Penn State College of Arts & Architecture Magazine 2017

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ON THE COVER: Tom Lauerman, assistant professor of art, uses a 3D sculpting pen during a Making for the Masses lab session. Photo: Stephanie Swindle


College of Arts and Architecture and Engineering Faculty Join Forces to Encourage “Making” at Penn State and Beyond



Devoted Penn State Alumni Gift Studio Glass Collection to Palmer Museum of Art

EDITOR: Amy Milgrub Marshall,


Graduate Student Overcomes Many Obstacles to Become In-Demand Trumpeter

10 A Colorful Approach to a Graduate Seminar: Sarah K. Rich’s Art History Course on Color


Internship in Early Childhood Art Education Takes Students to the Great Outdoors


Stuckeman School Students Design Improvements for Governor’s Residence Entrance


Students Create Digital Game to Raise Landmine Awareness


Arts and Architecture Students and Faculty Work with Students with Disabilities Through New Course


Alumni Brighten Lighting Lab with Donations


2017 College of Arts and Architecture Alumni Award Winners



Back Cover

Recent Graduate Wins Fulbright to Study in Germany

Construction Begins on New Recital Hall

Ceramics Alumni Honored as “Emerging Artists”

Student Commencement Speaker Earns Leadership and Exhibition Experience Along with Degrees

Theatre Alum Wins Alumni Achievement Award

Faculty, Staff, and Student Award Winners e-Learning Institute Broadens Focus, Renamed Office of Digital Learning

Friends, Colleagues Surprise Haug with Endowment College Mourns Passing of Harlan Hoffa From Child Entrepreneur to Arts Advocate: Walker Konkle

Administrative Changes Belser Named Penn State Laureate

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WRITERS: Katie Bohn, Alex Bush, Tammy Hosterman, Amy Milgrub Marshall, Jennifer Miller, Stephanie Swindle This publication is available in alternative media on request. The University is committed to equal access to programs, facilities, admission, and employment for all persons. It is the policy of the University to maintain an environment free of harassment and free of discrimination against any person because of age, race, color, ancestry, national origin, religion, creed, service in the uniformed services (as defined in state and federal law), veteran status, sex, sexual orientation, marital or family status, pregnancy, pregnancy-related conditions, physical or mental disability, gender, perceived gender, gender identity, genetic information, or political ideas. Discriminatory conduct and harassment, as well as sexual misconduct and relationship violence, violates the dignity of individuals, impedes the realization of the University’s educational mission, and will not be tolerated. Direct all inquiries regarding the nondiscrimination policy to Dr. Kenneth Lehrman III, Vice Provost for Affirmative Action, Affirmative Action Office, The Pennsylvania State University, 328 Boucke Building, University Park, PA 16802-5901; Email:; Tel 814-863-0471. U.Ed. ARC 17-142 MPC143922

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From left: F. Eric Goshow, Alice Stewart Castner, Alena Bronder, Nancy Aber Goshow. Castner and Bronder are recipients of the 2017 Nancy Aber Goshow and F. Eric Goshow Sustainable Building Design Award. Photo: Stephanie Swindle

MESSAGE FROM THE DEAN Over the past year, we have had students develop design ideas for the Pennsylvania Governor’s Residence, create a game aimed at helping children avoid landmines in Bosnia, and prepare young people with disabilities for a public singing and dancing performance. And those are just a few of the student accomplishments! Our faculty have been busy as well. This magazine’s cover story shares details about the National Science Foundation grant some of our professors in art education and visual arts received—along with a colleague in engineering—to develop a mobile “makerspace” intended to generate and sustain interest in “making.” We are thrilled that faculty from the College of Arts and Architecture received a grant from the NSF, reflecting the increasingly interdisciplinary nature of research across a broad range of disciplines. This year we may have set a record for faculty and students receiving University-level awards. The College of Arts and Architecture has always been well-represented, but this year we had a record ten students and faculty receive honors, as well as two faculty—Kim Cook and Ken Tamminga—who were named Distinguished Professors. In addition, Miranda Holmes, who just graduated with her B.F.A. in visual arts, has earned a Fulbright to study painting in Berlin starting this fall. It’s been a banner year! Looking ahead to summer 2018, I am honored to be hosting an Alumni Association tour, Riches of the Emerald Isles—a ten-day trip throughout Ireland, including stays in Ennis, Killarney, Mallow, and Dublin. We will visit spots such as the Cliffs of Moher, the Dingle Peninsula, the Ring of Kerry, and Blarney Castle with Penn State alumni like you! For more information or to pre-register, call 800-323-7373 (information will be available online soon). I hope you will take the time to read about the many projects and accomplishments covered in this issue. With so much “good news” in our college, it’s a challenge to narrow down the content, but we love being able to share some highlights with you each year. Remember you can always check out the college website,, for the most up-to-date news. Thanks, as always, for your support, and please keep in touch!

Barbara O. Korner, Ph.D. Dean, Penn State College of Arts and Architecture


Aaron Knochel, assistant professor of art education, talks to students during a session of Making for the Masses. Photo: Stephanie Swindle


College of Arts and Architecture and Engineering Faculty Join Forces to Encourage “Making” at Penn State and Beyond On a Wednesday afternoon in April, students were scattered at workstations throughout a lab space in Borland Building, experimenting with 3D pens and 3D printers to make creations out of plastic. Other students were cutting shapes from cardboard, putting together models to later replicate with the 3D tools. They all had a simple goal: to “make.”

A student uses a software program that allows him to print objects, such as those shown, with a 3D printer. The printer is located on the back corner of the table. Photo: Stephanie Swindle

The station set-up was a pilot for a National Science Foundation-funded grant project that will develop and tour a mobile “makerspace” to locations throughout Pennsylvania. According to primary investigator Aaron Knochel, assistant professor of art education, research has shown that mobile makerspaces excite local communities about innovative technologies such as additive manufacturing (AM)— also known as 3D printing—but no studies have addressed whether those makerspaces sustain users’ initial “spectacle-driven fascination” and create a meaningful educational experience. That’s about to change. In October 2016, Knochel and co-PIs Tom


Lauerman, assistant professor of art, and Nicholas Meisel, assistant professor of engineering design and mechanical engineering, won a twoyear, $299,780 NSF grant to design and build a makerspace to explore informal learning in STEAM—science, technology, engineering, art, and math—subjects. The makerspace will travel to several Penn State campuses and community events, such as the Pittsburgh Maker Faire and State College Maker Week. The project, titled “Deployable Makerspace Classrooms: Mobility, Additive Manufacturing, and Curricular Spectacle,” is being funded with money earmarked for educational research projects in the early stage yet are “potentially transformative,” according to the NSF website. Knochel said the primary goal is to engage diverse audiences in making. “We want to take advantage of the potential for highly visible expressions of curriculum, what we call ‘curricular spectacles,’ and mobility to gain


access to a diverse range of learners in a diverse range of locations. Mobile making can engage the rural to the urban, the engineer to the artist, the hobbyist to the professional.” The research team has conducted some early piloting of the mobile makerspace by engaging students in a new 200-level course called “Making for the Masses” (ART 297). Developed as a part of a Teaching and Learning with Technology (TLT) Fellows project, this inter-domain general education class introduces students from any major to the “making mindset,” providing a possible avenue to a variety of majors in the colleges of Arts and Architecture and Engineering. An outgrowth of several years of conversations and collaborations between faculty from Engineering and Arts and Architecture, Making for the Masses was developed with a total of six faculty. In addition to Knochel, Lauerman, and Meisel, the other TLT fellows for the course are Marcus Shaffer, associate professor of architecture; Matt Parkinson, associate professor and director of The Learning Factory in the College of Engineering; and Tim Simpson, Paul Morrow Professor of Engineering Design and Manufacturing and TLT’s 3D Printing Fellow in 2015–16.

Tom Lauerman, assistant professor of art, teaches a lab session for Making for the Masses in the ceramics studio. Photo: Stephanie Swindle

Innovation Park. The April lab session in Borland Building included a prototype for demonstrating and testing the NSF team’s mobile makerspace.

student empowerment through making, and community building—is exactly what we were hoping for when we put the class together.”

According to Simpson, a primary goal of the course was to expose non-art majors to labs and studios in the College of Arts and Architecture. While the course was open to undergraduates in any major, the majority were engineering students.

Knochel and his colleagues want to expand the “making for the masses” concept beyond Arts and Architecture and Engineering—even beyond Penn State. “Our intention is to forward the notion that while everyone may not make a living as a designer, everyone has the capacity to use design in their lives.”

“The idea is making for anyone and everyone,” he said. “We were purposeful with the title, and also with where the lectures were held [Stuckeman Family Building]. If nothing else, students in the class will get into another building, and see what happens beyond their visual arts and engineering classrooms.”

