Professor Judith Chafee Awarded BU’s Highest Teaching Honor


I was very pleased to learn that our own Judith Chafee, Associate Professor of Movement, was awarded the Metcalf Cup and Prize for Excellence in Teaching.

“She challenges students, encourages them to explore, and gives them the courage to take risks,” reads her Metcalf citation.

“I got to fully unleash my imagination,” says Francesca Blanchard (CFA’14). When Chaffee asked them to imagine a familiar odor, “The first smell that came was apple pie,” she recalls. “I have no idea where that came from.”

“Welcome to acting,” her teacher says, obviously satisfied by Blanchard’s stretching her imaginative muscles.

The human body is a universal language, and every student has some artistic potential to use that language. That is the associate professor of movement’s day-in, day-out operating philosophy at CFA’s School of Theatre, one she personally demonstrated this month by training for and winning a runner-up slot in the University’s Dancing with the Professors competition. (She won doing the swing.) Her charges confirm that they are able to realize their personal potential under her tutelage. Their written commendations marvel at what they’ve accomplished with her (“When are you going to teach us to fly?”).

Congratulations, Judith!