Schmitt is associate professor of piano and piano pedagogy at Tabor. As a recipient of the 2007-08 Distinguished Faculty Award, the college is reducing her teaching schedule to give her more time to practice for public performances.
“Anytime you have more time to practice and put yourself into the preparation of a piece, it’s going to have more thought put into it and, hopefully, be much more musical,” Schmitt said.
“I always appreciate extra practice time, and feel very humble and appreciative of an award like this.”
Now in its second year, the Distinguished Faculty Award is a temporary designation (usually one year) awarded to faculty members engaged in institutionally beneficial scholarship.
In return for a reduced teaching load, faculty members agree to vigorously pursue scholarship, and to advance public awareness of the college through their work.
The other Distinguished Faculty Award recipient for 2007-08, Wendell Loewen, associate professor of youth, church and culture, is using his scholarship time to write a book about youth ministry.
Lawrence Ressler, vice president of academics and student development, said as a performer, Schmitt puts a spotlight on musical scholarship at Tabor College.
“Dr. Schmitt is so well known for her piano virtuosity that public performances are scholarly pursuits for her,” Ressler said.
In addition to her performance on Sunday, Schmitt will perform on campus again in the spring. She also will travel throughout the Midwest, serving as an ambassador for Tabor College.
“The purpose of the performances is to let people see the music department, let them see the college, and for me to get to know some prospective students.”