ROCK HILL, S.C. - Shaun Cassidy demonstrates a high level of energy and enthusiasm, a willingness to work closely with each student, an ability to foster a team environment within the classroom and a dedication to student artistic development beyond the classroom. It is for these exceptional qualities that Cassidy will receive the 2006 James Pinckney Kinard and Lee Wicker Kinard Award for Excellence in Teaching.
Cassidy, associate professor and coordinator of the Department of Art and Design’s sculpture program, will receive the award at the Dec. 16 undergraduate commencement ceremony at the Winthrop Coliseum. The award was named in honor of Winthrop’s second president, James Pinckney Kinard, and his wife, Lee Wicker Kinard.
"Receiving this award is quite an honor," said Cassidy. "I am extremely excited to be put in the same category as teachers like past recipients Phil Moody and Janice Chism."
As an artist-educator, Cassidy strikes a balance between being a productive and creative artist, and being a teacher to the student artists he works with in Winthrop’s sculpture program.
"He devotes a tremendous amount of time and energy to creating unique learning experiences for his students, whose resulting creative work helps clearly distinguish Winthrop’s sculpture program as the best in the region," said Alice Burmeister, interim chair of the Department of Art and Design, in nominating Cassidy.
Since Cassidy came to Winthrop in 1999, the sculpture program has seen promising growth as he continues to seek new public venues for student works. Recently, his students have displayed work at the Charlotte Shout Festival, on Winthrop’s grounds and in the Winthrop University Galleries.
An internationally known artist, Cassidy has produced commissioned artwork for the Charlotte Area Transit System, Charlotte’s Fourth Ward park, the Charlotte Police and Fire Training Headquarters, Enderly Park in Charlotte, N.C., and the city of Poughkeepsie, N.Y. He also has participated in 16 funded residencies across the U.S. and in the United Kingdom.
Cassidy’s teaching abilities also were recognized in 2001 when he received the Phi Kappa Phi Excellence in Teaching Award. Prior to coming to Winthrop, Cassidy taught at Kansas City Art Institute and Bennington College in Vermont. He received his M.V.A. from the University of Alberta, Canada, and his B.A. from the Norwich School of Art in the U.K.
Next up for Cassidy will be a year-long sabbatical during the 2007-08 academic year.