While there is no formal connection between the course (tentatively scheduled to be offered again in spring 2018) and the NSF grant, the goals for both are clearly linked. On that April afternoon in Borland Building, the students in the course roamed among the stations, chatting with their friends and professors while “making”—they did not necessarily have a finished project in mind, but were simply exploring the process.

Shaffer agreed, noting the instructors wanted to communicate that there is a strong community of makers already at work on the University Park campus. “Different disciplines have different making facilities that could change and/or enhance what and how people make,” he explained. “The class strived to expand students’ ideas about making, enhance their making practices through historical and technical lectures and workshops, and put them in situations where they were learning how to make new things with tools and materials that are new to them—often under the influence of students from the other side of campus.”

Throughout the spring semester, the Making for the Masses course met for a weekly lecture and weekly “lab,” in locations ranging from the ceramics studio to Stuckeman’s Digital Fabrication Lab (digiFAB) to the stateof-the-art 3D metal printing facility, CIMP-3D (, located at

Shaffer said an engineering student in the class was inspired by the “making mindset” to teach herself how to knit via YouTube tutorials—and soon after became an active member of the Penn State Knitting Club. “This type of exposure—to new making processes, the vast making potential of the internet,

Knochel, Lauerman, and Meisel will continue to pilot the mobile makerspace—which will ultimately include seven stations—throughout the summer. It will also include a rolling gallery highlighting eccentric and esoteric open-source objects 3D-printed in a range of materials, from bio-plastic to titanium to locally sourced clay. They plan to take the finished product on the road to Penn State campus events at Abington, Greater Allegheny, and Mont Alto, as well as University Park. “Our NSF funding allows us to explore whether we can harness our excitement as interdisciplinary faculty in digital fabrication, like 3D printing, in a curriculum and mobile classroom, and then inspire that same excitement in students,” said Knochel. “The best part of the research will be to see Penn Staters use the project in ways that we have not imagined.” — AMY MILGRUB MARSHALL



Oiva Toikka, “Life of Singles,” 2006, pipe-worked and mold-formed glass. Gift of Bette and Arnold Hoffman, 2016.114.1-16.

Devoted Penn State Alumni Gift Studio Glass Collection to Palmer Museum of Art It was after a visit to Seattle—a mecca for studio glass collectors—that Arnold and Bette Hoffman really got hooked. But it wasn’t because they got to see where Dale Chihuly created his stunningly vibrant glass sculptures. It was because they got to see HOW he made them.

“Watching glass blowing is not like watching an artist paint something. There is always something physical happening with glass,” explained Arn. While in Seattle, Arn and Bette, both Penn State alumni, watched the creation of some of the flowers now seen on the ceiling of the Bellagio in Las Vegas. That experience cemented their desire to not only collect studio glass, but to travel to studios around the world and meet glass artists and collectors. The Hoffmans recently donated twentyseven pieces from their collection to the Palmer Museum of Art, and established an endowment to support the presentation, storage, and preservation of the works. “Studio glass is different from flat art, which is easy to store, and doesn’t break,” explained Arn. “We knew we needed to establish an endowment to support the maintenance of the collection, and we also wanted to fund ways to exhibit the glass. We want people to see it in new and interesting ways.” Since they started collecting more than thirty years ago, Arn and Bette have traveled extensively to visit artists in their studios, and met many people with similar interests.

Arn and Bette Hoffman

“If you’re interested in a type of art, when you go to a new place, you look for someone who sells that, or you look for a glass artist,” said Arn. “Collecting is like a disease,” Arn and Bette joked. “An autoimmune disease, and we don’t know how to cure it!”

Fortunately for the Hoffmans—and Penn State—it’s a “disease” that brings great pleasure. They are attracted to all kinds of studio glass, from sculptures of people and dynamic objects to vase-like pieces to intricate Chihuly creations. “If we find something we think is beautiful, we don’t care who made it,” said Arn. “If it attracts us, we consider acquiring it.” The Hoffmans are most attracted to pieces that tell a story, such as work by Dan Daley, known for his glass and metal sculptures that depict human character and the world we inhabit, and by Therman Statom, who uses pieces of broken glass and other “junk” to create his own sculptures. Until recently, the Hoffmans divided their collection of nearly 100 works between residences in Pennsylvania and Florida. The “Pennsylvania” works have now found a permanent home at the Palmer, where they join a growing number of recent gifts of studio glass. They have pledged the remainder of their collection to the museum. Bette said they decided to gift their collection to Penn State because they wanted other Penn Staters to be able to see it. “Penn State is in our hearts, and we are very proud to have our collection there,” she noted. “We want to give people in central Pennsylvania a chance to see some of the finest studio glass in the world.” —AMY MILGRUB MARSHALL

The University recently began A Greater Penn State for 21st-Century Excellence, a fast-paced campaign focused on the three key imperatives of a public university. Private support will keep the door to higher education open and enable students to graduate on time and on track to success; create transformative experiences on Penn State campuses and around the globe that tap the full potential of Penn Staters to make a difference; and impact the world through discovery, innovation, and entrepreneurship. To learn more, please visit



Graduate Student Overcomes Many Obstacles to Become In-Demand Trumpeter Not many Penn State students arrive on campus having already been in a commercial. But Carlot Dorvé is an exception—in more ways than one. A trumpeter and graduate student in music performance, Dorvé was selected to play the trumpet in a commercial for the 2016 Paralympic Games. Titled “Yes I Can” and produced by Channel 4 in the United Kingdom, the commercial features individuals with disabilities showing they can do anything— including playing the trumpet with one arm. Dorvé, who grew up in the mountains of rural Haiti, had his right arm amputated when he was 5, after an injury led to a serious infection. As a child, he was regularly told he couldn’t do things, like riding a bike or swimming. But he always found a way. Dorvé was introduced to the trumpet in Port-au-Prince, where performing on the streets was common. His teachers continually told him he couldn’t play the trumpet with one arm, but he proved everyone wrong. He eventually won scholarships that allowed him to attend a private school in Haiti, and he later played with Haiti’s largest orchestra. In 2010, Dorvé participated in a fourmonth cultural exchange at Mott Community College in Flint, Mich. An



alumnus of Michigan State University heard him play at a church concert and recommended he play for the music department at the university. Soon after he was offered a full scholarship. Dorvé graduated with a B.A. in music performance in 2016. He earned his degree, but missed the graduation ceremony. The invitation to perform in the Paralympics commercial came just days before the ceremony, and he had to hop on a plane immediately. Producing the commercial was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, Dorvé said. “It was motivating to play with other musicians with physical disabilities. People always say we cannot—but we prove them wrong.” A graduate assistant at Penn State, Dorvé teaches trumpet and performs in several ensembles. He tries to return to Haiti yearly to teach at music camps, because that is where he learned to play. He also speaks at schools for students with disabilities. “Music is something that can keep people motivated,” he said. “I grew up very poor, and did not have much hope. But I was motivated. I knew that if I worked hard, doors would open no matter what. I used my music to make it through.” —AMY MILGRUB MARSHALL



Sarah Rich and Sarah McClure use X-ray fluorescence (XRF) to determine what elements are in the pigments used in the painting. Photo: Stephanie Swindle

A Colorful Approach to a Graduate Seminar: Sarah K. Rich’s Art History Course on Color The best reason for a professor to revamp a course is the desire to learn something new, which is exactly why Sarah K. Rich, associate professor of art history, revised her seminar on color for the fall 2016 semester.


School of Visual Arts graduate student Hillel O’Leary scrapes a patina off a piece of copper that has undergone a chemical reaction to create verdigris, a green pigment obtained through the application of acetic acid to copper. Photo: Stephanie Swindle

Not only did Rich revitalize her course, but she also transformed her approach to the concept of the art history graduate seminar. In addition to weekly readings and discussions, her students also learned about the material features and applications of color from a wide range of guest lecturers in science labs, the Palmer Museum of Art, The Eberly Family Special Collections Library at Penn State, and in School of Visual Arts studios. Rich’s seminar attracted students from art history as well as studio art, making the collaboration between them an important element of course learning. “Unlike studio art majors, most art historians do not have primary experience with the materiality of color,” Rich explained. “We need artists around to keep us connected to our subject of study.” One goal of the class was to help students understand the historical distance between contemporary understanding of color and understandings of color in the past. “I’ve taught this course twice before— once as a graduate student at Yale and once at Penn State—and I was bored with my syllabus. I also realized that there were practical issues regarding color that I didn’t understand. I wanted to know more and make the course more interesting for the students and myself,” said Rich.

