Points of Pride - January, 2012

Points of Pride - January, 2012

Points of Pride lists faculty, student and alumni achievements. It is accumulated and produced three times a year, generally in January, March, and October.

Grants and Awards

Photo of Brad Buffum
Brad Buffum

Brad Buffum, Production Manager for the Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film, was recently selected to receive the highest honor that the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival can give: the Kennedy Center Gold Medallion. This award recognizes contributions and fosters excellence in college theatre throughout the country. This award is given for a significant body of work related to KCACTF and student creative activities. Buffum has served as the National Stage Management Respondent for the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival in Washington D.C., and in numerous regions throughout the United States. He facilitates the Nebraska Repertory Theatre's Stage Management Internship, allowing the best and brightest Stage Managers from across the country to participate in the summer productions for the Rep. Buffum also teaches the extremely popular Introduction to Theatre course to more than 500 students annually in addition to teaching Stage Management courses in the Johnny Carson School.

Photo of Luke Tidball
Luke Tidball

Luke Tidball, (B.F.A. Film and New Media) was named to the Honor Roll as part of the American Advertising Federation's 2012 class of Promising Minority Students. Tidball held a summer internship at Ruby Studio, an advertising agency in Sri Lanka, in 2009, 2010 and 2011. He has directed, cast, produced and edited video for international accounts. Tidball did graphic and Web design and was a part-time volunteer for Save Lanka Kids, a non-profit, charitable, non-governmental Christian organization in 2008.

The Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film did very well at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival Region V in January. Forty students from the Johnny Carson School attended the festival at Iowa State University Jan. 16-21. Students participated in a number of activities, including acting competitions and workshops, design and technology portfolio reviews and workshops. The following students received recognition for their work:

  • Nicole Kelly (B.A. Senior) was the Region V Winner of the National Stage Management Fellowship and will compete at the national festival in April.
  • Madison Smith (B.A. Senior) won "Most Improved Scene" from the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers Scholarship Program Region V Winner.
  • Mallory Prucha (M.F.A.) won 2nd place in Costume Design from the National Design Technology and Management Awards.

In addition, a number of Regional Commendations were presented at the Festival:

  • Mallory Prucha for achievement in costume design for "Lady Windermere's Fan."
  • Shannon Cameron, Khalisha Casey, Jordan Deffenbaugh and Sydney Readman for achievement in choreography for "Iphegenia 2.0."
  • Mike Lee for achievement in musical composition/musical performance in "Twelfth Night."
  • Shannon Cameron for achievement in direction for "Iphegenia 2.0."
  • Julie Hagemeier for achievement in program design for "Twelfth Night."


Photo of John Bailey
John Bailey

John Bailey, Larson Professor of Flute, gave recitals and masterclasses as a guest artist at three universities in Tennessee in October: Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, and Lee University in Cleveland, Tenn. Bailey also lectured, conducted a community flute choir and gave private lessons.

Carolyn Barber, Associate Professor of Conducting, served as guest conductor for Florida State University's Tri-State Band Festival in December. In addition to rehearsing and performing, she presented a highly acclaimed clinic on "Ensembleship" to university, high school and middle school band directors. Later in the month, Barber presented a clinic on "Artistry" at the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago. In attendance were an estimated 250 band and orchestra conductors, students, and administrators representing the complete spectrum of activity in the field: K-12, college/university, and military/professional.

Diane Barger, Hixson-Lied Professor of Clarinet, is in the final stages of planning the 2012 International Clarinet Association's ClarinetFest®. Serving as Artistic Director of the conference, Barger will welcome more than 1,000 clarinetists from around the world to the campus of UNL Aug. 1-5, 2012. Her other activities include the final stages of her CD project "Bling Bling" and her 13 editions of Bellini operatic fantasies, all published by Potenza Music.

Dale Bazan, Assistant Professor of Practice in Music Education, had a research study on middle school band director instructional strategies published in the most recent edition of Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education and presented a research study on undergraduate students' preferences for responding to required textbook readings at the Society for Music Teacher Education Symposium in Greensboro, N.C., in September.

Photo by Dana Fritz titled Biosphere 2
Dana Fritz, "Ocean Cliffs, Biosphere 2," 16 x 24" archival pigment print, 2011.

