SIGHTSand SOUNDS Spring 2019
A Magazine for the
A vision for the future Thus, the only way to address Karl Fish’s concern is to prepare our students to become life-long learners, make them familiar with change and make them believe that they can be the change they want. That is already a reality for us. I have seen many innovations in my tenure at Lamar University as the dean of the College of Fine Arts and Communication. Students and faculty alike are always looking for new and innovative ways to express themselves and perform in the areas of art, music, theatre and dance, be it set design, choreography, composing, or new art forms. In communication ducation is about the future. and media, new media platforms Karl Fish is credited with and new forms of expression saying, “We are currently pre- have been adopted in the media paring students for jobs that don’t innovation lab. Speech and Hearing yet exist, using technologies that Sciences and Music collaboratively haven’t been invented, in order to launched a new program in voice solve problems we don’t even know hygiene, called Vocology. are problems yet.” Deaf Studies and Deaf EduThis might be somewhat true cation has made huge strides in but as educators we cannot sit on teaching American Sign Language our hands and wait for others to (ASL). It is the only bachelor’s be innovative and solve problems. degree in Texas in ASL and is one After all, that is what academics are of the very few totally bilingual expected to do. And that is exactly programs in the country: students what our vision is for the College of and faculty alike must be able to Fine Arts and Communication. communicate in ASL and English. Our motto, Collaborate, This department is getting ready Innovate, Create, is an expression to launch a community project to of that vision. While we cannot be enhance knowledge and use of ASL everything to everybody, we can among first responders and law be innovative and creative in what enforcement officers and to help we do. We strive to be the best in parents of deaf children learn ASL those areas that we do excel at and to facilitate communication. Only give our all to the benefit of our about 10 percent of parents of deaf students and their future. children know how to communicate
through ASL. It also is one of the few departments of its kind nationally that has two designated interpreters to help deaf faculty become fully integrated in campus life. It is this dedication to innovation and practical solutions to society that makes the college so special. Service learning is inherent in everything we do, be it our clinics in speech pathology and audiology, immersion in the local deaf community, and internships and community outreach in the arts and media. Contrary to what others might think about the future of jobs and problems of society, we believe the seeds for the future have already been planted. We merely need to be firmly embedded in our social and professional communities and be cognizant of what those changes might be. Then we can change Fisch’s quote to something more positive, such as, “We are currently preparing students for jobs that might not exist yet, using technologies that haven’t been invented. But they will have the tools to adapt and identify and solve problems that will improve the communities in which they live.”
Dean, College of Fine Arts and Communication
Sights and Sounds A Magazine for the College of Fine Arts and Communication Spring 2019
In this issue Beautiful Affliction Film students get hands-on experience Keith Carter: Fifty Years Three, two, one, LU
The Showcase of Southeast Texas featuring a Q&A with Dr. Eric Shannon... p.16
The Space Between Grief and Mourning The art of Prince Thomas
When music and speech sciences collide Art embrances the future Celebrating tradition
35 years of the Dishman Art Museum
Signing the future away Drawing in Japan Speech and Hearing Sciences in the national spotlight Jean and Rudy Williams Scholarship Senior thesis experience provides professional art experience The Kodรกly Institute
The Power of Music Education at Lamar University
Front & back cover
Photographs by Lynn Lane Photography
Editor & writer J. T. Robertson
6 8 11 15
Speech and Hearing Sciences goes abroad A grand evening University Press sets the record straight UP close and personal
Fine arts calendar New faculty and promotions
26 28 31 34 36 38 40 43 46 48 52 54
Beautiful Affliction “ I thought it was ironic that something so beautiful is also so destructive… ”
“I felt that by taking these images and evolving
them into a moving, breathing form they would be more relatable, as we all suffer or know someone who has suffered from disease.” Photograph by Lynn Lane Photography
Cherie Acosta & Norman Baker
hen Cherie Acosta, assistant professor and costume designer in the Department of Theatre and Dance, was looking at photos of microscopic images of cellular disease, she became mesmerized by the beauty of the figures. Acosta, who suffers from an autoimmune disorder, has always been fascinated with diseases and how they affect the body. “I thought it was ironic that something so beautiful is also so destructive,” said Acosta. “The images in the book, ‘Hidden Beauty,’ by Johns Hopkins University Professors Norman Baker and Christine Donahue, inspired me.” Acosta wanted to take the photographs and turn them into a performance piece that speaks to the nature of illness and brings out the hidden story of battling such an affliction. To bring her 6
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idea to life, she enrolled the help of her colleague Travis Prokop, assistant professor and choreographer in the department, and together they created “Beautiful Affliction,” a performance piece inspired by the images from the book. The result was a visual testimony of disease that was showcased as part of the exhibition “Body as a Work of Art: More Than Skin Deep” at the John P. McGovern Museum of Health and Medical Science in Houston. “Medical science has always been one of sight, documentation and recognition. The lens of the microscope, the documentation of the dissected body all contribute to the knowledge we have of the human body. Yet for the layperson, we are often put off by the complexity of medical images and terminology,” stated Acosta. “I felt that by taking these
images and evolving them into a moving, breathing form they would be more relatable, as we all suffer or know someone who has suffered from disease. It was the process of taking something quite complex and breaking it down into form and movement that I believe is powerful for an audience member.” “Beautiful Affliction” came alive when Acosta designed a collection of dresses patterned after the captured images of biological calamities such as lymphoma, melanoma and meningioma. She had the captured images of the cells printed onto silk fabrics utilizing digital design. The result was Grecian-inspired gowns, which were then used in a dance piece choreographed by Prokop. “I wanted to take the images that were static on the pages in the book and bring them forth
with movement. I chose the Greek silhouette due to the idealized Grecian style of beauty and the draping and focus on the human body and form,” said Acosta. “I also believe,” she continued, “that due to the history of medicine, this was a fitting world to place the disease in terms of context. Prokop was then able to choreograph a performance by mirroring the movement of the cells and thus telling a story through dance.” The museum filmed the dance performance at Lamar University utilizing Progressive Pixels and showcased the piece in their theater, including clips as part of the dress exhibition. Four LU students, Charles Collins, Jenny Keim, Katelyn Kirk and Breanna Georgie, were featured in the film and performed as dancers. Costume assistants Lauren Revia and Jennifer Salazar, both LU students, and Amie McMillian helped construct the gowns. The dancers
performed the piece at the health museum’s annual gala Nov. 3. Other contributors to the exhibit are world-renowned sculptor Carole Feuerman, artist Sarah Sitkin and photographers Rick Guidotti and Cody Duty. Photographs from “Hidden Beauty: Exploring the Aesthetics of Medical Science” also is part of the exhibit.
“The work focuses on the triumph of the human spirit to overcome illness. I want the audience members to identify with the individual fighting the disease and give them some kind of recognition as members of humanity,” said Acosta.
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Film students get
hen Jeremy Hawa, adjunct film professor for the Department of Communication and Media came on board, he didn’t want to just teach students knowledge of film production, he wanted them to actually be involved in a film production. This past summer, for the first time in the department’s 20year history, film students had the opportunity to work on a student film project and the chance of a lifetime to work on a professional music video shoot. “Students participated in the summer film class, which actually started in the spring with pre-pro8
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duction. They had the opportunity to submit scripts, scout locations and participated in the casting process. We filmed in the summer with more than 30 film students. Post-production continued this past fall when we edited and scored the piece,” explained Hawa. “Ambivalent,” the short film the students wrote and produced, is characterized as a dark psychological thriller. The story, about a young couple who met in rehab, has themes of addiction and co-dependency. The film was written by Hannah Hudgins and produced by Tyler Hargraves, both LU film students.
“This was the first time we have done a student production. We learn film techniques in the classroom, but this was different. We got the chance to actually learn how to run different departments on the set like dressing, casting, art and lighting. I had never worked on a professional set before,” said Hudgins. “Although this was a summer film class, I didn’t feel like I was in class.” The group learned about casting and different daily issues that can occur on a set like feeding a crew, running electricity and making sure there is air conditioning.