“Today many people have almost immediate access to a stunning range of hues thanks to digital screens and synthetic pigments whose composition we don’t typically know,” she added. “It is a situation that would baffle artists of the past—people who had to work very hard to squeeze a much narrower range of colors onto their palette.” Rich’s course began with students grinding pigments to create their own colors using Cennino Cennini’s fourteenth-century treatise, Il libro dell’arte, for recipes. Readings also prompted students to consider issues of geographic access to certain minerals for pigments, the status and wealth that accompanied access to color, and even medicinal uses of different colors. Certain colors became particularly important not only because they were beautiful, but also because they were rare, as was the case with lapis lazuli stone that had to be mined in Afghanistan, or carmine that had to be harvested from Cochineal insects found in Mexico.

Rich looked for scientific input as well. “There are many components to color that art historians should understand better—issues regarding color vision, color calibration, color interaction, and the chemical bases of color, just to name a few. For information about such things, we needed a lot of guest scholars, because I was really out of my element.” Rich’s guest lecturers explained the techniques for creating and understanding color through chemical reactions, pigment analysis, and modern technology. Jack Hietpas, assistant professor of forensic science, hosted a lab in which students created Prussian Blue, arguably the first modern synthetic pigment, favored by artists of the eighteenth century. Sarah McClure, Harry and Elissa Sichi Early Career Professor in Anthropology, performed X-ray fluorescence (XRF) pigment analysis on two paintings from the Palmer Museum of Art to determine what minerals were used to produce the colors in the paintings. In addition, Nina Jablonski, Evan Pugh Professor of Anthropology, presented her groundbreaking research on the development of melanin (the polymer responsible for skin pigmentation) in human evolution. Ryan Russell, associate professor of graphic design, discussed the Pantone color matching system in order to help students understand the ways in which commercial standardization affects the colors that appear around us. The final presentations in the course were from the students, who gave their seminar research papers on topics ranging from the history of automobile paint colors to the theory of “pink noise.” “The course became a bit unwieldy at times with all of the programming, but I was just so excited to learn that I couldn’t help myself!” admitted Rich. “It was fun, and I think the students learned a lot. I know I did!” —STEPHANIE SWINDLE


Internship in Early Childhood Art Education Takes Students to the Great Outdoors A collaboration that Art Education faculty member Christopher Schulte began while a graduate student at Penn State has evolved into an internship program for undergraduates seeking experience in early childhood art education. In 2010, Schulte had a meeting with Christine Thompson, his dissertation advisor, and Linda Duerr, who at the time was director of education at the Child Care Center at Hort Woods. Together they decided to involve undergraduate art education students at the center through independent study projects. The center already placed a strong emphasis on learning through the visual arts, as evidenced by the art studio space fully integrated into the facility.

“This experience showed me what it means to develop a curriculum in which the students as individuals are most important.”

Interest in the independent study grew and when Schulte returned to Penn State in 2015 to join the Art Education faculty, it was formalized into an internship program in early childhood art education.

“Through carefully guided teaching and research experience, students in this program develop a complex sensibility for the artistic, play-based, and aesthetic practices of young children,” said Schulte. “Perhaps most important is the difficult self-work that occurs, especially when students are faced with the uneasy reality that children’s art never was quite what they thought it was.” Participating students are based at the Child Care Center at Hort Woods or the Bennett Family Center, both on the University Park campus. Schulte hopes the internship program will expand through continued work with Duerr, who is now the children’s garden educator at The Arboretum at Penn State, as well as a field experience instructor in the College of Education. Duerr said she wants to “grow” a connection to nature and outdoor spaces as viable places to make art and be inspired. “I feel that, in education and teacher preparation, we do not pay as much attention to the outdoor environment as a learning space and our teachers are not as well prepared to use natural settings as places of learning,” she explained. “For some children, it is easier for them to express themselves in the freedom that outdoor spaces offer to them. My goal is for children and teachers to learn together what is possible when we go outside.”

Spring 2017 Early Childhood Art Education interns, back row (l–r:): Undergraduates Mark Weaver, Brooke Stouffer, Claire Killefer, Michael Padilla-Nazario, and Luke Fasano and Art Education Ph.D. candidate Alison Coombs. Front row (l–r): Alexis Drobka, Paige Landay, Victoria Davenport, Katy Lehman, Emma Karpinski, and Arriana Deng (all undergraduates). Photo: Chris Schulte.


According to Schulte, one of his primary goals is to ensure that students have the opportunity to gain experience in a preschool setting, which is quite different from a kindergarten setting. “The assumption is often that what happens in preschool can’t possibly

Emma Karpinski, who has been enrolled in the Early Childhood Art Education Internship Program for three consecutive semesters, took this photo of preschool students drawing with markers.

be that far removed from kindergarten, but it is,” he explained. “And given the impulse to think about and approach the work of young children as if it is always less developed and less complex than the work of older children, and adults in particular, it is vital that students in art education have an experience that puts all of that deficit thinking into flux. Indeed, what happens in preschool should trickle up, not the other way around.” According to Kayla Tompkins, who completed the internship in fall 2016, the experience was unique because

it provided an opportunity for her to teach children in a more casual way. “The focus was not always on my performance as an educator, but rather on my being with the children and learning about how they learn,” she explained. “While reflecting on your actions in the classroom is a vital practice as an educator, how would I

have known where to start in evaluating my teaching without first investigating how children think, learn, play, and make art? This experience showed me what it means to develop a curriculum in which the students as individuals are most important.” —AMY MILGRUB MARSHALL




Stuckeman School Students Design Improvements for Governor’s Residence Entrance In fall 2016, five Architecture and Landscape Architecture students registered for a small independent study course with a big project— redesigning and updating the cobblestone forecourt at the entrance of the Pennsylvania Governor’s Residence in Harrisburg.


They worked with Frances Wolf, First Lady of Pennsylvania, to improve the deteriorating forecourt, constructed fifty years ago and the residence’s only guest entrance. Penn State was asked to participate after a preservation committee made up of architects, interior designers, and historians came together to explore potential solutions, and one of them thought Dan Willis, professor of architecture, might be able to help. Willis was on board immediately, and co-taught the independent study with Kelleann Foster, professor of landscape architecture, associate dean of the College of Arts and Architecture, and director of the Stuckeman School.

The students in the course included four Landscape Architecture students, Xinyi Chen, Shih-Ting Ma, Yan Yu, and Jingyin Zhu, and one Architecture student, Amelia Young. They presented their work to the First Lady in February in the Stuckeman Family Building. “The First Lady was very encouraging and appreciated the hard work we put into our projects. It was an honor to meet her and receive suggestions from a real client for a real project,” said Chen. The Governor’s Residence will now use the students’ proposals as the basis for moving forward with a new and improved forecourt. On April 5, the students attended an open house at

the Governor’s Residence, where their designs were displayed. “The students’ designs are inspiring, and we would like to take them to the next level,” said Frances Wolf at the open house. “We have the intention to raise the money and then use the courtyard designs as the basis for going out to professional landscape architects and saying, ‘Here are some of the ideas that caught our minds and our hearts.’ I can’t say enough about Penn State’s Architecture and Landscape Architecture programs.”

“It was heartening to hear how moved the First Lady was by the students’ design proposals. Their detailed understanding of the issues and creative ideas illustrate the role of good design—providing value and making an impact,” said Foster. —STEPHANIE SWINDLE

According to Foster, the students gained valuable experience in working with a client and responding to feedback.

Left to right: Amelia Young, Shih-Ting Ma, Xinyi Chen, Frances Wolf, Yan Yu, Jingyin Zhu. Photo: Kendall Mainzer

Front of the Governor’s Residence in Harrisburg.

“It was heartening to hear how moved the First Lady was by the students’ design proposals. Their detailed understanding of the issues and creative ideas illustrate the role of good design—providing value and making an impact.” 15

A student tries out the Mine Avoiders game on an iPhone 6. Photo: Quinn Ross

STUDENTS CREATE DIGITAL GAME TO RAISE Kenan Zekic discusses his vision for the game. Photo: Quinn Ross


Landmine Awareness


Kenan Zekic, a Penn State visiting scholar from the International University of Sarajevo and Hubert H. Humphrey Fellow from Sarajevo, Bosnia, and Herzegovina, wanted to do something about it. He came up with an idea for a digital game named “Mine Avoiders” that would improve schoolchildren’s awareness of still-buried landmines while also building technology literacy with augmented-reality and coding concepts. During spring semester 2017, he guided students in A&A 310: Collaborative Studio in building the game from scratch, working with Andrew Hieronymi and Carlos Rosas, faculty members for the Penn State School of Visual Arts course. “I want to reinforce kids’ knowledge while reminding them about the landmine dangers and how to improve their safety,” Zekic said. “At the same time, I also want to expose kids in underdeveloped areas to new and emerging technologies. The idea builds on my experiences from Bosnia and Herzegovina, but my aim is to develop a tool that could be used wherever we have landmines: Afghanistan, Angola, Cambodia, and other places.”

The fields and hills of Bosnia and Herzegovina are beautiful, but they hide a dark secret. More than twenty years after the Bosnian War, the country is still littered with landmines, with more than 500,000 people living close to areas believed to be contaminated. Landmine blasts have killed about 600 people and wounded more than 1,100 since the end of the war in 1995.

