The University of North Carolina Board of Governors has selected UNC Greensboro’s Dr. Rebecca B. MacLeod to receive a 2021 Award for Excellence in Teaching.
MacLeod, professor of music education at UNCG, is a national and international leader in music education. She champions the idea that everyone can and should express themselves musically and artistically. Music is essential, diverse, and continually evolving. It enhances the lives of all people, and it serves as a universal medium for cultural and personal expression.
“Dr. MacLeod exemplifies the best of the teacher-scholar model,” said Dr. Terri Shelton, interim provost and vice chancellor for research and engagement. “She was the 2015-2016 winner of UNCG’s Research Excellence Award, and it was clear in the review of her research that Dr. MacLeod brought her scholarship into the classroom in an innovative way. In turn, her teaching, mentorship, and the insights gained from her students informed her research. It is fitting that MacLeod’s commitment to excellence in her teaching has been recognized with this extraordinary award.”
At UNCG, MacLeod works with both undergraduate and graduate students, with music majors as well as non-majors. In her Sinfonia course she directs an ensemble of student musicians from across the University. In several courses, MacLeod challenges her students to engage diversity and social equity through music education. She coordinates two programs that provide string instruction to students from underserved populations. Many of these students have blossomed into talented performers who participate in state and national orchestras.
MacLeod is a world leader in string education, and her textbook “Teaching Strings in Today’s Classroom” is becoming a standard for training pre-service string music teachers. Research is central to her teaching philosophy. MacLeod has contributed dozens of essays and manuscripts providing new perspectives and challenges to music and music education. In addition to these contributions, she has developed tools and methods that enable continual teaching and instruction during the COVID-19 pandemic. She curated webinars and internet video channels that impacted thousands of music educators worldwide. By adopting these new technologies to topics and instruction methods that have been taught for hundreds of years without change, she opens the doors for countless new participants in music and music education.
MacLeod received her undergraduate degree from Duquesne University and her MME and PhD from Florida State University. She is a frequent guest conductor and clinician throughout the United States and abroad.
“The College of Visual and Performing Arts congratulates Rebecca MacLeod on this system-wide recognition of her excellence as a professor and music educator, and the difference that she makes in the lives of her students,” said Dr. bruce d. mcclung, dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts.
The Board of Governors presents one faculty member from each UNC System institution with this award every year. The award recognizes outstanding teaching (including online or blended instruction, mentorship, and educational service) that has resulted in the advancement of the profession. It is the highest post-secondary award in the state and carries the expectation that applicants will be exceptional teachers who have extended their pedagogical activities beyond the classroom.
“I want to thank my students for nominating me for this award. I am so honored,” said MacLeod. “The other person I wish I could thank is Dr. Dennis Askew. He was one of the greatest supporters, and he supported all of the faculty in the School of Music. I just want to say how grateful I was for his mentorship and leadership.”
UNCG today announced faculty award winners for teaching, research, mentoring, and service. More information about the awards, the awardees, and video features, including a video interview with MacLeod, are available here.