received her bachelor of music degree from the State University of New York. Prior to her appointment at Penn State, Ferris was a middle and high school choral teacher for more than thirty years. Her impact on the school district where she taught was so extraordinary that a new auditorium was named in her honor.

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Last Updated April 23, 2009