Zekic envisioned a game in which players must race against the clock and avoid obstacles to rescue a group of children who are trapped in a minefield. Players must hurry to the nearest Mine Action Center and retrieve help for their friends, avoiding landmines and unexploded ordinances along the way. Rosas said the project was a great opportunity for students to engage in creative research while collaborating with Zekic. “Students were really able to engage with the content, educational and cultural context, and project goals while having considerable influence over the overall design and gaming experience.” The class was split into several teams that tackled building the game, including teams for art, design, and audio, as well as research and coding. Each team was responsible for a different aspect of the game, using a variety of technologies along the way, such as Unity, a popular

game engine for developing 2D and 3D games; the programming language C# for coding; Adobe Illustrator for designing 2D characters; and Maya for 3D animation. Because a project of this scope requires the use of so many technologies, Rosas said he often used tutorials from to help students learn new technical skills, adding that the tutorials have even replaced software-related textbooks in some of his courses.

“I want to reinforce kids’ knowledge while reminding them about the landmine dangers and how to improve their safety.” The students also did independent research of their own. To write the game’s musical score, Brady Emeigh, a senior majoring in Interdisciplinary Digital Studio, researched Bosnia’s musical history to make the piece as authentic as possible. “I wanted the music to stay true to the area,” Emeigh said. “I’m so glad that Kenan is happy with it.” Hieronymi said the students worked well together and took ownership of the project. “Although the prototype is still in progress, I can already say the project is a success,” he noted. “Students got a glimpse at the power of design and the vast possibilities offered by the game medium. It should empower them as they move towards their thesis and beyond the University out in the world.” Hieronymi and Rosas plan to continue collaborating with Zekic to take the game from prototype to finished product. Zekic hopes it will eventually be available to children in the landmineaffected areas, who will then have a better understanding of how to stay safe while learning something about new technologies. —KATIE BOHN


Arts and Architecture Students and Faculty Work with Students with Disabilities Through New Course A new Penn State course brings together students with disabilities, students pursuing careers to support people with disabilities, and students studying theatre.

Musical Theatre student Hannah Provisor leads her classmates through a dance routine for the course Supporting Communication through Performance. Photo: Dennis Maney


The class, Supporting Communication Through Performance, is offered through the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD) and examines how various types of performance activities, such as dance, voice, and musical theatre, can support communication and participation by people with and without intellectual disabilities. The first offering of the course, in spring 2017, culminated with two free, public performances in April. Students enrolled in the course were from Penn State’s College of Health and Human Development, College of Arts and Architecture, and the State College Area School District (SCASD) LifeLink program at Penn State. LifeLink PSU, a partnership between SCASD and the Penn State College of Education, enables qualified SCASD students with disabilities, ages 18–21, to sit in on classes at University Park. Penn State students volunteer as their mentors. Supporting Communication Through Performance is led by Krista Wilkinson, professor of communication sciences and disorders, and Medora Ebersole, education and community programs manager for the Center for the Performing Arts. The course is scheduled to be offered again in 2018.

LifeLink PSU students in the course learn how to perform in front of other people while also developing specific skills, such as vocal performance, improvisation, and dance. LifeLink PSU student Will Fogelsanger said the experience primed him for his goal to become a stand-up comedian. “This class is preparing me to be in front of a crowd and for physical humor styles, like you see with Jim Carrey and in Saturday Night Live sketches,” Fogelsanger said. LifeLink PSU student Hannah Gray enjoyed the course because it allowed her to study activities she finds fulfilling. “Singing is my life,” Gray said. “And I’m a dancing machine.” For theatre students, the course allows them to work with a diverse group. Hannah Provisor, a Musical Theatre major, said the experience helped her establish a potential career path. “I’m very interested in art therapy, and I felt that with my extensive background in musical theatre, this sort of musicdrama therapy could be a way to bridge that gap,” she said. “I was interested in bringing what I know to a community that could benefit from it, while simultaneously learning about people with intellectual disabilities and how to address their needs.” For CSD students, the course provides an opportunity to learn different performance styles and how performance and communication are interlinked. “I have an interest in working with the special needs population once I become a speech therapist,” said CSD student Marissa Madel. “The course allowed me to work with this population and also learn about the relationship between communication and performance. This is an opportunity that I do not think many students have and I am grateful for the opportunity to participate and learn.” The class built global competency through a lecture demonstration from

Students learn the game of capoeira with members of Bale Folclorico da Bahia as part of the course Supporting Communication through Performance. Photo: Stephanie Swindle

Brazilian folk dance company Bale Folclorico da Bahia and Artistic Director Walson Botelho. “The guest artists provided an international context for preparing students to value and benefit from difference,” explained Ebersole, noting they taught the class capoeira, a game where you pair up and mirror one another’s movements. “Walson explained that the game was created by African slaves brought to Brazil starting in the sixteenth century and pointed out its influence today on hip-hop and break dancing. It was the perfect bridge to our hip-hop unit and meeting the course goal of supporting communication through performance.” In addition, three College of Arts and Architecture faculty members led class periods over the course of the semester. In January, Norman Spivey, professor of voice and voice pedagogy, taught students vocal exercises and discussed the importance of posture, volume, and breath in effective self-presentation. The lessons were integrated into all of the songs the group performed, especially “Story of Tonight” from Hamilton and “Circle of Life” from The Lion King.

In February, Michele Dunleavy, associate professor of dance, led the group in jazz and tap dancing, which the group integrated into a number from the musical Aladdin. In March, Kikora Franklin, associate professor of theatre and dance, introduced students to hip-hop dance, which formed the basis for the students’ sampling of “My Shot” from Hamilton. After the faculty expert sessions, theatre students Provisor and Maggie Malaney were responsible for working with their fellow classmates to develop the final numbers that were performed in the shows. Wilkinson said the course was a learning experience for all. “From my perspective, this course is an amazing experience and I think every one of us learned more than we ever imagined.” —JENNIFER MILLER


Alumni Brighten Lighting Lab with Donations

A single LED light can produce 16.4 million distinct colors. That’s a whole lotta color. And thanks to a donation from entertainment lighting manufacturer ETC, the School of Theatre’s Lighting Lab now has more than a dozen state-of-the-art LED fixtures, giving students the opportunity to gain hands-on experience using the same type of equipment they will encounter in their professional careers. 20

As a mid-semester project, students in one of William Kenyon’s classes designed a lighting sequence for this draped ladder in the Lighting Lab. Photos: Stephanie Swindle

William Kenyon (back) and Stage Management student Lyric Hamilton listen to feedback following Hamilton’s presentation in the Lighting Lab.

Penn State Lighting Design alumnus Nick Gonsman, field project coordinator for Electronic Theatre Controls (ETC) in New York City, coordinated the donation of $50,000 worth of equipment, including new incandescent fixtures and a control system, as well as the LED lights. “A university light lab is the perfect place for students to get

their hands on equipment and learn how it affects their process and their art, without worrying about the rigors of getting a show on its feet,” said Gonsman. “But the latest technology is also expensive. ETC has a generous philanthropy program, so I worked with my team inside ETC to commit to a package that would allow Penn State Design and Technology students to use the widest variety of technology available, in a space that is most suited to learning.” In addition to the equipment from ETC, Lighting Design alumnus Patrick Sieg (’08 B.F.A.), of Bandit Lights, coordinated the donation of fourteen used intelligent lights— meaning they have multiple attributes that can be remotely controlled—worth $30,000. For example, a lighting designer can remotely control color and intensity, where the lights are pointed, and whether they have patterns. With the School of Theatre’s

recent purchase of new cable and rigging hardware, “this collection of gear brings us solidly into the world of intelligent fixture use,” said William Kenyon, head of the Lighting Design program. For the students, explained Kenyon, the new gear represents the most significant change in how designers deal with lighting since the advent of electricity. “Suddenly, designers have literally millions of colors to choose from at the touch of a button. This fundamentally changes how we must train new designers, because this is the world they will live in, and it is fantastic that we now have the ability to teach with this gear in the lab space to better prepare students for production.”

in the lab before they enter a show environment. “For classes, it is a great room to teach the basics of electrics to new students, as well as more advanced material for our electricians and designers,” he said. “ETC’s gift expanded our inventory and capabilities in the lab tremendously.” Kenyon said he is honored that alumni stepped forward to help the Lighting Design program, and grateful for the support of the School of Theatre in further improving the Lighting Lab. “Now that it is finished, I can state without reservation that this is one of the best light labs in the country.” —AMY MILGRUB MARSHALL

According to Zachary Straeffer, who recently graduated with his B.F.A. in lighting design, the new equipment allows students to gain valuable experience













School of Theatre

This year, the School of Theatre broke the mold by choosing a group of alumni as collective recipients of the Alumni Award. Lindsey Broad, Bob McClure, Jeff Skowron, Thom Woodley, and Matt Yeager were recognized for their work on the groundbreaking web series The Burg (2006–09), about 20-somethings in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn. When the group came to campus in April, they sat down to discuss the project, how it changed the landscape of web television, and how Penn State prepared them for a myriad of experiences in film, theatre, and television (among other pursuits!).

