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C-PAD honors Arts and Architecture faculty for exceptional teaching

The Center for Pedagogy in Arts and Design (C-PAD) recently recognized two College of Arts and Architecture faculty members for exceptional teaching. Eric McKee, professor of music theory, received the Distinguished Teaching Award, and Benay Gürsoy Toykoç, assistant professor of architecture, received the inaugural Teaching and Learning with Technology Award.

McKee, who joined the Penn State faculty in 1992, teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in music theory, and is currently serving as a Sustainability Faculty Teaching Fellow. His research interests include dance/music relations in dances of the 18th and 19th centuries, topic theory and film music.

His nominators noted his dedication to innovation, mentorship and “meaningful education.”

“During the course of just one semester of instruction under Dr. Eric McKee, this professor has manifested such a lasting impression on my learning experience that he easily ranks among [the short list] of amazing professors I have met over the years,” wrote one nominator. “However, there is a defining characteristic to Dr. McKee’s approach to education that makes him stand out. It is the sense of humility that he carries with himself in each and every moment of interaction.”

Gürsoy joined the Penn State faculty in 2016. Her research and teaching focus is on computational making, digital fabrication, craft theory, shape studies, basic design education and cognitive studies of the design process. She is the founder and director of ForMat (Form and Matter) Lab, housed within the Stuckeman Center for Design Computing.

Her nominators praise Gürsoy’s unique instructional methods and use of technology to encourage collaboration and creativity among her students.

“In a department with a long and rich history of craft and making in relation to the design and development of works of architecture, Benay has distinguished herself as a maker who is totally immersed in using technologies—both low and high—as tools for intelligent design, and as a teacher who is dedicated to making these technologies accessible to students,” wrote one nominator.

C-PAD, a partnership between the College of Arts and Architecture and Teaching and Learning with Technology at Penn State, is a cross-disciplinary center whose goal is to advance arts and design pedagogies, research and professional development applicable to learning and teaching in all disciplines.