UNCSA Media Relations
Jan 22, 2020
UNCSA honors six faculty members with teaching excellence awards
UNCSA has announced recipients of its Excellence in Teaching Awards for 2019-20. They are Tadeu Coelho, School of Music; Janna Levin, Division of Liberal Arts; Krisha Marcano, School of Drama; Joanne Moore, School of Filmmaking; Wade Wilson, School of Design and Production; and Abigail Yager, School of Dance.
“UNCSA educators are passionate about translating their expertise and talents into creating the conditions that best encourage the full growth of young artists in their chosen discipline,” said Interim Provost Karin Peterson. “These faculty elevate teaching to an art form. We are profoundly grateful for the ways in which they bring artistry, dedication, and deep care to their work in our studios and classrooms every day. We celebrate their achievements and the successes of their students.”
In 1994 the Board of Governors of the multi-campus University of North Carolina System established a series of awards that reinforced teaching as the primary responsibility and focus of its 17 constituent institutions. At UNCSA, full-time faculty members are nominated by students, former students, and colleagues.
“There is nothing more gratifying for a teacher than seeing students grow and develop,” Peterson said. “These faculty have been nominated by enthusiastic students and peers who deeply respect their work. Our institution thrives because of the talents and devotion of all of our faculty, and we thank these awardees for their contributions to teaching excellence.”
One recipient’s name will be forwarded to the Board of Governors as the recipient of a systemwide teaching award, which includes a stipend of $12,500 and a commemorative bronze medallion. The recipient of the Board of Governors award, to be announced following the board’s meeting in February, will be honored at UNCSA commencement exercises in May.
About the recipients ...
Krisha Marcano, assistant professor of musical theater dance
Marcano joined the faculty in 2016, teaching dance styles from African and ballet to Luigi Jazz, Hamilton Hip Hop, and Fosse. She currently serves as the School of Drama’s assistant dean for student affairs and entrepreneurial studies.
Students who nominated Marcano wrote of the care and concern that she consistently brings to her teaching, and her focus on cultivating the professional artist. “Krisha makes every student feel capable and special. She brings a lovely optimism and warmth and openness to every room she enters, and she has a magical ability to encourage any student just by smiling at them,” a student wrote. “She started here as our dance teacher, and in just over three years has become our mentor, business and showcase guru, and someone I always feel comfortable going to with anything I may need. The School of Drama would not be the same without her!”
A colleague described Marcano’s leadership: “The Drama School is a transformed place -- for the better -- since Krisha Marcano joined our faculty. She serves, heroically, as our assistant dean for what we jokingly say are ‘feelings.’ She is the first line in dealing with students who are anxious, overwhelmed, or otherwise dealing with the serious challenges of being young in the 21st century.”
Marcano has helped her colleagues find ways to lean into difficult conversations with students. “Every day, drama faculty are confronted with delicate matters of race, sexuality, religion, and gender. I believe our students are seeing the fruits of her work in a better approach to these issues,” a colleague wrote.
“Her concern for our students’ wellness and wholeness alone qualifies her for this award. But I believe her nomination is strengthened due to her incredible work helping her fellow faculty members teach to a new era of students,” the colleague concluded.
Marcano holds a B.F.A. in dance from SUNY Purchase, and an M.F.A. in entrepreneurship from Kenney College. She spent the first six years of her career dancing in the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and The Martha Graham Dance Company, followed by 17 years on Broadway in hits including “Fosse,” Disney’s “Aida,” “Sweet Charity” and “Motown.” She originated the role of Squeak in the original Broadway production of “The Color Purple.” In 2016, she launched The Artistry Center Network to help performers with artistic and entrepreneurial wellness.