“At large universities, you can’t touch camera equipment until you are a senior. At LU it is different. Our freshman students are getting this real-world experience,” said Hudgins. “We had students change their major to film after working with us on set.” Hawa, who owns Light Strike production company, was approached last May by a cinematographer in Houston to assist with the production of a music video. The Galveston-based band To Whom It May, or TWIM for short, had just been signed to a record company and was ready to release their first single, “Calculate,” from their new album. Hawa thought this would be a great opportunity for his students to gain more experience and offered internships to those who were interested. “This was a chance for students to work with a professional cinematographer on a professional set with a professional band. The students were able to use new lighting and video equipment that the department had just purchased through a grant,” said Hawa.
The music video was shot in the historic Goodhue building in downtown Beaumont. The students again helped with every aspect of production from scouting, lighting and art, hair, make-up and editing. Every day was a unique set of circumstances that translated into real-world experience, which will help the students get professional work. “I wanted to marry students to actual work. It was a symbiotic relationship which translated to these students getting actual experience they can put on their resume, include in their film reel and add to their IMDb,” said Hawa. The video has since gone on to gain attention as the first single landing at No. 10 on the Billboard Heat Seeker chart.
Hawa and the LU film students have been approached to work on the video from the next single for the band. “The cinematographer from the video shoot, Donald Kilgore, has already reached out to some of the film students to hire them for other jobs. This is all because of their hard work and the professional relationships they formed on this production,” said Hawa. “We are not only bolstering our curriculum with experience like this, but our students are making a mark on the professional landscape of film production.” Hawa can currently be found teaching a new music video production class and planning the upcoming summer film project.
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Beyond the frame
Keith Carter Fifty Years article by Daniel Pemberton
or the past 50 years, Keith Carter has captured the landscape, the people and the mythology of Southeast Texas through his mystical and often transcendent photography. Now, Carter is releasing a new book, titled “Keith Carter Fifty Years,” compiling hundreds of his best works from throughout the course of his career, all he himself handpicked.
transforming the kitchen of our small apartment into a darkroom,” reminisces Carter. “My mother was a photographer of children. She opened a small portrait studio in Beaumont when I was five, so I grew up around it.” His mother’s friends, local artists, would supplement Carter’s artistic education by loaning him books. It was at this time that he developed a liking for the paintings of Vermeer and came across his first photographic inspiration in the form of the photojournalism of Henri Cartier-Bresson in his book “The Decisive Moment.” But for the most part, Carter did not pursue art as a young man. “In my teen years, I played with bad garage bands and the other usual teen things of my generation,” says Carter. “Toward the end of my last two years of college at Lamar University, I was majoring in business management. You could say I didn’t have much of a direction on how I wanted to “The experience has been shape my life.” interesting to say the least,” says But that sense of being lost in Carter, commenting on the daunthis life would not last long. Carter ing task of going through 50 years cites one experience as a young of his own work, a project that man that forever shaped the has consumed a year of his life. direction his life would take. “It's interesting to see how you “It began with a book, “Let have worked in the past, where Us Now Praise Famous Men” by you pivot and try to remember James Agee, that featured the why you made that pivot. How photographs of Walker Evans. your style has changed and how The two created it while living your own life has changed along among the farming families of with the projects that you spent rural Alabama,” says Carter. “The time on.” book just electrified me. The Talking about the upcoming collection, our conversation natu- photographs were of such plain rally turns to the past, specifically, ordinary people and they looked how he became involved with the like something a kid could make, but they had a certain power.” art of photography. That power took hold of “Some of my earliest memories are of my mother
Carter, so much so that he found himself on a Greyhound bus headed for New York, to see the photos in person. “I took the greyhound to New York and went to the MOMA to see if I could visit their permanent collection of photographs by Walker Evans and Ansel Adams, famous photographers of that generation,” says Carter. “I caught fire, photography became all I wanted to do. I wanted to make my own for better or for worse. I was not interested in the business of photography, not interested in making money, only in having an interesting life.” But beyond simply enhancing his own life, Carter was inspired to tell stories that had a powerful message and told a story. “I wanted to be involved in issues and pay attention to people who were not being paid attention to,” says Carter. “It sounds idealistic today, but that is how I felt then and, in many ways, how I still feel.” Sights and Sounds
But Carter's career as a photographer would not truly take off until the release of his first book, “From Uncertain to Blue,” in 1988. “‘From Uncertain to Blue’ came about as a gift to my wife on our 10th wedding anniversary. I asked her if she would like to take a road trip to all the small towns in Texas with strange or interesting names, the theory being they all had to be named so for some reason,” says Carter. “She was thrilled with the idea, so we took the trip during a two-year period and visited about 100 towns in the process. She would keep a travelogue, and I would make one photo in each town.” “Sometimes there was nothing there, and I would be faced with the worst time of day and yet forced to produce a photograph. I made photos that were about nothing in terms of what is commonly thought of as a well-structured composition or an interesting photo. It was about what was there, and I think it is because of that and not in spite of it that the book came out so well,” says Carter. The project had been inspired by the simple but meaningful work of photographers such as Walker Evans and Robert Frank who, in their own ways, chronicled the America of their time. In many ways, Carter’s work did the same. The book was not only a travelogue but a cartography of rural Texas — a work of photojournalism in its own right. Carter’s ability to frame the mundane nature of rural life in a way that both captured its dignity, as well 12
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as its absurd strangeness, caught the eye of the art press. The collection became an overnight success, earning Carter accolades from his peers. “That book started a fire,” says Carter. “A colleague of mine, a high-powered commercial editorial photographer in Seattle, sent my book to Cathy Ryan, photo editor of the New York Times. Before I knew it, I was getting phone calls to do assignments all over. Word got around among picture editors that there is this guy in Southeast Texas making unusual photographs. Things sort of took off by word of mouth and my career took a huge turn.” It was around this time that Carter received a call from Lamar University, asking if he would like a job teaching photography, as the current professor had left halfway through the semester. Of course, he said yes, and the rest is history. As Carter’s career progressed, he found himself drifting away from his photojournalistic roots. This shift in his style is, in part, thanks to a short film the photographer viewed at the Galveston Film Festival, Hannah and the Dog Ghost. The film was based on a piece of Southeast Texas folklore about the spirits of loved ones having the ability to return as ghosts in times of great need. Carter found himself turning more and more to folklore for inspiration. “I did a book called ‘The Blue Man’ based on a mixture of the imaginary and my older documentary style. It was my take on magical realism or transcendence
in some way,” says Carter. Finding himself more and more inspired by the storytelling tradition of Southeast Texas, Carter began to construct a philosophy of photography that is very much like storytelling. “Well, I think photographs all have a narrative, something beyond just the frame,” he said.
In Texas we have a saying ‘the story doesn’t have to be true, just has to be good,’ so I started making images that for the most part could be true but were not documentary. A lot of times, I took those passages from books, and I would underline and think what kind of photograph could I make from this. But I keep it in our region because it looks like no other. I like the darkness, the culture, the muddiness, the bayou, the music, overtones of various religions, the big cultural gumbo that is made here.
– Keith Carter
But beyond just a linear narrative, Carter’s photographs often delve into the realm of the poetic, the mystical and the otherworldly. He has proven himself to be an artist not only interested in the physical but also the metaphysical, not just the physical geography of a space but its historical, emotional and mythological geography. It is this aspect of the Southeast Texas region that Carter so lovingly captures in his images.
