Dr. Laura Nash, director of the Music Program who has worked to bring music to inner city classrooms, is the 2009 Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching Connecticut Professor of the Year. The honor was announced in November at an awards luncheon and evening reception in Washington, D.C.
The foundation honored Dr. Nash for her innovative Music for an Urban District program. In 2003, she created the program with a $670,000, three-year grant from the U.S. Department of Education, which she received in collaboration with the Bridgeport Public Schools.
The program brings Fairfield faculty to mentor Bridgeport teachers and provides year-round professional development and equipment. Among the many success stories to emerge is a popular African drum circle comprised of Bridgeport teachers who represented Connecticut at a national showcase in Washington, D.C.
The work is timely, Dr. Nash said, because “current research shows a robust relationship between literacy and language development and learning in music and in drama.”
Dr. Nash is the second Fairfield faculty member to be named Connecticut Professor of the Year. Dr. Kim Bridgford, professor of English, was honored in 1994.