What was The Burg? Thom: The Burg was the first full-length scripted sitcom online. It ran intermittently for about two years, and it launched not only our careers, but also the web series genre itself. About two days after we posted the first full episode, we were written up in The New York Times. We got a lot of press, and most of it had the overall theme of “Hey, this is crazy: there’s a sitcom, it’s not on television, it’s on the web—but it’s actually good.” Bob: One of the things I really enjoyed was that we had a lack of industry pressure to create something and perform it at an exceptionally high rate to satisfy a client or production team in a limited amount of time. While we had to put out a product, and it needed to be good, we were all working together, doing everything, and we had the creative freedom to explore that. Matt: That was intentional. I remember Thom and I had a lot of conversations about how we should take this opportunity to write whatever we wanted and to take chances, because we didn’t know if we’d have that flexibility again.

How did The Burg pave the way for new possibilities in television? Lindsey: I have the opinion that television in general in the last ten years has changed drastically, with cable and streaming services doing their own content. Creators have a lot more freedom when they work in those environments. Lena Dunham told me that The Burg was a huge influence on her, and she made her own web series shortly after us. It was the beginning of people having a lot of creative freedom, and a lot of those people ended up creating things for cable television, moving away from the networks.

Thom: It seemed like such an obvious thing to do, to put it online, and we thought we couldn’t be the first people to do it—but then it seemed like we were. It felt like an idea that was in the air, and if someone was going to do it, it might as well be us.

How did Penn State influence your work on this show, and your careers in general? Jeff: I had really good acting teachers here. Manuel Duque was a terrific teacher. Matt: The Burg wouldn’t have happened if not for Penn State, if Thom and I hadn’t been in a writing class together. College was when I started writing, and I learned that it was relatively easy for me to write comedy. Bob: The foundational building blocks we learned here were so important. … If you don’t have an understanding of how to create that on your own, you can feel lost, but Penn State provided an understanding and education and foundation for us. Thom: I remember at one point at Penn State, I was sat down and told not to be an actor. It wasn’t because I couldn’t do it, but it was the idea that if there’s anything you love as much or more, do that other thing. If you don’t have 100 percent passion for this very specific and difficult craft, then it’s probably not worth your time. It was like a light bulb going off for me. I did the acting stuff for fun, but it was usually more fun if I wrote it myself, and that’s what I decided to focus on.

Clockwise from left: Bob McClure, Lindsey Broad, Jeff Skowron, Matt Yeager, Thom Woodley. Photo: Cody Goddard






1997 M.M. Composition, 2001 M.M. Conducting

1982 B.S. Landscape Architecture

Dina Cole Klavon is grateful for her experience in what she describes as the “landscape architecture family” at Penn State. “I’m really very happy that I found Penn State. I always felt encouraged, and I still do. It’s made me want to come back and be part of the Penn State fabric. I had a great experience. I think this program is probably the best in the country.”

A two-time graduate of the School of Music, Fouad Fakhouri has spent more than two decades building international recognition as a composer and conductor. He is currently the music director for the Saginaw Bay Symphony Orchestra in Saginaw, Mich., and, since June 1, also music director and conductor for the Wichita Falls Symphony Orchestra in Texas. “There is no better time to be doing what we do,” he said. “What drives me is the idea that I can connect with people and bring them together through what I do, whether it’s in a concert or through a new work of music. As much as possible, I try to shed light on the fact that we are much more similar than we think we are.”

In 1996, Klavon founded Klavon Design Associates in Pittsburgh, a certified woman-owned business with federal, state, and local government agencies. The firm has been recognized with numerous awards and honors for projects ranging from small site assessments to complex master planning projects. Klavon has hired other Penn State alumni at her firm, and she’s been an engaged member of the alumni community, serving as board member, and president for one term, of the Landscape Architecture Alumni Program Group. Initially, Klavon wanted to pursue a degree in visual arts. During her sophomore year, she transferred to University Park from Penn State Beaver, and enrolled

Looking back on his time at Penn State, Fakhouri said empowerment is the first thing that comes to mind. He acknowledged Photo: Cody Goddard the School of Music may have taken a risk with him, an unknown quantity fresh from undergraduate study, but the more he worked, the more work he was given. “The experience of teaching and being involved in the department was so beneficial,” he said. “My professors were colleagues from day one, and it was very clear to me that we were here to work together and cooperate. Those relationships have continued throughout my entire life and career.”


LULOFF 2001 B.F.A. Visual Arts

“Art has been a legitimate form of recording human existence since the beginning. We’ve wanted to mark and record different aspects of life, and that’s a testament to its importance,” said Lauren Luloff, who has spent the past fifteen years as a working artist in New York City.


Photo: Cody Goddard

Fakhouri is grateful for the immersive experience he was afforded in the School of Music, where he was able to hone his craft as a conductor and composer, and focus on what he wanted to do. He said he feels as though he has never “worked” a day in his life. “My hobby is my job, and for me, it has always been a pleasure. I wake up every day and think, ‘Oh my gosh, I’m in music. What better job could I have?’”

Her art layers collaged fabric and paint onto bed sheets, which are then mounted on wooden stretchers, creating delicate but expressive paintings.



When Christopher Marcinkoski entered the architecture program at Penn State, he envisioned a career creating tall, glassy buildings or beautiful homes made of exquisite materials. “But over the course of my time here,” he said, “I became fascinated with infrastructure, large urban systems, and the relationship between the built environment and the political or economic mechanizations of cities.”

Photo: Cody Goddard

in the landscape architecture program after she “saw a paragraph in the ‘blue book’ and thought, ‘I love that. It sounds like me.’” She advises current students to believe in themselves. “Be grateful for the people that cross your path. You don’t do this alone. … And face your fears. Dig in when you feel like you can’t move forward. The best thing to do is just deal with it, dig in with what you know, and go through it.”

Currently, Marcinkoski serves as associate professor of landscape architecture and urban design at the University of Pennsylvania, and he is a founding partner and director of PORT, a leading design consultancy focused on analysis, vision, design, and implementation of collective spaces in the public realm. In addition to his degree from Penn State, Marcinkoski holds a master’s degree in architecture from Yale University. “I’m trained and licensed as an architect, but my work primarily focuses on issues of urbanization, urban design, and public space. The design, conceptualization, and organization of those urban spaces are essential elements to healthy, productive, welcoming cities. What’s really exciting in our practice is the ability to conceptualize and shape those spaces, because they’re connected to communities and culture, and they’re tied to a sense of ownership and place.” Marcinkoski said his experience at Penn State was invaluable. “I remember walking into graduate school on the first day, convinced I didn’t belong there. But I quickly recognized that I had been prepared as well, or better, than anyone else in that program with me.”

She said these sheets are a reference to “home, intimacy, dreams, and drama.” “Artists work from a very privileged place,” she explained, “but artists are also not privileged, because there’s no safety or security in what we do. … I think it’s important as a contribution to society, because the research I do is connected to my sensitivity to the world. The strange ways I do this reflect my deeply confusing ideas about the world.” As a young artist, Luloff had what she calls “grand expectations” of going to art school in New York City, but to avoid taking on a lot of student loans, she enrolled at Penn State part-time. “I felt a little bit disappointed, but then I had this very remarkable experience.” She said the School of Visual Arts at Penn State gave her everything she needed—she found a wealth of intelligence and creativity that nurtured her as an artist. “The faculty were incredible. They were these practicing, passionate, intelligent artists that let my peers and me into their lives. As a student, I was so happy and delighted. They have been incredible people in my life, and I feel they exemplify what it means to be an artist.”

He encourages current architecture students to study, reflect on, and evaluate the work that came before, and to focus on the innate qualities and character of places. “That’s a lot easier and more powerful than superimposing your expectations onto a project.”

Photo: Cody Goddard

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PRICE 1997 M.A. Art History

“I got into art history because I found it really fascinating the ways in which it intersects with so many aspects of society. Art matters because of what it tells us about ourselves as humans,” said Dr. Marshall Price.

Price went on to earn a Ph.D. at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, and served as curator of modern and contemporary art at the National Academy Museum in New York before accepting his current position at Duke.

Price is the Nancy Hanks Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at Duke University’s Nasher Museum of Art. “I feel like I have one of the best jobs in the world,” he claimed. “I organize exhibitions at the Nasher Museum, and typically, they’re exhibitions that engage with social issues. I feel like it’s really important for me, as a curator, to do shows that resonate with larger areas of society.”