“Poetry is different from prose. Prose takes you from point A to point B, but poetry is always elliptical,” says Carter. “It seems to have multiple different meanings to multiple different people. I love the fact that words conjure up images in my mind that I wouldn’t have otherwise thought or seen.” The photography of Keith Carter is not content to simply document that a time and place once was extant. Instead, it strives
to share a piece of that place that cannot be shown but must be felt; it invites you to share in the collective dream of its inhabitants, to breath in its history. It is for this reason that he continues to be one of the finest living photographers, storytellers and mythmakers of our time. Keith Carter’s new book, “Keith Carter Fifty Years” is for sale now by the University of Texas Press. Sights and Sounds
THREE, TWO, ONE —
The Showcase of Southeast Texas
Sights and Sounds
Volume 1, No.1
hen the marching band finishes each practice, one can hear the cadence call from the director as he yells “three, two, one.” The response is an astoundingly loud “LU,” and that is the signal practice is over. This is a tradition that Eric Shannon, the passionate director of The Showcase of Southeast Texas, the marching band for Lamar University, started when he came to the university in the fall of 2014. “I feel that the community and students thrive from the tradition a marching band can help create, but tradition requires a past. This band lost 20 years of tradition and was starting over when I came to LU,” stated Shannon. “It takes time to find your identity and figure out what needs to stay and what needs to go. We are still working on that.” Shannon, who holds a Doctor of Music Arts degree from the University of Oklahoma, began his fifth season with The Showcase of Southeast Texas this past fall. He led the 215-member band throughout the football season with fun performances and music from “The Incredibles,” “Malagueña,” Cyndi Lauper, Pat Benetar, Rush and The Outfield, among other well-known hits. When Shannon is not rehearsing with the marching band, he is writing drill for the group to plan and prepare for half-time shows and other performances. “I use a computer program to input the shapes the band makes on the field and input the music
we will play. This process helps us have a more productive practice,” said Shannon. “We only practice four to eight hours a week, so I have to be prepared and ready to go. Each practice must be organized so that our time together is not wasted.” The marching band, which last year represented 84 high schools and had a grade point average of 3.3, can attribute much of its success to its very spirited director. Shannon, who loves seeing and listening to the members perform, has set high goals for the group that entertains LU alumni, faculty, staff, students and fans. “I try my best to be available to give each member attention,” stated Shannon. “I love seeing and listening to them perform. I get a little depressed when it’s all over.” When Shannon came to LU, he had the full support of Derina Holtzhausen, dean of the College of Fine Arts and Communication.
The band is now fully funded and has the operating budget to help grow the band, expand staff, hire arrangers and pay for the rights to performance music. This past season represented the first time the band had the same staff from the previous year — a feat Shannon believes will be beneficial to the success of the group. The Showcase of Southeast Texas performs at the home football games. This past November, the group had the opportunity to showcase their talents at the Bands of America Super Regional in San Antonio where they executed their talents with the help of an upgraded sound system and electronic design sound effects. For more information on The Showcase of Southeast Texas or to watch performance highlights, you can follow them on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and YouTube.
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Dr. Eric Shannon Favorite instrument? All of them.
Cats or dogs? Dogs.
What did you want to be when you grew up? From four years old to present…movie star, professional baseball player, medical doctor, marine biologist, IT specialist, college band director – in that order.
What skill would you like to master? I would love to learn to fly a helicopter.
What instrument do you want your son to play? That’s up to him! Beach or lake? Mountain lake. Rule follower or rule breaker? Follower, but everything is invented, so… Best teacher you had? My mother. Favorite quote? “You get out of it what you put into it.”
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What website do you visit the most? ESPN. What’s on your playlist? Coldplay, Chopin, Post Malone, Beethoven. What’s the last adventure you went on? Does having our first baby count? But before that, a trip to Italy. What is your spirit animal? Baby moose. Who are the three greatest living musicians? Frank Huang, Yo-Yo Ma, Justin Timberlake, Chris Martin… oops that’s four. Favorite ice cream flavor? Chocolate chip cookie dough!
The Space Between Grief and Mourning “This work aims to take this very personal experience of loss
and translate it to a larger audience by exploring grief and mourning in its various forms.” – Prince Thomas
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esign Magazine, a new art and design publication in India, recently featured the work of Prince Thomas, professor of photography for the Department of Art. Thomas’ recent series of photo-based works, titled “Ancestors,” are sourced from his family’s archives that include four generations of funeral photos. “I have utilized these images as a departure point to create a series of images that references photography’s historical tradition with documenting death while metaphorically speaking about communal and personal loss. The images integrate constructed landscapes that I have photographed with component 20
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parts from my family archives,” explained Thomas. “The moon is a recurring element within these images, which has mythological associations with death throughout cultures.” “Ancestors” is part of a larger body of work called “The Space Between Grief and Mourning.” It is an interdisciplinary series of works that explores the process of grief and mourning in private and public contexts. “In 2014, I lost my father. I had been his primary care-giver for more than 10 years, having moved him and my mother to live with me in Houston. During this time, I had taken care of every aspect of my father’s daily needs,
while witnessing the slow process of aging, disease and its effects on the body. This work aims to take this very personal experience of loss and translate it to a larger audience by exploring grief and mourning in its various forms,” said Thomas. Thomas, who received his first camera when he was a young boy, knew instantly that photography was something he loved. In high school, he was a member of the yearbook staff and won his first photography award when his teacher submitted his work to a contest. “This was the first time I realized I could actually be recognized for something I love,”
said Thomas. “I still have that first Kodak Instamatic I received as a 10-year-old.” Thomas, who is an Indian immigrant born in Kuwait, was raised between Kerala, India and the United States. He has always felt that he is an outsider in art and culture. His studio practice is informed by his ethnicity and facing racial prejudice throughout his life. From the Iran Hostage Crisis in the 70s, to aggressions in Libya in the 80s, to the first Gulf War in the 90s and then the events of September 11, each decade of his
Although I am Indian-American, my identity was always malleable to others to perceive me as a threat or the enemy. This experience through my formative years to adulthood has directly affected how I look at society with open eyes and attempt to investigate places that I find worthy of critique, exploration and making art,
psychology and art, Thomas investigates and deconstructs complex sociopolitical issues from the interstices in personally expressive ways that humanize his subjects while incorporating a variety of photographic, video, drawing and installation techniques into his artwork. His work has been characterized as poetic moments captured in chaotic worlds. A winner of the Time-Based Media in Art Prize 7 and a Texas Biennial Artist, Thomas has been invited to exhibit his work and be a visiting artist, lecturer, panel discussant and workshop instructor at numerous institutions including Ashkal Alwan Beirut, Lebanon; the Station Museum of Contemporary Art; the Atlanta Contemporary; the Light Factory; and the Queens Museum. Thomas’ work has been exhibited in more than 175 solo and group exhibitions at numerous museums, galleries and
alternative spaces and is represented in the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston. Thomas’ work is currently on display at the Hooks-Epstein Galleries in Houston.
– Prince Thomas life has been marked with prejudice that has been projected on to him by the dominant culture. With an educational background and degrees in both Sights and Sounds
When music and speech sciences collide
Photo by: Patti Brahim
er operatic voice fills the hall and her enthusiasm captivates the audience when she performs. But this time, Abigail Dueppen is not performing in one of her critically acclaimed operas, she’s holding audience with her latest project, the Vocology Certificate Program at Lamar University. This project, much like the opera Candide, is the coming together of “The Best of All Possible Worlds” from within the College of Fine Arts and Communication's Mary Morgan Moore Department of Music and Speech and Hearing Sciences Department. Dueppen, who is the director of the program and one of its faculty members, brings a unique 22
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perspective in order to mesh the two interdisciplinary departments with this new certificate. “The Vocology Certificate Program is the perfect combination of artistry, pedagogy and science,” said Dueppen. “I am excited to bring my background in music and teaching, as well as my experience as a speech language pathologist to the program.” Dueppen, who holds a Bachelor of Music degree with academic distinction in vocal performance and music education from the Eastman School of Music, a Master of Music degree in vocal performance from the University of Houston and a Master of Science degree in speech language
pathology from Lamar University, seemed like the natural fit when discussion of this program first started more than a year ago.
