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Feb. 10, 2010
MARYVILLE, Mo. - Amanda Petefish-Schrag, assistant professor of theatre and artistic director, was awarded the 2010 Governor's Award for Excellence in Education today during a ceremony at Lincoln University in Jefferson City.
The award was presented today to an outstanding faculty member from each of the state's four-year higher education institutions. Petefish-Schrag was selected to receive the award by the Northwest Dean's Council among faculty who received teaching awards from the University's colleges during the previous academic year.
"It's a huge honor, particularly because I get to work with such really great teachers," Petefish-Schrag said. "In many ways, that makes it very humbling to receive something like this when you're surrounded by people who are just really great to work with inside and outside of the classroom."
Dr. David C. Oehler, chair of the Department of Communication, Theatre, and Languages, said Petefish-Schrag has embraced the commitment to teaching excellence that is the hallmark of Northwest.
"She uses a broad range of pedagogy to push students beyond what they think they can do," Oehler said. "She diligently solicits and uses feedback to gain new ideas and to improve student learning. She is a committed team player who collaborates, contributes and understands how the experiences she provides for students enrich their entire undergraduate experience. She is thoughtful, reflective and highly regarded by her colleagues."
Petefish-Schrag is in her seventh year of teaching and her fourth year at Northwest, where her teaching focuses on performance, specifically acting and movement. In addition to maintaining active involvement in instructional improvement activities, she is a regular participant in her department's monthly "Teaching Circles" improvement workshops.
Petefish-Schrag contributed to the two-year redesign of the theatre curriculum which was submitted and approved by Faculty Senate and the Board of Regents in 2008-09. She also has a strong record of presentations and publications including an original script accepted for publication.
She also was named a recipient of the 2009 National Teaching Artist Grants by the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Nominees for the National Teaching Artist Grants come from faculty across the nation with a maximum of seven awards given nationally each year.
Petefish-Schrag grew up in Alexandria, Minn., and began performing professionally at a young age as a puppeteer in her family's puppet theatre troupe, The Petefish Puppeteers. She earned her bachelor's in theatre arts from the University of Minnesota and her masters of fine arts in theatre direction from Minnesota State University at Mankato. Before coming to Northwest, she taught theatre at Dakota Wesleyan University in Mitchell, S.D.
In addition to teaching, Amanda has worked professionally as a performer, director, designer and acting coach. She lives in Maryville with her husband Ben, their daughter and their son.
Mark Hornickel, Media Relations Specialist
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