CAS Students Vote Mark Hallen Faculty Member of the Year

St. Davids, PA, July 8, 2013:  Mark Hallen, Eastern University  Director of Theatre, was named 2012-13 Eastern University College of Arts and Sciences Faculty Member of the Year. This annual award is voted on by the students to recognize a faculty member for valuable contributions to the University.
Hallen received the award on May 10 at the College of Arts and Sciences Commencement Dinner.

Brittany Kleban’13, who nominated Mark Hallen, said, “I met Mark this year through my participation in Actors Lab and the Fall Production of Our Town. He has been a positive influence, a witty and intelligent teacher, and a source of wisdom.  It was only fitting to nominate him as Faculty Member of the Year.”

In typical “Hallen” fashion, the traditional awards ceremony was turned on its ear and served up in an unexpected and wholly entertaining way.

Mark Hallen, who was unable to attend the ceremony due to a medical leave of absence, commandeered Kleban and four other theatre students to collaborate on a “flash mob” to both spoof and honor Hallen’s classes, productions and contributions to their lives at Eastern.

"Mark always encourages us to push ourselves and our abilities beyond what we believe we are capable of,” said Peter Haag'13. “It would be hard to consider another professor who students would even consider hosting a flash mob for. But that is the kind of love, admiration and trust we have in Mark, and it has been truly wonderful to work with him.”

Alicia Hayes'13 said, "When Mark sent us the e-mail with script and asked if we were interested in fake-protesting his award, I agreed before even reading the script. This was such a Mark thing to do; it was perfect. It was a pleasure to work with him again before graduation and at the same time give him a nod of recognition for all the hard work he has offered the University.”

Kaitlyn Albone'13 added, "As soon as I heard that Mark won the award, I was thrilled. He deserved it. I was even more thrilled when I found out that despite his absence, we would be able to have a part in helping him accept the award. It felt great and fitting for this to be my last theatre event and it felt very true to Mark's humor and spirit!"

Mikah Ochieng'13 said, “Though I had only just met Mark with the past two semesters of classes and productions, I was thrilled that I had the chance to both, ironically, be a part of voting for him and “protesting” it at the dinner. It was a great way to go beyond the classroom, and still be working with Mark even after his leave of absence."

“When I think about the doctrine of the incarnation--that is, God becoming flesh, I think about Mark Hallen’s gift of honestly depicting the human condition inextricably woven with God’s grace and hope,” said University Chaplain Joseph B. Modica.

In 2000, Mark Hallen received the Lindback Award for Excellence in Teaching. Learn more about theatre at Eastern.

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