Story by Tierra Reese, Staff writer
The Kentucky Music Educators Association awarded Todd Hill, associate professor of music, the 2016 College and University Teacher of the Year award, which is granted based off peer and colleague review.
Hill has been congratulated by his coworkers for the effort that he has put into his work over the past 10 years at Murray State.
“It feels nice to be told, ‘Hey, you’re doing a good job’ by your peers,” Hill said.
Hill went through the application process four times over the years, which consists of submitting a resumé, explaining the applicant’s philosophy of teaching and six to eight letters of recommendation.
Hill’s past and present students were happy to hear about his new achievements and felt that he deserved the KMEA award.
“He is one of the most caring teachers I’ve ever had, so it makes sense,” said Courtney Develvis, freshman from Cadiz, Kentucky. “I think it’s awesome.”
“He has been here for a while and is one of the best teachers on faculty,” said Ben Stone, graduate student from Owensboro, Kentucky.
Students within the music department that have not had Hill as a teacher have still heard by word of mouth that he is a phenomenal teacher.
After winning the award, Hill not only gets recognition for himself, but the association also sends $500 to the MSU Foundation. With that money, Hill will further the education of jazz music for his students.
“We can purchase some more things for the jazz program, which is great,” Hill said.
The jazz program at Murray State began with 16 people in Fall 2006, when Hill began to work, and now has 77 students involved.
Hill said he has always been captivated by jazz.
“It has always been a big part of the pallet that I was working with,” Hill said. “The whole experience has been very worthwhile. Standing on the stage in Louisville and being congratulated by the association as a whole was a special moment.”