Jonathan's guests are Ami Bouterse and Donna Hewitt, professors in the Music Department at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside.
The first half of our conversation focuses on popular music as a special area of interest for both professors, eventually leading to the development of the Contemporary Commercial Music Concentration at UW-Parkside. ~ In the second half of our conversation, we pivot to a focus on Parkside's Summer Institute, a teacher training opportunity that helps college instructors to develop anti racist approaches to teaching and learning. The unifying theme of our conversation is the efforts that college educators are making to design curricula that are relevant and engaging for today's students.
Donna Hewitt serves as Chair of the Music Department and Coordinator of Music Education at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside. She has thirteen years of public-school teaching experience and currently teaches preservice educators through courses such as Music Teaching and Learning, General Music Methods, and Interdisciplinary Teaching and Learning. Her research interests center on professional development and popular music education and she has publications in Music Educators Journal, Visions of Research in Music Education, and the Journal of Popular Music Education. She has also presented at conferences on the topics of social justice and activism in music education. More recently, she co-facilitates a two-week long professional development for all university faculty and staff on creating an anti-racist classroom through teaching and learning.
Ami Bouterse is an Associate Professor of Music University of Wisconsin- Parkside teaching private voice and directing the contemporary a cappella ensemble, Parkside Range. Ami Bouterse has performed in southeastern Wisconsin, in regional companies and festivals and in Italy and Spain. Singing awards have been received by regional, national and international organizations. Recently, Prof. Bouterse received the Chancellor and Provost’s Award at the 2023 UW-Parkside Assessment Showcase for her poster presentation on the Wellbeing Initiative. She received voice and opera theater performance degrees from the University of Wisconsin – Madison and Carnegie Mellon University respectively. In addition, Ami earned Level III Certification in Jeanne LoVetri’s Somatic Voicework™, which featured contemporary commercial music vocal pedagogical technique at Shenandoah University. In 2021, Ms. Bouterse graduated from Emerson College with a Communication Sciences and Disorders Master of Science degree and is now a licensed speech language pathologist providing rehabilitative, affirmative and enhancement voice care services.