annual alumni publication 2019-2020
Virtual Success CFPCA promotes community amid COVID-19 I 4
Gretchen Valade amplifying Detroitâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s jazz culture I 6
Music tech grad joins Sony at Insomniac Games sound designer Tyler Hoffman I 16
First female head debate coach www.cfpca.wayne.edu 1 expressions | 2019-2020
CFPCA welcomes back Dr. Sydney Pasquinelli I 23
Letter from the Dean Dear CFPCA Alumni, Supporters and Friends, In the midst of the most unique academic year I could have imagined, the College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts continues to move forward in creative and innovative ways. While COVID-19 has changed the way we do much of our teaching, research and creative work, our commitment to our students and community has not changed. The pandemic has created significant challenges. The faculty and staff of CFPCA have addressed these challenges by developing new, innovate and creative ways to teach and perform. Many of our classes and other activities have been moved online. When faculty and students do meet on campus, we insure that they do so in ways that protect their health and safety. The Maggie Allesee Department of Theatre and Dance, for example, has created a season of performances, dialogues and behind the curtain tours of the production process. The Department of Music launched a virtual music studio to promote togetherness amidst extended social distancing. The studio is a virtual opportunity for faculty and students to create and share musical content. The James Pearson Duffy Department of Art and Art History is sponsoring a series of installations on a billboard located at
2 expressions | 2019-2020
Woodward Avenue. The series includes works created by local and national artists in response to the global pandemic and racial injustice. And despite all the disruption, the college and university have moved forward with the Hillberry Gateway and the Gretchen Valade Jazz Center. This integrated performing arts complex will transform the performing arts at Wayne State and continue the long tradition of training new generations of actors, designers, musicians and managers. I am ver y proud of what we have accomplished at this, the most challenging of times. The faculty, staff and students have stepped up with the help of alumni, supporter and friends. While the College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts has been changed by this moment, we have become stronger and more resilient You can read more about these and many other efforts in this edition of Expressions. Thank you for your ongoing support.
Matthew W. Seeger, Ph.D. Professor and Dean
Expressions College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts Matthew W. Seeger, Ph.D., Professor and Dean
Editors: Da’Stanza Murphy ’10 ‘13, Lezlie Hart
in this issue 10. Fashion students craft non-surgical masks Students work to make masks for WSU-essential employees
Designer: Claire D’Aoust Photography: Alesyn McCall, Christopher Scalise ‘96, Jeffrey Dunn, Kelly Gottesman Contributors: Alison Piech Linn, Avanti Herczeg, Da’Stanza Murphy ’10 ‘13, Grace Serra, Lesa Petersen, Sarah Kominek ’19, Nina Knauf Front cover: COM 5400 Techniques of Film and Video Production (capstone course) students practicing advanced techniques for film production while learning new COVID safety guidelines set forth by the film industry. Back cover: Kaci Switchulis, Class of 2020 WSU Board of Governors Marilyn Kelly, chair; Bryan C. Barnhill II; Michael Busuito; Mark Gaffney; Anil Kumar; Sandra Hughes O’Brien; Shirley Stancato; Dana Thompson, M. Roy Wilson, ex officio CFPCA Board of Visitors Jocelyn Allen ’08, Lynne Avadenka ‘81, John Bailey, Sharon Banks ’76, David T. Brooks, Arthur Bryant ’71, Ray Day ’88, Ann Delisi ’95, Delf Dodge, James Evola, Carole Harris ’66, Daniel Kanter, Bud Liebler, Joseph LoDuca ’79, Christina Lovio-George ’79, David Lubin, Sue Nine ’62, George N’Namdi, Marc Schwartz, Robert Sestok, Paula Silver ’82, Lisa Vallee-Smith ’84, Peter Van Dyke ‘03, Elliot Wilhelm Emeriti Maggie Allesee ‘84 ’00, Elizabeth DuMouchelle ’91, Howard Hertz ‘72 ’76, Barbara Kratchman, Phoebe Mainster ’83
13. In The Air: Voices from Detroit and Beyond Detroit billboard series
18. Congratulations graduates Celebrating our CFPCA’s exceptional 2020 graduates
23. PRSSA hosts virtual panel gaining global participation More than 120 participants from across the world tuned in to the panel moderated by Ray Day
28. A conversation with Lily Tomlin Recipients of the Lily Tomlin Endowed Scholarship Fund in Theatre met with the legendary actress
30. Crafting connections Seven questions with Director of Philanthropy, Alison Piech Linn
In March, the directive from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer was to stay home, but Wayne State University’s College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts faculty and students quickly adapted and found ways to express their creative talents remotely. The Department of Music launched its Music Studio @ Wayne, a virtual opportunity for faculty and students to create and share musical content. The content, designed at engaging audiences and promoting remote learning or work, was offered twice a week. It included streaming of department concerts and performances by faculty members utilizing various social media outlets. “We believe that music can provide comfort and even joy in some of the most difficult times,” said Norah Duncan, IV, chair. “The Department of Music happily launched the Music Studio @ Wayne. Virtual performances — seen on the screen or heard on the radio — have provided joy and comfort to many for more than 100 years.” Assistant Professor Joo Won Park kicked off the series on Tuesday, March 31, with a live electronic music showcase on the department’s Facebook page. Park performed a few original electronic music compositions using a computer, melodica, drum machine, synthesizer and found objects. “I was shocked, sad, and anxious in March
4 expressions | 2019-2020
and April. I know that sharing such feelings through music helps both the listeners and me,” said Park. “I presented some of my compositions with that in mind, and I hope it helped the viewers.” “More than ever, it is essential to show what I can do as a musician and researcher to my students,” said Park. The Music Studio at Wayne included virtual performances by Associate Professor of Piano Robert Conway, Professor and University Symphony Orchestra Director Kypros Markou, Lecturer of Voice Jonathan Lasch, the WSU Concert Chorale and many others. Associate Professor of Composition and Theory Jonathan Anderson continued a longstanding end-of-semester tradition in the department’s Music Theory IV course, combining sections to form an ad hoc ensemble to perform a seminal 1964 minimalist work by Terry Riley. This year, Anderson and his students came together remotely to perform a shortened version of the work.
A call to connect, share and engage The department launched Music @ Wayne: Random Acts of Music, a social media project providing the Creative Warrior community
the opportunity to connect, share and engage content from wherever they are. Spearheaded by Academic Services Officer Leah Celebi, the department wanted to show that “while there may be uncertainty in the world and we aren’t on campus at the moment, there are still ways to stay connected.” Wayne State students, faculty, staff and alumni were invited to record and submit videos of themselves performing a piece of their choice from their home/office/ etc. Random Acts of Music will continue to share content on the Department of Music’s Instagram and Facebook accounts as well as its newly created Wayne State Department of Music YouTube channel. The department will also continue to showcase ensemble performances through its virtual series the Music Studio @ Wayne premiered through the department’s Facebook page. Lucy Alessio, a graduate student studying Violin Performance, explained that she used learning from home as a musical retreat. “Quarantine created space in my schedule, which gave me the opportunity to lean in to my practice routine and foster a focused and detailed approach,” explained Alessio. “One
of the distinct challenges about practicing during the early part of lockdown was that I was not performing or making music with others.” “I was excited when I was able to collaborate with others by making recordings and videos (recorded to a track and compiled). I also recorded some short videos on my own, mostly to share on social media, like the one that was featured for Random Acts of Music,” said Alessio. “Shortly after lockdown lifted, I recorded some original music with a small ensemble. That was very emotional. It was my first time making music with others in months.” Faculty and staff at the Maggie Allesee Department of Theatre and Dance dedicated time to sharing content to its remote viewers as part of the department’s Virtual Theatre and Dance Company. Daily, members from the team would engage viewers in storytelling, short performances and aspects of acting techniques to connect with audiences while many were learning or working remotely. “Extraordinary times call for extraordinary creative responses,” said Department Chair Mary Anderson. “Theatre and dance
5 expressions | 2019-2020
artists thrive in the live setting. We know that any performance is co-created in the moment with the audience. Faced with the cancellation of all of our shows and events, we asked ourselves how we could create that connection across the physical distance.” “Our response is a whole season of work that will be shared freely across multiple platforms over the coming weeks,” Anderson explained. “It will also include activities and experiences for our audiences to share to keep the dialogue going.” The inaugural virtual event took place on March 18 with a reading by Assistant Professor Billicia Hines, director of the Maggie Allesee Department of Theatre and Dance’s Black Theatre and Dance Collective. Hines read Christine’s Big Hair Adventures: Christine Goes to Grandma’s by Christine Gibson, a book series about a 5-year-old who is questioned for the first time on her outward appearance and discovers her unique characteristics.
