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April 26, 2013

Theatre professor’s passion earns Blinn teaching award

Kevin Patrick recognized for his dedication to theatre education

Natural Science Professor Marie Simms & Technical Theatre Arts Director Blinn College celebrated another year of outstanding instructors on its Brenham, Schulenburg and Sealy campuses today, honoring Technical Theatre Arts Director Kevin Patrick with the Teaching Excellence Award at its 16th annual retirement luncheon.

Theatre Arts Director Bradley Nies was inspired by Patrick’s work ethic and passion to nominate him for the honor. Patrick has taught at Blinn since 2005.

“He is an outstanding teacher and one of the hardest-working people I have ever met,” Nies said. “He will accept nothing less than a professional attitude from each student.”

In addition to teaching at least five classes each semester, Patrick oversees the technical needs for three College theatre productions and one musical. A sponsor for the U.S. Institute of Technical Theatre and a member of several Texas Educational Theatre Association committees, Patrick organizes and oversees the technical aspects for several community organizations, including Brenham Children’s Chorus, Brenham Broadway Kids and First United Methodist Church. He also takes students to technical theatre symposiums, conferences, tours and professional dramatic productions.

In his recommendation letter, Nies relayed a story from earlier this year in which he and Patrick were discussing a scene from an upcoming production, “God of War,” inside the campus student center. As Patrick described one character’s reaction within the scene, he dropped to the floor to better portray the character’s misery and demonstrated how that character would interact with the props.

“Not only did his enthusiasm impress me as a theatre arts director, it also excited those present,” Nies said. “As a result, they attended the play just to see if Kevin’s idea worked. That kind of enthusiasm is only apparent in someone who was born to excel in this field.”

Natural Science Professor Marie Simms and Math & Engineering Professor Max Hibbs were finalists for the award.

The luncheon also recognized some of Blinn’s retiring faculty and staff from the Brenham, Sealy and Schulenburg campuses, including:

  • Larry Campbell, Fine Arts division chair, 40 years.
  • Janie Clinton, residence hall coordinator, 15 years.
  • Cheryl Downes, library technical assistant, 13 years.
  • Fred Estes, agriculture professor, 30 years.
  • Claude Free, police chief, five years.
  • Vicki Hoffman, parallel studies professor, five years.
  • Dr. Debra LaCour, vice president for Academic Affairs, 25 years.
  • Joe Al Picone, Foundation executive director, 22 years.
  • Hattie Ray, baker, 25 years.
  • Catherine Stuckert, academic dual credit director, 11 years.
  • Ann Weir, associate dean of Student Services, 35 years.