The 2010 recipient for the Board of Governor's Excellence in Teaching Award is Elizabeth "Beth" Maisonpierre, Professor of Music. Professor Maisonpierre has enjoyed a fruitful and distinguished career here at UNCP. After earning her Doctorate in Musical Arts from the University of Maryland in 1983, she joined the faculty of UNCP (then named Pembroke State University) in 1985 as a part-time lecturer teaching piano. Maisonpierre spent a decade as a lecturer for the music department before she entered a tenure track position in 1995. Since that time, Maisonpierre swiftly scaled the ladder to Associate Professor in 2000, and Full Professor in 2006, teaching classes in Applied Piano, Music Appreciation, Music Theory, and Piano Pedagogy. Maisonpierre has been nominated for the BOG, rendering this year's award a testament to her perseverance.
Perseverance amply describes Maisonpierre's attitude towards teaching. In her teaching philosophy she states that "the most important thing I can do as a teacher is to give my students a firm foundation upon which to build." She continues "this firm foundation needs constant reinforcement order to stay strong. It is my goal as a teacher to continually assess the strength of my student's basic skills and knowledge and to help them fill in the gaps or remedy the weak points as they arise." Maisonpierre's success in achieving these goals is amply demonstrated by the praise offered by her colleagues. Mark Canada, Professor of English, offered these comments after observing one of her classes, "anyone who has heard her play the piano knows of Dr. Maisonpierre's mastery of her art; this opportunity showed me that she was not only a fine pianist, but a brilliant teacher." Maisonpierre's colleague Timothy Altman also has described her dedication to her craft, noting that "Dr. Maisonpierre also compiles, edits, and publishes the music department's newsletter, Moore Tidings. It started as a newsletter, now she posts it online. She always incorporates new technology into her teaching. She did a series of "Podcasts" to help students better understand the music she presented in recital last year."
Maisonpierre's students also have been effusive in their praise of her teaching. Former student Tommy Cox writes that "Dr. Maisonpierre is an exceptional communicator and a gifted teacher. She is a highly motivated professional who knows how to motivate her students to strive for excellence both in the lecture hall and in person." Former student Maren Walter concurs, writing that Maisonpierre "created a feeling of community and encouragement among students in her classes and those of us who made up the piano department. Her love of people, optimism and enthusiasm were infectious during daily interactions with her and during classes."
In addition to her dedication and excellence in teaching, Maisonpierre is also a world class pianist, performing continuously not only in the United States but also in the United Kingdom, where she performed at St. Bartholomew's Church in Bath and at the Royal College of Music in London in 2005. Maisonpierre often performs with her husband and colleague Jonathan Maisonpierre.