And they didn’t stop! As executive orders eased up, the department continued to engage kids as it has done year-after-year re-working the
Summer Children’s Theatre into a virtual program. Each week the group would select a theme showcasing work from undergraduate students in the acting, dance, animation and composition programs. They also hosted Shakespeare Saturdays. Actors used kidfriendly Shakespeare scripts, different ZOOM backgrounds and costume and props found around their homes. “It was a really freeform creative way of performing while still being able to use the script,” explained third year stage management graduate student Sally Bremer. The department recently announced its 2020-2021 season reinvented with a virtual focus. The re-envisioned season will have three signature series, each delivered digitally to audiences around the globe.
For more information about upcoming virtual programming visit us online at theatreanddance.wayne.edu and music.wayne.edu.
expressions | 2019-2020 5
Gretchen Valade amplifies Detroit’s jazz culture After Gretchen Valade heard her sisters play Fats Waller on a Victrola when she was a young girl growing up in Grosse Pointe in the 1920s, the classical piano music she was learning to play suddenly held much less interest. From that point forward, the granddaughter of work clothing magnate Hamilton Carhartt spent much of her free time cultivating her love for jazz — as she raised a family with her late husband Robert Valade, who served as the CEO of Carhartt, Inc. — and as she served on Carhartt’s board. Now jazz’s fiercest guardian and advocate in Detroit, the 94-year-old Valade has grown her lifelong passion into an enormous investment in the city’s jazz culture. And with her leadership gifts to Wayne State University, Valade ensures a future for jazz in Detroit.
6 expressions | 2019-2020
Valade’s gifts totaling $9.5 million to jazz studies and performance at Wayne State will fund the Gretchen Valade Jazz Center (GVJC), which houses a main hall designed specifically for jazz performance and a club-style venue. These two renovations to existing performance spaces will be part of the Hilberry Gateway integrated performing arts complex for theatre, music and dance. Her generosity will also foster a continued appreciation of jazz through two endowed gifts. The Gretchen Valade Endowed Chair will serve as the artistic director of the GVJC. The Gretchen Valade Endowed Scholarship in Jazz Studies, a graduate assistantship that supports the endowed chair role, will also support jazz education and performance at the GVJC. Continually investing in her love of jazz traditions, the unique Detroit legacy and the development of new artists, ensembles
and compositional techniques, Valade believes in the scholarship and study of jazz, and in the rich culture surrounding it. So it made sense to her to invest in Detroit through a philanthropic partnership with jazz studies at Wayne State, where she has also helped to build an educational partnership with the Detroit Jazz Festival. With the support of Valade and under the leadership of Professor Chris Collins, the 41-year-old festival has been reinvigorated and is one of the largest true jazz festivals in the world. “Due to her singular commitment to jazz, Gretchen has been dubbed the ‘Angel of Jazz’ by the global jazz community. Her passion, commitment and vision are a legacy in itself,” said Collins, who is the inaugural Gretchen Valade Endowed Chair in Jazz. Valade chairs the Detroit Jazz Festival Foundation Board of Directors, which she established in 2005 with a $10 million endowment. “I’m passionate about jazz artists and spotlighting Detroit’s rich jazz heritage,” said Valade. The owner of Grosse Pointe’s Dirty Dog Jazz Cafe and the national Mack Avenue Music Group record label, Valade has promoted the musical careers of many Detroit and international jazz musicians and has written songs herself, which have been recorded by the great Shirley Horn and others. “Jazz, music, theatre and dance are important parts of Detroit’s
artistic and cultural legacy, and Gretchen’s support has ensured that those traditions continue,” said Matthew Seeger, dean of Wayne State’s College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts. Valade’s philanthropic contributions are foundational to the Hilberry Gateway, a performance complex that will bring Wayne State’s performing arts students together under one roof. Her gift of $5 million will fund the renovation of the current Hilberry Theatre, transforming it into the world-class GVJC main performance hall. The hall will be designed specifically for jazz performances and will feature high-profile concerts, a high-tech audio system and two Steinway grand pianos. An additional gift of $2 million will fund a renovation of the Hilberry Theatre’s basement Studio Theatre to create an intimate space for jazz performance, jam sessions, jazz workshops and jazz films as well as other Department of Music and college activities. “I am so very grateful to Gretchen for her continuing generosity,” said Wayne State University President M. Roy Wilson. “Leading institutions of higher education like Wayne State must reaffirm their commitment to the arts and humanities. The Gretchen Valade Jazz Center and the Hilberry Gateway will send a strong signal of Wayne State’s support for excellence in the arts.
expressions | 2019-2020 7
James Pearson Duffy Department of Art and Art History
Sheryl Oring Chair, James Pearson Duffy Department of Art and Art History The James Pearson Duffy Department of Art and Art History is drawing on our talent and creativity to offer new ways of learning about art, design and history this year. Many faculty created take-home art supply and material kits so students could work from home, while our technology-driven classes are using a custom-made system for accessing software. Meanwhile, our gallery program has taken to the streets with a yearlong exhibition called In The Air: Voices from Detroit and Beyond. This is a powerful way to present artists’ responses to the global pandemic and racial injustice while physical distancing remains a necessity.
2020-2021 Program Schedule jessica Care moore
In the Air: September 15-October 3, 2020 Kresge Artist Fellow Talk: Sept. 24 @ 12pm www.jessicacaremoore.com
In the Air: December 29, 2020-January 23, 2021 www.jeffersonpinder.com
Darryl DeAngelo Terrell
In the Air: October 6-31, 2020 www.jinavalentine.com
In the Air: January 26-February 20, 2021 Kresge Artist Fellow Talk: Feb. 11@ 12pm www.darryldterrell.com
In the Air: November 3-28, 2020 Kresge Artist Fellow Talk: Nov. 12 @ 12pm www.mcontemporaryart.com/rashaun-rucker
In the Air: December 1-26, 2020 www.peterwilliams.studio
In the Air Billboard design by jessica Care moore
In the Air: February 23-March 20, 2021 www.chloebass.com
Tyanna J. Buie
In the Air: March 23-April 17, 2021 Kresge Artist Fellow Talk: April l 8 @ 12pm www.tyannajbuie.com/home.html
In the Air Billboard design by Jina Valentine
In The Air: Voices from Detroit and Beyond The James Pearson Duffy Department of Art and Art History is committed to the health and safety of the campus and surrounding communities. In order to continue with programming in light of COVID-19, the department has transitioned to non-traditional gallery exhibition venues, including various off-site and online platforms. In The Air: Voices from Detroit and Beyond includes works created by local and national artists in response to the global pandemic and racial injustice. These works will be featured on a billboard, located at the corner of S. Woodward and E. Canfield, Detroit, Michigan. A total of eight solo-presentations, each one month in duration, will be on view beginning September 2020 and running through April 2021. Onlookers can view works by the following artists as part of the exhibition series: Chloë Bass, Tyanna J. Buie, jessica Care moore, Jefferson Pinder, Rashaun Rucker, Darryl DeAngelo Terrell (’15 department alumnus), Jina Valentine and Peter Williams. The department’s Director of Galleries and Special Programming, Thomas Pyrzewski, explains that In The Air: Voices from Detroit and Beyond is a creative approach utilizing a public billboard, typically allocated for advertising, to showcase fine art and design. “This non-traditional venue supports the mission of the Elaine L. Jacob Gallery, providing Wayne State students and the surrounding
community with exhibitions that include works by local and national artists in an easily and safely accessible way,” said Pyrzewski. “It is important that WSU shares the creative impact Black artists have on our community, and more than ever, a time to push forward with any kind of media platform that is available in support of their work.” Tyanna J. Buie, jessica Care moore, Rashaun Rucker and Darryl DeAngelo Terrell are Kresge Artist Fellows and will participate in an online lecture series that will be held during their exhibitions. This programming has been made possible with the support of Kresge Arts in Detroit, in partnership with the Department of Art and Art History. A full schedule with the exhibition dates and lecture details can be found at www.waynestategalleries.org. “The selected artists embraced this unconventional idea of a billboard series when they were invited to exhibit their work,” said Pyrzewski. “They were enthusiastic about the curatorial direction in support of Black Lives Matter and having their voices heard through this unique format. In The Air is sure to be a powerful exhibition. It will be documented and have a long-standing online presence for audiences to view.”
