Annmarie Duggan, Liann Tsoukas Win 2013 Tina and David Bellet Teaching Excellence Award

Issue Date: 
February 11, 2013

The University of Pittsburgh’s Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences has named Annmarie Duggan, professor and chair in the Department of Theatre Arts, and Liann E. Tsoukas, lecturer in the Department of History, winners of the 2013 Tina and David Bellet Teaching Excellence Award. The Bellet Award recipients will be honored during a by-invitation-only dinner April 3 in Pitt’s University Club.

The Bellet Awards were established in 1998 and endowed in 2008 with a $1.5 million gift from Dietrich School alumnus David Bellet (A&S ’67) and his wife, Tina, to recognize outstanding and innovative undergraduate teaching in the Dietrich School. This year marks the 15th anniversary of the award. A committee appointed by the Dietrich School associate dean for undergraduate studies evaluates teaching skills based on student teaching and peer evaluations, student testimonials, and dossiers submitted by the nominees. Full-time faculty members who have taught in the Dietrich School during the past three years are eligible. Each award recipient receives a stipend of $5,000.

DugganAnnmarie Duggan joined the University faculty in 2006. She has been a guest faculty member at a number of universities, among them the University of Maryland-College Park, the State University of New York at Albany, and California State University-Fresno.

She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology from Worcester State University and is a graduate of the University of Arizona’s MFA program in lighting design. 

Duggan has designed the lighting for more than 300 professional productions (plays, operas, operettas. musicals, and dance works) throughout the United States, including numerous Off-Broadway and Off-Off-Broadway productions in New York City, more than 35 productions for Seaside Music Theatre in Daytona Beach, Fla., and many productions at Pitt. She also has served as the production manager for Northern Stage in White River Junction, Vt.; Music Theatre North in Potsdam, N.Y.; and American Girl Place in New York City and Los Angeles.

Duggan teaches courses in lighting design, stage management, introduction to design, and computer-aided drafting. She has also developed an independent course of study in the use of theater production-related software programs, Vectorworks and Lightwright.

In addition to pursuing her teaching duties, Duggan has served as an advisor for Pitt’s student chapter of the United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT) since 2007, and she has accompanied students to the USITT’s annual national conference since 2008.Duggan is currently a consultant for Que-It software, a New York start-up company developing programs for student and professional stage managers, and for Production Core, a theater consultancy based in New York.

She is the 2011–12 recipient of the Roy Acuff Chair of Excellence, a visiting position established by Austin Peay State University to bring regionally and nationally acclaimed artists to campus to work with students. In 2006, Duggan won the Ila Murphy Award for sustained commitment to the arts in Daytona Beach, Fla. Duggan was also a previous finalist for the Tina and David Bellet Teaching Excellence Award.

TsoukasLiann Tsoukas joined Pitt’s Department of History in 1999. Before coming to Pitt, Tsoukas taught at Carnegie Mellon University, Washington University in St. Louis, and the University of Missouri at St. Louis.

Tsoukas earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Amherst College, and her Master of Arts in History, Master of Science in Education, and PhD in History degrees from Indiana University.

Tsoukas’s main fields of concentration are U.S. history, the history of African-American women, and popular culture. She has covered a number of topics in her courses, including American history from 1865 to the present, American youth culture of the 1950s and ‘60s, and African-American history from the Civil War to today. Tsoukas has also taught as part of Pitt’s Urban Studies Program, Office of Freshman Programs, and African Studies Program. 

Tsoukas has written and had her work published extensively, penning magazine articles and encyclopedia entries on notable American women as well as delivering scholarly papers on anti-lynching campaigns. Anti-lynching efforts are the subject of Tsoukas’s PhD dissertation, Uneasy Alliances: Interracial Efforts to End Lynching, 1930–1940. She also created the time line Struggle and Achievement: A Century of African-American Experience that accompanied the 2001 Andy Warhol Museum exhibition “Without Sanctuary,” a collection of photographs depicting lynching in America.

Tsoukas has been nominated for and won several teaching honors, including Pitt’s School of Arts and Science Student Choice Award, inclusion in Who’s Who Among American Teachers, and the Council of Students of Arts and Sciences Faculty Award for Outstanding Teaching, given by Washington University in St. Louis.

Tsoukas has participated in and been a panelist on the Pitt Provost’s Faculty Diversity Seminar and served as a faculty mentor from 2010 through 2012 for students living in Pitt’s Holland Hall.