Professor of theatre, coach of TU Dance Team recognized for 35 years of service to university
TOWSON, Md. (Jan. 10, 2012)—Tom Cascella, professor and interim chair of the Department of Theatre Arts, was honored with the 2012 President's Award for Distinguished Service to the University during the commencement exercises held Sunday, Jan. 8 at the Towson Center.
Now in his 35th year at Towson, Cascella is one of the most highly regarded, yet under-recognized, members of the campus community.
He is a graduate of Yale University, where he earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in theatre with an area of concentration in theatre design and production.
Cascella joined Towson in 1977, and his contributions to the university over the years have been numerous, varied and impressive. They range from the successful development of courses and nurturing of students to his professional work in technical theatre.
He led the way in the application of new technology to teaching, having taught what many consider Towson’s first distance-learning course: a seminar in structural design that reached students on three campuses in the then-newly formed University System of Maryland.
He also created—and still teaches—an online version of his department’s introductory theatre course, as well as many of the classes that remain part of the undergraduate and graduate core for technical theatre and design. These contributions extend to the personal attention and care he gives to each of his students.
Cascella was the technical director of the Maryland Arts Festival for most of its history, and has for many years been the resident designer at Hannah Moore Arts Center. He was also heavily involved in the renovation of Towson's Center for the Arts.
He is best known for his achievements as the coach of Towson University’s Dance Team, which over the years has brought home a record-setting 13 consecutive national championships.
Cascella has been an adviser, mentor and worker at most campus events, including Homecoming, presidential ceremonies and performances in all departments. He also has served on many key university committees, including curriculum committees, promotion and tenure committees, the university senate, and the intercollegiate athletic committee, to name a few.
In addition to being the College of Fine Arts and Communication’s lead marshal at Commencement, he attends every graduation ceremony and plays an important, if informal, management role. He has performed these services for many years without a title, credit or official recognition.
As President Maravene Loeschke once said, “Having Tom in the university is like having six positions filled by workaholics."