expressions | 2019-2020 9
k r o t o w m s a k s s k a e t m n e d Stu
s r e k r o w l a i t essen
As Wayne State moved its Winter 2020 courses online, due to the pandemic, many staff members from Facilities, Planning and Management (FP&M) remained on campus as buildings required continuous maintenance. While the nation found itself with a shortage of manufactured masks, homemade face coverings became the “go-to” for those working as essential employees. Faculty and students from the James Pearson Department of Art and Art History stepped up to the plate to pitch in. Eleven undergraduate and graduate students from Costume Design, Fashion Design and Merchandising, Fibers, Industrial Design, and Theatre and Dance, volunteered their services, creating and distributing over 1200 masks for employees working in FP&M. Department of Art and Art History student Victoria Gonzalez, a senior studying Fashion Design, said she found herself “frustrated just staying at home and not being able to help. That led me to volunteering [to make the masks].” Brooke Apsey, also a senior studying Fashion Design, volunteered for the project. Aspey is a designer who is heavily influenced by sustainability. “I wante d to deter people from using 10 expressions | 2019-2020
disposable masks as they are made from harmful materials to the environment,” said Apsey. Led by Assistant Professor Margaret Hull, a team of five students came together for a socially distant lab day in April 2020 to cut materials and create kits, distributed to each of the 11 students, containing fabric, elastic, piping, thread, and instructions for at home construction. As students began assembling the masks, many found themselves involved with a large-scale project for the very first time. “This was my first time in a project like this where we made a massproduced product. My first batch was trial and error. My second batch is where I found the fastest process which was essentially making an assembly line for myself,” Apsey said, with each mask taking 20-25 minutes to make. Over a two-month period, students completed batches of masks and coordinated drop offs to campus. Lynda Kinder, supplies clerk for FP&M, was tasked with the receipt and distribution of the homemade masks. “Although we practice social distancing, the nature of the work can put us in relatively close contact with each other, so the use of the face covering is important to prevent the spread of the virus,” Kinder said. “Without the help of Margaret Hull and her team, we would not have been able to continue to do our job effectively due to not having the proper PPE available to work as a team.” Many of the students who volunteered to make the face coverings for FP&M were also deemed essential employees themselves, continuing to work and serve the community while completing their Winter 2020 courses and taking on this collaborative effort. “This was my first time being involved in a big project for people I don’t know. I really enjoyed being involved, and it felt good to contribute to our own neighborhood,” Apsey said.
expressions | 2019-2020 11
2020 Kresge Artists The College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts would like to congratulate the outstanding faculty and alumni who were named this year’s Kresge Artist Fellows Award Recipients. Each Kresge Artist Fellow receives $25,000 and a year of professional practice support. New this year, Kresge Arts in Detroit will also lead the professional development program. In the past this portion was
handled by third parties. Kresge Arts in Detroit has been reimagined and will be driven by participants. The professional development program will provide opportunities including skill-building, networking, promotion, and coaching support that best suits the participants’ goals and definitions of success.
2020 Kresge Film & Music Fellows
VINCENT CHANDLER lecturer in jazz studies, jazz trombone, in the Department of Music
JOO WON PARK assistant professor in music technology in the Department of Music
PAIGE WOOD adjunct professor who teaches the Producers’ Workshop course in the Department of Communication. Wood co-taught the Allesee Master Class with this year’s guest Judith Helfand.
2019 Kresge Literary Arts Fellow KRISTEN GALLERNEAUX The college regrets an oversight in last year’s edition of Expressions and notes that Kristen Gallerneaux was a 2019 Literary Arts Fellow Award Recipient. She is a former adjunct instructor and 2009 alumna of the James Pearson Duffy Department of Art and Art History. Gallerneaux is a curator at The Henry Ford Museum and published author. She has presented her work at Unsound, Moogfest, and Pop Kultur, and writes for ARTnews and the Quietus.
For more information about Kresge Arts in Detroit, visit www.kresgeartsindetroit.org. 12 expressions | 2019-2020
Faculty Spotlights Allana Clarke Assistant Professor, Core Studio Allana Clarke is a Trinidadian-American artist whose practice is built upon a foundation of uncertainty, curiosity, a will to heal, and an insistence upon freedom. Fluidly moving through video, performance, photography, and text, her research-based practice incorporates socio-political and art historical texts to contend with ideas of Blackness, the binding nature of bodily signification, and of the possibility to create non-totalizing identifying structures. Clarke received her BFA in photography
from New Jersey City University in 2011 and an MFA in Interdisciplinary Practice from Maryland Institute College of Art’s Mount Royal School of Art in 2014. Her work has been screened and performed at Gibney Dance in NY, Invisible Export NY, New School Glassbox Studio NY, FRAC in Nantes, France, and SAVVY Contemporary in Berlin. Clarke has been an artist in residence at the Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture, The Vermont Studio Center, Lighthouse Works, and Yaddo. She is currently a 2020 NXTHVN Fellow.
Quinn Hunter 2020-21 Artist In Residence — Lecturer Quinn Alexandria Hunter is a sculptor and performance artist from North Carolina who completed her MFA work at Ohio University. She works primarily with hair and the African American female body as material. Hunter is interested in the erasure of history from spaces and how the contemporary uses of space impacts the way we as a culture see the past. Her work negotiates between the self and the world. Hunter’s practice is contending with the false narratives of a romanticized past and interrupting them by laying a truth next to them. Using hair weave — a material that is culturally, socially, and physically connected to the Black female
body — her objects connect the Black female labor and pain to a space and time from which it is contemporarily being erased. Through making Hunter remembers them and is re-inscribing their labor back into place in the heart of Appalachia where the underground railroad once ran. Hunter is a recipient of the I. Hollis Parry/Ann Parry Billman Award (2019), The International Sculpture Center’s 2019 Outstanding Student Achievement in Contemporary Sculpture (2019) and a headline performer at the 2019 Pittsburgh International Performance Art Festival.
expressions | 2019-2020 13
Department of Music
Norah Duncan IV Chair, Department of Music Necessity… Since March 2020, we have had to re-imagine or re-invent how to teach remotely, to present performances virtually. For several weeks, the Department of Music, through its newly conceived Music Studio @ Wayne, streamed past performances of various concerts. During this academic year, we will be streaming performances of the Electronic Music Ensembles, student chamber music recitals, and permissible studio recitals from Shaver Music Recital Hall. The Jazz Big Band is engaged in a recording project and the works of the choral ensembles are being rehearsed virtually. This student work will be
presented in virtual performances at the end of the fall and winter semesters. Although the halls of Old Main are oddly quiet on most days, music is still being made and performances are being prepared. What will we miss the most? – the audience – our partners in the performing arts… a real necessity. During this time when we can’t be together, let us know that you hear us. Visit our website, music.wayne.edu and follow us on our virtual journey. Through the power of modern magic, send us an email to let us know that you still hear us in the silence of these moments.