This is the only online vocology program offered in the U.S. This certificate will provide marketable skills for singers, speech language pathologists and professional voice users. – Abigail Dueppen
The purpose of the graduate certificate in vocology and vocal health is to train vocologists. The program will include a cutting-edge theoretical and applied curriculum and place Lamar University on the forefront of this emerging, relevant field. This innovative program connects speech science, speech anatomy and physiology, vocal and performance pedagogy, instrumentation and vocal habilitation through interdisciplinary efforts. The Voice Lab and Vocology Clinic will allow participants to acquire foundational knowledge of acoustics, anatomy and physiology of the vocal mechanism, correlate physiology to what students perceptually hear, and analyze and interpret information, as well as incorporate this knowledge into their own intervention/teaching. The vocology program will be offered via 13 credits of online classes with a flexible schedule and will culminate in a two-week, on-campus residency in which students will work in the stateof-the-art Voice Lab and Vocology Clinic in the Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences. The first cohort began their classes Jan. 22. Debra Greschner, will also serve on the faculty of the Vocology Certificate Program. She is an operatic soprano, serves as instructor of voice at LU and is the book reviewer for the NATS publication, "Journal of Singing." “Ms. Greschner possesses a fountain of knowledge on vocal pedagogy and vocal literature,” said Dueppen.
Photo by: Monica Kressman
Nandhu Radhakrishnan, PhD, CCC-SLP, a voting member of the Pan American Vocology Association is a prolific researcher, and associate professor in the Speech and Hearing Sciences Department. He completes the faculty in the Vocology Certificate Program. Greschner and Radhakrishnan, along with Department Chair Monica Harn and Dean Derina Holtzhausen, saw the need for this unique program at LU and
knew the university was ideal because of its historically strong programs in music and in speech and hearing sciences, as well as faculty who are trained specialists in the target curriculum. “I am beyond excited to begin this cutting-edge certificate program at LU with phenomenal colleagues found in Dr. Radhakrishnan and Ms. Greschner. I also am humbled by the outpouring of support from the faculty and administration,” said Dueppen. Sights and Sounds
Art embraces the future hat is the future of the artist in a digitally interactive age? For LU art students, this new age of creativity is offering unprecedented job opportunities and a new means for artists to develop their personality in a digital landscape.
Forty years ago, many believed computers would kill the artist and take over creativity. We have since learned that only the technique has changed at arriving at a statement. – Donna Meeks, chair of the Department of Art The age of technology has ushered in new techniques for artists, as well as the need to integrate new curriculum for the LU Department of Art. This fall, interior design and architecture classes were offered to students to make use of new technology, while helping students broaden their education as well as provide more employment opportunities. “Our goal is to embrace this new content and look forward as to how to grow and create this curriculum. This past fall, we 24
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focused on Introductory Interior Design and ArchiCAD courses,” said Meeks. “I’m looking forward to growing this curriculum in the spring.” The Department of Art also has introduced new virtual reality equipment that is set up in a rendering lab. The students will have access to this as well as large 22-inch digital drawing pads that will immerse them into a fantastical environment that creates an experience not possible in
ordinary physical reality. “Technology like this has created new jobs in the field of conceptual artistry, where the artist develops characters in games and animation,” said Meeks. Although technology is bringing a renaissance to the field of art, students still have to be strong in the traditional foundation of artistry referred to as studio art. As such, graphic design students are required to take a certain number of hours of
traditional art classes like painting, drawing or sculpting to hone their artistic abilities. “Technology has opened the door to new ways for artists to be creative. Although, it is very important that the artist have the traditional foundation of drawing and painting to be successful as he or she is developing the personality of the character,” said Meeks. The department also features a significant 3D printing lab, which further provides a new future in technology for the artist. “We use the 3D printing lab for art projects. The lab will also be integrated into the new interior design and architecture studies. This technology is creating new job opportunities with the need for 3D printing specialists in the workforce,” Meeks said.
The Art Department was recently showcased in a innovative way when their new textbook, "Art as a Living Practice," became published. The textbook, authored by LU art faculty and artists from around the Southeast Texas area, will be used in art appreciation courses. The royalties from the book will be donated to the LU Art Department to help pay for guest lecturers, student trips to museums and other art needs. “The textbook is a unique collaboration between local artists and our faculty. Instead of art from 50,000 feet, it is art from right next to you,” said Meeks. The art and technology focus have ushered in a new future for the department, one in which new creativity is embraced, while the traditional fundamentals of art like drawing, painting and sculpting are still celebrated. Sights and Sounds
years of the Dishman Art Museum
n 1983, the Dishman Art Museum, then the Dishman Art Gallery, opened its newly constructed doors on the campus of Lamar University. To celebrate the official opening, an alumni exhibition featuring LU’s most recognized artistic graduates commenced. Thirty-five years later, the museum is still going strong and keeping with the tradition of the alumni art show. "After School Special," LU's first juried alumni art exhibition, opened on June 15 and ran through August 3 of last year. This show, where 10 alumni were featured, was a celebration of the important and historical value the museum brings to the campus. “We kicked off the anniversary of the museum with an alumni exhibition just like 35 years ago when the Dishman first opened,” said Dennis Kiel, current director of the museum. The show, jurored by Lynn Lokensgard, featured alumni who earned their degrees from the 1970s to as recently as 2015. Lokensgard, who holds a Ph.D. in art history from the University of Kansas, joined the faculty of LU in 1973 and retired in 2001. Early in her tenure, she began taking a leadership role as a supporter of the arts both inside and outside the classroom. Lokensgard 26
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naturally became part of the historical story of the museum as she eventually served as the first director of the Dishman, a role she fulfilled for 20 years. In the early 1980s, it was determined there was a need for a permanent exhibition space to display student and faculty art work. Robert Rogan, the chair of the Department of Art at the time, noted that the university had reached a point where it had an expanding collection of gifts of art, but no place to house them. Proposals were submitted, and some money was raised, but it became clear that additional funds were needed to have a state-of-the-art gallery. When Kate and Herbert Dishman, active and well-known members of the community, heard of the plans, they stepped forward with a substantial amount of money for the construction of the building. Their beneficence ultimately inspired others to support the project, and the inauguration of the building commenced. On May 7, 1982, ground-breaking ceremonies were held at the site of construction. University officials, including Brock Brentlinger, dean of the College of Fine and Applied Arts (now the College of Fine Arts and Communication) and LU President
Kate and Herbert Dishman
Robert Kemble, participated in the historic event. “At the ground-breaking ceremony, the participants used shovels that were individually painted with a variety of creative designs by faculty and students of the Department of Art. The shovels are now on display in my office,” said Kiel. Marvin Gordy, chief architect of the Beaumont architectural firm Steinman, Gordy and Huffhines, had a vision to create a structure with a strong modernist aesthetic composed of basic
“The design [of the Dishman Art Museum (left)] can best be described as the Whitney of the Southwest,” said Lokensgard, referring to the look of the original Whitney Museum of Art located in New York City (right). geometric shapes with clean and sharp lines. It was determined the exterior façade of the building would be constructed of boardformed concrete, while the interior space would consist of two levels for exhibition of art, offices, an outdoor roof patio and a lecture hall. The construction took approximately one year to complete. “The design can best be described as the Whitney of the Southwest,” said Lokensgard, referring to the look of the original Whitney Museum of Art located in New York City. Throughout the years, the museum has received several important gifts which are on display for the public. Most notably, Friends of the Arts co-founders Heinz and Ruth Eisenstadt gifted “Caleb and the Spies” (ca. 1630-1640) by the 17th-century Italian Baroque painter Mattia Pretti and “View of the Grand Canyon” (1913) by American landscape painter
Thomas Moran. In 1991, the family would again pay tribute to the arts by bequeathing the Heinz and Ruth Eisenstadt Collection to the museum. As the permanent collection continued to grow, the Dishman took on a larger role in the community. In 2003, the building was officially renamed the Dishman Museum of Art. The name change signified the commitment to enrich the permanent collection, expand its audience and guaran-
tee these wonderful works could be appreciated and studied for many generations to come. The Dishman opened its doors in 1983 not only as a showcase for art, but also as a teaching facility for students, faculty, staff and the greater community. It continues today to educate and inspire, thus carrying out its mission to provide access to art, artists and ideas through diverse exhibitions, lectures and programming.
