Patti Cudd

Patti Cudd holds a Doctor of Musical Arts Degree specializing in contemporary musical studies from the University of California, San Diego; Master of Music Degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo; undergraduate studies at UW-River Falls; and, studied in the soloist class with a Fulbright Scholarship at the Royal Danish Conservatory of Music in Copenhagen, Denmark. Submitted photo.

Distinguished music lecturer Patti Cudd has been named the Distinguished Teacher of the Year at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls.

The award was established more than 50 years ago and is the highest honor a faculty member can receive on campus. Each year nominations are sought from current seniors and recent graduates.

“Patti Cudd is my applied percussion teacher, mentor and friend,” one nominator wrote. “I have learned so much about what it means to be a female percussionist and how to be confident in doing so.”

Cudd is active as a percussion soloist, chamber musician and educator. She teaches percussion and new music studies at UW-River Falls and at the College of St. Benedict/St. John’s University.

The Distinguished Teacher Award recognizes excellence in both mentoring as well as teaching, something former students spoke to in letters of nomination.

“Her relationships with her students are phenomenal and I hope to reflect her compassion in my future career,” a student wrote. “My life will forever be changed by Patti because I can honestly say that I have never had someone believe in me the way that she does.”

Yet another student wrote “With fierce determination Dr. Cudd cares about her craft and the students she diligently passes it along to. She is a master at evoking a sense of purpose as well as an everlasting curiosity in every class she teaches.”

Cudd, a Hudson native who lives in Woodbury, Minn., has been teaching at UW-River Falls since 1998. As an alum, receiving the university’s Distinguished Teacher award was particularly impactful.

“As an educator, I hold this award to be one of the greatest honors,” said Cudd. “It is especially meaningful knowing this award comes from the students. I am truly humbled by this recognition!”

Cudd will be honored Sept. 21 during a reception on campus. A plaque of her likeness will be added to the wall of Distinguished Teachers in the Wyman Education Building. As the recipient of the Distinguished Teacher Award, she will deliver an address at fall commencement in December.

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