DD Kugler (Theatre) is known for being tough. He has little sympathy for students who complain about their workload. He demands a lot from them, but is also prepared to give a lot in return. As the current Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies in the Faculty of Communication, Art, and Technology, he still finds the time to engage with his students, participate in the local theatre scene, and support the work of his current and former students outside of the classroom.
Often in the office by 6:30 am, Kugler makes a point to get to know each student by name and also encourages them to get to know each other by name. This seemingly small task, combined with an energetic and respectful teaching style, is one of the reasons why he elicits such overwhelmingly positive feedback from his students. They note the passion and commitment he brings to his teaching, as well as his nuanced, thoughtful, and vast understanding of his discipline.
Students laud him for opening their minds to new ideas, philosophies, and practices, and many mention that they consider him a mentor, as well as an instructor. One student commented that, “Even though I have finished my studies at SFU, I still consider Professor Kugler an important mentor and cannot think of any instructor I had who is more deserving of recognition.”
Having only begun formal theatre training at the age of 36, Kugler has already had a storied career, including directing a play that won the Governor General’s Award for drama. He has directed several plays at SFU and remains a freelance director/dramaturg.