Centre professor receives top honor

September 23, 2004

Stephen Rolfe Powell, Stodghill Professor of Art at Centre College, has been honored with the 2004 Acorn Award.

The distinction is presented to an outstanding professor at a Kentucky college or university by the Kentucky Advocates for Higher Education. It includes a $5,000 honorarium.

Powell accepted the award at a dinner this week in Bowling Green. Centre president John Roush also was on hand at the program, which featured guest speaker Gov. Ernie Fletcher.

Powell has taught at Centre since 1983. His classes are lecture/discussion sessions that focus on art history and appreciation and also feature rigorous studio sessions in which students face the fascinating challenge of producing glass art.


Powell's classes are open to art majors and non-art majors. Powell, along with students and Centre graduates, has demonstrated glassblowing techniques at wide-ranging events and locations such as the 2002 Winter Olympics, New York City and New Orleans.

He also brings distinguished artists to the students and community. In May, world-renowned glass artist Lino Tagliapietra held demonstrations on campus.

Beyond campus, Powell is an internationally known artist whose elaborately colored glass vessels are held in permanent collections throughout the world.

He has been featured on CBS-TV's Sunday Morning and Kentucky Educational Television and in print media, including American Style, Glass, Ceramics Monthly and Kentucky Monthly, which named him one of Kentucky's top 20 artists of the 20th century.

But no matter where his artwork takes him, there is one thing for Powell that stands out among all others: "Watching students succeed gives me more pleasure than anything I can describe," he says. "It's special for me."

"Professor Powell is very deserving of this honor," Roush says.

"He has a master's knowledge of his field and enables his students to tap into that knowledge. He teaches - and epitomizes - the value of having a strong work ethic and teamwork."

A 1974 Centre graduate, Powell was named the 1999 and 2000 Kentucky Professor of the Year by the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. He holds a H.W. Stodghill Jr. and Adele H. Stodghill Professorship.

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