Keith Martin, the John M. Blackburn Distinguished Professor of Theatre in Appalachian State University’s Department of Theatre and Dance, was awarded the 2019 University College Award for Excellence in Community Engagement during a ceremony on April 16.
This award “recognizes faculty and staff whose activities promote the collaboration between institutions of higher education and their larger communities for the mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources in a context of partnership and reciprocity.”
Martin was chosen because of his continued involvement with a variety of organizations, including Appalachian Theatre of the High Country, Carolina Mountain Life, education and outreach collaboration surrounding “The Laramie Project,” “Clybourne Park,” and the Romulus Linney Celebration, the Friday Fellowship for Human Relations, the High Country Theatre League, the Hunger and Health Coalition, St. John’s Summer Concert Series and the Valle Crucis Conference Center.
“It is an honor to be nominated for this award by my colleagues, each of whom is deserving of recognition in their own right,” Martin said.
Martin has been involved in producing, artistic direction, choreography, management in professional theatre, dance, opera, symphony, film and television for more than 40 years.
He holds a B.F.A in Communications and Theatre Performance and a M.F.A in Communications and Theatre Directing, both from UNC-Greensboro.
His teaching rotation includes a wide variety of classes, including Arts Administration and Promotion, Musical Theatre, Theatre Directing Techniques,and Special Topics/Independent Study courses. Martin also manages three different study-away trips to New York City each year, where he provides students with networking opportunities, professional development,and more. He has worked with the university since 2011.
Just this year, Martin has been awarded the W.H. Plemmons Leadership Medallion recognizing his exceptional commitment to advancing the education of students, the College of Fine and Applied Arts Outstanding Service Award spotlighting his outreach efforts,and was a finalist for the Governor James E. Holshouser, Jr. Award for Excellence in Public Service honoring his commitment to improving the quality of life for North Carolina citizens.
In accepting the award, Martin said, “With the extraordinary leadership exhibited by our Chair Kevin Warner, Dean Phyllis Kloda and Provost Darrell Kruger, the best than any of us can do is to model their ‘paying forward by giving back’ philosophy to make our department, college, university and community a better place to live, work, and ‘play’… theatre pun intended!”
By Caroline Lubinsky
About the Department of Theatre and Dance
The Department of Theatre and Dance is one of seven departments housed in Appalachian’s College of Fine and Applied Arts. Its mission is to facilitate transformative experiences for students and the public, which cultivate compassionate, creative and collaborative communities through theatre and dance. The department also offers coursework for integrated learning through the arts to the general university student population. Its dynamic co-curricular production program provides exemplary theatre and dance experiences to departmental students, the university community and the region.
About Appalachian State University
As the premier, public undergraduate institution in the state of North Carolina, Appalachian State University prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The Appalachian Experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and to embrace diversity and difference. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Appalachian is one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina System. Appalachian enrolls more than 19,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.