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Signing for the future
During their study abroad trip, students in the Department of Deaf Studes and Deaf Education sign B-A-R-C-E-L-O-N-A while posing in front of the stunning Spanish cityscape. reating a deaf world in a hearing environment is no easy task. The Department of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education is not only doing this, they are paving the way with one-of-akind programs and making a name for themselves and LU along the way. This year the Department of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education will focus on a completely new and ground-breaking initiative, the Deafblind Intervener. This program, the only one of its kind in the United States, will provide fluency and access to the deafblind community and put the department in the forefront of service to this community. “In Texas alone, there are more than 750 deafblind students who don’t have interveners. The services these students need are 28
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intensive and very hard to come by,” said Zanthia Smith, associate professor in the Deaf Studies and Deaf Education Department. The intervener is a professional who provides intervention to an individual who is deafblind. This person will mediate between the person who is deafblind and his or her environment to enable him or her to communicate effectively with and receive non-distorted information from the world around them. The Deafblind Intervener program will focus on kindergarten through 12th-grade interveners in fluency and access to the deafblind world. The program will focus on who the student is, rather than who they should be. “This is the first time any higher learning institution has offered a program like this. There
are no models to follow, so we are paving the way,” said Smith. The Department of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education offers a B.A. in American sign language with three tracks for the student to focus on: the education track, which is the only program track offered in the state of Texas, the interpreting track and the advocacy track. The department also offers a Master of Science and a Doctor of Education in deaf studies and deaf education. There is currently a huge demand across the United States for interpreters and American sign language teachers. The Deafblind Intervener program will add employment options for these students. “Our students participate in internships and study abroad programs. They are creating a
deaf world and breaking down barriers,” said Smith. The Deaf Studies and Deaf Education Department at LU is providing a cultural shift with the communication barrier of the deaf world. There are currently five faculty and staff members who are deaf, more than half of the department. The department also recently hired two new designated interpreters, which is a resource most universities don’t have. The interpreters help faculty, staff and students in the department to better communicate with the hearing world. “The addition of the designated interpreters shows just how dedicated the College of Fine Arts and Communication is to the success of this program,” said Jordan Wright, assistant professor in the department. In addition to the ambitious goals the department has set looking forward, the “hope is to one day hire a blind faculty member,” according to Smith.
The Department of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education is building a bridge and filling the gaps cross-culturally to enable different cultures to better understand one another through communication. This is a great endeavor that can neither be heard nor seen, but felt in the walls that are being broken down continually to merge the deaf and hearing worlds. Sights and Sounds
Drawing in Japan
Ten students and 10 days... his was the learning experience of a lifetime when Lamar University students visited Beaumont’s sister city, Beppu in Japan, for Drawing in Japan, a study abroad program. This jaunt halfway around the world, organized by Christopher Troutman, assistant professor of art, was four years in the making. “I began working with Beppu University in 2015 when I had a solo art exhibition in the city,” said Troutman. “I knew then that I wanted to bring students to experience this opportunity to learn traditional Japanese art forms.” During the 10-day experience, students had the opportunity to learn Japanese art, also called ink painting, as well as animation. They were able to experience much of the local Japanese culture by participating in a rice planting festival where they witnessed a performance of traditional rice planting as members wore historical-style farm clothing dating back to the Heian Period. They also were treated to a dinner in the mountainous countryside, along with transportation and Sumi painting materials. The hospitality bestowed upon the students even included a private tour to visit the largest statue of Buddha in Japan and an evening of traditional Japanese barbecue and karaoke. “I met up with the students in Japan at the beginning of the trip.
We visited museums, shrines and temples five days prior to heading to Beppu to start our 10 days of classes,” said Troutman. After we arrived, Beppu University was kind enough to schedule English majors to help the LU students on various nearby excursions that usually began with observational sketches.”
The eponymous city where the university is located welcomed the artistic scholars as well. The deputy mayor met with the group and welcomed them to Japan. The activities of the students and the interest from the city resulted in two newspaper articles and a story on the evening news. Sights and Sounds
The experience concluded with an exhibition of completed artwork by the LU students and an opening reception hosted by the university. There, students talked, laughed and even shared with each other different dances they knew.
The trip meant a great deal to me. I had never traveled overseas before, and I had always wanted to go to Japan in particular… We were able to experience so much that the country had to offer, from the very modern atmosphere in Tokyo to a more traditional feel in Beppu. – Cody Fontenot, LU student That transition really stuck with Fontenot and inspired one of his final art pieces. “Perhaps my favorite aspect of the trip however was interacting with the day-to-day culture. All the seemingly mundane tasks such as taking the subway, or buying a drink from a vending machine or speaking with the locals in the small amount of 32
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Japanese I knew felt incredibly satisfying,” said Fontenot of the study abroad experience. “I hope to one day be equally as good hosts to students from Beppu University. I’m looking
forward to a future collaboration with our colleagues from Japan,” said Troutman. This summer, art students will visit Italy for the study abroad series.
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Speech & Hearing Sciences in the national spotlight Vinaya Manchaiah receives $397,800 NIH grant for tinnitus relief research t was a challenging time, but two years of processing paperwork and preliminary data paid off when Vinaya Manchaiah, associate professor and Jo Mayo Endowed Professor in the Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences, was awarded a grant from the National Institutes of Health-National Deafness and Other Communication Disorders section for $397,800 to study relief efforts for tinnitus sufferers in the U.S. “Tinnitus, or ringing in the ears, affects nearly 50 million people in the U.S., whereas about 20 million people struggle with burdensome chronic tinnitus,” Manchaiah said. “Tinnitus is debilitating for many individuals, affecting many aspects of daily life, such as sleep, mood and concentration. Currently, there is no cure for this condition.” Literature suggests that Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, a treatment that addresses the affected individual’s reaction to tinnitus, has the most evidence-based benefits in the management of tinnitus, while there is limited value in pharmacological or sound-therapy-based interventions. Yet, CBT is offered 34
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at a rate of less than one percent in U.S. cases, and few professionals are trained in the treatment. Additionally, psychological management options such as CBT are primarily offered in English, resulting in fewer options for non-English-speaking patients. In his proposal, Manchaiah will develop a way to offer CBT via the internet as a guided self-help program. Named iCBT, it can be customized to meet individual needs both in terms of language and access. The proposed study aims to adapt an internet-based self-help program developed in Europe for U.S. populations. In the work, he will adapt a platform for delivering iCBT developed in Sweden and the UK to culture and language appropriate for U.S. populations, in both English and Spanish. He will set up a pilot evaluation of the iCBT program, make adjustments based on findings, then conduct a more structured evaluation to determine the efficacy of iCBT for tinnitus sufferers. Manchaiah will seek to demonstrate that using iCBT will result in reduced tinnitus-related distress, decreased sleep distur-
“The long-term goal of this initiative is to develop an accessible and affordable selfhelp program that can improve health outcomes in individuals with tinnitus.” – Vinaya Manchaiah bance, decreased anxiety and depression, and improved general health in a treatment group, as compared to tinnitus sufferers in the waiting list control group in the U.S. population.
In this part of the research, Manchaiah will examine the efficacy of iCBT for the tinnitus population in the U.S., determining if the iCBT self-help program has the potential to relieve distress associated with tinnitus and improve other health outcomes. In addition, the study will focus on understanding both the barriers to and facilitators of success in iCBT and examine outcome predictors. “The efficacy trial proposed in this project is the first step to determine if iCBT produces expected outcomes in controlled conditions,” Manchaiah said. “However, future work will focus on examining the degree of benefit from iCBT for tinnitus sufferers when compared to routine faceto-face clinical care with common tinnitus interventions such as informational counseling, hearing aids and sound therapy.” The proposed project will help better understand how tinnitus sufferers in the U.S. interact with the iCBT program, and it will help fine-tune the content, presentation and process flow.
