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Professor Novotney has mentored Humboldt State students for nearly three decades. His teaching incorporates his travels to India, China, Indonesia, Brazil and Ghana to study ethnomusicology. In 2013, Novotney advanced to the quarterfinals of the GRAMMY Foundation’s National Music Educator Award. In 2006 he received the Wang Family Excellence Award from the CSU Trustees for his "exemplary contributions and achievements in his academic discipline." He has also composed 18 published original works.