Every spring, the University of Pittsburgh recognizes outstanding graduate student teaching with the Elizabeth Baranger Teaching Award. This prestigious award commends outstanding teaching in Arts & Sciences. Out of the seven awards handed out this year, theatre arts graduates brought home three.
Vicki Hoskins (Ph.D.), Julian Stetkevych (MFA), and José Pérez IV (MFA) each received an award after a rigorous nomination and vetting process.
Back in April, the Baranger Teaching Award Committee accepted nominations from faculty, fellow graduate students, and undergraduates in the Social Science, Natural Sciences, and Humanities. The nominees explained their teaching strategies and philosophies. Then the committee selected a few exemplary students from each general field. Finally, a special faculty committee made the final selections. The winners were invited to a special awards ceremony luncheon with the committee and faculty members.
Vicki Hoskins said, "I just attended the lunch that the Arts & Sciences provided to the 2016 winners, and I was so taken aback by the number of people who asked about the theatre department. It was definitely commented upon that our department turns out amazing teachers and that our applications were very strong this year."
When asked what it is that the Department of Theatre Arts does to create such great teachers, José Pérez IV said, "At the awards luncheon Vicki and I spoke about the inherent strengths that a background in performing and/or directing gives to those who are now teaching. That the qualities vital to acting (connection, staying present, and really listening) are qualities that make for effective teaching as well."
The award is named after Elizabeth Baranger, former Dean and, later, Vice-Provost of the School of Arts & Sciences. Congratulations to all the Baranger Award winners this year, and especially to Vicki, Julian, and José.