Considering there is limited access to evidence-based interventions such as CBT for the U.S. population, this initiative has the potential to improve accessibility of care, and can also substantially reduce cost, making it affordable to those in need. “Securing a grant is a team effort,” Manchaiah said, giving credit to his department chair, Monica Harn, for her support and inspiration, as well as Julie Maxey and Roxanne Parks from the Department of Research and Sponsored Programs “for excellent administrative support and feedback throughout the preparation of this grant application.” Originally from South India, Manchaiah holds a doctorate in disability research from Linkoping University, Sweden. He also holds a number of other degrees, including an MBA from Swansea University, United Kingdom, Doctor of Audiology from Nova Southeastern University, MSC in audiology from the University of Southampton, and a Bachelor of Science in speech and hearing from the University of Mysore, India.
“His contributions have put the program of audiology at Lamar University in the national and global spotlight,” said Harn. In 2016, Manchaiah was named to the Jerger Future Leaders of Audiology by the American Academy of Audiology, one of only a dozen individuals named nationwide. Manchaiah also is the co-founder and director for strategic planning for the non-profit non-governmental organization Audiology India, for which he served as president from 2011 to 2015. The organization seeks to foster ear and hearing health care in India. In 2017, he was honored by the NRI Institute at the Leela Palace in Chanakyapuri, New-Delhi, India, for his work in the field of education. Manchaiah recently was named the recipient of the prestigious Marie and Jack Shapiro Prize by the British Tinnitus Association for the second consecutive year. Sights and Sounds
Jean and Rudy Williams Scholarship benefitting music students, marching band and the Department of Music
usic students, the marching band and the Mary Morgan Moore Department of Music will soon benefit from a generous scholarship from The Jean and Rudy Williams Academic Enhancement Fund. The scholarship, which will provide as much as $120,000 annually to the department, will help fund student education needs, help recruit for The Showcase of Southeast Texas and allow for an annual jazz festival.
“This generous scholarship of approximately $120,000 annually will help the department recruit the finest musical talent in Texas and beyond.”
Lamar University and wife of President Emeritus James M. “Jimmy” Simmons. The scholarship was announced at a reception for Jimmy Simmons upon his retirement from the music faculty. Simmons’ 48-year career with LU began in 1970 when he joined the faculty as an instructor and “It’s a game-changer for us that director of the marching band. will certainly continue to raise our He rose through the ranks, later level of producing first-rate music serving as director of bands and as educators and performers,” said chair of the Department of Music Brian Shook, associate professor and Theatre before his appointof music and chair of the Music ment as dean in 1992. In 1996, Department. he began serving concurrently The scholarship is named as interim executive director of in memory of Jean and Rudy university advancement. On Sept. Williams, the parents of Susan 1, 1999, he took office as the uniSimmons, former first lady of versity’s 10th president, ultimately 36
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Susan and Jimmy Simmons
serving 14 years. He became the university’s first president emeritus upon his retirement and returned to the faculty where he continued sharing his talent, insight and skills with music students. Throughout that career, Susan Simmons actively supported his many roles at Lamar University. She also served as chaperone on bus trips as the “Grandest Band in the Land” traveled throughout the state and beyond, spending countless hours at then Cardinal Stadium with their young children as the band refined its weekly performances, and much more. When Simmons assumed the presidency, her roles expanded as together they engaged the
broader alumni, Beaumont and regional communities, fostering a warm, home-town relationship. At LU, she was instrumental in the steady improvement of the campus appearance, bringing her experience as a real estate agent to bear as she created curb appeal by working with architects on the design and materials of the new residence halls, dining hall, athletics center, estate fencing and more. honoring the Simmons, along with recognizing each year’s scholar“A significant portion ship recipients. “We are looking forward to the of these highly competitive first jazz festival this year, which scholarships will go directly will be held April 27. It’s going to to the Lamar University be an exciting year for the departMarching Band to increase the magnitude and reputation ment,” exclaimed Shook. The department will be showof The Showcase of Southeast casing their talents this semester Texas,” Shook said. with many events like the Collage Concert, the Brass Festival, and In addition to offering talent- the Wind Ensemble concert. Fans ed students significant financial can enjoy a concert performance assistance, the donation also will by the Symphonic and University provide for an annual jazz festival
Bands and experience the opera with a performance of La Traviata. This past year, the Department of Music performed more than 100 events for students, faculty and the community. Along with new events like the Jimmy Simmons Jazz Festival, the department looks forward to another full semester of concerts. The funding from the Jean and Rudy Williams Scholarship will assist the department to keep inspiring talented LU students for generations to come. Sights and Sounds
Senior thesis experience
provides professional art experience article by April Marble
efore Lamar University art students can receive their bachelor’s degree, they must first take the Senior Thesis and Exhibition class that will prepare them for work in the professional world of art. This Exhibition is the final requirement of art majors before being awarded a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in studio art or graphic design and requires students to create a body of work based on an original concept. The work they create is then put on display during the Dishman Art Museum’s Senior Thesis Exhibition held at the end of every spring and fall semester. Prince Thomas, professor of photography, said the thesis program is unique to LU's art program because of its similarity to what higher-level art students will experience. “It is unique in the sense that most university art programs do not require a thesis from their undergraduate students,” said Thomas. “You simply take the required courses, and the student graduates. Whereas, at LU, we require our students to go through a formal thesis process very similar to what students have to do to get their Master of Fine Arts degree in art.” The class allows students to work independently and be a part of a professional exhibition. 38
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“The students are required to solve a self-initiated problem which includes creating a unique body of work; writing a formal thesis which includes describing, analyzing and situating their work within the history of art; working with a thesis committee comprised of Art Department faculty; and having a formal oral defense of the work in public. When the work is completed, the students
must present their work to a committee before being recommended for graduation,” said Thomas. “During the presentation, the faculty committee and public will ask questions concerning the work of the student. Once the student has successfully completed their oral defense and written paper, they will be recommended for graduation.”
Thomas said that the class’ structure provides students with the opportunity to become self-starters and produce work in the way that one would in a professional setting. “The responsibility is on the student to create and produce quality work in a timely manner,” said Thomas.
The importance of this process is to prepare the student for real life. Once they have completed the thesis process, they are prepared for the professional marketplace. All the components in our senior thesis program helps to prepare the student for life after school in whichever direction they choose to advance their careers. It helps to
ensure their future success.
– Prince Thomas Amy Morris, who graduated with a BFA from Lamar University in fall 2017, said the class is great for preparing students for graduate school and the art world.
“Any time you enter a piece into a show or submit work for an exhibition you must be able to write about yourself and your work in an intelligent way that will not only describe your work, but also inform the viewer about the various aspects of a piece,” said Morris. “Within the thesis process, you have to do all of these things. To me, learning to give voice to my own work was the most important part of the process.” The course also allows students to work together and learn from each other through the discussion and production of their work. “Students read over each other’s written portions of the papers each week to offer assistance to one another,” said Morris. “This process helped me to see what other students were writing about; how they were approaching talking about their work and what influenced it.” Overall, Morris describes the class as a challenging but rewarding experience “As an art student, it was my first challenge to create a full body of work and write a complete thesis paper with a firm deadline. It is a good challenge to make sure you can stay on task with both projects simultaneously. That’s how life is. Rarely do artists just have one thing going that we can devote all of our time to. Artists and students have to be able to multitask and still produce great work and be able to discuss that work.” The spring Senior Thesis Exhibition will be on display in the Dishman Art Museum from May 3-18. Sights and Sounds
The Kodály Institute
The power of music education at Lamar University
ryan Proksch has a very specific way he likes students to learn music. By interweaving music literacy and concepts through a mixture of games and folk songs, he is educating students by using the Kodály Method. Proksch, associate professor and director of the Kodály Institute at Lamar University, has been using this method as a means of education for years. “The Kodály Institute at LU has been around for six years, but the method has been used in this area for 25 years,” said Proksch. “Each summer, we host the Kodály Institute of Southwest Louisiana and Southeast Texas at LU for music educators.” 40
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The Kodály method, also referred to as the Kodály concept, is an approach to music education developed in Hungary during the mid-20th century by Zoltan Kodály. His philosophy of education served as inspiration for the method, which was then developed over a number of years by his associates. Kodály’s success eventually spilled over Hungarian borders when his method was first presented to the international community in 1958 at a conference of the International Society for Music Educators held in Vienna. Another I.S.M.E. conference in Budapest in 1964 allowed participants to see Kodály’s work first-hand, causing a surge of interest. Music educators from all over the world traveled to Hungary to visit his music schools.
