Rob Roznowski, Professor in the Department of Theatre, is being recognized for his outstanding work and will receive two distinguished awards at this year’s Michigan State University Awards Convocation.
He will receive the William J. Beal Outstanding Faculty Award and the President’s Distinguished Teaching Award. The William J. Beal Outstanding Faculty Award, supported by the Office of University Development, is presented to faculty members for their comprehensive and sustained record of scholarly excellence in research and/or creative activities, instruction, and outreach. The President’s Distinguished Teaching Award, which is supported by an endowment from Carl and Margaret Leidholm, is given to faculty who have created innovative teaching environments that enable student learning within and across disciplinary, cultural, and ethnic boundaries
Roznowski is an award-winning actor, director, writer, and educator who uses theatre as a tool for deeper learning and its collaborative nature to influence the lives of students, faculty, and audiences.
As a researcher, Roznowski examines the intersection of acting and psychology. His books, Inner Monologue in Acting and Roadblocks in Acting, examine the complex thought processes of actors when creating characters and the self-imposed barriers actors place on their work with suggested strategies to combat these challenges. His upcoming book, The Introverted Actor: Practical Approaches, again examines the actor’s psyche.
In his position as head of Acting and Directing, Roznowski has created two unique academic graduate and undergraduate programs. The distinctive focus of the Master of Fine Arts program is its preparation of both the artist and university-level educator; it is the only theatre program of its kind in the nation. Numerous graduates who have obtained prestigious teaching positions cite Roznowski’s influence and compassion on their current teaching practices.
His curricular innovations to the Bachelor of Fine Arts program also challenges the traditional, rigid set of prescribed tracks to allow students the opportunity to explore film, musical theatre, classical theatre, and other subjects that complement students’ individual artistic development through careful mentorship.
Roznowski’s teaching has brought numerous awards, including the Michigan Distinguished Professor of the Year from the President’s Council of State Universities of Michigan. His classes are intellectually challenging, pedagogically experimental, and require deep self-analysis related to the craft.
A student wrote: “This is by far the hardest class I’ve taken in the department, and I’ve simultaneously loved and hated every moment. I’ve improved tenfold as an actor.”
Since arriving at MSU, Roznowski has directed nearly 50 productions on campus and internationally. He uses these productions to engage undergraduate and graduate student actors and designers in developing their skills.
As a playwright, Roznowski’s work helps shape students’ education in play development. His plays tackle serious subjects, handled with humor, to make difficult issues easier to consider. In each of his new dramatic works, students helped shape the premiere productions while learning advanced theatrical skills and engaging with the deeper philosophical thoughts inherent in creating new theater.
Roznowski’s service to the University is tireless, including his most recent endeavor in which he created resources for faculty and staff to work with students in distress in the classroom. He also guides the Department of Theatre’s largest outreach effort as the Artistic Director of Summer Circle Theatre.
For effectively teaching the finer points of acting and character development by engaging and collaborating with students and for his collaborative and pioneering accomplishments that he has attained at MSU and abroad in his work as an artist, scholar, and educator, Robert Roznowski is most deserving of the William J. Beal Outstanding Faculty Award and the President’s Distinguished Teaching Award.
The MSU Award Convocation is scheduled for Tuesday, February 4, at 3:30 p.m. at the University Club in Lansing. Colleagues, family, and friends are welcome to attend.