Massie is L&C’s 2021 Emerson Award Nominee

Article by: Laura Inlow, L&C Marketing and PR,

GODFREY – DeAnna Massie is Lewis and Clark Community College’s 2021 Emerson Electric Excellence in Teaching Award nominee.

Massie, 39, of Maryville, is an Associate Professor of Reading and English at Lewis and Clark.

She is a teaching artist, consultant and researcher specializing in applied improvisation and communication. Trained at Second City and PaperSlip Theater, Massie is a 20-year veteran of improv, who has toured the United States as a performer and been featured at international conferences as a presenter and researcher focusing on improvisation as a tool for professionals.

Massie started at L&C as an adjunct instructor in 2009, but has been teaching full time since 2011. She teaches courses in developmental reading and English classes.

“My flexibility is my greatest strength,” she said. “My classes are usually a mix of students with varying levels of preparedness and experience. Diversifying my instruction to reach every student takes a great deal of planning and energy. My method is student-centered, with an emphasis on constructing knowledge through doing.”

Massie also applies that method to her professional development work as chair of the college’s Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) committee, which promotes and provides professional development opportunities to faculty.

Her experience in professional development training is extensive. Massie is a Lincoln Center and Wolf Trap trained teaching artist and a lead teacher with the St. Louis Regional Arts Commission Canvass Project and the Springboard to Learning Teaching Artist Institute. A published AI researcher, she has been featured at international conferences as a keynote speaker and workshop facilitator. She is the founder of Yes, And…Education and is currently working on a book about using improv as an innovative approach to training professionals in navigating difficult conversations.

She has trained groups at Bayer/Monsanto, Centene, LaunchCode, Nestle Purina, YouthBuild USA, Washington University, and the University of Iowa, among others. Her formal arts education and study of theater as an agent of change, along with her specialized training in leadership and communication contribute to her innovative approach to professional development. 

In addition to teaching at L&C, she is also an adjunct for the Missouri Baptist University Ed.D. in Higher Education doctoral program, of which she is also an alumna, and serves as a consultant for colleges and school districts as curriculum designer and trainer.

Massie graduated from Lindenwood University in 2000 with a Bachelor of Arts in Theater and a Bachelor of Arts in Electronic Journalism. She also has a Master of Fine Arts in Dramatic Writing from Lindenwood and a Doctorate in Higher Education Leadership from Missouri Baptist University.

Massie is doing more research these days and has aspirations to publish her work more often, though she says students are one of the best parts of her job.

“We teach life skills beyond the classroom,” Massie said. “My class will prepare you to be successful in college, and beyond, not just to pass the course. My students are the best part of my job. They make me laugh and bring a little joy to every class.”

Massie also speaks highly of her fellow instructors at L&C. 

“The faculty in my program are deeply concerned about our students as people,” she said. “We are a compassionate and caring program.”