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Distinguished Professor and Hawkins Award recipients named

May 13, 2002

Two faculty members were selected to receive this year's Richard M. Hawkins Award and Distinguished Professor Award. Both winners were announced at the Spring Faculty Meeting, May 7.

Dr. David Till, professor of English, received the 2002 Distinguished Professor Award, and Dr. Stanley Yates, associate professor of music, was chosen as this year's recipient of the Richard M. Hawkins Award.

The Hawkins Award recognizes noteworthy contributions to scholarship or creative activity, while the Distinguished Professor Award spotlights exemplary professionalism with an emphasis on teaching.

Till came to APSU in August 1971 as an instructor of English. He completed his doctorate at the University of New Mexico in 1978 and earned a master's degree from the University of Kansas (1964) and a bachelor's degree from Utah State University (1961).

Remembered fondly by more than three decades of APSU students, Till teaches core courses in freshman English and world literature, plus a few upper-division courses for majors and minors, as well as graduate-level seminars in poetry.

For more than 15 years, he served on the Faculty Senate, including one term as president in 1996-97.

In 1974, Till and English Professor Malcolm Glass were the two faculty who, without benefit of a budget, established APSU's acclaimed Visiting Writers Series.

Till also was an integral member of the committee that, in 1983, began planning and, ultimately succeeded in establishing the Center of Excellence for the Creative Arts, which quickly became a cultural oasis for APSU and the larger community.

He is the coordinator for the Creative Writing Program, which is part of the Center of Excellence for the Creative Arts. He was the founding editor of the literary journal "Zone 3," serving as its co-editor since 1985.

Selected as a 1983 National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Fellow at New York University, Till is a nationally respected poet and author, having published more than 60 poems in various literary journals. On occasion, he gives poetry readings both on campus and to such gatherings as the annual 20th Century Literature Conference.

Till has shared his poetic spirit with 1000s of APSU students over the past 30 years, and he has been integral in establishing many of the University's creative outlets.

With creativity as a key criterion for the Hawkins Award, Stanley Yates received a unanimous nomination from the department of music.

He joined the APSU faculty in 1994, after earning a doctor of musical arts (performance) degree from the University of North Texas, where he had a teaching fellowship. He received a master's degree in performance from the University of Liverpool with performance diplomas from Trinity College, London, and Sundown College, Liverpool.

In his brief time at APSU, Yates has made a name for himself as a scholar, teacher and performer of the highest caliber. Dr. Allen Henderson, chair of the music department, said, "From creating an Intro to Music Technology class to editing important editions of guitar literature for use by students, Stanley's work has and will benefit every music student at APSU and countless non-majors who have studied guitar with him."

Mel Bay Publications, the premiere publisher of guitar music, has devoted full-page advertisements in national and international publications to a series of best-selling editions titled "The Stanley Yates Series." According to Henderson, most are defined by reviewers as "THE definitive edition."

His Mel Bay publications have received notice worldwide and have led to inquiries from top publishers in France, Spain and New Zealand. He has been reviewed in German, Japanese, British and Italian publications, as well as by many in the United States.

Yates is considered a leading international authority on the interpretation of the unaccompanied string music of J.S. Bach, and he is a leading expert on composer Heitor Villa-Lobos. Such expertise has brought him numerous invitations to lecture, perform and conduct master classes throughout the United States and Europe.

According to Henderson, the body of work created by Yates in his eight-year career at APSU rivals that of many senior professors. The March issue of "Fingerstyle Guitar Magazine" contains a feature on Yates in which it reveals that a Grammy-winning producer wants to produce a tribute recording of Beatles tunes using Yates' signature arrangements.

Henderson wrote in his letter of nomination: "Stanley's reputation as a teacher has attracted students from all over the world to inquire about study at APSU. He has built the guitar (program) from zero majors in 1994 to the most respected program in the region and a program that attracts graduate students from throughout the country.

"Stanley is a world-class performer who has chosen to remain at Austin Peay and contribute greatly to the artistic and scholarly reputation of the department of music. This in turn has brought great notice to both the department and institution."