Faculty Spotlights Jonathan Anderson Associate Professor, Composition and Theory Jon Anderson’s music has been described as “haunting,” mixing "electronic beats” with a “cocky mélange of aggression and tongue-in-cheek humor.” Writing for a variety of music for traditional acoustic ensembles such as orchestra and chamber groups, as well as less traditional ensembles involving interactive computer technology, Anderson has received awards and honors from the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, SCI/ASCAP, and the Pierre Schaefer International Competition of Computer Music. His works have been commissioned and performed by orchestras, ensembles,
and soloists throughout the world. Originally from Minneapolis, MN, Anderson holds degrees from music schools known for their strong collaborative environments. Anderson himself frequently incorporates physical movement and dance as structural elements in his compositions, particularly with modern dance company Take Root Dance, with whom he recently showcased collaborations in Chicago and Berlin, both on stage and underwater. The collaborative team is currently wrapping up a physicallydistanced drone-filled dance on film project that will debut this coming academic year.
“My favorite teaching experience at Wayne State is providing collaborative opportunities annually for our student composers. A prime example of this is an alignment of our music composition and dance choreography class schedules, which allows for composers to partner with dancers to experience the thrill (and anxiety) of creating new collaborative work outside of their respective comfort zones.”
Jeremy Peters Assistant Professor, Music Business In addition to being assistant professor of Music Business in the Department of Music at Wayne State, Jeremy Peters is also co-founder of Quite Scientific Records. He maintains an active teaching, performing, and researching practice and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts. Previously, he was the director of Music Publishing for Ghostly International. At Ghostly, he worked on projects for film, television, advertising, and
video games and was the music supervisor for the EMMY Award-winning documentary film, “MEDORA.” He is a voting member of the Recording Academy (the GRAMMYs). Peters graduated with an MBA from the University of Cambridge Judge Business School and is a life member of Clare Hall College. He holds an undergraduate degree in Music and Political Science from the University of Michigan.
“I’m thrilled to be teaching music business in the home of Motown! I study how musicians organize themselves and innovate to create new value for their fans, their scenes, and themselves. Wayne State students can be part of that amazing history of innovation and musical creation and follow in the footsteps of people like Joe Von Battle, Barry Gordy, and the Hackney Brothers. Detroit’s history is filled with risk-takers who invented artistic value by doing things differently, and I’m hoping to be part of that tradition.” expressions | 2019-2020 15
16 expressions | 2019-2020
After graduating from the Department of Music in 2017, Music Technology alumni Tyler Hoffman had high hopes of pursuing a career as a sound designer for film and video games. With an eager spirit, Hoffman applied and was accepted to the University of Southern California’s MFA program in Film and Television Production in Winter 2020. “I thought USC would be a great catalyst for having a reason to be closer to the film/ game industry while learning from the best and using outstanding equipment and facilities,” said Hoffman. “I went out to USC in April 2019 for their graduate acceptance day to meet faculty and (possible) future peers. I fell in love and definitely wanted to go at this point.” Like many students taking their first steps toward entering the industry, Hoffman wanted to find an internship opportunity between semesters. However, for most internships at game/movie studios, student status is typically required to be considered. An opportunity at Sony in San Diego for a sound design intern led Tyler to apply in late August. “You could tell right from the start Tyler was bound for success,” said Assistant Professor of Composition and Theory Jonathan
Anderson. “From when he integrated his dance-activated Dance Dance Revolution game controller for designing sound worlds in my Interactive Electronic Music class, to later mentoring him on his successfully funded Undergraduate Research Grant for developing an interactive music harmonization software program called SmartHarmony, I saw firsthand his passion for sound and technology.” Tyler received a call in early October saying the candidates were pared down to a few people. To advance in the selection process he had to take a sound design test. “I was floored with excitement and was sent a 26 second clip of their Spider-Man game to perform a sound design test that was due on Halloween,” explained Hoffman. “I took my time designing, recording and editing sounds to fit and be perfect; all while documenting my approach to recording and designing certain sounds.” Three hours later Tyler received a call from Sony Recruiting asking if he was interested in a more permanent position. “The following day I received a lot of information on the position and we continued forward with the process. Sony flew me out to Insomniac Games in Burbank for an
in-person interview. We all hit it off and I had a great time. Not too long after I was offered the position!” explained Hoffman. Tyler was asked to come on board as an associate sound designer as part of Sony Interactive Entertainment’s PDSG (Product Development Service Group) Sound team on-site at Sony’s newly acquired Insomniac Games location. He began in early January 2020. As of July 2020, Tyler was brought onto the Insomniac Games sound department as a full-time fixed-term associate sound designer with the hopes of continuing at Insomniac for a long time to come. “His hard work at Wayne State paid off, leading to his internship and job at Yessian Music, and eventually his position at Sony, and we couldn’t be prouder,” said Anderson. “I said a final goodbye to USC, as in the end the outcome was better. If I hadn’t applied for graduate school, I wouldn’t have been able to apply for the internship which turned into my dream job, said Hoffman. “My mentor at USC encouraged me to take this opportunity as she wants this for her students after they graduate. “So, for everyone that has helped me get to where I am now — Thank you!”
expressions | 2019-2020 17
CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR CREATIVE WARRIORS! The roads we take in life bring both challenges and chances. May you use your creative warrior spirit to grasp the chances and overcome the challenges.
Master of Arts April 2020 Crystal LaTeash Alexander DeJanay Liana Booth Nubia A. Brewster Miranda Jalia Bryant Zackery Patrick Burgess Trenton Davis Farah Wanda Fayz Heather Drew Francis Jacinda Lenore Gant Viviana Garabello Eloise Ravenel Germic Kathryn Elizabeth Goffnett Rachel Elizabeth James Brianna Lee Jones Jenna Alyse Kolakowski Jennifer L. Mansfield Kevin John Mardirosian Carmen Ana Nesbitt Roberta Raymond Taylor Rae Sikorski Ashley Janette Slaughter Ashley Teffer Christopher Williams Shawn Michael Wright
