Christian College Theatre Professor Rhett Luedtke Wins Undergraduate Teaching Honor

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Professor was one of just three nationally selected for National Directing Fellow Award from Kennedy Center

Rhett Luedtke was named George Fox's top undergraduate teacher.

My favorite thing about teaching is watching my students grow into servant storytellers

Rhett Luedtke, a theatre professor at George Fox University since 2003, was named recipient of the university’s Faculty Achievement Award for Undergraduate Teaching for the 2009-10 academic year.

Luedtke, an associate professor of theatre, primarily teaches acting and directing courses while also directing many of the school’s main-stage productions and overseeing the University Players, a traveling troupe that performs thought-provoking dramas in schools, churches and prisons in the area.

He has taught everything from theatre history and management to music theatre performance and theatre as ministry in the university’s theatre major. His personal favorite: A cross-cultural study course that took nine George Fox students to Papua New Guinea last May for an international story-telling exchange.

“My favorite thing about teaching is watching my students grow into servant storytellers,” he said. “I love watching them learn how to tell their own stories (theatrically or otherwise) with confidence, grace, humility and a deep love from the people they serve. I love watching my students grow in faith as they learn to trust their instincts and learn to trust the still small voice within their souls. But above all, I love to laugh with my students.”

Luedtke admitted to being surprised by the award, adding “I am deeply thankful that my students nominated me for this award, and I will treasure it for a long time in honor of them.”

Luedtke’s selection comes shortly after he was one of just three faculty members chosen nationally to receive a National Directing Fellow Award from the John F. Kennedy Center. The honorees traveled to Washington, D.C., for the National Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival April 13-17.

He was the only representative to receive the award from Region 7, a 10-state region that includes Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Northern California and Northern Nevada.

Luedtke consistently receives excellent course evaluations from his students, often receiving close to the highest score on the five-point scale, according to Patrick Allen, the university’s provost.

Externally, Luedtke has directed plays in several venues, most recently at the Salem Repertory Theatre and the Idaho Repertory Theatre. He has also been active in the Kennedy Center since 2003 – first as a respondent, then as a directing mentor, and most recently as a directing coordinator.

Luedtke holds a bachelor’s degree in English and in theatre and television arts from Valparaiso University and earned a Master of Fine Arts in directing from Illinois State University.

George Fox University is ranked by Forbes as one of the top 100 colleges in the country and highest among Christian colleges. George Fox is the only Christian university in the Pacific Northwest classified by U.S. News & World Report as a national university. More than 3,300 students attend classes on the university’s campus in Newberg, Ore., and at teaching centers in Portland, Salem, and Redmond, Ore., and Boise, Idaho. George Fox offers bachelor’s degrees in more than 40 majors, degree-completion programs for working adults, five seminary degrees, and 12 master’s and doctoral degrees.

Contact:
Rhett Luedtke
Department of Performing Arts
503-554-2632

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