Montgomery College Theatre Professor Receives Top Teaching Award


KenYatta Rogers’ Honor Marks the Sixth Consecutive Year an MC Professor Is Selected as Maryland Professor of the Year

KenYatta Rogers, a professor of theatre, has been named the Maryland Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE).

Since 2000, Rogers has taught classes at Montgomery College in voice and diction, movement for the performer and fundamentals of acting. As a professional actor, Rogers has garnered three Helen Hayes Award nominations for his stage performances. He has more than 50 film, television, radio and voiceover credits including the National Endowment for the Arts’ The Big Read series and PBS’ Standard Deviants.

“When Professor Rogers is acting on one of the Washington area stages at night and coming in and teaching the next morning, he is including the students in his process and connecting to them in a very special way,” said Professor Susan Hoffman, who chaired the theatre department until this year.

Rogers also advises the Black Box Players, a student theater group on the Rockville Campus, and mentors over 30 students each year. He has also served as a director and coach for more than 15 productions for the College.

Rogers says he believes in the “fierce urgency of now. The transaction between me and the person that is in front of me on stage or in the classroom is the most important thing at that time.” He says his work with students is “more of a mission than a job.”

Performance major Abhishek Shrestha says Rogers “is a very hands-on teacher and he tailors his teaching student to student.”

“[Professor Rogers] nurtures that need to create,” says Shaquille Stewart, another performance major. “He has helped me not only as a theatre student but as a human being.”

In addition to teaching and directing, Rogers co-produces WILLPOWER! at the College. Founded in 2003, over 10,000 people have participated in the annual Shakespeare festival. He also co-produces MCSLAM!, an annual poetry festival featuring student work.

This is the eighth time in 11 years—and the sixth consecutive year—that a Montgomery College professor has been named Maryland Professor of the Year.

Dr. Mary Furgol, a history professor, received the honor in 2003. In 2006, Joan Naake, an English professor, won the award. In 2009, the award went to Chemistry Professor Susan Bontems, followed by Dr. Deborah Stearns, a psychology professor; Music Professor Dawn Avery; Math Professor John Hamman; English Professor, Dr. Greg Wahl, respectively.

Rogers was honored at an awards luncheon today at the National Press Club in Washington D.C. followed by an evening reception at the Folger Shakespeare Library.

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Montgomery College is a public, open admissions community college with campuses in Germantown, Rockville, and Takoma Park/Silver Spring, plus workforce development/continuing education centers and off-site programs throughout Montgomery County, Md. The College serves nearly 60,000 students a year, through both credit and noncredit programs, in more than 130 areas of study.

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On September 16, 1946, the first Montgomery College classes were held in the evenings at a local high school with a student body of 186 men and women. Today, the College has grown to a multi-campus institution and serves nearly 60,000 students a year, through both credit and noncredit programs, in more than 100 areas of study.

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