August 2020 Tara McManus Mario Laverne Morrow Garrett Shu-Loom Shum Bee Smale
Master of Arts Administration April 2020 Maria Christine D’Agostini Connor James Mehren Kathleen Elizabeth Tomaszewski
Master of Arts in Dispute Resolution April 2020 Shayna Nicole Peterson
Master of Fine Arts April 2020 Jayme Caye Beerling John Michael Bergeron Lynette Edra Call Jacob Glenn Chapman Sarah Summerwell Ryan Matthew Haas Luke Michael Lecher Matthew Jared Lee Slu Maldonado-Stone Meccah M. Martin
Bruno Anthony Mediate Matthew Timothy Smith Noelle Elise Tutunjian Jasmine Monét Roosa
Master of Music April 2020 Austin John Di Pietro Andrew Roger Jarema Juan Manuel Saavedra
Bachelor of Arts April 2020 Anita Addie Laura N. Ahee*** Nicki Grace Anderson*** Alexander Azzopardi Medina Alexis Baydoun* Malcolm James Bedford Brianna Symone Blackshire Fernanda Bottini-Sinzato Ariel Bowman Ryan Patrick Wayne Breen Timothy Nathan Buckley Cassidy Capoferri*** Steven Richards Caldwell Jr Avery June Campbell Candace Alexandria Cannon Carterris Carter Robert Linzie Charleston Jack Stephen Chefan III Jane Clinton Joseph W. Cozzolino Emile Crawley III Evan Christian Denomme Kennedy Marie Desotell*** Jordan Elise Dewitt** Matthew James Duncan Tina L. Eaddy Lana Ali Elzein Arianna Lynn Endicott Olivia Maria Esparza Madeleine M. Flournoy Chloe Fiona Fraleigh* Giselle Elisa Gaitan** Shariay Gant* Malak Ghandour Jaymi Tori Nancy Gittens** Geron Gosselin Victoria Grace Griffin*** Salwa Jay Hammoud* Koreen Jakara Harris Alyssa C. Harten Benjamin Terrance Henderson Rachel Simone Henry Susana A. Hernandez Jackilyn Leeann Hollowell* Jasmine Hunt
Douglas Alexander Husic Ramsey A Hussain*** Staci D. Irvin Maryam Jayyousi Kathleen A. Johnson*** Madison Roo Johnson Olivia Johnson*** Olivia Rae Johnson*** Tamiya Marie Jones Palak Ketan Joshi Kristopher Ellis Kehrer Lakeshia Germaine King Sara Elizabeth Kmiec Dua’a Issam Koussan Kaira Sharda-Dianne Langford Marvin Alton Littles Madeleine Faith Lowell Miriam Mohammed Marini* Jessica Ann Martin Adrian Marie Martino Martel Deóntre Mathis Darrell Delvon McEntire Luke Meissner Sarah Elizabeth Milano Charles J. Moore Lucy Etta Mott Amara Ndukwe James Matthew Neiman Rebekah Nichilo Jessie Theresa Nickelson*** Brenna Marie Noyes*** Christian-Gregg Jonson Pasaoa Christopher James Pauley Carrie Bea Paveglio*** Gianluca Lawrence Riccardo Petrazzi M. Gerrard Quilo-Caoagas Michael Timothy Raftery*** Khawla M. Rahman* Sabira Rahman*** Nicholas Alexander Rhein Darece Lemont Roberson Jr. Sydney Lee Robin Emily Ann Roth Zachary Theodore Russell Sydney Madison Scholz*** Eric Christopher Scott Joseph Raymond Segar Emma Raye Seidel*** Yimaj N. Sherif Arianna L. Smith Dillon William Smith Taylor Danielle Stone Kindall Danielle Storks Rahmaude Antwoyn Stringfield*** Katherine Louise Svisco Ebony Unise Swain Bria Renee Swanson Kaci Anne Switchulis* Nathaniel Cleveland Taylor
Susan McGraw Thibault Jack Henry Thomas Sharvai DaJai Thomas Sade Lanae Van Pelt Erin Olivia Voorhess Cheryl D. Warren Marcus Dejuan Webster Nya Craft Weiss* Delainie Anastasia Wheeler*** Sarah E. Williams*** Erin A. Wilson Lakiah Alexis Wilson Malik A. Wilson
August 2020 Jackson Adam Abohasira Angelique Ali My’Kila Nicole Allix Reem Ameiche Nicole Anderson*** Donovan Baxter Aleah Betts Dewight Braxton** Lauren Buhl*** Joslynn Latisha Charley Cristal Star Costello Hope Crocker Jiquanda Davis Darrell Termaine Dennis Erica L. Dudley Ni-Gea Summer Dufeal Emily Claire Eicher Madalen Colette Faycurry Elizabeth Jeanne Fleck Emily L. Hebert Oriana L. Josey Nadia Nichole Koontz Milena Nicole Koprivica Benjamin Kouchnerkavich*** Marissa Katherine Lane*** Jessica Lee Jonathan Lundy Aaron Nathan Majetic Zachary Alan Marano* Milan Amina McLaurin Taylor Nicole Morris Damon Curtis Nathan Lakiya Tronae Neal Oladimeji S. Omoyele Oghenetga Danillea Orhorhoro Malak Ramzi Silmi** Jordan Wiliam Sluma Walaa Khalil Sobh Jasmine Simone Stallion Summer Alyssia Starr Sean M. Taormina** Abriana Nicole Walton Elizabeth Maria Washington
Bachelor of Fine Arts April 2020 Ahmed Abdulamir Lauren Taylor Alo Mitchell Jaimes Altman Rachel Alexandra Andes* Lana Antwan Lauren Elizabeth Basham Cameron Anthony-Dourron Blackwell***
Ashley Catherine Jean Blake Adam C. Borbely Jasmine Jaye Brown Kyra Jacoiya Brown Angel Monique Buckens Kendell Lamar Burks** Sara Lynn Burman* Haley Elizabeth Candela*** Anthony Lavelle Clark Ana Michel Cohen* Robyn Claire Crongeyer* Madeline Renee Czopek Alexis S. Dalton Dominique Deidra Denson* Dina Djedovic* Talia Lynette Dowling Danieka Veronika Dupuis** Kulsuma Begum Fahima** Vonesa Ismet Fetahu Keana Marie Freeman Vanessa Nicole Fry* Catherine Regina Galambush Danielle Renee Gamelin*** Alex Steven Godziszewski Kyrah Akim Gradford-Dye* Mahdi M. Hamid Stephanie Heck* Luke George Hodgson*** Evelyn Joyce Hoey*** Matthew Seth Holben*** Laila Colleen Dolores Kildani** Jasper Kim* Nikita Vadimovich Krylov Delaney Evelyn Lindauer Brittany Kristine Little Priscilla Maria Lloyd*** Alexandria Nicole Maniak Caleb Edward Matthews*** Robert James Mcpherson II Victoria Leigh Miller* Haneen Mohamad Miri Ryan J. Montelibano** Delores Corinthia-Louise Moore* Rebecca Michelle Neely** Sydney Oliva Mikayah J. Parnell Heena Pankajkumar Patel Mathew Ramone Paynes Jared Matthew Phillis Jose Carlos Portillo Medrano Perry Devon Quarker Jr* Hannah Emily Rittmueller*** Colleen Renee Rothe Susanne Sellmer Nadia Ellena Slawick** Caitlin Marie Smith Lincoln Soucy Jenna Nicole Stanley* Julia Renee Starr Elaina M. Tang* Rachel Marilyn Tapling Ashley Nicole Taravella** Annabel Elaine Timberlake* Abigail Grace Steele Turner Brandon Ross Wilk** Djnetta DeAnna Williams Jazmine Sharece Williams Angela Pang Yeng Zhang
August 2020 Ciondra D. Brown Rima Ezzo*** Christina Elizabeth George Healy Elysse Grant** Mei Krusz* Joshua Benjamin Lewis Megan Nora Meddaugh Sophia Cavan Moreno Dynasty Dekalonn Norwood*** Sarah R. Rosecrans*** Julie Marie Rutkowski Jennifer Wheeler* Samantha Lynn Wood
Bachelor of Music April 2020 Mitchell Jacob Anderson** Stephanie Lyn Antrikin J. Vincent Balbontin Arniego Isaac Michael Bartol* Amanda Nicole Beaune*** Evan Deon Betts Rachel Madeline Cullon Rebecca Ann Dadswell Lauren Elena Deming*** Avery Dean Eckert Victoria Jean Fernholz Chenoa Chantal Gachupin Larissa Maurice Gamble ** Benjamin David Gulecki Gerald Edward Hymer* David Andrew Jackowicz*** Jacob Abraham Joslin** Raymond Georffrey Li** Sean Daniel MacKillop* Samantha S. Maroki Jocelyn Rose Palmer David RL Simmons Samantha Grace Spicuzza Dalas Armand-Lut Stewart Meara O’Neill Thierry David Evan Traines* Stephanie Faith Weil** Joshua Joseph West Brian Alan Wieczorek
Bachelor of Science April 2020 Kristine Anderson*** Alexandra Lee Failoc Abigail Grace Givens Alyssa Grabinski* Cherrise La’Shay Harris Christen Nancy Knight Songi Ku Joy Latrice Lee Lisa Marie Podnar*** Sarah Grace Renko* Samantha Fae Sandler Sarah E. Traver Kayla Nicole White
August 2020 Alix Carrie Rivard Gabrielle Sade Robinson
Recognition for Academic Achievement Students who attain high scholastic achievement are denoted by an asterisk after their name. The official list of graduates cited for cum laude (*), magna cum laude (**), or summa cum laude (***) will be compiled subsequently and their diplomas will carry the appropriate notation. This practice is observed at the undergraduate level only.
