Alumna and longtime UNCSA faculty member Jamie Call Blankinship has been named recipient of a 2022 University of North Carolina (UNC) Board of Governors Award for Excellence in Teaching. Blankinship is director of the stage management program in the School of Design and Production (D&P) at UNCSA.
She is one of 17 outstanding faculty members representing all of North Carolina’s public universities and the N.C. School of Science and Mathematics who won the awards and are “the finest our state has to offer,” said UNC System President Peter Hans.
Chancellor Brian Cole said, “Jamie Call Blankinship is a beloved and respected member of the faculty at UNCSA. Her experience and knowledge of the industry is extensive, and her advice is consistently sought by students, faculty colleagues and staff.
“While one of the most collaborative of our faculty-artists, she is also a great leader among her peers. First and foremost, though, Jamie cares about her students. We are truly lucky that this alumna returned to her alma mater to teach the next generation of Fighting Pickles.”
Each of the winners will receive a commemorative bronze medallion and a $12,500 cash prize, and will be honored at each of their institutions at a future date. Winners were nominated by special committees at each institution and selected by the Board of Governors Committee on Educational Planning, Policies, and Programs.
The awards were established by the board in 1993 to highlight the importance of teaching and to recognize the extraordinary contributions of faculty members systemwide.
“We are proud to honor these impressive recipients,” said UNC Board of Governors Chair Randy Ramsey. “Each of them applies creativity and excellence to their time in the classroom, making a profound impact in how students learn.”
Jamie Call Blankinship earned her B.F.A in stage management from the UNCSA School of Design and Production. For decades, she maintained a career as a stage manager for noted arts institutions including the San Francisco Opera, the Washington Opera and Spoleto Festival USA, among others. She joined the UNCSA stage management faculty in 2009 and has served as director of the program since 2016. She has been a key adviser for the annual production of “The Nutcracker” at the Stevens Center in production and stage management, as well as for the annual commencement ceremonies.
Call Blankinship carries goals of fostering open communication, healthy collaboration and wellness into her classroom and into mentoring her students. She introduced a stage management wellness curriculum to increase students’ stress hardiness by teaching mindfulness, raising awareness of emotional intelligence, and helping students value the importance of seeking balance between their personal and professional lives.
Her students have a nearly 100% employment rate, including work on Broadway, national/international tours, special events, cruise ships, themed entertainment, regional theater, dance, and in project management. In addition, she has produced the annual D&P Job Fair – an event that contributes to the nearly 98% employment rate of all D&P graduates – for more than a decade.
Call Blankinship is one of six faculty members honored with universitywide Excellence in Teaching Awards last month. Others include Allison Gagnon, School of Music; Carrie Hart, High School Academic Program; alumnus Chris Heckman, School of Filmmaking; alumnus Jared Redick, School of Dance; and Allen Smith, High School Academic Program.
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March 14, 2022