The first symposium dedicated solely to the Kodály method was held in Oakland, California in 1973; it was at this event that the International Kodály Society was inaugurated. Today, Kodály-based methods are used throughout the world.
To this day, the Kodály Method still stands as the highest standard for music education. It is a way of educating children in music based on giving students a thorough grounding in solfeggio (using a moveable doh system), aimed at developing aural ability with emphasis on sight-singing, dictation and the reading and writing of music; a progressive repertory of songs and exercises, based on the use of Hungarian folk music.
provides a great opportunity for music educators in our area.” This past summer, the Kodály Institute met June 10-29. Music – Bryan Proksch educators learned concept sequencing and lesson planning This past year, the LU Kodály Institute received a grant from the for kindergarten and first-grade classrooms, as well as for the Education, Art and Environment second- and third-grade music Association. The grant provides scholarships for music educators in classrooms. Instructors taught the Southeast Texas area for sum- comprehensive musicianship skills mer courses to obtain certification through sight-singing, ear training, keyboard and written skills in through the LU Kodály Institute. the pentatonic scale system. The “This grant was the culminaprogram included collecting and tion of a lot of work from a lot of people over a period of a year and analyzing song materials, conducting, choral ensemble and other a half,” said Proksch. “This grant special topics.
The method is endorsed by the Organization of American Kodály Educators, whose mission is to support music education of the highest quality, promote universal music literacy and lifelong music making, and preserve the musical heritage of the people of the United States of America through education, artistic performance, advocacy and research. Because of one man’s interest in music education across the world in the early 1900s, we are able to share and preserve this way of learning for generations to come. Sights and Sounds
Speech and Hearing Science students board Irish airline Ryanair during their trip to Ireland
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goes abroad t’s hard to imagine that just four years ago the Speech and Hearing Sciences Department had no study abroad programs, especially after this past year, when the department offered two opportunities for students to visit Ireland and Costa Rica. “When I was approached for the study abroad program, my main goals were to offer a unique cultural and linguistic experience, as well as an academic opportunity where students can learn through a hands-on experience,” said Vinaya Manchaiah, Jo Mayo Endowed Professor and associate professor for the department. Manchaiah traveled with audiology students to Costa Rica this year where they partnered with a local clinic to provide hearing screenings to the community and visited an underserved family in the community. “Our students feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to serve this community and experience a different way of life,” said Manchaiah.
For the second study abroad trip, speech-language pathology students traveled to Ireland where they worked with Alzheimer’s patients, caregivers and advocates to learn first-hand how the disease can affect patients. “This experience allows our students to see this disease from the human perspective, and not just looking at a patient with a diagnosed disease. They have the opportunity to hear from Alzheimer’s patients and their families and see how this disease changes their lives,” said Karen Saar, instructor os speech-language pathology. During the trip, the group attended a training program for Alzheimer caregivers at the House of Memories located in a museum in Liverpool. They rehearsed with the Forget Me Nots choir for those with or affected by dementia, and they met with members of the Alzheimer’s Association of Ireland and the Irish Dementia Working Group to discuss advocacy measures to change the way people living with dementia are viewed.
To round out their training, they visited a Dementia Unit at a local hospital.
This is experience these students can’t get in a classroom. This trip has shaped their perception of this disease, said Saar. Three years into the Speech and Hearing Department’s study abroad program, both classes are full with more students wanting to participate. “My hope for this program is that students will want to return to these communities and continue their service,” said Manchaiah. This summer, speech and hearing sciences students will study abroad in Brazil and Ireland.
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Audiology students visit a local clinic
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House of Memories training day in Ireland
Students making dinner at a hostel in Northern Ireland Sights and Sounds
A grand evening his past spring, Le Grand Bal made a grand entrance when the fundraiser, touted as the event of the year at Lamar University, was held. The Bal set new records and heralded new “firsts” in its long-standing tradition of more than 40 years. “This past year we raised more than $124,000 for the College of Fine Arts and Communication,” said 2018 Chairperson Sandra Clark. “An amount that well surpassed our goal!” Another first for the event was a change in the venue. The committee decided during the planning process that Le Grand Bal would be moved to the newly renovated Setzer Student Center and become the unofficial opening of the highly anticipated building. The new backdrop of the art bash proved to be a good move as the event sold out to a crowd of more than 450 people. “The combination of the new location, pretty invitations, the honorees and strong support from our community contributed to the success of the Bal,” stated Clark. “We stuck to a strict budget. The idea was not to have a glamourous party, but to raise money for the college.” A highlight of the evening was the performance of dancers from 46
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Taiwan, who also unintentionally became the inspiration for the theme of the event. During the planning process, the committee realized the dancers would be visiting the Department of Theatre and Dance during the same time as the Bal. This inspired the Asian theme that lasted throughout the special evening. As dinner came to an end, a dragon, made of the dancers, led the partygoers to the ballroom where they were entertained by the performers from Tainan University of Technology. There were moments, however, in the planning process when many, including Clark, worried the event might not happen. Construction on the Setzer was
delayed when Harvey struck the area and then again when a January freeze temporarily shut down work on the structure. “Everything fell in to place. It was all-hands-on-deck to make this event happen,” said Clark. “We had plumbers, custodians, transportation, facilities, Chartwells (the caterer) and many LU employees working together. Nancy Evans, first lady of Lamar University, was a huge inspiration as she worked exceptionally hard to ensure the gardens were planted and the tables were in place for the big night.” Clark, a two-time chair of Le Grand Bal and a prominent supporter of the arts in our commu-
nity, is a member of the College of Fine Arts and Communication Advisory Council, the Lamar University Foundation Board and a member of the Friends of the Arts organization. She became involved with the arts and LU when she sang in her church choir with several LU students. The students impressed her, and she decided to fund a choral scholarship in their honor, which led her to become involved with the college and also a patron of the arts.
Fine arts can be the soul of a university. Our students go on to teach children, perform in church choirs and share their wonderful gifts to make this world a better place. The fine arts bring together diverse backgrounds to make a beautiful, civilized society. – Sandra Clark Clark would like to offer a huge thanks to the 2018 Le Grand Bal committee. She especially thanks Dean Derina Holtzhausen for her unwavering support and leadership and Karen Kessinger for all of her hard work and organization. Without the help of many LU employees like Polly McNeel, Terry Mena, the Facilities
Department, The Mary Morgan Moore Department of Music, the Taiwanese dancers under the direction of Golden Wright, the Department of Art, Dennis Kiel from the Dishman Art Museum, and Chartwells, the event would not have been possible. The 2019 Le Grand Bal will be held on March 30 in the Setzer Student Center, and the theme
will be “New Orleans Inspires LU.” The evening’s honorees will be Sandy and Joseph Fertitta with Gary Weldon as the guest artist. The chairs of the event are Rusty Chimeno and Dean Terrebonne. For more information about Le Grand Bal, or to contribute to the fine arts, please visit:
www.lamar.edu/legrandbal Sights and Sounds
University Press sets the record straight article contributed by University Press staff
he University Press, the student newspaper of Lamar University, set a new record with 76 awards in competitions for work published in 2017. “Every year the UP enters at least four major press club contests — The Press Club of Southeast Texas (PCSETX), The Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), the Houston Press Club and the Texas Intercollegiate Press Association,” Cassandra Jenkins, 2018-19 editor, said. University Press staffers earned 21 awards, including seven first places, and Jenkins won the scholarship award at the Press Club of Southeast Texas Excellence in Media Awards banquet held June 8 at the MCM Eleganté in Beaumont. The University Press staff as a whole was honored as finalists in the Best Student Magazine category for UPbeat. The UP was awarded Overall Excellence among non-daily newspapers, and UPbeat – the publication’s magazine – was awarded Overall Excellence magazine at the organization’s annual convention, held March 22-24, in Dallas. Individual awards included 14 first-place honors and were spread among 18 newspaper staffers, with the addition of UP advertising earning three first place awards. 48
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The University Press also earned eight prizes at the Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence Awards, held March 3 in San Antonio. “But, the best part was winning these awards against other professionals in the area,” said Jenkins. “We didn’t just compete against other college students or student run newspapers, but against local daily newspapers and corporations like the Beaumont Enterprise, the Examiner and others, so I am very impressed with the honors we walked away with that night.” “I am delighted that we had a good showing at SPJ,” Andy Coughlan, Lamar University Press media adviser, said. “The awards are open to all student media in Texas and Oklahoma, so the
competition is tough. I think it speaks well to the quality of work produced by the staff.” In addition to SPJ and the PCSETX, students also won three awards in the Houston Press Club Lone Star Awards. The University Press staff also participates in the Texas Intercollegiate Press Association, whose awards were given out at their annual convention, which consists of more than 500 students and advisers from 49 schools across Texas, in March. TIPA, established in 1909, encompasses two and four-year schools across the state, and is the oldest and largest statebased collegiate press association in the nation. It presents $4,000 in scholarships annually, as well as hosting competitions and a convention.
