Heather Castillo and MiRi Park

California State University Channel Islands

Heather Castillo and MiRi Park

Heather Castillo, assistant professor of performing arts/dance, and MiRi Park, lecturer in dance at CSU Channel Islands, are recognized for their creative solutions in transitioning dance classes to online instruction. Their dedication to delivering a humanized online learning experience has influenced the way in which the field of dance is taught virtually.

As a prompt response to campus closure due to the pandemic, Castillo and Park developed and circulated a guide, Considerations for Moving University Dance Classes Online, to their campus colleagues. The document was picked up and republished by the world-renowned Dance Studies Organization and became a resource for universities throughout the U.S., including Emory, University of Washington and Barnard College. The pair also hosted webinars to help guide universities across the globe to transition dance courses online.

Castillo and Park's commitment to providing students with a robust online learning experience led to the development of the CORontine Corps project, a global web archive of student dance performances. As dance recitals and other live performances are currently shutdown, the website creates an uplifting network for dance students around the world and allows them to share and archive dance videos.

“Heather and MiRi's impact at the onset of our current circumstances will reverberate and continue to help dance educators beyond the pandemic," says CSU Channel Islands President Erica Beck.