West Liberty University students presented Michael Aulick with its Professor of the Year Award for 2015. The presentation was made by Student Government Association Vice President Jeffrey Tice, of Chester, W.Va. at the annual Spring Honors Convocation.
Professor Aulick is the theatre director for Kelly Theatre and an associate professor of theater in the College of Arts and Communication. The students nominate and vote on professor of the year every spring.
“I am honored to receive this award and am grateful that the students find me deserving. My true love is working with students and helping student-actors fulfill their potential as theatre artists,” said Aulick, who resides in West Liberty.
“On behalf of the Department of Music and Theater and the College of Arts and Communication, I congratulate Michael on this award. In a way, Professor of the Year is one of the highest honors a faculty member can receive at West Liberty because it is determined 100% by students,” said Interim Dean Matthew Harder, who leads the College of Arts and Communication.
“The College of Arts and Communication is comprised of faculty and students who continuously ‘put themselves out there’ to be evaluated and this award represents Professor Aulick’s commitment to excellence — student success is his number one goal,” he said.
Aulick trained as an actor and director at the University of Louisville under James Tompkins and Rinda Frye. Prior to joining WLU faculty in 2009, he spent several years touring with the acclaimed Louisville Repertory Theatre Company before taking a position as professor of theatre and artistic director of the Northeast State Theatre in Blountville, Tenn.
In the nine years he was at Northeast State, he was able to build a program that gained prominence in the area and was recognized for excellence in theatrical education.
As a theatre generalist, he uses his training in the Stanislavski System in conjunction with Kristin Linklater’s Vocal Techniques and a Physical Movement Approach to teach a realistic performance that includes the mind, body and voice. While he has directed everything from Greek tragedy to farce to musicals to Shakespeare, his true passion is in contemporary works that reflect life today.
A native of Huntington, W.Va., Aulick is proudest of the accomplishments of his students.
“In the past three years, we have had a national finalist in the Student-Directing Initiative, three Irene Ryan finalists at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Region II Festival, five of the eight students who participated at the state screenings were selected to participate at the Southeast Theatre Conference, and all of our recent graduates have been accepted into top graduate programs or began their professional careers. These kids are really the ones who deserve the award,” he said.
The College of Arts and Communication is comprised of the Department of Music and Theater; and the Department of Journalism, Communication Studies, and Visual Arts. It offers degrees in Music Education, Music Performance, Music Technology, Theater, Graphic Design, Digital Media Design, Creative Arts Therapy, Advertising Communications, Broadcasting, Communication Studies, Public Relations, and Art Education.
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