Dr. Kelly Vaneman: Never Boring [VIDEO STORY]
At Opening Convocation, the keynote speaker and Kathryn Amelia Brown Teaching Award recipient did something…unexpected. She walked right past the podium and across the stage. She gestured for everyone to stand. Without saying a single word, she ordered different groups of people to stomp, clap, or snap along to a beat.
The room filled with beautiful noise, and as it ended, she continued her speech, still away from the podium. She became the first keynote speaker to include the audience’s words when she asked three people their thoughts on the performance they had just created together:
“I just gained so much confidence with us all working together.”- Kate Reidy
“With our collective voice, there was something majestic about it.”- Professor Meg Hanna Tominaga
“It started out simple and became more complex as we added each group. As it became more complex, it became more beautiful and a richer experience.”- President Krista Newkirk
This is Dr. Kelly Vaneman, Associate Professor of Oboe and Musicology. Students praise her for being “one of the most positive, supportive, and engaging professors” and attest to the obvious fact that “she’s never boring.” In the classroom, Dr. Vaneman pushes her students not just to learn, but to want to learn and appreciate music.
Dr. Vaneman’s infectious energy outside of the classroom attracts students and faculty to her performances as well. Her musically adventurous spirit inspires her to perform Baroque music on period instruments and write for The Double Reed journal of the International Double Reed Society. She collaborates with other faculty members in classrooms and by performing in theater and multidisciplinary performances, and benefits her community by conducting a kindergarten choir. She has also premiered countless new works and showcased her skills internationally in Guatemala, England, Belgium, and more.
It was a colleague outside of the Petrie School of Music, philosophy professor Dr. Kevin DeLapp, who nominated Kelly for the Kathryn Amelia Brown award, Converse’s highest faculty award for teaching excellence. In his words:
“Dr. Vaneman exemplifies the Converse spirit of collaboration. Like the many musical ensembles which boast her as a member, Professor Vaneman brings harmony, creativity, and virtuosity to her teaching. She has been an invaluable participant in the Student Success Seminars, the First-Year Seminars, and the Nisbet honors program. Professor Vaneman doesn’t just help her students learn; she helps her own colleagues to expand their horizons as well!”
But to truly capture her spirit and enthusiasm, we had to let Dr. V speak for herself – about the methods behind her teaching, the experiences that inspire her, and the takeaway to current and future students. We hope you’ve enjoyed watching the clips above, and that you’ll stick with us for just one more. You won’t regret it!