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For Immediate Release: April 19, 2012
Contact: Heather Meaney, (518) 381-1250
American Shakespeare Center To Honor SCCC Professor
The American Shakespeare Center has chosen Schenectady County Community College Professor Sandra Boynton, of the SCCC Liberal Arts Division, as this year's recipient of the 2012 American Shakespeare Center's (ASC) Words In Action Award. The ASC will honor her on April 23, 2012, in Staunton, Va., during their annual Shakespeare birthday event.
The award recognizes teachers who "create opportunities for experiential learning for their students, by taking them to plays and getting the students to explore the plays," said Sarah Enloe, the ASC's Director of Education. Professor Boynton covers the works of Shakespeare in her literature classes and rehearsal and production class, engaging students in "original practices" or how Shakespeare's company performed his works. This makes all the difference in how students study the Bard of Avon.
Boynton also brings students to the ASC in March each year during the College's Spring Break for workshops and to watch the touring company's rehearsal and the artist's renaissance season, a trip she has taken with students since 2005. Each student also has the opportunity to recite a few lines and participate in acting workshops on the Black Friars Stage at the ASC. Also, under her direction, students have performed plays by Shakespeare every fourth semester at SCCC.
"The transformation in students can be astonishing," Boynton said. "The idea that this is enormously difficult and that they can't do it is ingrained in them. When you show them simple things that make them able to study Shakespeare in the way that an early modern actor might have, they find their voices."
Nominees for this year's award included 50 primary and secondary teachers and college professors from across the country. Boynton was chosen by ASC actors and staff after the nominations were whittled down to seven individuals.
One of Boynton's former students, Shane Sczepankowski, said he is ecstatic about the national recognition she is receiving. "She so deserves this award," Shane said. "Sandy was the catalyst that thrust me into the word of early modern Shakespeare." Shane traveled to the ASC with Boynton when he was a student at SCCC from 2008 to 2011 and is now a Theatre major at Mary Baldwin College in the B.A./M.Lit. program in Shakespeare and Performance.
Professor Boynton joined SCCC in 1991 as an Assistant Professor. She was promoted to Associate Professor in 1994 and Professor in 2000. She holds an M.A. in Theater from the University at Albany and a B.A. in English from St. Lawrence University. She received the 2009 SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities.-30-
One of the 30 community colleges in the State University of New York system, the nation's largest comprehensive system of higher education, Schenectady County Community College in upstate New York enrolls over 7,000 students. SCCC offers more than 40 career degree, transfer degree and certificate programs. The College opened its doors for classes in 1969 and continues to provide affordable comprehensive higher education and adult educational opportunities in response to local educational needs. To learn more, visit www.sunysccc.edu.
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