ST. GEORGE – Dixie State College theatre department faculty member Jan Hunsaker was recently presented with a “Hall of Fame Award” for her outstanding service in the field of theatre education by the National Educational Theatre Association at the organization’s annual conference in Chicago, Ill.
Hunsaker was one of five national recipients of the prestigious honor.
“I was really surprised to win because it is the biggest award that the organization gives out,” Hunsaker said. “Being a member of the organization since 1990, I have been looking at those winners all my life and wondering how I could possibly ever work that hard, so it’s very sweet, very humbling, but very sweet.”
Hunsaker, who also serves as the artistic director at Tuacahn High School, was asked by DSC to start the new four-year theatre education emphasis program at DSC, which was approved by the Utah State Board of Regents this past Sept. 16. She has taught theatre at the secondary and collegiate levels for 23 years, and holds a master’s of fine arts degree in theatre education from the University of Utah.
DSC’s new theatre education program will provide students with the knowledge, skills and training required to become highly qualified theatre educators to meet secondary education needs in DSC’s service area and beyond. For students majoring in theatre, the option of secondary licensure provides important added employment possibilities and career preparation.
“I’m passionate about theatre education because that is where we all start and drama teachers on the secondary level are abnormally influential people in the lives of a young artist,” Hunsaker noted. “I look forward to working with the new generation of theatre teachers and making the Dixie State College Theatre Education program one of outstanding training grounds in the nation for educators. I believe that this is a fantastic step for the college because the theatre program is already top-notch and the education degree will simply add depth to the department.”