Dana Fritz, Associate Professor of Art, had her exhibition, "Terraria Gigantica: The World Under Glass," on display at the Joseph Gross Gallery at the University of Arizona in Tucson Nov. 16, 2011, through Jan. 19, 2012. This exhibition of 25 prints is her largest so far and includes her work over the past five years at the Omaha Henry Doorly Zoo, Biosphere 2 and the Eden Project. Fritz also participated in a panel discussion titled "Glasshouse as Lens: Artists and Writers at Biosphere 2" in conjunction with the exhibition in November in the Center for Creative Photography's lecture hall, also at the University of Arizona. The exhibition and panel discussion were supported by the Rica and Harvey Spivack College of Fine Arts Fund, Biosphere 2 Institute, the National Endowment for the Arts, Lionel Rombach Endowment and the University of Arizona School of Art. In January, "Terraria Gigantica: The World Under Glass" was nominated for the Prix Pictet, the world's leading prize for photography and sustainability. Its unique mandate is to use the power of photography to communicate vital messages to a global audience.

Kevin Hanrahan, Associate Professor of Voice, recently presented two recitals in Australia, one at the University of Western Sydney, and one at the Wollongong Conservatory. He also presented a paper on the Use of the Voice Range Profile in Assigning Repertoire at the Australian Society for Performing Arts Health and Australian Voice Association joint conference in Sydney, Australia.

Photo of Aaron Holz
Aaron Holz

Donna Harler-Smith, Professor of Voice, sang the role of Miss Watson in TADA's production of "Big River" Sept. 30-Oct. 2. Her student, Ben Reimer (B.M.E.) played the leading role of Tom Sawyer in the same production. Harler-Smith was also a soloist in TADA's "Art Isn't Easy" cabaret of the songs of Stephen Sondheim on Jan. 13-14.

Michael Hoff, Professor of Art History, was voted to serve on the Board of Trustees for the Archaeological Institute of America (AIA). AIA is North America's oldest and largest organization devoted to the world of archaeology.

Aaron Holz, Associate Professor of Art, will be part of a group exhibition, "When We Dead Awaken" Feb. 1-26 at Beers.Lambert Contemporary in London. The exhibition presents themes of art imitating life and life imitating art €”and very consciously appropriates themes of adoration, petrification, mortality and the plight of the artist. In March, he will also participate in a second group exhibition in London curated by six gallery directors, including Kent Beers, at a space called The Library Project.

Photo of Karen Kunc at an opening reception for her exhibition
Karen Kunc at the opening of "The Immeasurables" at the Anderson O'Brien Gallery in Omaha. - Photo courtesy of Anderson O'Brien Gallery.

Karen Kunc, Cather Professor of Art, recently presented "The Immeasurable," a solo exhibition of her new work at the Anderson O'Brien Gallery in Omaha. The large-scale color woodcuts were created during her residency at the Venice Printmaking Studio and addressed the physical world of water, light, space and the built environment in her signature abstract language. In the Fall Kunc was a visiting artist at the Savannah College of Art, where she created a print in collaboration with students and faculty. Kunc served as a juror for awards in the first competition held at the Stalder Art Gallery in Falls City, Neb. in November. The theme of "Reiminisce" brought a variety of media together from regional artists. She also spoke at the opening about the award winners and what makes compelling works of art. In January, Kunc presented a solo exhibition of her prints at the Alexandre Hogue Gallery at the University of Tulsa and lectured on her work.

Jeffrey McCray, Assistant Professor of Bassoon, presented a Guest Artist Recital at Michigan State University as part of a week-long residency at that institution in October. In addition to the recital, he taught numerous lessons to individual bassoon students at Michigan State and taught a masterclass with the entire bassoon studio. In addition, Dr. McCray taught a masterclass at Bowling Green State University in Ohio, and he led a clinic on All-State audition preparation with a group of high school students in Dallas, Texas. In November, McCray presented a lecture at the Conference of the Nebraska Music Educators' Association titled, "Be Not Afraid: tips and techniques for proper bassoon instruction." He presented the same lecture at the Conference of the Colorado Music Educators' Association in January 2012.

