Stand Up and Be Seen!

David Smith, an accomplished percussionist and professor of music and music education whose teaching career at Western spans more than 40 years, received the 2010 Teaching Excellence Award at the annual Faculty Recognition Ceremony on Dec. 2.

Smith received the award from WCSU Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Linda Rinker during the afternoon ceremony in Warner Hall. WCSU President James Schmotter offered remarks, and Professor of Music and Music Education Dr. Marjorie Callaghan introduced Smith for the award presentation.

The program also featured recognition of achievements by Western faculty members, including earned degrees, published works, academic and performing arts presentations, and service activities. Special recognition was given to eight faculty members who earned tenure awards and seven who received promotions during the 2009-10 academic year.

Recipient of a bachelor’s degree in music education from Mansfield State College and a master’s degree in percussion performance from East Carolina University, Smith joined the WCSU music faculty in 1970. He resides in Danbury with his wife Judith, an adjunct professor in the university’s music department.

While the music program has grown significantly during his four decades at Western, Smith observed, “my approach to teaching hasn’t changed over the years. I treat each student as an individual.”

Callaghan, who submitted the award nomination, remarked that Smith has earned the respect of his peers and students as a gifted teacher and performing artist.

“Throughout his 41 years of teaching here at WCSU, Dave Smith is and has been a wonderful role model and mentor for students and faculty alike,” Callaghan said. “He has high standards and expectations and, at the same time, is kind and empathetic, aware of each student’s needs. He motivates his students both by example, and by organizing master classes and performances by internationally recognized percussionists.”

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Former Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Linda Rinker, Adjunct Instructor of Music Judith Smith, Professor of Music Dr. David Smith, Christopher Smith and WCSU President James W. Schmotter at the Faculty Recognition Ceremony.