Catharine “Cat” Balco of Hamden, an assistant professor of painting in the Hartford Art School at the University of Hartford, was honored with an Innovation in Teaching and Learning Award at the University’s annual Faculty/Staff Kickoff on Wednesday Aug 29. The award honors faculty members who have shown exceptional dedication, innovation, and effectiveness in their teaching, as well as extensive interaction with students.
Balco has advanced the University’s art program greatly with her Arts in Healthcare course, offering students exposure to the arts in the healthcare field while giving them the opportunity to make a difference in the larger community. Students in her class strive to enhance the lives of patients who are recovering from an illness, struggling with disabilities, or learning to accept drastic medical related changes in their lives. Becoming “artist-collaborators,” students work one-on-one with patients, exposing them to art while developing relationships.
Balco came to the Hartford Art School with a Master of Fine Arts in painting from Yale University and experience working with patients in New York City hospitals. She also has been involved in a range of arts and healthcare workshops and initiatives.
Chartered in 1957 with the mission to be a “private university with a public purpose,” the University of Hartford offers undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs in the arts, humanities, business, engineering and technology, education, and the health professions. The University’s student body of nearly 7,200 represents 48 states and more than 60 countries. For more information, visit www.hartford.edu.