Two Fine Arts professors were honoured at UVic’s 2019 REACH Awards on October 10. The third annual awards celebrate UVic scholars for their extraordinary contributions in research and teaching, showcasing how recipients lead the way in dynamic learning and make a vital impact at UVic, both in the classroom and beyond.

“Our REACH Awards celebrate teaching and research excellence at the University of Victoria,” says UVic President Jamie Cassels. “This year’s distinguished honourees are inspiring teachers and researchers, who are contributing to a better future for people and the planet.”

With 14 awards presented in three categories, Fine Arts was well-represented by our two winners. (Read the complete list of recipients here.)

“Congratulations go out to Drs. Kirsten Sadeghi-Yekta and Patrick Boyle as two of this year’s REACH Award recipients,” says acting Dean of Fine Arts, Dr. Eva Baboula. “These are very significant areas of achievement, and it is an honour for Fine Arts to be represented by colleagues whose work affects people’s lives—from students in the classroom to communities around the world. Thank you, Kirsten and Patrick, for your passion and energy!”

Sadeghi-Yekta and Boyle join previous REACH winners Paul Walde (Visual Arts) and Suzanne Snizek (School of Music).


Excellence in Creativity and Artistic Expression: Kirsten Sadeghi-Yekta (Theatre)

Kirsten Sadeghi-Yekta, Theatre (UVic Photo Services)

“Act well your part,” poet Alexander Pope once urged, because “there all the honour lies.” Through honour—scholarly, artistic and personal integrity—Department of Theatre professor Kirsten Sadeghi-Yekta has earned the respect of communities around the world. Her applied theatre projects raise the curtain on social issues that impact people’s lives.

She customized her approach to work with children in Downtown Eastside Vancouver and disabled young women in Cambodia, with youth in Brazillian favelas torn by drugs wars and special-needs students in the Netherlands, developing a safe space for them to create artistically, build skills and confidence, and find beauty.

Most recently she has been invited to bring that experience into local focus. With the Hul’q’umi’num community on Vancouver Island, she is turning on the spotlight to help them revitalize a crucial part of their culture: their language.

You can hear Sadeghi-Yekta talk about her work in this TEDx Victoria session on “Utopia of Unwanted Spaces: Art in Conflict”.


Excellence in Teaching for Experiential Learning: Patrick Boyle (School of Music)

Patrick Boyle, School of Music (UVic Photo Services)

School of Music professor Patrick Boyle forges musical partnerships with students that embody direct, active experiential learning and scholarship. Through faculty recitals, jam sessions, public performances and impromptu in-office practice sessions, Boyle creates avenues for students of jazz to explore their growing talents, embrace their musical and artistic values, and learn about the business of music.

His pedagogical focus on the craft of improvisation, culture and composition emphasizes deepening students’ listening experience while creating something new. The vibrancy of his approach is visible in the jazz ensemble, with students sharing their music in community in formal and informal settings.

You can read more about Boyle’s teaching philosophy here.