David Tatu receives KSU Foundation’s Distinguished Staff Award
KENNESAW, Ga. (Nov 30, 2018) — Department of Dance production manager David Tatu was named this year’s Distinguished Staff Award winner Thursday at the Kennesaw State University Foundation’s annual Faculty and Staff Award ceremony. Tatu, along with five other staff members and one department, were formally recognized by President Pamela Whitten and acting KSU Foundation Chair Trenton Turk for their commitment to excellence.
The ceremony is held each year to celebrate those who make outstanding contributions to the institution and demonstrate reliability, productivity and strong leadership qualities. This year, more than $23,000 was awarded to staff recipients, with Tatu taking top honors.
“It is with immense pride that I have the opportunity to acknowledge these individuals for their outstanding contributions to Kennesaw State,” Whitten said. “Each of the recipients has demonstrated great dedication to making this institution world class, often doing so behind the scenes and far from the spotlight. Through their efforts, we are able to help our students realize their full potential.”
Tatu, who also serves as the resident lighting designer and part-time instructor in the Department of Dance, joined KSU in August 2012 after a 15-year stint with the Atlanta Ballet. As production manager, he oversaw the renovation of the Dance Theater in the Joe Mack Wilson Student Center, helping it become one of the premier performance venues for professional dance in the region.
An astute mentor, Tatu has been recognized in graduate surveys every year since his arrival as someone who is “making a difference in the life of a graduate,” according to his nominator. He developed a production course that prepares students for the profession and has resulted in numerous internships and professional opportunities for students in a multitude of dance companies. Beyond the Kennesaw State campus, Tatu hosts community workshops on lighting design for dance to high school teachers and dance studio owners.
“I am extremely humbled to receive this honor and to be in such good company,” Tatu said. “I am fortunate to pursue my passion at an institution such as this, and I’m grateful to have the unwavering support of my colleagues. I take great pride in mentoring our many talented students, and this award only pushes me to achieve more.”
In addition to Tatu, the KSU Foundation also recognized the following for their contributions:
- Exceptional Customer Service Awards: Lisa Kessler, Office of Fiscal Services, and Lindsey Seipel, Human Resources
- Students’ Appreciation Award: Marcela Cadavid, Recruitment, Retention and Progression to Graduate Program for Hispanic and Latino Students
- Outstanding Team Award: UITS Project Management Office
- Outstanding Supervisor Award: Maureen Patton, Department of Event and Venue Management
- Outstanding Administrator Award: Iyonka Strawn-Valcy, Division of Global Affairs
– Travis Highfield
Photos by David Caselli
A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers more than 150 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its approximately 41,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia and the third-largest university in the state. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the region and from 92 countries across the globe. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status, and one of the 50 largest public institutions in the country. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu.