Asher Raboy, M.F.A., artist in residence, was named the Pacific Union College 2013-2014 Educator of the Year at a special colloquy program on March 14. The title is awarded entirely by student votes. This is Raboy’s first time receiving the award.
Steve Waters, mathematics department chair, recalled the time he has spent with Raboy out on the golf course and the many conversations they have had about what it means to be a teacher. “One of the things that I actually strive to emulate, that Asher seems to do effortlessly and I think it’s part of what makes him a good teacher, is he really tries hard to see the best in everyone and then works really hard to get those people to see it in themselves,” Waters stated.
Raboy has worked in the Napa Valley since 1990, when he took the position as conductor and artistic director of the Napa Valley Symphony Orchestra. He directed the orchestra for 19 years, turning it into “a fully professional orchestra that brought in top-level soloists and filled a significant cultural hole in the valley,” remarked Rachelle Berthelson Davis, chair of the PUC music department. Raboy joined the PUC family in 2006 as the director of PUC’s symphonic wind ensemble and professor of a few classes. Two years later, he became a resident artist at the college.
“He is an inspiration and, since [his arrival at PUC], he has continued to challenge and inspire students, doing whatever it takes to awaken a student’s interest in the subject at hand,” Davis added. “We’re privileged to have someone of Asher’s caliber on our faculty and are thrilled that his excellence in teaching has been acknowledged today.”
“He’s an amazing teacher. He loves to teach and he loves what he’s teaching, and he loves his students,” said senior music major Brennan Stokes. “In the words of the maestro, ‘People pay to see beauty.’ If that’s true, then I and many others here today, owe [Mr. Raboy] far more than just a plaque.”
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