Bellet teaching winners announced
Duggan, a professional lighting designer, is an associate professor in lighting design and stage management and chair of the Department of Theatre Arts. She joined the Pitt faculty in 2006.
She established the United States Institute for Theatre Technology student chapter at Pitt and continues to serve as its faculty adviser.
Duggan holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Worcester State University and earned an MFA in lighting design at the University of Arizona. She is a member of the United Scenic Artists Union Local 829.
Her experience includes lighting design for hundreds of plays, musicals, operas and dance performances in regional, off-off-Broadway and off-Broadway productions.
Duggan’s teaching experience includes guest lecturing at the University of Central Florida, the University of Maryland-College Park, Florida Gulf Coast University, California State University-Fresno, State University of New York-Albany and Austin Peay.
At Pitt, she teaches a variety of lighting design, stage management, theatre design and theatrical production courses for undergraduates and mentors directed studies for theatre majors and minors.
In her Bellet dossier, Duggan stated that she seeks to help students meet their goals by prioritizing in the classroom critical thinking, time management, creative expression, communication and presentation skills. “When students effectively combine these skills, they are prepared to function successfully in academic and professional theatre settings.”
She said that she brings clear and high expectations to the classroom. “A theatre student should learn early on that, in the area of design and technology, much will be expected of them, and expectations of perfection will always exist. I bring into the classroom my own real-world experience and teach each class from that perspective,” Duggan stated.
She told the University Times that her teaching strength is in ongoing mentoring and taking that mentoring into the classroom.
She said she tells her upper-level students: “Once you are my student, you are my student for life.” She not only helps to connect students with jobs and with the right professionals in the field, but also with one another; “setting them up to help each other,” as she put it.
Duggan said she finds it “incredible” that her teaching in what admittedly is a very specialized niche has been recognized as valuable through a school-wide award.
Duggan, who had been a Bellet nominee two other times, expressed thanks to the students who nominated her, adding that she felt humbled and honored to be chosen. “It’s heartwarming to know you are making a difference and an impact.”