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Maureen Anne Porter is a professional actor, member of Actors Equity Association, and founder of The Second Act, an organization that uses theater to shift perspective in the workplace.
Porter has been acting professionally for over 30 years and is a graduate of Niagara University, where she studied in a conservatory setting that focused on dance, acting, mime, speech, voice, and theater history. Porter has worked at length with nationally recognized director and poet, Brother Augustine Towey, C.M.; Maurice Daniels of The Royal Shakespeare Company; Charles Strouse; and the original “Wiz,” Andre DeShields. Porter received a best-supporting-actress award for her work in Edward Albee’s A Delicate Balance.
Porter teaches Acting, Scene Study, Script Analysis, and Introduction to Theatre at Buffalo State where she graduated with a master’s degree in literature in spring 2016. Porter is currently on a collection of poetry and a short play that deals with the evolution of women’s voices.
Maureen Porter, lecturer of theater, has proved herself to be a leader, mentor, and collaborator on campus, involved in many campus initiatives in support of the college’s Strategic Plan. She exhibits dedication to student learning and welfare, expertise in her discipline and craft, and commitment to personal and professional growth. As an educator, her dedication to exploration, bravery, generosity, and rigor permeates her approach to so many aspects of her life.
Porter works collaboratively on projects. For example, in spring 2016, she joined an interdisciplinary group on a Scholarship of Teaching and Learning study looking at how role-play could be used as an effective tool in teaching Education Psychology. In a related subsequent study, Porter worked as lead investigator and engaged another adjunct lecturer in the process.
In the Theater Department, her colleagues are impressed by her willingness to broaden her pedagogical reach. Over the past few years, she has been involved in Learning Communities, the Honors Program, the College-Based Transition Program, and Approved Applied Learning. In each program, Porter seeks to engage students at the highest levels, to encourage them to invest in themselves, and to support her partners in their own journeys. Almost every semester, the department chair receives requests for Porter to teach in one or more of these programs.
As a valued member of the faculty who is also working toward her second master’s degree, Porter is a mentor and role model for her students and colleagues. She has stepped up to support the department as a director for a theater production and as a mentor for a student director. She has walked students from class to the chair’s office for support and to various other services on campus, always making the well-being of others a priority. Porter regularly checks in on her students and supports them in their path to graduation. Her teaching is woven with innovation, her collaborations with mutual respect, and her artistry with bravery and thoughtfulness.
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