According to Price, the Department of Art History, Penn State’s studio art programs, and the Palmer Museum of Art are “three jewels in the Penn State crown.” “It’s important that they be recognized as an incredible resource here, not only for the University, but for the Central Pennsylvania region as well.” Photo: Cody Goddard

Price said his Penn State education provided an incredible foundation, and was the perfect stepping stone for a career in museum work and academia. After graduating from Penn State,


STEINER 1996 B.A. Graphic Design

When Leif Steiner was a student in the Graphic Design program, there was a saying posted on the wall: “There are those who dream about doing big things, and there are those who stay up all night and accomplish them.” That philosophy has stayed with him throughout his career. In 1999, he founded Moxie Sozo, a full-service creative agency based in Boulder, Colo., with clients ranging from small start-ups to global brands like Nike and Nickelodeon. Photo: Cody Goddard


“Everything we do is like climbing a big mountain,” Steiner said. “You still have to climb it one step at a time, and when you think you know everything is when you close yourself off to learning new things.” Steiner practically grew up on campus— his father, Kim Steiner, is director of The Arboretum at Penn State. “From the time I was a little kid, I was surrounded by blue and white,” he said.

He entered the University as a biochemistry major. “At first I was very focused on the sciences, but I graduated in the arts. Now I run a business. If you go to a small or specialized school, you lack the ability to migrate between different pursuits, but at Penn State, wherever you end up, there are possibilities for you. You get a lot of diverse educational influences from many different corners of the University.” His advice for graphic design students? “Work hard. Never rest. Never give up. You have to have a certain fire in your veins and hunger in your stomach to be truly great at it. If you are going to do this job and do it well, you need to love it, and you need to pursue it with everything you’ve got.”

A 400-seat recital hall with “vineyard seating,” allowing the audience to surround the musicians for a more intimate performance experience, will be added to the east side of Music I. Esber will be renovated into a large ensemble rehearsal space to better meet the physical and acoustical needs of School of Music performance groups. “We are thrilled to begin this much-needed renovation and construction project that will improve and expand facilities for our talented students and world-class faculty in the School of Music,” said Barbara Korner, dean of the College of Arts and Architecture. “This project will not only provide additional space for performances and rehearsals, but ensure those spaces have appropriate acoustics for musicians and audience members alike. These new facilities will better reflect the quality of the School of Music’s excellent programs, students, and faculty.”

Other improvements include updates to patron support spaces, the creation of storage facilities and preparation areas for performers, a new ticket and lobby space for the public, and the replacement of the HVAC building systems. Exterior work will include outdoor gathering spaces, landscaping, and sidewalks. The Penn State Board of Trustees Committee on Finance, Business, and Capital Planning recommended approval of the design and project budget of $25.5 million with the funding to come from the Commonwealth and capital reserves.


After six years of planning, construction will begin on a new recital hall and renovations to Music Building I this summer. The project will address substandard acoustics in the existing Esber Recital Hall and limited ensemble rehearsal space in the School of Music’s current facilities.


Construction Begins on New Recital Hall

The School of Music currently serves 325 enrolled music majors plus an additional 2,000 students who enroll each semester in the high-quality academic courses designed to fulfill general education requirements. The school is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Music. Faculty and students present more than 400 public events each year.

Exterior rendering of new recital hall.




Photo: Vanessa Zican Feng

Student Commencement Speaker Earns Leadership and Exhibition Experience Along with Degrees Graduating student Helen Maser served as commencement speaker for the College of Arts and Architecture’s spring 2017 ceremony, capping off a successful Penn State career during which she excelled as an artist and student leader in campus organizations. Maser earned B.F.A. degrees in drawing & painting and sculpture and a minor in art history. Helen was a co-founder and curator for the Hump Day Gallery, a Penn State hallway that was transformed into a functional gallery space for students. She was also the first president of the School of Visual Arts Student Council. During her senior year, she served as exhibition coordinator for the School of Visual Arts and as a curatorial intern for the Woskob Family Gallery, where her responsibilities included facilitating a collaborative environment between students and the gallery. Based on her own experience in student activities, Maser advises current students to “fill the gap” if they think something is missing in their academic program.

Scholarship. “Besides the financial benefit, the scholarships gave me peace of mind! They reassured me that others are as invested in my work and my time as I am.”

“Don’t seek recognition but rather seek community. My community has been my most valuable resource.” While at Penn State, Maser had a solo exhibit, He Called Me Sexy Baby But My Name is Helen, at the HUB-Robeson Galleries. She also participated in numerous group exhibitions at the University. This summer she is interning at the Takt Artist Residency in Berlin, Germany. Maser said SoVA provided the “best kind” of art education because her program emphasized self-motivation and hard work, but also provided lots of one-on-one time with faculty. “Because SoVA is an art school within a state school, we had to make space for ourselves within this community. If we can do it here, we can do it anywhere.”

“Create a club that satisfies your wants and desires or actively approach faculty, because they do want to listen. Don’t seek recognition but rather seek community. My community has been my most valuable resource.” Maser was the recipient of the 2016–17 Brian Betzler Memorial Award in the School of Visual Arts and the Margaret Giffen Schoenfelder Memorial

2017, oil, house paint, airbrush, copper leaf, ink, 72” x 59”, 2016


Marcus Shaffer, an associate professor of architecture who teaches in the “Material Matters” research cluster within the Architecture doctoral program, recently offered a course that introduced students to the industrial robot. Students in architecture and fine arts learned how to write basic code for the robot (with guidance from graduate research assistant Shokofeh Darbari) and then developed special tooling and armatures that facilitated robotic “weaving.” Pictured, from left: Angelica Rocio Rodriguez Ramirez, Nasim Motalebi, Michael Brown (seated), Marcus Shaffer, Elliott Royce, and Shokofeh Darbari.


Faculty/Staff Kim Cook, named Distinguished Professor of Music Chris Kiver, associate professor of music, President’s Award for Engagement with Students James Lyon, professor of music, George W. Atherton Award for Excellence in Teaching Karen McNeal, financial coordinator, Stuckeman School, Award for Administrative Excellence Chris Staley, Distinguished Professor of Art, Milton S. Eisenhower Award for Distinguished Teaching Ken Tamminga, named Distinguished Professor of Landscape Architecture

Students Christopher Hazel (architecture), Professional Master’s Excellence Award Walker Konkle (senior, violin performance), John W. Oswald Award Vasiliy Lakoba (landscape architecture), Distinguished Master’s Thesis Award Lindsey Landfried (drawing and painting), Professional Master’s Excellence Award Stephen Mainzer (architecture), Alumni Association Dissertation Award–Distinguished Doctoral Scholar Medal Shanti Nachtergaele (music theory/ history), Distinguished Master’s Thesis Award

Photo: Cody Goddard

Congratulations to the following faculty, staff, and students who recently won University awards:

e-Learning Institute Broadens Focus, Renamed Office of Digital Learning In recognition of the increasing scope of digital learning, the College of Arts and Architecture’s e-Learning Institute has been renamed the Office of Digital Learning, effective April 1. Gary Chinn, director of the e-Learning Institute, is now assistant dean for digital learning.

“A broader conceptualization of digital learning acknowledges that today’s courses can move across a continuum of completely in-person and completely online,” explained Chinn. “Blended learning courses, which utilize a combination of online materials and in-person lectures, continue to grow in popularity. Courses that take place in a lecture hall but feature class assignments that have a strong digital aspect are another example. As students flow in and out of physical classroom spaces and virtual environments, a broader term like ‘digital learning’ better captures this fluidity of learning context.” The Office of Digital Learning’s mission is to assist the College of Arts and Architecture in meeting its strategic plan goal of being a leader in technology in the arts and design disciplines. Its work will cover the following three areas: 1) Continued leadership over the college’s growing online portfolio of programs and courses; 2) Educational innovation and curricular innovation; and 3) Digital media development. “The College of Arts and Architecture has long been a leader in online course development, and we are excited to expand the scope of that

work with the establishment of the Office of Digital Learning,” said Barbara Korner, dean of the College of Arts and Architecture. “Today’s college students expect varied learning environments that combine digital and in-person course materials in unique ways. The Office of Digital Learning will help our college remain at the forefront of new innovations in digital learning, through work within Arts and Architecture and through multidisciplinary collaborations.” FOR MORE INFORMATION, VISIT

Chinn’s goal, he said, is for the office to be a place for experimentation and exploration. “I feel this is something we currently do well, and will continue to do, at the course level. But I also hope that the office can support similar experimentation at the curricular level,” he explained. “The e-Learning Institute has served the College of Arts and Architecture well for a decade, and I look forward to continuing our work under the banner of the Office of Digital Learning.”

