Hixson-Lied Faculty, Staff awards announced
calendar icon05 May 2023
The Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts announced the 2023 recipients of the Hixson-Lied Faculty and Staff awards.
This ongoing awards program for faculty and staff recognizes outstanding performance and accomplishments in the areas of teaching; research and creative activity; faculty servce, outreach and engagement; outstanding lecturer; and staff service.
The following faculty and staff awards were presented at the college’s Honors Day celebration on May 5.
• College Distinguished Teaching Award:
Danni Gilbert, Glenn Korff School of Music
The College Distinguished Teaching Award recognizes a professor who has demonstrated excellence in teaching and a selfless dedication to students. Danni Gilbert is Associate Professor of Practice in Music Education. Her nominator Steinhart Foundation Distinguished Professor of Music (Music Education) Robert Woody wrote, “Danni has excelled in the years she has been in the music education professorate. In her current position with our undergraduate music education majors, she has been highly effective as a course instructor and university supervisor (of student teaching and teaching practicum experiences). She connects well with students and is particularly adept at moving her college teaching beyond lecture and discussion, including through technology integration. Her teaching load has also included serving as our coordinator of music field experiences. This is a formidable responsibility and where she really shines.
• Senior Faculty Research and Creative Activity Award:
Dana Fritz, School of Art, Art History & Design
The Senior Faculty Research and Creative Activity Award recognizes a senior faculty member who has demonstrated exemplary accomplishment in research or creative activity. Dana Fritz is Hixson-Lied Professor of Art (Photography). Fritz’s research focuses on one of the most urgent issues of our time—our environment. Her nominator, Associate Professor of Art Sandra Williams, wrote, “Professor Fritz’s professional record boasts prestigious exhibitions, collections and residencies. It also includes two books, a rare achievement for a studio professor. Her most recent book, ‘A Field Guide to Hybrid Landscape,’ showcases her photographs of Nebraska’s largest hand-planted forest, making visible the forces that have shaped this unique landscape, including sand, wind, water, planting, thinning, sowing and burning. In just the past two years, her book has been purchased by the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University, the Hirsch Library at the Houston Museum of Art, and the Wellesley College Clapp Library. Her photographs were added to the permanent collections of The Sioux City Art Center and Arizona State University’s Northlight Gallery.”
• Junior Faculty Research and Creative Activity Award:
Marques L.A. Garrett, Glenn Korff School of Music
The Junior Faculty Research and Creative Activity Award recognizes a junior faculty member who has demonstrated exemplary accomplishment in research or creative activity. Garrett is Assistant Professor of Music in Choral Activities. His nominator, Professor of Music History Anthony Bushard, wrote, “As a highly productive conductor, composer, and performer, Professor Garrett embodies the essence of this award, evidenced in his numerous creative collaborations that have garnered regional, national and international attention. Through it all Marques continues to be an important ambassador for the Glenn Korff School of Music and the Hixson-Lied College across several artistic platforms. For some time now, Marques has been writing and editing a crucially important book for the choral world, The Oxford Book of Choral Music by Black Composers. The book was already listed as ‘out of stock’ less than 60 days after its initial publication. This book demonstrates the significance of Marques’s research agenda, further establishes him as the foremost expert on non-idiomatic choral music by black composers, and greatly enhances the visibility of the Glenn Korff School of Music and Hixson-Lied College.”
• Outreach, Engagement or Service Award:
Jamie Bullins, Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film
The Outreach, Engagement or Service Award is given to a faculty member who has demonstrated exemplary accomplishment in outreach, engagement or service. Jamie Bullins is Associate Professor of Theatre. His nominator, Associate Professor of Theatre Ian Borden, wrote, “Jamie has become an ambassador for theatre in the Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film and is changing how the program is perceived in Lincoln and Nebraska. As the creator of Appearing Locally, an online social media platform for the Lincoln Theatre Alliance, he has helped raise awareness about performance opportunities, encouraged attendance at performance and promoted discussion of theatre as an art form in our community…Through Appearing Locally he was involved in 10 productions. But Professor Bullins was just getting started on his work in Lincoln theatre, taking an active role in six other projects” at Nebraska Wesleyan, Angels Theatre Company and the Nebraska Repertory Theatre.
• Student Success Award:
Anna Henson, Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film
The Student Success Award recognizes a faculty member who has demonstrated exemplary support of student success through advising, mentorship and/or other activities. Anna Henson is Assistant Professor of Emerging Media Arts. One of her nominators, junior emerging media arts student AmunRa Jordan, wrote, “Professor Henson is an interactive designer and researcher who combines the real and digital world to create new environments and new forms of storytelling. Her current research is using digital avatars, motion capture and virtual environment design to create safe spaces and experiences that assist addiction recovery. Professor Henson is a fantastic teacher and advisor who unlocks all of her students’ potential. She connects with students with many different skill sets and backgrounds, pushing their creativity and introducing them to new techniques, design philosophies and ways of thinking. She creates collaborative class environments, preparing and including her students in various projects that give valuable experience before officially entering the industry. Even outside of the classroom, Professor Henson goes the extra mile to ensure her students’ success by helping them network, introducing them to industry professionals, and supporting them on internships and other career opportunities.”
