Miami Dade College Names Dr. Susan Epstein, NWSA Music Professor, 2023 Endowed Teaching Chair

Dr. Malou Harrison, Madeline Pumariega, Dr. Susan Epstein, Boris Espinoza, Dr. Jeffrey Hodgson
Dr. Malou Harrison, Madeline Pumariega, Dr. Susan Epstein, Boris Espinoza, Dr. Jeffrey Hodgson

New World School of the Arts music faculty member, Dr. Susan Epstein, has been awarded 2023 Endowed Teaching Chair by Miami Dade College. Also recognized was NWSA theater alumna (high school 1995), Taurie Gittings-Wheeler, Associate Professor of Humanities at the West Campus of Miami Dade College.
Among the eight faculty members to receive the College’s highest honor this year, Dr. Epstein, along with her honored peers, was recognized during an awards ceremony last evening held at Miami Dade College Wolfson Campus. Dr. Epstein received her award medal on stage from the hand of New World School of the Arts Provost, Dr. Jeffrey Hodgson.

“Dr. Epstein and I joined the college on the very same day back in 1999 so I have had a front row seat to watch her growth and development as a professor and colleague. The impact she has had on her students is a testimony to her dedication as a musician and educator, and a lasting legacy for our school.”

Dr. Jeffrey Hodgson

A composer, educator and author, Dr. Epstein Garcia holds an DMA in Composition from Boston University 1999 and a BM in Film Scoring from Berklee College of Music 1992. Her works have been performed by the Colorado Symphony Orchestra and at Clark, Brandeis, Boston and Florida International Universities as well as internationally at University of Trinidad and Tobago, UniRio in Rio de Janeiro, and in Rome and Spain. She is a contributing author to Women and Music Since 1900: An Encyclopedia and is actively involved in IAWM (the International Alliance for Women in Music). Dr. Epstein Garcia holds the rank of Professor and joined the faculty of New World School of the Arts in 1999. She was awarded the Mary Pond Family and Friends Endowed Teaching Chair in Memory of Karl S.E. Pond.

With over 20 years of experience, Taurie Gittings-Wheeler graduated from the New World School of the Arts in 1995 where she studied theatre. Gittings-Wheeler continued her theatre studies at Florida A & M University and earned a Master of Science degree from Nova Southeastern University, with a focus on Interdisciplinary Arts, and a Master of Humanities degree in Art & Visual Media from Tiffin University. Gittings-Wheeler teaches Humanities, Cinema, Art, and Theatre Appreciation at MDC West Campus.

Miami Dade College faculty have been named 2023 Endowed Teaching Chairs
Miami Dade College 2023 Endowed Teaching Teaching Chairs

The Endowed Teaching Chair Program at Miami Dade College is a faculty honor and one of MDC’s most prestigious and valued traditions. Each year, top faculty are selected by their peers for this special award, demonstrating excellence in teaching and commitment to MDC’s mission.

More than 300 MDC faculty members have been recognized since the Endowed Teaching Chair Program began in 1992. Endowed Teaching Chairs receive a stipend of $7,500 per year for three years to explore new teaching methods, develop projects and enhance their technological expertise. The program is generously funded by individuals, corporations, and organizations through the ongoing work of the MDC Foundation.

New World School of the Arts extends its deepest gratitude to the donors who funded these 2023 awards: Citibank of Florida Endowed Teaching Chair in the Arts and AT&T II Endowed Teaching Chair.

A Florida center of excellence in the visual and performing arts, New World School of the Arts is an educational partnership of Miami-Dade County Public Schools, Miami Dade College, and University of Florida. NWSA provides a comprehensive program of artistic, creative, and academic development through a curriculum that reflects our community and the rich multicultural state of Florida. Through our partners NWSA confers the high school diploma, Associate of Arts degree, and Bachelor of Fine Arts and Bachelor of Music degrees in programs accredited by the National Association of Schools of Dance, Music, Theater and Art & Design. NWSA’s rigorous eight-year curriculum and conservatory-style teaching has empowered students in our community and our nation to become leaders in the arts for more than three decades.

Information about New World School of the Arts at 305-237-3135 or