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Music professor Joe Bonner named first-ever Honors Professor of the Year

May 20, 2010 -- Arkansas State University-Jonesboro's Joe Bonner, assistant professor of Music, College of Fine Arts, was named Honors Professor of the Year for Prof. Joe Bonner2010 during the Honors Recognition ceremony and reception on Friday, May 7, at ASU's Cooper Alumni Center. The Honors Professor of the Year is a new award nominated by and voted on by students in The Honors College.

Professor Bonner has taught Honors Fine Arts Musical, offered in both the fall and spring semester of each academic year. This course is extremely popular among Honors students and is always the first class to fill all of the available seats during registration each semester. The open seats are coveted among Honors students; often a student will wait multiple semesters to have the opportunity to enroll in this course and have Bonner as his or her professor. Professor Bonner is an accomplished flutist, has a full studio of music majors and non-majors alike who come to him for flute lessons, and teaches several other courses within the music department, including the Honors course for which he was nominated as Honors Professor of the Year.

During the nomination and voting process, Honors students left countless comments about their encounters with Professor Bonner. One student wrote “Professor Bonner is amazing. He made the class so interesting; the only thing I regret about Honors Fine Arts Musical is that I can't take it again. His knowledge of so many different areas of music is outstanding, and he knows how to keep us interested. My musical tastes have broadened thanks to him, and I listen to music in a totally different way than I used to.”  Another said “This isn’t your traditional music class, and he has a unique teaching style that generates an appreciation for different styles of music that today's generation would otherwise deem as uninteresting or outdated. Rather than a class of just lectures, his class is dependent upon class discussion—Professor Bonner is an excellent professor.”  One student summed it up by saying “Professor Bonner makes learning an extraordinary journey. He deserves this award more than any other professor by whomI have been taught.”

When presented with the award last Friday night, Professor Bonner was clearly stunned and overwhelmed by the outpouring of affection from Honors students. Rebecca Oliver, director of Student Services for the Honors College, said, “Professor Bonner is being recognized as an outstanding musician and teacher. He is being honored for his distinguished teaching and commitment to students within the Honors College.”

For more information, contact Rebecca Oliver at (870) 972-2308.

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