USAO News Bureau

Davis wins statewide teaching award

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Oklahoma Speech Theatre Communication Association (OSTCA) awarded Katie Davis with the 2013 Outstanding Young College Teacher award for her work with the theatre arts department at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma.

Davis, an associate professor of theatre arts, received the award at the organization’s yearly convention on Sept. 28 at the University of Oklahoma.

Dr. Mary Carver, assistant professor of mass communication at the University of Central Oklahoma and OSTCA awards chair, praised Davis for her role in growing a program known for its high curriculum standards as well as improving student outcomes with exceptional teaching.

Davis was quick to share the responsibility for the program’s success.

“It has become cliché to say ‘it takes a village to raise a child’ but it is certainly true that it takes a whole college to support the work of outstanding teachers,” Davis said. “The last seven years have been filled with challenges and possibilities, and at every turn I have had the support of our administration, my colleagues and my faculty mentor.”

“I am lucky to work at a very special college, where the education of the whole person is still our priority: where we encourage questions, where we recognize that talent and passion need a platform of opportunity to grow, and where our emphasis on interdisciplinarity gives students a unique alternative to distance learning – face to face dialogue with experts from diverse fields.”

“I believe in our curriculum, but I am proud of our students. They have the most to risk, and the most to gain, and they are the reason that this program’s success has brought me here to accept this honor.”

Davis earned her master of arts in theatre arts from the University of Texas-El Paso in 1996 and her master of fine arts in directing from the University of Mississippi in 2002. She joined USAO’s faculty in 2006.

Dr. Dex Marble, vice-president of academic affairs at USAO, often cites Davis’ work with the theatre arts program as a model of what USAO does best.

“In seven years, Katie has molded our theatre arts program to one of the most academically rigorous and intellectually adventurous in the state,” Marble said. “Her students graduate from the program both with ambition and the practical skills to achieve success.”

USAO’s theatre arts program is an interdisciplinary program with a mission to introduce the literature, history, craft and aesthetic properties of theatre arts through a rigorous survey core curriculum. Each student is advised as they create their own program emphasis that is tailored to their interests and career goals and limited only by their creativity.

The OSTCA is an association of college and university faculty promoting speech, theatre and communications arts education in the state of Oklahoma. The award is given out annually to one outstanding teacher with no more than seven years experience.