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Murphy Honored for Interdepartmental Collaborative Scholarship and Research

Murphy Honored for Interdepartmental Collaborative Scholarship and Research

Each year, Dean Theresa Lee and members of her cabinet, with help from department heads, recognize faculty in the College of Arts and Sciences for their excellence in teaching, research and creative activity, and lifetime achievements. 


Due to the ongoing pandemic, however, we were unable to host the annual awards banquet in-person. Each faculty member received a plaque and congratulations from the dean. We posted a video to the college YouTube channel here, which features each faculty award winner. 


Some of the most exciting and creative scholarly work takes place at the interface between disciplines, which is why the college recognizes the efforts of those who reach out beyond their departmental and disciplinary borders to explore new areas. This year, the college honors Jacob Levy and Barbara Murphy with the Interdepartmental Collaborative Scholarship and Research Award. 


Murphy, an associate professor of music theory, focuses her research theory pedagogy and technology in music theory. Recent research projects include the incorporation of theatrical improvisation in pedagogy classes, chunking in music dictation, and the development and use of online educational resources in music. Levy is an associate professor of psychology and applied personality researcher who studies psychological factors that influence academic and occupational satisfaction and performance. He is particularly interested in examining person-environment fit factors, and performance success in the context of the performing arts. 


Professors Levy and Murphy first met in fall 2008 when Murphy asked Levy to give a talk on music performance anxiety for students living in the Crescendo LLC. Their meeting led to several collaborations examining the intersection psychology and music pedagogy. Their collaboration is particularly impressive because their interdisciplinary work has been recognized by both of their respective disciplines. To date, their collaboration has led to one published paper, two paper presentations at national conventions in music, and two poster sessions at national conventions in psychology. They have also served together on five dissertation committees in psychology. 


“I have loved working with Jake Levy on a range of topics from the musicians’ learning styles to the mental and physical health of music majors,” Murphy said. “For me, this award shows that this kind of interdepartmental collaboration is valued by the college.”


Their collaborative work demonstrates a clear passion for examining and addressing the health, wellness, and educational needs of music students. It is evident by the progress of their work that their studies are developing into a clear, continuing interdisciplinary program of research relevant to both the psychological and music communities.



Contact: Jeff Roberts (865-974-8935,

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