Faculty Member Receives Lilly Teaching Fellowship

Award supports College of Music teaching endeavors in musicology.

Marcie Ray decided to pursue her career at Michigan State University after learning of the university’s strong commitment to developing teachers.

That commitment as well as her career choice was reinforced early this year when she was selected as one of several MSU faculty to participate in the Lilly Teaching Fellows Program for the 2014-2015 academic year.

“It’s awesome,” says the assistant professor of musicology in the MSU College of Music. “I was very excited. It’s an affirmation of my teaching. To be selected is a validation that I’m a good teacher. There’s nothing better than that.”

Since 1991, the Lilly Teaching Fellows program has advanced the university’s continuing efforts to support excellence in teaching and learning. The program supports future faculty leaders and is intended to inspire faculty at all ranks to pursue excellence in teaching. Fellows come from a range of programs and disciplines, and engage in a yearlong exploration of effective practices in university teaching.

Lilly Fellows are paired with experienced faculty mentors and produce a personal research project on teaching methods. Ray says her focus will be to refine some of her course activities and assignments and to evaluate which are most effective.

“My goal is to teach students to listen critically to music and to understand how music transmits broader social, political, and historic issues,” says Ray. “I want them to constantly ask what a particular piece of music tells us about society, and how that music relates to other forms of art.”

Ray will begin her Lilly Fellowship with faculty mentor Michael Largey, a professor of musicology as well as a former Lilly Fellow. Past Lilly Fellows from the College of Music include Michael Callahan (2013-2014), Kevin Bartig (2011-2012), Leigh VanHandel (2007-2008), Midori Koga (1996-1997), Michael Largey (1996-1997).

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