Immersive Environments Lab. Photo: Stephanie Swindle




Administrative Changes The College of Arts and Architecture saw a number of administrative changes in the past six months. Dan Carter, director of the School of Theatre, and Sue Haug, director of the School of Music, stepped down from their leadership roles on June 30 but remain on the faculty. In addition, Jan Muhlert, director of the Palmer Museum of Art, retired in December 2016. The college appointed William J. Doan, professor of theatre and former associate dean for research and graduate studies, to serve as director of the School of Theatre for a three-year term. At the Palmer, Patrick McGrady, Charles V. Hallman Curator, has served as interim director since January 1. At press time, the college announced that Erin Coe, director of The Hyde Collection, would be the museum’s next permanent director. And in the School of Music, David Frego, former chair of the Department of Music at the University of Texas at San Antonio, is now serving as director. Read on for more information on these former and current administrators. See article on Sue Haug on page 34. program unique among theatre schools, including student trips to London, Italy, Eastern Europe, and South Africa. In recent years he launched a commissioning initiative for new plays and oversaw development of partnerships with New York-based professional theatres.

Dan Carter Dan Carter served as director of the School of Theatre and producing artistic director of Penn State Centre Stage for twentytwo years. He continues as a part-time, non-resident member of the faculty through June 30, 2019, focusing on, among other projects, the preservation of the theatre program’s institutional memory in anticipation of its 100th anniversary in 2021. As director, Carter oversaw the development of the University’s Musical Theatre program into a national leader and the creation of an international study abroad


“When I look back at nearly a quarter of a century and see what has taken place during my time here, I feel tremendous pride in all we have accomplished together. At Penn State, we don’t rebuild; we reload. So many wonderful teachers and artists and students have passed through our doors, and when they move on we have the great joy of welcoming new people who are also wonderful. That’s a large part of what keeps this fresh for all of us.”

William J. Doan William J. Doan joined the College of Arts and Architecture as an associate dean in 2008. In 2013, he returned to teaching full-time. A playwright, author, and solo performer, his most recent play, Drifting, has been performed in New York City and other locations under a sponsorship from The Doctors Kienle Center for the Study of Humanistic Medicine at the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. Since coming to Penn State, Doan has served as a co-principal investigator on National Science Foundation and National Institutes of Health grants, integrating arts-based research methods into education on Marcellus Shale development and the education of child care workers for detecting early signs of potential child abuse. He served as president of the Association for Theatre in Higher Education in 2011–13. Among other publications, Doan’s co-authored book, The Story of Naomi – the Book of Ruth: From Gender to Politics, was published in 2016. In addition, his third graphic narrative was published in The Annals of Graphic Medicine/

Carter previously held administrative posts in the Florida State University School of Theatre and Illinois State University Department of Theatre. He served as president of the National Association of Schools of Theatre (2011–14) and the National Theatre Conference (2010–12), among other leadership positions.

Bill Doan stands in front of a drawing of his late sister, Sam, from his graphic novel, on the screen during a rehearsal of Drifting. Photo: Stephanie Swindle

Internal Medicine in December 2016. His solo performances have been featured at a number of national venues, including the Cincinnati Fringe Festival and the Southeastern Theatre Conference Theatre Symposium. “I’m grateful for the opportunity to serve as the director of the School of Theatre,” said Doan. “The students, staff, and faculty of the school are smart, talented, and deeply committed to the art of theatre and to the many ways studying and making theatre can help us transform the world. Our legacy is rich with alumni across the theatre, film, and television industries, as well as professional lives in countless other fields.”

Jan Muhlert Jan Muhlert served as director of the Palmer Museum of Art for twenty years. During that time, the museum added 4,000 objects to its collection, underwent a renovation that resulted in a new 3,100-squarefoot gallery, and expanded its outreach programming to include music performances and poetry readings.

Photo: Alex Bush

Muhlert, a longtime member of the Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD), led the Palmer Museum’s entry into the prestigious organization, which

includes only 242 institutions— and just 50 college/university museums—from throughout the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Under her leadership, the museum staff developed diverse programming related to the museum’s exhibitions, which include both traveling exhibitions and exhibitions of works from the permanent collection. A highlight, she said, is the Paper Views exhibition series, a monthly one-day exhibition during which works on paper are showcased. “The Paper Views exhibitions have really caught on and are engaging different people— faculty, donors, students. They allow us to show so much more of our collection of works on paper, which can only be shown for short periods of time for conservation reasons.” Muhlert retired with almost fifty years of museum experience, having previously worked at the Smithsonian Institution, University of Iowa Museum of Art, and Amon Carter Museum. She has been active in both the Association of Art Museum Directors and the American Alliance of Museums, holding several leadership positions.

David Frego Before coming to Penn State, David Frego had been at the University of Texas at San Antonio since 2008. He was chair of the Department of Music and the Roland K. Blumberg Professor of Music. “I’m thrilled to join the music faculty at Penn State. I look forward to working collaboratively with faculty and students in the college to foster interdisciplinary research and creative activities, and to continue with the exciting initiatives underway,” said Frego. “This includes strengthening Penn’s Woods Music Festival and expanding program offerings at the undergraduate and graduate level.” A specialist in Dalcroze Eurhythmics—an approach to internalizing the elements of music through purposeful movement—Frego has written several books on the topic, in addition to presenting about Dalcroze Eurhythmics nationally and internationally. In 1998, Frego established the Dalcroze Research Center in the Lawrence and Lee Theatre Research Institute at Ohio State University. His research in movement-based music education and therapy is published in music education journals and medical journals for arts medicine. Other teaching and research areas include dance philosophy and the application of Dalcroze Eurhythmics as palliative care for terminally ill adults. Frego serves as president of the American Eurhythmics Society, in addition to previous leadership roles in the National Association of Schools of Music and the Texas Association of Music Schools.


Andrew Belser, professor of movement, voice, and acting and director of the Arts & Design Research Incubator (ADRI) in the College of Arts and Architecture, has been named Penn State Laureate for the 2017–18 academic year. As laureate, he will tour the award-winning FaceAge exhibition—a multimedia video installation created from cross-generational conversations—throughout Pennsylvania, including community engagement, research, and curricular components intended to facilitate intergenerational connections. An annual faculty honor established in 2008, the Penn State Laureate is a full-time faculty member in the arts or humanities who is assigned half-time for one academic year to bring greater visibility to the arts, humanities, and the University, as well as his or her own work. Previous Laureates from the College of Arts and Architecture include Susan Russell, associate professor of theatre (2014–15); Christopher Staley, Distinguished Professor of Art (2012–13); Anthony Leach, professor of music and music education (2009–10); and Kim Cook, Distinguished Professor of Music in cello (first Laureate, 2008–09). Belser is producer and director of FaceAge, whose partners include—in addition to the ADRI—the Center for Healthy Aging in the College of Health and Human Development and the Center for Geriatric Nursing Excellence in the College of



FaceAge also recently received support for touring beyond Pennsylvania. The project is one of several initiatives to receive a grant in a new University-wide program launched by the Penn State Bookstore, managed by Barnes & Noble. The $45,000 grant for FaceAge will support touring of the video installation to state, national, and international venues over the next three years. Belser, a Penn State faculty member since 2013, previously was on the theatre faculty at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and Juniata College. His teaching and professional directing career has centered on movement forms, voice/breath work, interdisciplinary theatre approaches, solo work, and, most recently, on translating neuroscience for performers. His book, The Performer’s Field Guide to Applied Neuroscience, will be published by Routledge in 2018.


Nursing. According to Belser, the partners envision the FaceAge tour as a chance to demonstrate how compelling outcomes emerge from dynamic crossdisciplinary collaborations. “As a laureate endeavor, FaceAge proposes intergenerational connection as a binding force for communities divided by income, class, and education, among other issues,” he said. “This tour is ideally timed to play a significant role in launching FaceAge toward national and international prominence, further broadcasting Penn State’s leadership as a progressive innovator in approaches to creative and research activity.”

Photo: Cody Goddard



Belser Named Penn State Laureate

Brooks Oliver’s work on display in the Zoller Gallery during his M.F.A. thesis exhibition in 2014.

Ceramics Alumni Honored as “Emerging Artists” Penn State School of Visual Arts ceramics students are known for going on to do great things, so it’s no surprise that three alumni were among the six recipients of the 2017 National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA) Emerging Artist award: Brooks Oliver (‘14 M.F.A), Christina Erives (‘14 M.F.A.), and Rachel Eng (‘10 B.F.A.). In addition, Erives was the recipient of this year’s Victor Spinski Award. The Emerging Artists program recognizes exceptional early career artists, highlighting them to an

international audience during NCECA’s Annual Conference and promoting them year-round through The program also includes opportunities for increased exposure through exhibitions and special events. Oliver said it was “such an honor” to be named an Emerging Artist this year. “I distinctly remember attending my first NCECA conference nine years ago and going to the Emerging Artist talks and thinking, ‘if only one day I can be so lucky to be up on that stage’—so actually being up there was almost

a feeling too special to attempt to describe.” According to Shannon Goff, assistant professor of ceramics, young artists like Oliver, Erives, and Eng—along with fellow alum Roberto Lugo, who was named an Emerging Artist in 2015—are “redefining the future” of ceramics. “These four alumni are fresh voices from underrepresented populations who help disrupt and expand the ‘field,’” said Goff. “All of their work is powerful and performs with agency.”