Department of Communication
Katheryn Maguire Chair, Department of Communication Throughout 2020, the Department of Communication has faced the challenges presented by Covid-19 as a team. We have an amazing group of dedicated and award-winning faculty, advisors, students, and staff who have pulled together to support each other during this difficult time. I am proud, and humbled, by what we have been able to accomplish, and know that we will continue to be Warrior Strong thanks to our creativity, innovative spirit, and camaraderie. Separation may keep us safe, but it can never break the bonds that hold us together.
20 expressions | 2019-2020
Faculty Spotlights Donyale Padgett Associate Professor, Communication Studies, Public Relations Donyale R. Padgett, Ph.D., is a communications professional with 20 years of progressive experience in strategic communications. She has over 15 years of teaching experience at the college level. Padgett’s research examines how crises are negotiated between institutional leaders and other stakeholders, particularly around issues of race and culture. Padgett has published numerous articles in academic journals and presents her work at regional and national conferences in her discipline. Padgett is a very active member of the Wayne State community, with particular involvement in diversity and inclusion initiatives on campus. She has been recognized on campus for excellence in teaching and mentoring students; and
for her commitment to service learning initiatives that inspire civic engagement in her students. Professor Padgett is a sought-after speaker on the topic of diversity and culture and a very active practitioner, presenting professional development workshops to numerous organizations, giving research talks to universities, community groups and professional associations. Professor Padgett holds a doctorate degree from Howard University in intercultural communication. She also holds a master’s degree in organizational communication and a bachelor’s degree in journalism – both from Wayne State University.
Rosie Jahng Assistant Professor, Communication Studies Rosie Jahng joined the Department of Communication in Fall 2016. She holds a Ph.D. in Journalism from the University of Missouri, MA from the University of TexasAustin (Journalism), and Seoul National University (Communication) and her BA from Sookmyung Women’s University in South Korea. Her research interests are in media psychology, crisis communication,
and misinformation/disinformation. At Wayne State, she teaches public relations campaign, media effects, research methods, and social media campaigns at undergraduate and graduate levels. Her recent work has appeared in Public Relations Review, Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, Computers in Human Behavior, and Science Communication.
“As a scholar in media psychology and public relations, I feel responsible to explore how people process misinformation and disinformation so that media professionals can find a way to better communicate facts and address false information.”
expressions | 2019-2020 21
2020 graduate receives Television Academy Foundation Internship in Directing
Brenna Noyes, a 2020 Wayne State University College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts graduate who majored in film with a double minor in communication studies and design, was selected for the Television Academy Foundation Internship in Directing. The Television Academy Foundation’s internship program provides 50 internships in over 20 different disciplines to college students nationwide. The eight-week paid internship is the program’s only directing internship and is open only to graduatinag seniors and graduate students. “Receiving the news that I was selected for the Television Academy Foundation Internship in Directing feels like a dream,” said Noyes. “Having the opportunity to network with professionals working in L.A. will open up so many doors for me. I would never have known about this opportunity if it wasn’t for Professor Kelly Donnellan, who helped me through the whole application process.” Donnellan, an associate professor of media arts and studies, was selected for the Television Academy Foundation Faculty Seminar in 2016 and discovered the programs, resources and internships
22 expressions | 2019-2020
offered through the Television Academy Foundation. “Brenna and I worked for a year on one film, Smile, in two classes that are offered in the communication department: COM 6680, Directed Projects, where she developed the script, produced, directed and started to edit the short film, and COM 3990, Directed Study, where she finished picture editing, sound editing, mixing and developed a Go Fund Me Campaign for film festival submission.” Donnellan explained that she has written roughly two to three recommendation letters per year for the past four years for students in a variety of categories, but nobody has made it past the first round until now. “When Brenna made it into the finals for the directing internship, I was tremendously happy for her as well as for the film/media arts and studies areas. We’d never had a student go that far before, and that in and of itself was tremendous. Typically, the directing category is dominated by the top film schools and grad students and smaller schools and programs don’t factor in,” said Donnellan. “We have always known that we have outstanding students in both our media
arts and studies and film programs,” said Katheryn Maguire, chair of the Department of Communication. “Many of our students have submitted their work to film festivals as well as screenwriting competitions, with some even winning awards.” “This honor shines a national spotlight not only on Brenna’s talent as an aspiring filmmaker, but also the high-quality education that students receive in the Department of Communication.” “As a director in my 2018 narrative capstone class (COM 5400), Brenna demonstrated the artistic vision, creative management skills, and fortitude that it takes to become a significant director,” said Juanita Anderson, senior lecturer and area head of the media arts and studies program. “This internship will not only provide her major insights and experience in industry practices, but will serve as an important next step in what I’m sure will be a stellar career.” “The Television Academy Internships are among the most competitive in the industry,” notes Anderson, who was a 2008 Television Academy Faculty Fellow. For more information about internships at the Television Academy Foundation, visit emmys.com/foundation/internships.
First female debate director
Dr. Sydney Pasquinelli, director of debate and lecturer, joined the Department of Communication in the fall of 2019. Pasquinelli teaches classes in the communication studies and the media arts and studies areas within the department. “As an alumna, I was already a WSU Warrior before I accepted the position of director of debate,” said Pasquinelli. “I am from the Detroit Metro area and I moved to Midtown Detroit when I was attending WSU for my undergraduate degree in Political Science. I debated for four years at WSU (2005 – 2009) and after that, I left the state for 10 years to pursue two advanced degrees in communication.” “My goal in pursuing those advanced degrees was always to pursue a director of debate position, because my passion lies in teaching politics, philosophy and debate to young people,” explained Pasquinelli. “When the director of debate position at WSU opened up, it felt like the perfect position for me, at the perfect time in my life.” Pasquinelli is proactive about creating an inclusive space for the team, both in human diversity and in diversity of thought. As a feminine — and feminist — identifying person, she believes she brings a unique perspective and set of values to the WSU debate team and the policy debate community writ large. “The policy debate community tends to privilege the perspective
of white men and has often shown hostility to expressions and performances of femininity. It is important to me as a director that our squad culture does not adopt these same attitudes,” said Pasquinelli. “When I was an undergraduate debater, I faced many of the harsh realities of sexism in the debate community,” said continued. “My dual commitments to feminism and debate motivate me to actively work to make debate a more opening and welcome space for gender, sexual orientation, as well as ethnic and racial diversity.” Pasquinelli describes herself as an intersectional feminist, which means that her feminism is intimately tied within a broader resistance to interacting and overlapping systems of exclusion and oppression. In the fall of 2019, the College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts and the Forensics and Debate program hosted a welcome brunch in honor of Pasquinelli. CFPCA Board of Visitors Member and ’62 alumna Sue Nine, delivered a speech that expressed the long-standing and celebrated traditions of the WSU team with an added forward-looking, and feminist pulse. “Sydney, I can’t tell you how much I smile each day when I realize that a woman has taken over the coaching of Wayne State’s debate program!” said Nine. “Ms. Pasquinelli has had a rich background in debate, complete with many national recognitions, and it is fabulous to know that one of the ladies who came out of the WSU program has actually returned to be its first female head debate coach. During Nine’s remarks, she gifted Pasquinelli with one of her and her husband Paul’s coveted gold medals from their cherished debate days at Wayne State. “This speech was inspiring, and it warmed me to feel so welcomed by the alumni, my department, and the CFPCA. The support of the alumni has not only been crucial to the enduring success of the WSU forensics and debate program, but it has also been important to my transition into the role as director of debate,” said Pasquinelli. Pasquinelli is most excited about the expanded size of the debate program. “Last year, our policy debate team had four competitors and one graduate assistant coach. This year, due in part to recruitment strategies, we have 10 competitors and two graduate assistant coaches.” With the increase in size, there is more promising young talent which increases competitive successes. The program has a long history of success at the national level. This bolstered size and compacity, may result in even greater national competitions for future years. For now, debate competitions are being held online. While debating online is not ideal, Pasquinelli explains the program is fortunate that Zoom can provide a platform which makes online intercollegiate debate tournaments possible. The team members will compete at a full roster of online tournaments. The policy debate team’s first tournament was held in September, hosted virtually by Northwestern University.
