The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education today named Plymouth State University Professor of Education Patricia L. Lindberg the 2004 New Hampshire Professor of the Year.
Lindberg was selected from among nearly 400 top professors in the U.S.
The Professors of the Year program recognizes the most outstanding undergraduate instructors in the country—those who excel as teachers and influence the lives and careers of their students.
“Trish is an outstanding representative of innovative teaching at Plymouth State,” says Provost Virginia Barry, who nominated her for the award. “She has brought state, regional and national attention to educational theatre at Plymouth State, by creating opportunities for teachers and children to learn together.”
Criteria for the award include extraordinary dedication to undergraduate teaching, demonstrated by a scholarly approach to teaching and learning, contribution to the community and profession, and support from colleagues and current and former undergraduate students.
Kate Lynch, a former student who is now a first grade teacher at New London Elementary School writes, “It is impossible to spend an hour in [Lindberg’s] presence without feeling that even as a student you can make a difference in the world of teaching. Her ongoing work outside the classroom is continually used to model for students how the integration of the arts is alive and growing in the teaching community. She celebrates each individual’s contribution to the class community and encourages students to collaborate, to share and to learn from one another.”
Professor of Education Robert Miller notes, “Trish is one of the finest teachers I have ever known. She has boundless energy and infectious enthusiasm. Students adore her for modeling love of learning and for unfailingly respecting their individuality. …she is as much beloved by her colleagues as by her students.”
Lindberg is co-founder and artistic director of the award-winning Educational Theatre Collaborative (ETC), a partnership between PSU, Plymouth Elementary School, and a local arts organization, Friends of the Arts.
Lindberg also founded the Kearsarge Arts Theatre (KAT), the largest summer arts organization of its kind in New England, offering a wide variety of arts classes for children ages 4-18 for more than 20 years in the New London, N.H., area.
KAT’s production of A You and Me World created from the writings of children all over the world and featuring an international cast, won the prestigious NETC Moss Hart Trophy for Best Overall Production of 2002.
“Classrooms need to be strong communities.” Lindberg says “where all students, whether an 18-year-old first-year undergraduate or a six-year-old first grader, feel valued and accepted for the unique contributions they bring to the whole.”
Working with Professors Gail Mears and Gary Goodnough of Plymouth State’s M.Ed. in counselor education, Lindberg also created TIGER (Theatre Integrating Guidance, Education and Responsibility), a professional theatre company that has toured to more than 40,000 children throughout the state. TIGER shows are created from the writings of children about difficult social issues they face in schools, such as bullying, diversity and friendship.
Lindberg says, “I am fortunate to be part of a department and institution that encourages opportunities for faculty to pursue integrated creative projects. ETC, KAT and TIGER flourish because of the tremendous outpouring of support from the University and members of the greater community, who have shown that they value what educational theatre can do for young people, families and society. “
Lindberg has also worked to facilitate international learning experiences for students through her creation, with Professor of Music Dan Perkins, of the International Arts and Culture Institute. Innovative, collaborative creative projects for Plymouth State University students have taken place in England, Ireland, South Africa, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Finland; and Plymouth State has hosted students from Kingston University in London and the University of Leeds at Bretton Hall.
Lindberg’s work has been recognized by the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts, which presented her the 1999 Governor’s Arts and Education Award. In 2003 she received the Youth Theatre Director of the Year Award by the American Alliance for Theatre and Education (AATE). She was also named Plymouth State’s Distinguished Teacher of 2003, and one of New Hampshire’s six most remarkable women by New Hampshire Magazine.