Theatre Alum Wins Alumni Achievement Award Congratulations to Mike Karns (’11 B.F.A. Stage Management), winner of a 2017 Penn State Alumni Association Alumni Achievement Award, an honor reserved for alumni age 35 and under. Karns is founder and chief executive officer of Marathon Live Entertainment, a producing and social media marketing company that he started in 2013. An expert at harnessing the power of social media, he was part of the team that helped re-launch the career of former Star Trek actor and current social media personality George Takei, and led the social media campaign for the Broadway hit Hamilton: An American Musical. The musical opened in summer 2015 with $30 million in advance sales and later won eleven Tony Awards. He is currently co-producer and director of social media for the new Broadway musical The Great Comet, starring Josh Groban.




Friends, Colleagues Surprise Haug with Endowment Friends and colleagues of Sue Haug surprised her with the establish­ment of an endowment in her honor at a reception on May 4. Haug, director of the School of Music since 2005, has stepped down from that post but will remain on the faculty.

The Sue Haug School of Music Director’s Endowed Scholarship will benefit both undergraduate and graduate students in the School of Music. Seventy-three individuals made donations totaling $70,000 to establish the award. “This was the most amazing surprise—nothing could have been more meaningful,” said Haug. “Giving the gift of music to others, of course, is the life’s work of a music faculty member, and scholarship support is absolutely critical to this work. Penn State is a very special place, and I am deeply honored by this gift.” According to Marica Tacconi, professor of musicology and associate director of the School of Music, the endowment reflects Haug’s commitment to and engagement with students in the school. “Sue has been a great champion of our students, caring deeply about their academic progress and professional

development, and attending their concerts and presentations. The creation of the endowed scholarship is a way to extend Sue’s support of our students into the future, well beyond her tenure as director. That so many of Sue’s colleagues and friends are contributing to the scholarship is a testament to her dedication to the school and to our community.” Two of those donors are Pieter and Lida Ouwehand, longtime patrons of the School of Music. “This endowment will provide additional scholarship funds to the School of Music to attract the best students. I encourage everybody who enjoys performances by the faculty and students of the School of Music to contribute to this endowment to further enhance the quality of the student body,” said Pieter.

She is currently president of the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM). She previously served as president of music honor society Pi Kappa Lambda and the Iowa Music Teachers Association, where she received the Distinguished Service Award. She also served for eleven years on the NASM Commission on Accreditation, including the positions of associate chair and chair. Most recently at Penn State, Haug has been part of the leadership team to develop plans for the new recital hall and remodeling of Music Building I. Construction will begin in summer 2017. “These efforts have taken nearly six years to come to fruition, and it has been a real labor of love. I hope to see this work completed before I retire—with the expected opening of a beautiful recital hall in fall 2018 and coinciding with the end of my NASM presidency.”

The new endowment recognizes Haug’s leadership not just at Penn State, but also on a national level.

From left: Lida Ouwehand, Sue Haug, Pieter Ouwehand. Photo: Stephanie Swindle



Photo: Cody Goddard

College Mourns Passing of Harlan Hoffa World War II veteran Harlan “Rip” Hoffa, professor emeritus of art education and former associate dean for research and graduate studies in the College of Arts and Architecture, died on Monday, May 1. He was 91. Dr. Hoffa received his doctorate in art education from Penn State in 1959, after earning his undergraduate and master’s degrees at Wayne State University. He taught at Boston University and Indiana University before returning to Penn State in 1970 to become head of the Art Education program. He later served as acting director of the Penn State School of Visual Arts. In 1985, he was appointed associate dean for research and graduate studies in the College of Arts and Architecture, a position he held until his retirement in 1990. Dr. Hoffa served as president of the National Art Education Association (NAEA) in 1971–73. He spent a Fulbright year in Helsinki, Finland, studying schools of design. In 2014, he

was honored with a College of Arts and Architecture Alumni Award. A survivor of the Battle of the Bulge, Dr. Hoffa was held as a prisoner of war three different times during his service in the Army. “He was very modest [about his service],” said his brother, Bill. “That was just his character. He did what he could.” Dr. Hoffa and his late wife, Suzanne Dudley Hoffa, established a doctoral dissertation award for Penn State Art Education students. “Harlan Hoffa was an important person in the history of art education in the United States and in the development of the field,” said B. Stephen Carpenter II, Penn State professor of art education and African American studies. “He is also an important part of the history of our Art Education program at Penn State. He will be missed.”

Photo: Alex Bush

From Child Entrepreneur to Arts Advocate: Walker Konkle Walker Konkle (’17 B.M. Music Performance), violinist and student leader at Penn State, has always been an entrepreneur. “I was the kid with the lemonade stand,” he admitted. “I had a paper route when I was 7 years old and kept it throughout high school. I even had a lawn landscaping business.”

Konkle plans to combine his love of music with his knack for business by pursuing a master’s degree in performing arts management at Shenandoah University this fall. He already has his own company, Toveri Performing and Associates, a music services agency that coordinates professional musicians and bookings. “I personally can only play one event at a time, but by managing bookings for myself and other musicians, I can be in several places at once,” explained Konkle. His passion for the arts has led him all the way to Washington, D.C., where he spoke with state representatives on Capitol Hill at an arts advocacy summit. As part of the event, Konkle met Pat Toomey, U.S. Senator for Pennsylvania, and participated in a workshop

on how to effectively engage with representatives in support of the arts. “It was overwhelming to be among people like Bernie Sanders and Ted Cruz,” said Konkle. “But having the opportunity to talk to representatives and their aides about something I care about was a great learning experience.” Konkle has also been an arts advocate at Penn State, serving as president of the Performing Arts Council (PAC) during his senior year. PAC’s mission is to break down the walls between performing arts organizations and promote cooperation and collaboration. He also was a member of the Penn State Center for the Performing Arts’ Community Advisory Council. In March 2017, Konkle was honored for his leadership in the arts with a John W. Oswald Award, given to five Penn

State students per year. Established in 1983, the award annually recognizes graduating seniors who have provided outstanding leadership at the University. He has also been recognized for his academic achievement with two scholarships: the 2016–17 Keith E. and Linda A. Forrest Trustee Scholarship in the College of Arts and Architecture and the 2016–17 Phyllis K. Williams Endowed Scholarship. According to one of his nominators for the John. W. Oswald Award, Konkle has been “relentless” in learning all that he can to prepare him for a career in arts management. “Walker has been an exceptional student, and I am confident he will be a strong representative of his Penn State experience wherever his talents take him.”


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Recent Graduate Wins Fulbright to Study in Germany

Photo: Helen Maser

“The diverse courses I took at Penn State helped me prepare for this upcoming experience,” said Miranda Holmes (’17 B.F.A. Visual Arts), who has received a Fulbright U.S. Student Award to study in Berlin during the 2017–18 academic year. She will pursue drawing and painting at the Universität der Künste (University of the Arts), in addition to participating in community service. She hopes to work in a refugee center where she could involve people in art projects, such as a mural. “I want to learn about the contemporary Berlin art world by going to museums and galleries and making connections with the people in the arts community,” said Holmes. “I also hope to learn more about the political situation in Berlin with the influx of refugees and see how art is being influenced by the current politics, as well as how politics are influencing art. I’m excited to see how studying at a German art school will influence my art and how my thinking about art will evolve.” A Schreyer Honors Scholar who received a minor in French and francophone studies, Holmes said Penn State’s “amazing art faculty” have contributed the most to her growth. Her paintings and drawings present surreal worlds that poke fun at both the absurdity of human gaffes and

the severity of our more cutting mistakes. In 2015, she shared first place in the Undergraduate Juried Exhibition for her painting, A Portrait of America’s Domestic Dream Land! She earned a scholarship to study abroad in Florence, Italy, and received the Brian Betzler Memorial Award for outstanding artistic and academic achievement. In 2016, Holmes was one of twenty-six college juniors accepted into the Yale Summer School of Art. She currently has an exhibition, Getting My Way and Whining About It, in the Art Alley at the HUB-Robeson Center, through September 7. “The Penn State art faculty are intensely encouraging, generous with their time, and challenging in their classes and critiques,” Holmes said, noting she worked most closely with Brian Alfred and Helen O’Leary. “I’m so grateful for the lessons I’ve learned from being in the B.F.A. Painting and Drawing program—by having my own studio, I’ve learned the importance of a sustained work ethic in order to develop my work.” — AMY MILGRUB MARSHALL

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