This archived article was written by: Kelli Burke-Gabossi
At the end of the spring 2010 semester, Corey Ewan, Ph.D., was voted the most outstanding faculty member of the year by students at USU-CEU.
“I was very proud to get this award. It makes me feel good and like I’ve done something worthwhile. It’s recognition and you sometimes can never get enough of that,” he stated.
Ewan was born and raised in Glendora, Calif., 13 years. His dad retired with a disability from the fire department and his family moved to East Carbon, Utah, in 1973. For Ewan, the move was a drastic change because he was used to a city populated with 36,000 people. Once he adapted to the small community in Utah though, he came to like East Carbon.
In 1985 Ewan graduated from the College of Eastern Utah with his associate of science degree. He received his bachelor’s degree in 1990 from Utah State University. From there, he attended Brigham Young University and earned his doctorate by 1999. He then returned to Carbon County to instruct theatre classes at CEU. He teaches survey of theatre, introduction to film, acting 1 and 2, play-script analysis, voice for theatre and sophomore theatre auditions. This is Ewan’s 11th year at CEU.
Ewan likes that he is able to work with students and that they can have close relationships with their instructors at CEU. “What I love about CEU is the fact that the faculty is so approachable. It’s small. It’s safe. Everything is in walking distance.”
Teaching is rewarding for Ewan. “There’s that moment when I can see the student getting it. And they make the discovery. And then I can say ‘that’s why I went into teaching.’ I enjoy it.” For Ewan, teaching theatre is far from work. “I like the expressiveness we can have. It’s great to do it by taking on another role. I never consider it work. For me, it’s always play.”
In his free time, he spends time with his family. “I tend to stay very close to home.” He likes to watch movies, clean house and travel to Salt Lake or Grand Junction.
In the summer of 2011, Ewan plans to direct the Old Lyric Repertory Company’s “Little Shop of Horrors” in Logan. “It’s like Sweeney Todd without the chair and straight razor.” Other productions he has been invited to participate will be “Amadeus,” “39 Steps” and “See How They Run.” He says he is the only USU theatre instructor who will be directing for the OLRC this year.
Ewan feels that his greatest accomplishment is his family. “They’re what make me. They make me want to do good work.” In fact, his children persuaded him to direct for the OLRC.
If he were asked for advice by students, he would tell them, “Get to class and take responsibility for your grade. Maintain a high GPA. Do your assignments. And learn about everything. Don’t settle in one area. You never know when that knowledge will come in handy.” The best advice Ewan has given himself is, “Keep your mouth shut until you know all the facts.”
One of Ewan’s favorite quotes was said by H. L. Mencken. “Comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.” He wants his audiences to be “mad enough to think.” And from the play ”Inherit the Wind,” a character said, “Fanaticism and ignorance is forever busy and needs feeding.” Ewan likes this quote because he feels that he sees that so often. It’s important to get the facts first and then make an intelligent, rational statement.
He expects every student to do their best. “If they’re not putting 100 percent into everything they’re doing, they’re throwing money away. It’s not going to be as accessible in the future. They need to take advantage of education.” He wants his younger students to be more active in class. “Non-traditional students ask the best questions. They understand the importance of an education. They have the drive. I’ve never given lower than a B to a non-traditional student.”
Ewan aims for his students’ acceptance. “If I can find some way to find a topic less boring, then I find a way to do it. If a student has a legitimate problem, and they can’t get to class or haven’t been able to do something, I’ll work with them. I’m their servant. I like to think I’m somewhat flexible.”
The last time his French class was offered, four students registered. If enough students (12 plus) show interest in the language, it may be offered again in the spring 2011 semester and will be instructed by Ewan.