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Theresa Bogard Honored for Teaching Excellence


May 8, 2008 — Theresa Bogard's passion for teaching is unparalleled in the eyes of her students. This passion has earned her a John P. Ellbogen Meritorious Classroom Teaching Award.

The other recipients are Jacquelyn Bridgeman, associate professor in the College of Law; Katta J Reddy, professor in the Department of Renewable Resources; Leslie Rush, assistant professor in the College of Education; and Lou Anne Wright, professor in the Department of Theatre and Dance.

The awards are made possible by a fund established by Ellbogen to "foster, encourage and reward excellence in classroom teaching at UW." Winners are selected from a list nominated by students, and the awards are based entirely on classroom performance and helpfulness to students. A native of Worland, Ellbogen established an endowment for teaching awards in appreciation for his family and state's encouragement of education.

"I love your teaching style. You helped me improve a lot," says one student in her aural skills class, in which students learn complicated musical scores. Another says "You are an amazing educator! Thank you so much fo all that you do for students."

Alice Baldwin, a senior in piano performance, first took classes from Bogard when she attended summer music camp as a 12-year old. She notes that Bogard is widely regarded as one of the state's best piano teachers.

"She strives hard to make her students the best they can be. She is an inspiring teacher, both in the classroom and in a studio setting," Baldwin says. "She is tough but fair, always pushing her students to enter contests and to test their own limits."

Her influence on her students lasts a lifetime. It has been 12 years since Dian Bretones took lessons from Bogard, but she still emulates Bogard's techniques in her career as a professional musician.

"I have always been impressed at Dr. Bogard's ability to merge professionalism with an underlying warmth and caring. I felt my belief in myself was important to her," Bretones writes. "She treats each individual with respect, and allows them individual time and attention. It is a privilege to be taught by someone like her."

Bogard heads the performer's certificate program that is designed to attract students from around the world to the music department.

One former piano student, Carolyn Cline, says "There are very few people in my academic and musical lives who have had a more positive impact on me professionally and personally. I have worked with very few faculty members who have the ability to motivate and push their students to succeed like Dr. Bogard. Studying with her has made me a stronger person and musician, and I believe that is the definition of excellence in teaching."

Rod Garnett, a music professor who has won numerous teaching awards, says Bogard is well known nationally and internationally for her excellence as both a musician and teacher.

"I have seen piano studios in many universities, and I am proud to say that Dr. Bogard's studio is by far the best," he says. "Her students' accomplishments in competitions and in the world of working musicians clearly demonstrate here pedagogical skills."

Bogard received her bachelors (1983) and doctoral (1990) degrees in piano performance from the University of Colorado. She completed her master's degree in piano performance at the Eastman School of Music in New York. Before joining the UW faculty in 1992, she held positions at Northeast Missouri State University and at West Chester University in Pennsylvania

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