For Students, Faculty, and Staff: MyU One Stop

CEHD and U of M Word Marks


206 Burton Hall
178 Pillsbury Drive SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Fax: 612-624-3377

Undergraduate Studies:

Graduate Studies:


Heather Dorsey

Senior Teaching Specialist

178 Pillsbury Dr SE
249A Burton Hall


Office Hours:
Contact Heather Dorsey at for current office hours.

Download Curriculum Vitae [PDF]

M.A., University of Minnesota, liberal studies
B.S., St. Cloud State University, communications, theatre, and education


Areas of Interest

Communication Studies
Student Engagement and Retention
Embodied Learning through Performance and Arts Education
Multidisciplinary Education
Leadership and Ethics


Heather Dorsey has been a faculty member of the College of Education and Human Development at the University of Minnesota for 17 years. She teaches in the First Year Inquiry program which involves multidisciplinary team teaching and learning communities. Her areas of curriculum are Speech Communication, Theatre Arts, and Performance. She is a free-lance theatre director and performer and co-founder of Big Picture Ventures, a communication and production consulting business. Heather writes and speaks nationally about the importance of active learning and performance methodology in the higher education classroom.

Courses Taught

  • OLPD 5368 Leadership for Special Education and Services

Professional Affiliations

  • Board member of Artistry Performing Arts Theate
  • TAM (Communication and Theater Association of Minnesota)
  • META (Minnesota Educational Theater Association)
  • AATE (American Association of Theater Education)
  • ATHE (Association for Theater in Higher Education)
  • ETAA (Educational Theater Association of America)

Selected Publications

  1. Pedelty, M., Dorsey, H., & Thompson, M. (2009). A bridge to somewhere. In P. Nunnally (Ed.), The city, the river, the bridge. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.

  2. Dorsey, H. (2003). Acting out: A tableau teaching method. The Evergreen State Collection of Academic Articles.

  3. Dorsey, H. (2002). Redirecting classical theatre: An intertextual approach to drama.

Selected Presentations

  1. Dorsey, H. (2014, February). Embodied learning: Moving beyond text and talk. National Convention on the First Year Experience, San Diego, CA.

  2. Dorsey, H. (2013, December). Using narrative to engage first generation students in the first year. The First Year Experience, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN.

  3. Dorsey, H. (2013, January). Using narrative to engage first generation students in the first year. 32nd Annual Conference on the First-Year Experience, Rollins College, Valencia College, University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL.  [handout]

  4. Dorsey, H. (2005, September). Channeling art for a healthy life. Universityof Minnesota Civil Service Retreat, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN.

  5. Dorsey, H. (2005, May). Public speaking for student leaders. The Vietnamese Student Association National Convention, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN.

  6. Dorsey, H. (2005, March). Solo in ensemble: Using performance techniques to teach social justice. The Evergreen State College, Olympia, WA.

  7. Dorsey, H. (2004). All the world’s a stage: Internationalizing performance courses. Internationalizing On Campus Courses, Center for Teaching and Learning, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN.

  8. Dorsey, H. (2002). Acting out: Using performance to aid the high school to college transition. College Reading and Learning Association, Minneapolis, MN.

  9. Dorsey, H. (2002). Integrating drama into church services. Friendship Church, Prior Lake, MN.

  10. Dorsey, H. (2001). Stage movement tells a story. Friendship Church, Prior Lake, MN.

  11. Dorsey, H. (1998). What is Shakespeare really saying? Instructional In-Service for high school students in the Acting Conservatory Stage’s Theatre, Hopkins, MN.

  12. Updated September 8, 2016