President Simon Honors Faculty Achievements
College of Music faculty recognized at annual MSU Awards ceremony
Two faculty members from the Michigan State University College of Music were honored at the annual MSU Awards Convocation in February for their contributions and devotion to education, research, and teaching.
Cynthia Crump Taggart, professor of music education, received the William J. Beal Outstanding Faculty Award in recognition of her comprehensive research, instruction, creative activities, and outreach in the area of early childhood and elementary music education. As an international expert on Music Learning Theory, Taggart is credited with helping to change the face of early childhood music education worldwide. A brilliant teacher and mentor, Taggart motivates students through a combination of high expectations and constant support.
“I am extremely grateful that MSU has recognized my somewhat non-traditional and complex path as a scholar,” says Taggart. “MSU positions engaged scholarship as central to its mission, so I feel fortunate to be on the faculty at this forward-thinking university.”
Michael Callahan, assistant professor of music theory, received the MSU Teacher-Scholar award for his devoted and skilled teaching that earned him the respect of students and colleagues early in his career. As an educator, Callahan helps students make the connection between music theory and musical performance by infusing his classes with music making and improvisation. Callahan’s promising scholarly activities have also resulted in new teaching methods based on his research into what students know and what they need to learn.
“The special effort that MSU makes to recognize outstanding teachers shows a lot about the student-centered culture here,” says Callahan, who joined the MSU faculty four years ago. “From my very first day on the job, I have sensed that highly effective instruction is valued, noticed, and supported. My colleagues are dedicated, creative, thoughtful teachers. As someone who cares deeply about pedagogy and about students, I am inspired by this on a daily basis; it makes me excited to come to work.”
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