Dr. Yuling Huang-Davie is one of our 2021 Outstanding Master’s Mentor Award recipients.
This award is presented by the Graduate School to members of the graduate faculty with an exceptional record of fostering the academic and professional development of graduate students, particularly for graduate students in our master’s degree programs.
Huang-Davie joined UL Lafayette in 1999 as a piano instructor. She also serves as the coordinator of collaborative piano, a musical production coach for the UL Lafayette Opera Theater, and a chamber music coach.
Expanding Graduate Student Opportunities
Huang-Davie meets with piano graduates on a weekly basis to assist and guide them with their collaborative piano development. Sara Birk, associate professor and interim director of the School of Music & Performing Arts, credits her excellence in this area as being key to the creation of the Collaborative Piano concentration in our Music graduate program.
The Collaborative Piano concentration has produced three graduates since its inception two years ago, with three additional master’s degree students on track to complete the concentration by Spring 2022.
“At the School of Music, the piano students in the Collaborative Piano Concentration have done extraordinarily well, winning the university Concerto Competitions and continuing on at nationally recognized DMA programs at universities such as Florida State University, Shenandoah Conservatory, and Louisiana State University,” notes Dr. Andrea Loewy, Heymann II Endowed Professor in Music.
Huang-Davie has also garnered a reputation for developing strong rapport with her students.
“When she works with a student, that student also has her total dedication and priority at all times. This dedication extends to other issues the student may have in the MM degree program or in their role as Graduate Assistant or in their status as an international student," Lowey says.
"The graduate students understand that Dr. Huang-Davie is their true supporter and will help them in any way possible.”
A Caring Presence
Master of music student Liang-Yi Peng says that Professor Huang-Davie goes the extra mile to get to know her students and support their professional and personal challenges.
“She is interested in every student’s background, their goals and struggles. She also cares for international students who are struggling with culture shock and communication, she will check on their learning progress constantly and validate their frustration when they have no one else to talk to. She makes our Piano Studio the safest and the most pleasant place to go to.”
Alum Sihui Liu similarly credits her support of his career development as key to his success.
“When I was studying in ULL, she found many performing opportunities for me, which includes performing for University of Louisiana at Lafayette Board of Trustee, performing with Acadiana Symphony Orchestra and performing with ULL faculties and students, also with Lafayette High School students. These valuable playing experiences make me more competitive among other pianists who lack stage time.”
Huang-Davie is also attentive to helping students with the process of applying to doctoral programs, Liu notes. “As a foreign student, this assistance is appreciated a lot since we always have more things to prepare.”
For Huang-Davie, creating a connection with her students is key to her role.
“It is my goal to build relationships with each one of my undergraduate and graduate students, which has been especially rewarding since becoming the coordinator of the collaborative piano program,” she says.
“To me an ideal mentor is someone who understands how to facilitate student growth by providing the help needed even when summoned beyond the classroom.”