Hixson-Lied College announces alumni award winners

Clockwise from upper left: Susan Puelz, Barbara Zach, Lucy Buntain Comine and Nancy Marcy.
Clockwise from upper left: Susan Puelz, Barbara Zach, Lucy Buntain Comine and Nancy Marcy.

Hixson-Lied College announces alumni award winners

calendar icon24 Apr 2015    

To download the Honors Day program, click HERE.

Lincoln, Neb.--The Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts will honor alumni, faculty, staff and student achievement at its annual Honors Day Dinner on Saturday, April 25. The dinner is by invitation only.

The awards to be presented include:

Alumni Achievement Award in Art:  Susan Puelz (BFA 1980, MFA 1984). From 1984 to 2004, Puelz was a Visiting Assistant Professor of Art in watercolor, art history, design and drawing at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. She has also been Visiting Artist at Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas; Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Oklahoma; and Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona.

She has had 22 one-person shows including Great Plains Art Museum, University of Nebraska; Krasl Art Center, St. Joseph Michigan; Museum of Nebraska Art, Kearney, Nebraska; and Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha, Nebraska.  Since 1985, she has participated in 35 group exhibitions. Her major awards have come from Watercolor U.S.A., Art Quest, the Mid-America Arts Alliance, Taos National Honors Exhibition, National Watercolor Society, Museum of Nebraska Art, Cooper Foundation, Association of Nebraska Art Clubs and Alumni Achievement Award in Art from University of Nebraska–Lincoln.

Her work is featured in “Plain Pictures: Images of the American Prairie,” Joni L. Kinsey. She illustrated the covers for “Refuge at DeSoto Bend,” Salmon Publishing, and “Natural Bridge: A Journal for Contemporary Literature,” University of Missouri.

Ms. Puelz is represented by Anderson/Obrien Gallery, Omaha, Nebraska and Kiechel Fine Art, Lincoln, Nebraska. Additionally, her work is featured on her website www.susanpuelz.com.

Alumni Achievement Award in Music:  Barbara Zach (BM 2001). Zach is Executive Director of Lincoln’s Symphony Orchestra. She joined the orchestra staff in 2001 as Operations/Personnel Manager & Music Librarian, taking responsibility for all details of concert production. She was appointed executive director in 2005. Since taking the helm, Zach has guided LSO through a critical time of artistic growth and audience expansion. Most recently, she secured major multi-year underwriting to allow LSO to move to a new home in the Lied Center for Performing Arts. In conjunction with the new venue, LSO implemented an affordable ticket price initiative in an effort to become accessible to every segment of its community. Since then, the orchestra has performed for more than twice as many audience members as they did previously, and a majority of LSO’s individual donors have increased their contributions to support this initiative.

In 2007, the League of American Orchestras invited Zach to be one of 12 national participants in the inaugural class of the two-year long Executive Leadership Program. She was also elected by her peers to serve as chairman of their management group.

At the local level, Zach has served as chairman of the Downtown Rotary music committee and is the Vice President of Membership for Nebraskans for the Arts. She is an alumnus of Leadership Lincoln, a member of the Lincoln Arts Council and Lincoln’s Young Professionals Group, and a volunteer for the TeamMates Mentoring Program. She was a recipient of the Lincoln Business Journal’s “40 Under 40” award, a finalist for Lincoln’s Non-Profit Executive of the Year Award, and received the Governor’s Award for Emerging Leader in 2010.

Zach graduated from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln with dual degrees in mathematics and piano performance.

Alumni Achievement Award in Theatre and Film:  Nancy Marcy (MFA 1987). Marcy is a writer, educator, director, and professional actor. She retired in 2009 from her position as Education Director at the Coterie Theatre in Kansas City (a nationally recognized theatre for youth and family audiences) but continues to teach their Master Acting classes and Reaching the Write Minds playwriting workshops.

A professional actress, Marcy has performed with the Nebraska Repertory Theatre, Nebraska Theatre Caravan, Okoboji Summer Theatre, and Kansas City’s Unicorn Theatre, American Heartland Theatre, The Coterie Theatre, Quality Hill Playhouse, Missouri Repertory Theatre (now Kansas City Repertory Theatre), Just Off Broadway Theatre (Melting Pot KC), Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre, The Fishtank Performance Studio, and The Kansas City Fringe Festival (various venues).

Marcy has a special love for working on new plays—beginning with her thesis role in A Stone’s Throw at UNL—through this date by volunteering to read with various playwriting classes.

Award of Merit:  Dr. Lucy Buntain Comine. Buntain Comine transitioned to a part-time status at the University of Nebraska Foundation last spring, stepping down from her position as Senior Development Director for the Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts. She started at the Foundation in 1989 and has worked with the Hixson-Lied College since its founding in 1993.

She was also a member of the University of Nebraska Department of English faculty before moving to the Foundation.

Her impact on the college has been nearly impossible to quantify, as she has been involved with every major gift to the College, including the Hixson-Lied Endowment, the Mary Riepma Ross Endowment, the Glenn Korff Endowment, the John W. Carson Endowment, the Eisentrager-Howard Gallery, the Jim and Rhonda Seacrest Excellence Fund, to many other scholarships and gifts.

She is currently involved in major gift development and special projects for the Foundation.

Faculty Service Award:  Janice Stauffer, Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film.

Student Leadership Award:  Bryan Howard, Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film.

Additional awards to be presented include the Vreeland Awards in Art and Music, the Porter Awards in Theatre Arts and Dance, the Hixson-Lied Faculty and Staff Awards, the Dean’s Award for Academic Excellence and the Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant Award.