Faculty Focus: Stefan Sittig

Stefan Sittig Brings Boundless Energy and Enthusiasm to the Classroom

By Cheryl Ballasone |   October 2010

Stefan Sittig , Faculty

Humanities and Theater
School of Undergraduate Studies

As a  professor of humanities and theatre for UMUC, it’s no surprise to find that Stefan  Sittig is creative and outgoing. What’s striking is Stefan’s unbridled passion  about the subjects he teaches and the students he instructs. This is how he  transforms his classroom from an ordinary learning environment to an  extraordinary place where curiosity and excitement reign.

Stefan’s love of acting began when  he was just a small child attending the American  School in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.  At the age of six, he was cast in a high school production of L’il Abner. “From the moment I set foot  on that stage and felt the energy from the audience, I was hooked!” says Sittig.

  At age 18, Stefan returned to the U.S. to attend college at the University of Virginia.  He always identified with his teachers and considered many of them iconic. “When  I teach, I bring a little bit from each of my favorite teachers to the  classroom. It’s my way of paying respect to all the work they went through  in shaping who I am.”

In his first semester of graduate  school at Virginia  Commonwealth University,  Stefan taught theatre. “It was a tremendous opportunity and it allowed me to  hone my skills as a teacher in a real college environment. It was fundamental  in helping me become the teacher I am today,” he says. 

Stefan is keenly aware of the impact  he has upon his UMUC students. “I try to instill this energy in my students and  get them excited about what I am excited about,” he says. “Most of the time,  once they see my excitement, they get interested themselves and want to find  out more—and that curiosity is the cornerstone of what makes a good student.” 

Combining his two greatest passions,  Stefan is enjoying his career at UMUC. “I love everything about teaching…and  teaching theatre is just, well, the icing on the cake!” he exclaims. “There are  times when I am completely surprised and find hidden abilities that were not  readily apparent in some students, and it’s a wonderful discovery. As a teacher, that is our gift—that moment we see the student understands something  and begins to master it. It’s brilliant! That's why I teach.”

Learn more about Stefan on his Web site