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"It is easy to sing the praises of Will Cheng – though it might be hard to figure out what song to sing. Rap? An aria? An excerpt from Britney Spears? Will has written about all of these topics, and whatever I could say will pale in comparison to his own words. For Professor Cheng thinks about, talks about, writes about, and above all loves music in all its forms, from classical music to pop, with everything in between. Author of six books--six--as well as a dozen articles, Professor Cheng is a major figure in his field, a highly respected scholar and a much-sought-after lecturer and colleague. But he is also, as you know, a master teacher and educator, someone who deeply cares about you, his students, and about your inner, spiritual lives, your connection to ideas and to music, your passions, the things that keep you up at night. For example, video games. Professor Cheng not only loves video games, he thinks about them, he writes about them, and he continually asks why they appeal to us so much. A large part of that appeal is the way these games use music as accompaniment, and theme, and message, and meaning. In Professor Cheng's hands, the games we play lend essential meaning to our lives. In fact, they may be the meaning of our lives. Sitting in Professor Cheng's class, you learn to appreciate the beauty of what you already do, of the things that bring you joy. His incredible generosity and openness, his quiet empathy, his lowkey brilliance, all are gifts that he gives to you--his beloved students--to allow you to appreciate and openly love what you love. To embrace your passions, whatever they may be. His gift as a teacher is allowing you to be exactly as you are, in all your glory. I can imagine no better recipient of the Goldstein Award than Professor Will Cheng."
-Barbara Will, Associate Dean for Arts and Humanities and A. and R. Newbury Professor of English