Arts & Culture

UK Takes Home KMEA’s Top Administrator Award

photo of Mark Shanda, David Sogin and George Boulden at 2020 KMEA
(Left to right) Dean Mark Shanda and Professor David Sogin were among the award recipients at the recent KMEA conference. George Boulden, president of KMEA and associate director of UK Bands, was on hand to present the awards.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 28, 2020) Earlier this month, the Kentucky Music Educators Association (KMEA) presented its KMEA Administrator of the Year award to University of Kentucky College of Fine Arts Dean Mark Shanda. The award recognizes an individual who has made significant impacts and contributions to music education in Kentucky at a collegiate level. In addition, UK School of Music faculty members Martina Vasil and David Sogin were recognized for their service in the field.

Since being named the dean of the College of Fine Arts in 2017, Shanda has worked to expand the college’s impact as one of UK’s “front doors” to the community presenting hundreds of visual art, music, dance and theatre events for the public from multiple campus venues. In addition, he spearheaded the effort to have UK selected as the home campus for the Kentucky Governor’s School for the Arts, bringing 256 of the state's brightest creative young minds to campus for an intensive three-week, tuition-free summer residential program.

Prior to his arrival at UK, Shanda was the divisional dean of arts and humanities from 2011-2015 and department chair from 2006-2011 in the College of Arts and Sciences at Ohio State University. He is the co-author of "Technical Management for the Performing Arts" and “Drafting for the Theatre,” which is used by many major theatre programs throughout the country. Shanda previously served a three year-term as president of the United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT) and is a USITT Fellow.

"I marvel that my leadership has been recognized as making such a difference and considered worthy of this award after only six semesters with the College of Fine Arts,” Dean Shanda said. “While I am certainly honored to receive this recognition, I know that it is shared with those within the college working together to advance our educational mission.”

Vasil is an assistant professor of music education and director of the Music Education Summer Institute at the UK School of Music. In her role with the institute, Vasil oversees Modern BandOrff Schulwerk and Dalcroze Eurhythmics workshops for music educators across the Commonwealth. In the college classroom, she teaches undergraduate courses in general music methods and graduate courses in music education research and popular music education. She also supervises student teachers and cooperates with the College of Education to admit music education candidates into the Teacher Education Program.

Like Shanda, Vasil was honored to be recognized by the KMEA. “I was surprised and delighted to be voted University Teacher of the Year for District 7 of the Kentucky Music Educators Association. This recognition is another great example of how KMEA supports and recognizes its teachers. I am encouraged to continue my work in innovative curricula such as Modern Band to continue to expand access to music education to children in Kentucky.”

In addition, David Sogin, professor of music education, was recognized for 40 years of service in Kentucky.

KMEA is the Commonwealth’s professional music educators' organization consisting of more than 2,000 members ranging from the kindergarten to the university level.

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion three years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" two years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for four straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.