Outstanding Educator of the Year Awarded to Diane Belfiglio Weeks After She Passed Away

The late Assistant Professor of Art & Studio Coordinator Diane Belfiglio has been named Outstanding Educator of the Year, an honor bestowed upon her posthumously by students in Walsh University’s 2023 graduating class.  She was an award-winning and celebrated artist whose works were featured at numerous galleries and museums around the world.  Her passion for Walsh was evident and the joy she brought to her craft inspired many students to fall in love with art. 

Her nominator wrote, “Professor Belfiglio had an enormous impact on me in the classroom and outside the classroom as a mentor. It was always her goal to help students become the best artist they could.  To this day, I can hear her advice over and over in my head.  She was creative and influential in sparking a passion for the arts in others.  Her love of art has, through her, become ours.”

As advisor for the Walsh University art club, Belfiglio designed and directed 15 community art installments on Walsh’s campus and throughout the Canton community including a recent collaboration with the Black Student Union during Black History Month in February. She was also the recipient of two Outstanding Faculty Awards: in 2018 for scholarship, and in 2021 for teaching. Also, in 2021, Belfiglio was awarded Advisor of the year for her service to Art Club.

Belfiglio received numerous professional accolades and awards, including multiple Arts in Stark grants. She most recently was the only Stark County artist to receive the 2023 Award of Excellence from the Ohio Arts Council last month. Belfiglio has exhibited in over 225 group and solo shows regionally, nationally, and internationally. Her works are in the permanent collections of six museums, including the Butler Institute of Art in Youngstown, the Itchiku Kubota Art Museum in Tokyo, and the Canton Museum of Art. In addition, her works are in 18 corporate, hospital, library and university art collections and numerous private collections — including singer Patti LaBelle’s.

Belfiglio earned a bachelor’s degree in drawing, painting, and graphics from The Ohio State University in 1978, and a master's degree in painting from Syracuse University in 1980. She joined Walsh University in 2000 after having taught at Syracuse University, Kent State University, and The University of Akron.