• Curriculum Development Award:
Sandra Williams, School of Art, Art History & Design
The Curriculum Development Award recognizes a faculty member who has demonstrated exemplary accomplishment in curricular or programmatic development. Sandra Williams is Associate Professor of Art. Her nominator, Hixson-Lied Professor of Art Dana Fritz, wrote, “While the School of Art, Art History & Design has long offered a variety of high quality of courses in western art history and traditional studio methods, we have less consistently offered courses that address artwork emerging from outside the western canon, the academy and the gallery to museum pipeline. Professor Williams’ Street Art: Visual Voice in the Urban Environment course is not only a welcome counterpoint to our other offerings, it meets our contemporary cultural moment in essential and engaging ways…Our campus is an ideal physical and virtual home for Professor Williams’ course addressing the intersections of race, citizenship and exclusion…The course that Professor Williams quickly and deftly converted to remote delivery accommodating enrollment three times the reduced lecture hall capacity in the fall of 2020 has become one of our School’s most popular and highest enrolled offerings.
• Junior Faculty Teaching Award:
Jen Landis, School of Art, Art History & Design
The Junior Faculty Teaching Award recognizes a junior faculty member who has demonstrated exemplary accomplishment in teaching. Jen Landis is Assistant Professor of Practice in Graphic Design. Her nominator, Associate Professor of Art Sandra Williams, writes, “Professor Landis has a sustained record of teaching excellence over several years; her efforts are far above the expectations of a traditional Professor of Practice. She enriches the School with her virtuosity of skill as an educator and designer. Her work as an educator is complex and facilitates diverse learning experiences in an out of the classroom. Her students thrive in her courses. She provides the personal and professional tools to shape their careers and outlook on life. A designer committed to social change, Jen was also the Mayor’s Arts Award recipient of the 2022 Gladys Lux Award for Excellence in Art Education”
• Outstanding Lecturer Award:
David von Kampen, Glenn Korff School of Music
The Outstanding Lecturer Award recognizes a lecturer who has demonstrated exemplary accomplishment in teaching. Von Kampen’s nominator, Associate Professor of Composition Tom Larson, wrote, “We are truly lucky to have Dr. von Kampen on the faculty at the Glenn Korff School of Music. David has an outstanding record of artistic and creative achievements that rival or exceed that of many of our tenured faculty members. By definition, the Outstanding Lecturer Award will honor only the teaching success of the recipient. But here again, Dr. von Kampen has an exceptional record that is truly outstanding and deserves recognition. He is to the Glenn Korff School what a utility infielder is in baseball—a person whose versatility and depth of skill and understanding of the game can play multiple positions at the highest level and is often asked to fill in where needed. . . . Where David’s teaching shines brightest is in his direction of the UNL Jazz Singers. This group has brought national recognition to the Glenn Korff School in winning several Downbeat magazine awards and appearances at the Jazz Educational Network conferences the past three years.”
• Outstanding Staff Award:
Christy Aggens, School of Art, Art History & Design
The Outstanding Staff Award is given to a staff member whose overall performance has regularly and consistently exceeded expectations and has reflected a high level of service throughout their years of service. Aggens is Student Services Coordinator in the School of Art, Art History & Design. Her nominator, Professor of Art Pete Pinnell, wrote, “Christy started working in our School in 2004, so she has been a staff member of almost 19 years….Her job has changed several times during her tenure at UNL, each time in response to new and greater needs by the school. She now has several major roles, and each is essential to the management of the school and its programs….About 12 years ago, she was made Chief Academic Advisor, and since then, her job has expanded to include several different, but interconnected roles” including Academic Recovery Guide, overseeing undergraduate matriculation, managing all transfer credit, internal substitutions and undergraduate advising for the school. “Christy is the ultimate ‘Swiss Army Knife,’ able to take on whatever role is necessary and do it exceedingly well.”
• Staff Award for Exemplary Service:
Leslie Harms, Glenn Korff School of Music
The Staff Award for Exemplary Service is given to a staff member who has demonstrated exemplary service to the college or academic unit over the preceding 12-month calendar year. Leslie Harms is Assistant to the Director of the Glenn Korff School of Music. One of her nominators, Interim Assistant Director and Graduate Chair and Associate Professor Rhonda Fuelberth, wrote, “With the retirement of both Glenn Nierman and Colleen McDonald, the Glenn Korff School lost 80 plus years of historical knowledge. Leslie rose to the challenge of onboarding an interim director, interim associate director, interim assistant director and curriculum and enrollment coordinator. The School also suffered the loss of a facilities manager early in the school year, requiring Leslie to facilitate the management of our current building simultaneous to her coordination of efforts to envision a new space for the Glenn Korff School to call home. While positions were being filled, Leslie quickly pivoted and learned new software to keep the school moving forward….Leslie is an incredible team player and contributes positively to the environment of the Glenn Korff School of Music.”
• M.V.P. Award:
Sean Strough, Johnny Carson Center for Emerging Media Arts
The M.V.P. Award is given to staff members who have provided support to the college or academic unit behind the scenes. His nominators, representing the Carson School Grants, Awards and Scholarship Committee, wrote, “Sean is the Equipment and Technology Associate for the Johnny Carson Center for Emerging Media Arts. As you can imagine, this position requires much more than inventory and technical support. Sean juggles changing needs as projects evolve, stays up to date with new technologies, and supports the events and happenings at the center from start to finish. He takes an active interest in the creative pursuits of the students and faculty and regularly goes above and beyond to support collaborative projects. He carries a ‘can do’ attitude that is contagious. Sean has been instrumental to events, such as the Carson School Open Studios events and the streaming of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s VR experience, ‘Dream.’”