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Art history teacher receives outstanding faculty award
Mark Trowbridge, an art history professor at Marymount University in Arlington, recently received the university’s 2012 Robert A. Draghi Outstanding Faculty Award. Presented by the undergraduate class of 2012, the award honors teaching excellence, efforts to strengthen the university community and commitment to students. It is named in honor of the late Robert Draghi, a professor of philosophy and dean of Marymount’s School of Arts and Sciences.
“It’s the best honor that Marymount can bestow because it comes from the students, and they are why we are here,” said Trowbridge, who has taught at the university since 2005.
“Since I teach art history, I share the stage with Michelangelo and Picasso. It’s hard for a class not to be good when the students are looking at some of the work of the greatest creative minds that ever lived,” he said.
“I think I have been successful because I let the students know that I love what I do. I try to empower students to be confident that their opinions are valid and then build upon them.”
Students agree. Art major Carina Hernandez, class of 2012, wrote in her nomination: “Dr. Trowbridge is always making class and lectures interesting. He makes you want to learn the material and eager for class. He looks at every student individually and takes the time to get everyone involved and engaged.”
Originally from Portland, Ore., Trowbridge earned his bachelor’s from Portland State University and his master’s and doctorate from New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts. Prior to joining Marymount, he taught art history and interdisciplinary courses at Portland State for more than 15 years. He also served as a docent at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art and studied in Belgium through a National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship grant.
Trowbridge’s interest in 15th- and 16th-century art from the Low Countries sparked the book he is writing on the intersection of art and theater in Bruges. It also inspired him to take his upper-level fine art students to Belgium as part of their “Topics in Art History: Van Eyck to Bruegel” course last spring.