College Alumni Board Awards announced
calendar icon01 Mar 2019
Lincoln, Neb.--The Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts Alumni Board has selected the recipients of this year’s Alumni Board Awards. The awards will be presented at the College’s Honors Day Dinner on Saturday, April 27. The dinner is by invitation only.
The Alumni Achievement Awards honor alumni from each academic area of the college who have demonstrated outstanding achievement and overall professional excellence.
The Alumni Achievement Award in Art, Art History & Design will be presented to Karen Kunc (B.F.A. 1975). Kunc has taught at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln since 1983 and was named a full professor in 1998. In 2003, she was named Willa Cather Professor of Art with an emphasis in printmaking.
Highly respected nationally and internationally among her peers, she has had more than 110 solo exhibitions, received more than 90 awards, 60 grants and commissions, eight residency awards and has participated in 850 group exhibitions. Her work is featured in more than 26 publications.
In 2007, she received the prestigious Printmaker Emeritus Award from the Southern Graphics Council.
In 2013, she founded Constellation Studios in Lincoln, a space where Kunc shares her passion for printmaking with the community. It is her studio, a printmaking exhibition space, as well as a workshop and teaching center that specializes in workshops for etching, woodcuts, papermaking and bookmaking.
Kunc received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Nebraska in 1975 and her Master of Fine Arts from the Ohio State University in 1977.
The Alumni Achievement Award in Music will be presented to Donald C. Gorder (B.M. 1973). Gorder is chair and founder of the Music Business/Management Department at Berklee College of Music in Boston, and is an attorney, educator and musician.
He holds advanced degrees in law and music (B.M. University of Nebraska–Lincoln, M.M. University of Miami, J.D. University of Denver), has authored numerous articles on the music industry, and has spoken at many national and international music industry events and academic conferences.
He co-authored the course Legal Aspects of the Music Industry for Berklee Online. As an attorney, he has represented clients in matters of copyright and contracts, and he remains active as a trumpet player in a variety of jazz and commercial settings.
Gorder is past president of the NAMM-Affiliated Music Business Institutions, a past officer and board member of the Music and Entertainment Industry Educators’ Association, a past Trustee with the Arts & Business Council of Greater Boston, and currently serves on the Alumni Advisory Council of the Sturm College of Law, University of Denver. He served for 14 years with the International Association for Jazz Education as the Resource Team representative for music business/management.
The Alumni Achievement Award in Theatre and Film will be presented to Scott Raymond (B.F.A. 2003). Fifteen years ago, Raymond was a member of the first graduating class of the new film and new media program in the Carson School. He received a second Bachelor of Fine Arts in theatre design and technical production.
Following graduation, he earned his Master of Fine Arts cum laude in animation and visual effects from the Academy of Art University. He did post-graduate work at Animation Mentor, where he received a certificate in advanced studies in character animation.
He then worked at elementFX and ultimately worked as a crowd artist at PDI/DreamWorks, one of the most prestigious animation studios in the world. He spent nearly eight years at DreamWorks on such well-known projects as “Trolls,” “Kung Fu Panda 3,” “The Penguins of Madagascar,” “Madagascar 3” and “Shrek Forever After.”
In 2015, he began teaching at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee. Although a full-time instructor, Raymond continues his work as a freelance animator. His recent freelance clients include “The Highway Rat” for BBC, the Racing Legends ride at PortAventura Theme Park, and the Kid’s Choice Awards for Nickelodeon.
The Award of Merit honors those who have made contributions to the College, but who are not necessarily alumni of the college, and who have demonstrated continued interest in the Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts.
This year’s Award of Merit will be presented to Mike Hill. Hill is a retired film editor who won an Academy Award for the film “Apollo 13” in 1995. Hill and his editing partner Dan Hanley had a longstanding, notable collaboration with Director Ron Howard, having edited all of Howard’s films since “Night Shift” in 1982.
Hill was raised in Omaha, Neb., and received a criminal justice degree at the University of Nebraska at Omaha in 1972.
His first job was as a guard at a Chino prison in California. He then entered the film editing profession and worked on several television programs and two feature films before starting his association with Hanley and Howard on “Night Shift.”
He moved back to Nebraska in the late 1980s, but continued his work on major studio films with Howard. He also edits independent films produced in Nebraska, such as “Full Ride” in 2001.
In addition to “Apollo 13,” Hill and Hanley have been nominated for Academy Awards for Howard’s “A Beautiful Mind” (2001), “Cinderella Man” (2005) and “Frost/Nixon” (2008). His other editing credits include “Backdraft,” “Cocoon,” “The Da Vinci Code,” “Rush” and “In the Heart of the Sea.”
Hill has been elected as a member of the American Cinema Editors (A.C.E.).
He has volunteered his time to the Carson School, serving as a professional mentor to the student editing team for the Carson Films “Vipers in the Grass” and “Digs.” He has also frequently been a guest speaker in the post-production classes.
The Student Leadership Award is presented to students who have proven to be true leaders through their scholarship, talents, service and dedication. This year’s award will be presented to Michaela Wadzinski, a senior film and new media major in the Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film.
Wadzinski has served as a college ambassador and was president of Cinema 16 in 2017-2018. She has also served as a student mentor in the Carson School since 2017.
In the summer of 2018, she was a Television Academy Foundation Intern in Traditional Animation at Bento Box Entertainment, where she worked on the TV series “Bob’s Burgers.”
Additional faculty, staff and student achievement will be celebrated at the Honors Day celebration.