More Research and Interests
Tutors to Panthers
Led by College of Education Emeritius faculty member, Dr. James Kelly, twenty-eight current and former UNI faculty, staff and coaches worked together to write Tutors to Panthers: a brief history of UNI athletics, a new book containing 16 chapters chronicling 120 years of intercollegiate athletics at the University of Northern Iowa. Familar names such as NFL standouts Kurt Warner, Bryce Paup, Brad Meester and James Jones, professional baseball players Eddie Watt and Duane Josephson, basketball coaches Norm Stewart and Eldon Miller and many more student-athletes and coaches are highlighted in this text in addition to interesting anecdotes regarding such athletics facilities as Latham Field and the famed UNI Dome.
I had the pleasure to write Chapter One and the history of baseball at UNI. To read an excerpt click HERE!
I often tell my students that education does not have to be a laborious task. One method to make research an enjoyable task and to stretch oneself is to embrace our personal sense of creativity and write a play or a musical. (That little show known as Hamilton seems to be a pretty good example.)
During my years at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette I had the opportunity to create such a work. The result was FDR Speaks, a two-act docudrama featuring speeches, letters and perhaps a bit of humor of our 32nd President.
Arts, Ethics & the Athlete
At the University of Louisiana-Lafayette I had the pleasue to create a new course, entitled Arts, Ethics and the Athlete. The purpose of the class was to build a bridge between the arts and athletics and to provide student-athletes a safe and creative environment in which to challenge themselves to examine their personal ethical and value systems and ultimately work on communication skills. It was also an opportunity to bring student-athletes from a variety of atheltic disciplines together and to interact with theatre and dance students and ultimately create an understanding and respect of their respective abilities and talents.
To gain additional insight into the class, click HERE!
A Sampling of Songs by Steve Taft
Many years ago my dream was to be a songwriter, a tunesmith if you will. In the early and mid-1980's I worked as a DJ for a country music station in Fayette, Alabama and spent a lot of time in the songwriting meccas of Nashville and Muscle Shoals, plugging my music that was recorded on a 4-track reel-to-reel! Yes, it was a long time ago.
Ideally, my lyrics paint a picture to those that listen as I often I have a video in my head as I write. Although I would never classify myself as a musician, I do write the melodies to my songs and am thankful to those that have aided me in bringing my music to life.
Click HERE and you'll be taken to my SoundCloud page where several songs from the past and a few from the present are featured.
The Music of Austin Taft
Austin Taft is a songwriter and multi-instrumentalist currently residing in Colorado Springs, Colorado. His most recent album is titled, "Skeletons" and is described as "Prog-Metal-That-Sometimes-Isn't" and has been released by the independent label Triple Edge Records. It joins his previous mostly acoustic album, "The Human Condition", the full-length electric release, "War of the Songs of Light Against the Songs of Darkness" and two additional releases to weave a consistent tapestry of eclectic and deeply challenging music.
Click HERE to access my favorite Austin Taft tunes or check out You Tube to listen to many of Austin's songs.
To learn more about Austin, visit his web site HERE!
Cindy Taft, Children's Author
Cindy Taft has been an actress, an educator, a gallery director, and continues to be my wife and best friend and dedicated parent to our four children and a beagle. She received her B.A. in Theatre and Speech from Drury University and an M.A. in Theatre from the University of Central Missouri and has taught at the college and high school level.
As an author she was first inspired to write a children's story in 2007 when President Obama first ran for office. The result was "Hope the Firefly". Since then, she's written several more inspirational stories shared on this site. To read her stories click HERE!