David Tatu receives KSU Foundation's Distinguished Staff Award


KENNESAW, Ga. (Nov 30, 2018) — Department of Dance production manager David Tatu was named this year’s Distinguished Staff Award winner Thursday at the Kennesaw State University Foundation’s annual Faculty and Staff Award ceremony. Tatu, along with five other staff members and one department, were formally recognized by President Pamela Whitten and acting KSU Foundation Chair Trenton Turk for their commitment to excellence.

The ceremony is held each year to celebrate those who make outstanding contributions to the institution and demonstrate reliability, productivity and strong leadership qualities. This year, more than $23,000 was awarded to staff recipients, with Tatu taking top honors.

“It is with immense pride that I have the opportunity to acknowledge these individuals for their outstanding contributions to Kennesaw State,” Whitten said. “Each of the recipients has demonstrated great dedication to making this institution world class, often doing so behind the scenes and far from the spotlight. Through their efforts, we are able to help our students realize their full potential.”

Tatu, who also serves as the resident lighting designer and part-time instructor in the Department of Dance, joined KSU in August 2012 after a 15-year stint with the Atlanta Ballet. As production manager, he oversaw the renovation of the Dance Theater in the Joe Mack Wilson Student Center, helping it become one of the premier performance venues for professional dance in the region.

An astute mentor, Tatu has been recognized in graduate surveys every year since his arrival as someone who is “making a difference in the life of a graduate,” according to his nominator. He developed a production course that prepares students for the profession and has resulted in numerous internships and professional opportunities for students in a multitude of dance companies. Beyond the Kennesaw State campus, Tatu hosts community workshops on lighting design for dance to high school teachers and dance studio owners.

“I am extremely humbled to receive this honor and to be in such good company,” Tatu said. “I am fortunate to pursue my passion at an institution such as this, and I’m grateful to have the unwavering support of my colleagues. I take great pride in mentoring our many talented students, and this award only pushes me to achieve more.”

Travis Highfield

Photos by David Caselli