Photo of Kathy Lorenzen, Clay Van Winkle, Benito Sanchez and Sarah Resch visit with Dennis Size in a studio
Kathy Lorenzen, Clay Van Winkle, Benito Sanchez and Sarah Resch visit with Dennis Size, a lighting designer with Lighting Design Group of New York City prior to the Republican Debate in Sioux City, Iowa, in December.

Jamie Reimer, Assistant Professor of Voice, presented a lecture, "Heart vs. Head: The implications of register sensation on the characterization of Mozart's women in 'Le nozze di Figaro,'" at the International Symposium for Performance Science in Toronto, Ontario. This was a collaborative proposal with Professor of Voice Donna Harler-Smith. Reimer also presented a lecture-recital titled "Robert Owens sets Langston Hughes" at the National Association of Teachers of Singing West Central Regional Conference in Hays, Ks.

Laurel Shomaker, Assistant Professor of Lighting Design, traveled with three Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film students (Clay Van Winkle, Sarah Resch and Benito Sanchez), along with House Electrician Kathy Lorenzen to Sioux City, Iowa, in December to see the load in of Fox News' Republican Debate. They met with Lesli Tilly (B.F.A. 1984), the head gaffer, and Dennis Size, the lighting designer, both of the Lighting Design Group NYC.

Pamela Starr, Professor of Music History, began her third two-year term as Secretary of the American Musicological Society in November.

Photo of Hans Sturm
Hans Sturm

Hans Sturm, Assistant Professor of Double Bass and Jazz Studies, performed solo bass concerts featuring a mixed program of classical and jazz pieces in 13 school districts across the state of Nebraska in October as a part of the Arts Across Nebraska Program sponsored by the Lied Center for the Arts. In November, Sturm performed Frank Proto's Carmen Fantasy for Double Bass and Orchestra with the LaPorte Symphony Orchestra (Ind.). He gave a presentation on Fighting for Music Education at the 65th Annual International Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago (Ill.) in December and a duo jazz concert with his wife, former Blue Note Recording Artist Jackie Allen, at the 3rd Annual Jazz Educators Network National Conference in Louisville (Ky.). He also appears as a guest soloist on Roscoe Mitchell's latest CD recording, Numbers, released on the Rogue Art label (Paris, France) in late 2011 performing Mitchell's virtuosic solo work Sketches for Double Bass and Piano.

Jeff Thompson, Assistant Professor of New Genres and Digital Art, collaborated with Angeles Cossio for a curatorial project, "Transreceiver," on display Jan. 13-Feb. 11 at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Art in Omaha. "Transreceiver" is an exhibition of works sent entirely by non-traditional means, including via chat, Skype, e-mail, FTP, streaming audio, radio, Twitter, telegram and Bluetooth. Thompson co-curated "Redact/Froth/Expand/Smash/Stitch: New Video Works" with Sharon Kennedy at the Sheldon Museum of Art. Thompson's work is included in "Watch It!: Video Art" at the Taubman Museum of Art in Roanoke, Va., through Feb. 26. The exhibition also includes a catalog and companion DVD. He gave a live audio performance for electric guitar, laptop and two custom-built 22' and 70' guitars at the Bemis Center in Omaha in October. Thompson participated in a panel discussion titled "Data, Poetics and Supercomputers" on emerging techniques in art practice at the 2011 Southeast College Art Conference in Savannah, Ga., in November.

Photo of Jeff Thompson
Jeff Thompson

Marisa Vigneault, Assistant Professor of Practice in Modern and Contemporary Art History, presented her paper, "Hannah Wilke's Performative Text" at the 67th annual Southeastern College Art Conference in Savannah, Ga., in November.

The Chiara String Quartet (Rebecca Fischer and Julie Yoon, violins; Jonah Sirota, viola; and Gregory Beaver, cello) performed Robert Sirota's Triptych and Richard Danielpour's String Quartet No. 6, Addio, as part of Trinity Wall Street Church's observance of the 10th anniversary of Sept. 11, 2011. The Chiara gave an emotional world premiere performance of Triptych one year after the attacks at Trinity on Sept. 26, 2002.