Noah Dawlearn’s award-winning photo of a helicopter pilot dropping a family off at the Montagne Center during Harvey.
“I’ve competed in TIPA for the last three years and have been fortunate enough to watch our little team grow and change, and this past year we took home a record of 45 awards for the work published in 2017. It was exhilarating to compete with some of the top schools in the area and even more exhilarating to know that our small group of students outshone newspapers consisting of 100-plus or more of students and staff.” – Cassandra Jenkins
One of Shane Proctor’s feature photos of the Winnie Rice Festival.
UPclose & personal The room looks like a typical news office. Newspapers piled high, the click-clicking of a keyboard typing away the news of the day. This particular office belongs to the University Press, but student journalists Cassie Jenkins and Olivia Malick, who occupy this space, are anything but typical. On this day, the dynamic duo is recollecting the recent election night of 2018, a night that was not only one for the history books, but one that also made personal history for these budding news makers. t all began when the Beaumont Enterprise newspaper called and asked for two student journalists to help cover election night. The choice was logical, and Jenkins and Malick began preparing for this not so ordinary day in the office. “We went to the Beaumont Enterprise the evening of election night prepared to help out around the newsroom. We had no idea 50
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we were being sent out in the community and to campaign watch parties to get in-depth stories,” said Malick. “It was a dream come true for a journalist who likes to cover hard-hitting stories, politics and serious topics.” The pair started out in Groves to follow a contentious local election of a city council member being recalled. They then parted ways as Malick headed to Suga’s Deep South Cuisine and Jazz Bar
to cover the Democratic election night watch party and Jenkins headed to Edison Plaza for the Republican watch party. “This night was different for me. I consider myself shy, and I don’t really enjoy covering politics. I knew this was an important experience and that as a journalist I wouldn’t be able to avoid the political landscape. I had to step out of my comfort zone, which is part of being a journalist,” said
Excerpt from the University Press
Jenkins. “My biggest concern was how to approach people, but everyone ended up being really nice and helpful. It was a very cool experience.” The girls’ role was to keep a minute-by-minute tab as numbers were coming in for statewide and local elections and to interview candidates as well as lay people there to support their political party. “I was very grateful for the opportunity to cover this historic night,” said Malick. “Being in that room and watching the optimism and enthusiasm was exciting. As the night wore on, some of that happiness in the room turned to sadness, but the feeling as a whole was electric.”
After the watch parties, Jenkins and Malick compiled their notes and returned to the Beaumont Enterprise office to contribute their information to reporters and to post updated numbers on the newspaper’s database. The night was hardly over for the team, as they then headed back to the UP office to begin content and layout for the upcoming edition of the student newspaper. “This issue ended up being our favorite. Design wise it was different, and the election night coverage was strong,” said Malick. “It was a right-up-to-theminute deadline, as cliché as that sounds!”
Both girls agree this was a very fun and very interesting experience. The opportunity to establish relationships at the Beaumont Enterprise and see up close and personal how a newsroom setting operates is something for which they are very grateful. “Going into this, I expected uptight people. This experience taught me not to pre-judge,” said Jenkins. “Everyone I spoke to, regardless of their politics, said it was just important to vote.”
The University Press is published weekly on Thursdays during the fall and spring semesters and can be found online at
lamar.edu/universitypress Sights and Sounds
Fine arts calendar Dishman Art Museum Exhibitions Dream Weavers: The Art of Julie Bell and Borris Vallejo first floor gallery
Out of Africa: Works from the Permanent Collection second floor gallery
January 25-March 1, 2019 Opening reception: February 15, 5:30 p.m.–8:30 p.m.
Le Grand Bal Silent Auction Preview: March 25-29, 2019 Silent auction: March 30, 6:00 p.m.–8:00 p.m. Department of Art Senior Thesis Exhibition May 3-28, 2019
Opening reception: Friday, May 3, 6:30 p.m.–8:30 p.m.
Theatre and Dance All shows begin at 7:30 p.m. Sunday matinee shows begin at 2:00 p.m. Doors open one hour prior to show time.
Adapted from the story by Daphne DuMaurier by Conor McPherson, directed by Joel Grothe
February 7-10 — Studio Theatre
The Comedy of Errors
By William Shakespeare, directed by Brian Le Tranik
March 21-24 — University Theatre
Dance Unleashed Dance Concert April 12-14 — University Theatre 52
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Music Events Brass Fest
February 21-23 – Rothwell Recital Hall and University Theatre
Collage 2019 Music Fundraiser Concert
February 26 — University Theatre — 7:30 p.m.
Cardinal Jazz Orchestra Spring Concert March 5 — Rothwell — 7:30 p.m.
Symphonic Band / University Band Winter Concert
March 7 — Setzer Student Center Live Oak Ballroom — 7:30 p.m.
March 30 — Music Building — 9:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m.
Trombone Studio Recital
April 11 — Rothwell — 7:30 p.m.
Faculty Solo Recital Featuring Jacob Clark April 16 — Rothwell — 7:30 p.m.
Wind Ensemble Spring Concert
April 18 — University Theatre — 7:30 p.m.
Jimmy Simmons Jazz Festival
April 27 — University Theatre — 7:30 p.m.
“La Traviata” by Lamar Opera Theatre May 3-4 — University Theatre — 7:30 p.m.
Symphonic Band / University Band Spring Concert May 7 — University Theatre — 7:30 p.m.
For more information, visit lamar.edu/cofac *Dates and times are subject to change. Please refer to the website for up-to-date information. Sights and Sounds
New faculty Department of Communication and Media
Dr. Dhiman Chattopadhyay
Dr. Kenneth Ward Assistant Professor
Andree Favors Instructor / Student Counselor
Department of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education
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Barbara Johnson Senior Designated Interpreter
Dr. Millicent Musyoka promoted to tenure
Dr. Gloshanda Lawyer Assistant Professor
& promotions Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences
Dr. Lekeitha Morris Assistant Professor
Theatre and Dance
Joel Grothe promoted to tenure
Alyssa Scales Clinical Supervisor / Instructor
Director of Vocology/ Instructor / Student Advisor
Department of Music
Dr. Brielle Frost Visiting Instructor of Flute
Dr. Jeannette Fresne Professor of Music Education Sights and Sounds
Lamar University P.O. Box 10077 Beaumont, TX 77710
To support the College of Fine Arts and Communication, please visit www.lamar.edu/cofac
A magazine for the College of Fine Arts and Communication at Lamar University.