expressions | 2019-2020 23
p i c glo i t bal par
In the wake of COVID-19, the Department of Communication demonstrated commitment to giving students the benefit of having world-class education in a real-world context. The department’s Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) chapter hosted “The Future of Communications in a Changed World” virtual panel on April 25. The panel of industry professionals was moderated by Ray Day, member of College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts Board of Visitors, Wayne State University alumnus, and vice-chair of The Stagwell Group. The event was a 60-minute panel discussion aimed at keeping students motivated about their future professions and giving them first-hand information about communication management
24 expressions | 2019-2020
ne l pa
v i s r t t s u o al h
through a crisis. “Communications and PR are changing at warp speed, and the successful companies, brands and leaders will be the ones focused on the future,” said Day. “Communications has a bigger seat at the table than ever before in my 30 years in the business – yet communications also is being reinvented about every five years. For students and professionals alike, that means we must constantly reinvent ourselves, continuously learn and spend time with people who challenge us intellectually, creatively and help us see into the future.” The panel was hosted here in Michigan, but the reach was global. More than 120 students and professionals participated from Indiana,
Ray Day, moderator vice-chair, The Stagwell Group
Bonin Bough chief growth officer, Bonin Ventures
Craig Buchholz chief communications officer, General Motors
Jano Cabrera chief communications officer, General Mills
Tara Carraro chief corporate affairs officer, Nestle Waters
Michael Sneed chief communications officer, Johnson & Johnson
Maryland, New York, Washington D.C. Louisiana, California, Canada, Ghana and Indonesia. “This event was truly global,” said Hailey Cloutier, a public relations student and executive board member of the Wayne State University PRSSA Chapter. “During these uncertain times, communication students and professionals looked to these industry leaders for clues into the next chapter of communications, PR and integrated marketing.” Panelists discussed a wide array of topics, including how to remain proactive during hard economic times, the predicted increase in digital communication and the further integration of traditional marketing and communication skills needed to keep up with the
advancing market. “With people moving the majority of their lives online, communication techniques need to be even more adaptive,” said Cloutier. Shelly Najor, director of the undergraduate PR program at Wayne State, said the “panelists not only offered sage advice for navigating this new landscape but were also comforting and reassuring to students who are graduating and wondering – what’s next?” This event is an example of the hands-on professional experience for students in the public relations program. It allowed students to engage globally in an enriching discussion about the future of communications in the wake of COVID-19 .
expressions | 2019-2020 25
Maggie Allesee Department of Theatre and Dance
Mary Anderson Chair, Maggie Allesee Department of Theatre and Dance In this epoch of deep reflection, I am taken back to a time ten years ago when the college organized the first focus group meetings to discuss the Hilberry Gateway Project. During this meeting, my colleague, Professor Karen Prall, shared her vision of what the Gateway might look like: a wall of windows along the sidewalk on Cass, where passersby would see dancers rehearsing, a costumer in the shop sewing, a designer drafting, theatre students playing improvisational games. A set of fascinating activities that would spark curiosity in those walking past. And they would all occur in process, in the moment of creation. This vision has been persistent for me for a decade now because I believe it epitomizes, encapsulates and draws together the many strands of our passion and our mission as a department: to use dance and theatre as a gathering space. The
agora: that center of artistic, spiritual and political life in the city. Our city: where Dr. King gathered people for a monumental rehearsal of his I Have a Dream speech. Dance and theatre at Wayne have always been a part of these transformational histories. And as we shifted rapidly into the digital space in March, our students, faculty and staff demonstrated through Virtual Theatre and Dance at Wayne that they were even more committed to creating art that moves and inspires for the widest possible audience. In response to the virtual world in which faculty and students currently live, the Maggie Allesee Department of Theatre and Dance is launching three new series that include fully-mounted productions, interactive dialogue events, and public education programming that are completely free to communities near and far.
Faculty Spotlights Thomas Karr Senior Lecturer, Head of Theatre Management Thomas Karr joined the faculty at Wayne State in 2017 having spent the previous eleven years in leadership roles at some of the nation’s most esteemed performing arts organizations. At WSU, he’s enhanced the marketing and audience engagement programs of Theatre and Dance at Wayne, growing and diversifying the audience, increasing revenue, and, most importantly, working with students. He holds a Master of Fine Arts in Theatre Management/Arts Administration from the University of Alabama and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Tennessee. Prior to joining WSU, Karr served as the director of marketing and communications at Children’s Theatre of Charlotte where he
implemented dynamic pricing, remapped pricing zones, and increased single ticket revenue by almost $200,000 in just two years. He also championed the addition of sensory-friendly performances for children who are diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder or other sensitivity issues. Prior to North Carolina, he served as the associate director of marketing and public relations for Theatre Development Fund, the nation’s largest service organization for the performing arts. He has also produced several Off-Broadway productions including “Alcestis Ascending,” “Dammit, Shakespeare!” and “Underwear: A Space Musical” (at the New York International Fringe Festival).
Dr. RAS Mikey Courtney is an acclaimed dance professional whose life mission is to spread universal understanding to communities and cultures across the globe by sharing his gift of the expressive arts. Dr. RAS is co-founder and CEO of Fore I’m a Versatile Entertainer (F.I.V.E.) LLC. He holds a B.F.A. in Dance from the UARTS in Philadelphia, an MA in Ethnochoreology and Ph.D. in Arts Practice Research from University of Limerick in Ireland, where he was an Irish Research Council Government of Ireland Scholar and former guest lecturer at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance. Dr RAS’ postgraduate research and written thesis, entitled Bridging Horizons: Embodied Cultural Understanding through the Development and Presentation of EthioModern Dance, explores RAS’ practice as
his main methodology and embodiment as a central theoretical underpinning. Professionally Dr. RAS has collaborated with artists and companies from around the world, including Pilobolus, RavenSymoné, Major Lazer, The Marley Family, Chronixx, AfroFlow, the African Union and more. He was recently featured in the viral, “One Nation” music video for Visit Detroit. Dr. RAS Mikey has facilitated a student/ staff exchange between the University of Limerick and Addis Ababa University. As assistant professor of Dance at WSU, he continues to explore movement as cultural knowledge within communities globally. Dr. RAS is also an established singer/ songwriter who recently released Love Year the EP (2020)
RAS Mikey Courtney Assistant Professor, Dance
expressions | 2019-2020 27
Students from the theatre program met with legendary actress, comedian and Detroit native Lily Tomlin. The students, recipients of the Lily Tomlin Endowed Scholarship Fund in Theatre, enjoyed a conversation with the multi-faceted entertainer prior to a performance with fellow actress Jane Fonda in October 2019 at Detroit’s Fox Theatre. The event, “A Fun Conversation with Jane Fonda & Lily Tomlin” was moderated by Mitch Albom. The Lily Tomlin Endowed Scholarship Fund, established in 1990, recognizes outstanding talent and scholastic achievement, encourages continuing progress, and provides financial assistant to full-time students in the Department of Theatre and Dance. 2020 graduates Tori Miller (B.F.A., acting) and Nikita Krylov (B.F.A., acting) had the opportunity to thank Tomlin for establishing the scholarship. They described the ways the fund has provided opportunities to pursue their academic endeavors and create building blocks toward their future careers. “It’s cool to see the Detroit in her is still hanging around,” said Miller. “I can’t believe she took the time to meet us and listen to what we had to say and what was going on in our lives.” Tomlin started her career as a stand-up comedian and an actress, performing Off-Broadway during the 1960s. She is known for roles on television shows such as Laugh-In, films such as Nashville and Nine
28 expressions | 2019-2020
to Five, and her Tony Award-winning Broadway show The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe. She and Fonda currently co-star on Netflix’s Grace and Frankie. Tomlin reminisced with the students about her time as a student at Detroit’s Cass Technical High School, her days performing at the Mackenzie Union as a theatre student at Wayne State and her humble start in the industry. She even shared a few stories about her life that she used as material for some of her earlier work. “Lily Tomlin is such a genuine and down-to-earth person. She is so welcoming that I could have talked to her for hours,” said Krylov. Dean Matthew Seeger, who accompanied the students, shared future plans of the Hilberry Gateway with the former Bonstelle theatre student and discussed how this expansion will enrich the educational experience for current and future performers. “Lily Tomlin is a gracious, accomplished icon of American theatre,” said Seeger. “She is a true Detroiter, down to earth, accessible and very funny. We are proud to have her as part of the CFPCA family.” “We just wanted to thank her for the scholarship, but what was even better was that we got to actually sit down and have a whole conversation with her. I was really honored to have gotten the scholarship, let alone being able to meet her and personally thank her for it,” said Miller.