The Moran Woodwind Quintet (John Bailey, flute; William McMullen, oboe; Diane Barger, clarinet; Alan Mattingly, horn; and Jeffrey McCray, bassoon) served as the resident chamber ensemble of the 2011 National Conference of the College Music Society in Richmond, Va. The Quintet performed a program of newly written pieces for woodwind quintet submitted by CMS composers. They are currently preparing for their Feb. 18 performance for Sheldon Friends of Music and for their spring tour to Oklahoma.


Sam Loeck (B.M.) won a contract with the Lincoln Symphony Orchestra bass section and was a finalist in the UNL Undergraduate Concerto Competition. He is a student of Assistant Professor of Double Bass and Jazz Studies Hans Sturm.

Melanie Holm (B.M.) won the Gary Jones Memorial Award at the Lincoln District Metropolitan Opera Auditions in January 2012.

Richard Viglucci (D.M.A. and Hixson-Lied Fellow) was awarded an Honorary Mention for the 2012 Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant award and was a winner of the UNL Graduate Concerto Competition. His performance of Bassi's Rigoletto Fantasia is scheduled for Feb. 7 with the University Symphony Orchestra. He was also a featured performer at the Potsdam Clarinet Summit in the fall at the Crane University School of Music. Viglucci is a student of Hixson-Lied Professor of Clarinet Diane Barger.


Wendy Beckwith (B.F.A. Theatre 2008) began working as the technical director at Lincoln Northeast High School last fall.

Photo of Katie Gell constructing a wig
Katie Gell

Kate Garst (B.A. Theatre 2008) recently began work for Stacey Mindich Productions in New York City, as an assistant to the producer. She is working on the upcoming Broadway production of "Like Water for Chocolate."

Katie Gell (B.A. Theatre 2010) continues working for Charles LaPointe and Tom Watson's Wig Studio in New York City. Adding to this accomplishment, she recently modeled clothing on the Nate Berkus Show.

Jim Hopkins (M.F.A. Theatre 2007) stars in William Shakespeare's "Henry VIII: All is True" with the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company. Hopkins is a member of the CSC's ensemble. The show runs Jan. 13-Feb. 5, 2012.

Moira Mangiameli (M.F.A. Theatre 2000) recently took the position of Assistant Professor of Acting and Directing for Iowa Western Community College last fall.

Photo of Jim Hopkins performing onstage as King Henry VIII
Jim Hopkins stars as King Henry VIII. Photo courtesy of Cincinnati Shakespeare Co.

Cindy (Owens) Naughton (B.M.E. 1980) received the Amherst (Mass.) Leisure Services Community Theatre Arts Award in January. The award was presented "for her tireless and passionate commitment to community theatre in the Pioneer Valley." Naughton serves as Musical Director for Amherst Leisure Services Community Theatre and Starlight Theatre and is the founding director of the Pelham Players.

Jeff O'Brien (M.F.A. Theatre 2006) has been spending a lot of time working with the design team at the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, Ill. In 2011, O'Brien composed and designed the sound for Shedd's "Jellies" marketing campaign. The commercials were seen on television, the web and movie screens across the Chicago area. The campaign was so successful that Shedd broke attendance records (2.1 million) and submitted it for a CLIO award. Along with other media design projects, O'Brien has created and designed sound for "Holiday Fantasea" and the "New Aquatic Show" in Shedd's aquatic theatre. These shows are seen up to five times a day by thousands of patrons. The shows feature penguins, Beluga whales, a California sea lion and the ever popular Pacific white-sided dolphins.


The Department of Art and Art History is hosting Fulbright Scholar Rokeya Sultana for a nine-month residency, while she conducts her creative research in printmaking. Sultana is Professor of Art and Chair of the Dhaka Institute of Fine Arts in Dhaka, Bangladesh. She is an award-winning artist, creating ethereal works in prints and mixed media paintings that look to the mystery and myth of womanhood. Her works evoke legends, goddesses, the Madonna and "everywoman" who embody creativity, nurturing spirit and imaginative growth. She will present a lecture, date and time to be announced. Her exhibition "The Mystic Realm of Rokeya Sultana" is scheduled for the Rotunda Gallery at the Nebraska Union from May 7-18.


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