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Passion for Fashion Earns Professor Outstanding Teaching Award

Posted Dec. 12, 2011 | Sarah James
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Fashion Instructor Paula Dancie received
a 2011 Outstanding Teaching Award for
her work and commitment to her students.

Fashion Instructor Paula Dancie’s love for fashion and fabric construction began when she was 6 years old and shows no signs of ceasing any time soon. Dancie’s accomplishments and compassionate nature earned her an Outstanding Teaching Award for 2011.

“Sometimes I wake up thinking this is too good to be true,” she says. “I have a job that I love, and I love coming to work every day.”

As an instructor since 2003, Dancie has taught many courses ranging from design, pattern making and senior studio. Dancie holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in textiles, applied design and weaving from Miami University.

In the classroom, Dancie says she strives to go above and beyond to help her students. Dancie’s compassionate nature allows her to help students with problems outside of the classroom. In the rigorous senior studio course, Dancie makes sure to support her students in any way she can. The course is the final culmination of all that students have learned in the fashion program.

“The class really makes you discern what is important in your work and in your life,” Dancie says. “I would like to think I helped people problem solve with the execution of their work.”

When fashion student Marissa Dibucci was in her class, she was able to challenge herself more because she knew Dancie would be there to walk her through the complicated corset project, a key component in dress making.

“She understands her students,” says Dibucci. “Professor Dancie makes me not afraid to ask a silly question if I forgot something simple. She inspires me to push myself with my designs.”

Dancie says she finds the Kent State fashion community to be a positive environment. In addition to teaching, Dancie is currently helping to construct garments for the fashion school’s new store in Acorn Alley, set to open soon.

“I’m the type of person who believes in hard work,” she says. “I love creating clothes and putting them together. I love my students and I love what I do.”

Three recipients received the Outstanding Teaching Award (OTA), sponsored by the University Teaching Council. The award is presented to full-time, nontenure track or part-time faculty members who consistently show outstanding teaching skills in the classroom.