Theatre Senior Receives Award for Undergraduate Excellence

guy in black shirt against white background

In addition to winning the 2018 College of Arts & Letters Community Partner Award, graduating senior Ryan Duda is the recipient of another top award from the College.

Duda, who is graduating with a BFA in Theatre, a minor in Arts & Cultural Management, and a member of the Honors College, will be presented with a plaque for the Alumni Award for Undergraduate Excellence at the College’s commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 5, at 9:30 a.m. at the Breslin Student Events Center.

“I truly am honored and humbled to have been selected for this award,” Duda said. “In accepting, I cannot ignore the MSU Theatre faculty, my closest friends, and family who constantly encouraged me to turn my dreams into a reality. I am nothing without them. Follow your dreams!”

The Alumni Award for Undergraduate Excellence is given annually to a graduating senior from the College of Arts & Letters who has demonstrated outstanding academic success and community involvement during his or her career at Michigan State University. Candidates are nominated by faculty in the College and selected by members of the College of Arts & Letters Alumni Board.

The award recognizes four hallmark characteristics of outstanding graduates: service and leadership, commitment to personal and professional development, application of interdisciplinary learning, and commitment to cross-cultural diversity.

a group of students dressed like farm animals standing in front of a barn
Ryan Duda  (bottom row, middle) on the set of “Farm! A Musical Experience.”

Duda is a research assistant and works with the Fourth Wall, a company that provides theatre workshops for students with autism. He recently wrote a musical, titled Farm! A Musical Experience, and a workshop version of this production was performed with students with ASD. He accompanied the Department of Theatre to New York City to visit theatre companies to learn more about the productions they produce for students on the autism spectrum.

After graduation, Duda plans to move to Memphis, Tennessee, to join Playhouse on the Square’s Associate Acting Company for its 2018-2019 season. He will be acting in six shows including A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and MurderThe Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, and Tuck Everlasting.