Influential music professor speaks on winning two awards

Andrew Greenwood, assistant professor of musicology and graduate program director in the Department of Music, has been selected as one of the commencement speakers on behalf of his department after receiving two awards from the Graduate School earlier in 2019.

Immigrating to the U.S. was a big move for Greenwood, but he sees a link in himself between his education and his immigration, going on to say that his knowledge and education has been shaped greatly by American institutions, allowing him to influence students in a unique way.

After starting his work at SIUE in 2014, Greenwood made significant changes for the music department, including the design of two entirely new courses: Cultural History of Popular Music and Vikings, Myths, and Music. 

Now that he has been awarded both the SIUE Teaching Excellence Award and the Vaughnie Lindsay New Investigator Award, Greenwood is setting his sights forward toward the next generation of students graduating from SIUE. 

At the commencement speech, Greenwood said he plans on speaking to students about the importance of connections made through their education, and making sure they keep growing those connections beyond their graduation.

“One of the things I love about SIUE is the commitment. I’d love to see the graduates maintain that even when they’re gone and keep their connections with SIUE,” Greenwood said. “Those relationships don’t finish when they graduate.”

Greenwood’s influence goes beyond that of just his students, as colleagues in his department have noticed his contribution toward their department as well. 

Michael Mishra, director of orchestral studies at SIUE, has worked extensively with Greenwood in their department, and said he has seen a revitalized view by students on the topic of music history.

“One of the biggest differences that he’s made has been showing students that music history isn’t just there for a class, but it can actually be a career in its own right, as obviously he is the embodiment of that,” Mishra said.

On the topic of the two awards Greenwood won earlier this year, Mishra said it’s practically unheard of for someone to win two major awards like that at the same time, saying they haven’t had a music department faculty member give a commencement speech for the 26 years that he has worked at SIUE.

John Korak, professor of trumpet and former music department chair, said he has worked with Greenwood and observed his teaching and what he has done for the department and his lasting effect on it, adding that he’s been a great addition to the faculty. 

On the few opportunities Korak has had to sit in on Greenwood’s classes, he said he saw students getting involved and actively wanting to learn, something that leaves a lasting impression on the students.

“With his teaching, he brings in interesting facets to get students interested in what he’s about to tell them,” Korak said. “If we’re here teaching, we can obviously impart the knowledge to students, but the way in which it’s imparted, I think really sets him apart.”

When it comes to imparting knowledge to students, Korak and Greenwood agree that the interactions outside the classroom are just as important as the ones inside the classroom. 

Greenwood recently had a daughter, and cites her as giving him the insight into how to help students grow beyond the classroom with a bit of care and time.

“It gives you a new perspective into [the] nurturing and caring role you have as an educator,” Greenwood said. “Your job isn’t just to give students this information, but to nurture their education as well.”

Andrew Greenwood will be giving his commencement speech 1 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 14 at the Vadalabene Center. 

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