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Crystal Michelle Perkins

Susan M. Hartmann Mentoring and Leadership Award, 2021

The Susan M. Hartmann Mentoring and Leadership Award is given annually to a faculty member, staff member or student who has demonstrated outstanding mentoring to and/or leadership on behalf of women or other historically underrepresented groups at the university.

Assistant Professor of Dance Crystal Michelle Perkins received the 2021 Susan M. Hartmann Mentoring and Leadership Award for her outstanding mentoring and leadership on behalf of women in historically underrepresented groups at Ohio State.

“Her stellar expertise and attentive care in the areas of mentoring and leadership deeply advance the Department of Dance and the university,” wrote her nominees. “Professor Perkins humbly says she just makes space for students who need it. This act of radical care has made a safe space for scores of our department’s students of color, who have benefitted from Professor Perkins’ mentorship academically and personally over the past five years.”

Perkins is a choreographer, teacher and performer who served as the associate artistic director of the internationally renowned Dayton Contemporary Dance Company (DCDC). Prior to her appointment, she was a dancer with DCDC’s professional touring company for nine seasons. She served as resident choreographer and was charged with maintaining an extensive repertory of masterworks by beloved African American choreographers, including works by Donald Byrd, Donald McKayle and Dianne McIntyre.

“Professor Perkins has consistently encouraged my artistic explorations while also supporting my endeavors outside of the Ohio State Department of Dance,” one of her undergraduate students wrote. “In my three years at Ohio State, she has continuously sought opportunities for my colleagues and me within dance education, performance and future careers … (and she) has continued to encourage my biggest dreams and aspirations as a student. Her mentorship has truly been essential to my time at Ohio State.”