THE KEENE STATE COLLEGE MAGAZINE WINTER 2012
2011 Alumni Distinguished Teacher
by Kelly Ricaurte
Last August Keene State named William Seigh, professor of dance, the 2011 Alumni Distinguished Teacher of the Year. This award is presented annually by the Keene State College Alumni Association to recognize excellence in teaching, encouragement of independent thinking, rapport with students, and effective student advising. Professor Seigh is the 41st recipient of this distinctive honor.
Professor Seigh received an MFA in choreography and performance from the University of Colorado–Boulder. For more than 30 years, he has taught on the faculties of several universities, including Wesleyan University, James Madison University, and the University of California–Irvine.
As a dancer, choreographer, and teacher, he has worked throughout the United States and Europe, creating 52 original modern dance works. Current projects include new works for the concert stage and choreography for video installations.
In 2010 he completed a five-year term as president of the American College Dance Festival Association (ACDFA) and now serves on its advisory board. ACDFA exists to support and affirm the role of dance in higher education, and Professor Seigh was proud to host the 2011 New England ACDFA Conference at Keene State College.
Faculty and students are clearly inspired by Professor Seigh's excellence, as demonstrated by his numerous nominations and praises. One former student wrote, "As my advisor, William encouraged me to take risks in my work and to accept positive, constructive feedback, thus giving me the confidence that I needed to be successful in my college career."
William Seigh (back) inspires dancers Riley Anne Ahern '12, Deidre Lewis '12, and Anna Peterson '12.
In another nomination, it was noted that Professor Seigh "doesn't merely transfer information that will get me to the next class, he weaves the knowledge of his field with the knowledge of life and creates a lesson so essential that we can't forget. He's worth so much more than whatever his paycheck may tell him at the end of the month, and this letter is only the beginning of my repayment to him."
Professor Seigh shared his thoughts on the opportunities that are available to KSC students, and particularly those who are the first in their families to attend college. "First-generation students in dance, or in any other area of study, can find inspiration here at Keene State to pursue an education that is truly fulfilling. They will be met by a talented faculty who will encourage and advance their growth. I hope that this genuine support inspires our first-generation students to embrace the college experience, trusting that here they can realize their potential to make a positive difference in the world."