Despite unforeseen obstacles and global pandemic, construction forges ahead with a promising vision for Hilberry Gateway
Concept Image: Hamilton Anderson
Construction of the Hilberry Gateway and the Gretchen Valade Jazz Center is moving forward despite a number of challenges. Through escalating construction costs, undocumented sewer lines, multiple redesigns, and a pandemic, Wayne State has maintained its commitment to create a new home for performances and arts enthusiasts. This unified performing arts complex will integrate the old and the new and provide students, faculty and staff an enhanced space to create and envision the next generation of artists.
Looking ahead Among the obstacles encountered was an undocumented sewer line that will force the new Hilberry Theatre and the Gretchen Valade Jazz Center to be separated by an easement. Working with Rockford Construction and the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD), this easement will provide space for a unique 15-foot-wide area between the Hilberry Gateway and the Gretchen Valade Jazz Center. The design connects the easement to a large patio in front of the Hilberry Gateway with plans to be utilized as an
outdoor performance, reception and gathering space. Opening night of the Hilberry Gateway is currently scheduled for early 2023 and the Valade to follow in the Summer 2023. Through the delays and multiple redesigns, the talented team of designers, architects, and consultants has maintained the key elements that are vital to the success of the project as a teaching, learning and performance complex. It will have five tremendous production spaces to accommodate a variety of performances. The complex will include facilities for safely and efficiently creating scenery, costumes, and stage props. Lighting, sound, and video will take advantage of 21st Century technology. The stage floors are appropriately sprung to allow dancers to perform, safeguarding them from injuries. In both the Hilberry Gateway and the Gretchen Valade Jazz Center, audiences will enjoy more comfortable seating, clearer views, enhanced acoustics, larger restrooms, and performances filled with creative and engaging stories, music and dance. In the heart of Midtown Detroit, the new theatre complex will be a treasured gateway to campus and to college artistic offerings.
For more information and updates, visit cfpca.wayne.edu/gateway. expressions | 2019-2020 29
Crafting Connections seven questions with Director of Philanthropy, Alison Piech Linn You’ve had an interesting journey. Tell us about yourself. I grew up on the city’s west side in Warrendale, and I’ve been active in our arts and culture community for nearly 15 years, both personally and professionally. After an internship with the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD) and graduating from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, I began my career at our campus neighbor, the Detroit Historical Museum. I then served in various, dynamic positions at the Sphinx Organization, including Chief Advancement Officer and then took on the role of Major Gift officer at the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA). My husband, Andy Linn, MUP ‘12, and sister-in-law, Emily Linn, MFA ’07, own two popular, local businesses, City Bird and Nest, in Midtown, where I served as sales director for two years. Our family lives in the Woodbridge neighborhood and has for more than 10 years. What made you excited to join CFPCA? From jazz to journalism, and dance to debate, CFPCA combines all forms of creative expression in one of the most culturally vibrant cities in the country. The incredible talent and creativity of our students, our campus diversity, and our community, truly inspire me Wayne State is redefining what opportunity means for students, faculty and our community by making higher education accessible. What are your favorite things about being in Midtown and our Detroit community? Having been in the area for some time, I so enjoy seeing people I know from my many walks of life every day—whether it is out and about, on campus, at a gallery opening or a performance. It’s one part of our community life that I dearly miss during these challenging times. Do you have a favorite place on campus? I have always loved the McGregor Memorial Conference Center and Reflecting Pools, designed by one of my favorite architects, Minoru Yamasaki. And now, I especially love the perspective of viewing them out of the large windows of the Art Department Gallery.
What’s been the biggest surprise in your first year? I have been amazed at how connected the college’s alumni and friends are. It seems as though all roads lead back to Detroit and to Wayne State. One of the most fun conversations I had with a donor was learning more about how 7 of her 8 siblings all graduated from Wayne State. How can CFPCA alumni and friends give back and make a difference for students this academic year especially? It is so important for our alumni and friends to share their success and networks with our students, participate in our events, advocate for our programs, and make gifts in areas that are personally meaningful to them. With CFPCA as the cultural gateway to campus, there are many new ways to engage with our students and faculty, even virtually! What does philanthropy mean and what can it accomplish? Our supporters see their philanthropy not only as a means to give back, but as an investment in the future in both Detroit and beyond. I am passionate about bringing people together and sharing inspiring, bold opportunities. Building these kinds of connections and relationships are the reason I’m excited to do this work every day.
30 expressions | 2019-2020
Art + business:
Photo credit: Christopher Scalise
New Lyft mural project gives students experience as for-hire artists Six Wayne State art students learned how to work with clients on a new mural project that also functioned as a directed study course. The Wayne State University Office of Economic and Community Development partnered with Lyft to sponsor the mural that is featured at the ride share company’s newly designated pickup and drop-off zone behind the WSU Press building. The space also includes a bench with Lyft’s signature pink color, as well as signage to make new location easy for drivers and passengers to find. The mural was officially unveiled during Midtown’s popular Noel Night festival in 2019. “In conversations, we started brainstorming ways to activate the alley and make it a more inviting and interesting walkway,” said Emily Thompson, Wayne State’s director of economic and community development. “It’s an amazing opportunity from a design perspective, but they’ve also gotten the experience of being for-hire artists.” “Each student pitched a concept, and they voted together to choose one to share with us. The mural committee worked with them to choose one and refine it.” The final concept was approved in October 2019. The student participants included Anne Armbruster, Saylem Bryant, Inna Golovata, Beth Maddens, Roy Sproule and Jeni Wheeler. Wheeler said she ended up taking on the role of group coordinator, which was more challenging than she anticipated. “It’s moving faster now that we’ve been able to coordinate everyone working at the same time,” said Wheeler. “It’s a really big project to have done in a semester.” “The first month of the project involved things that were not actually related to art. It was a bit of a surprise to me. The design process took time, but the acquisition process of resources took a lot more time than we expected.” Early winter weather also delayed the project. Most of the mural
was painted the week of Thanksgiving, Wheeler said. “It’s been intimidating for everyone at times,” she said. “It was tricky, with multiple professional entities involved. I have some business and management background, but I’ve never organized something with so many companies in one project.” Most of the students haven’t had a lot of experience working with companies and business owners, Wheeler said. “It’s a self-directed class, so we were kind of figuring it out as we went.” “It was a learning process for everyone,” said Margi Weir, associate professor of painting and drawing. “I think the students would have preferred to get to the actual painting a lot sooner. In the real world, when you work with companies, this kind of thing is really common.” Wheeler said even having some experience, she still learned a great deal from working with multiple professional entities. “I’ve made big paintings, and I knew the timeline would be crunched right away,” Wheeler said. “Committees and companies don’t know what’s involved in a mural painting. Now, I would have the confidence to speak up.” “I saw several of the students really rise to the challenge and be very responsible about ordering supplies and meeting deadlines,” Weir said. “I’m really proud of them.” Weir noted that it’s been helpful to use this project as a learning experience for teaching the full class in the future. “It’s been a wonderful preliminary project that will introduce an actual class in the next couple of years.” “There was so much energy around the project. It was intense at every level.” Wheeler said. “It’s really amazing. We wanted to focus on positive imagery. Lyft was a great partner in all of this. They wanted to say yes to everything and do what they could and make this thing happen.”
expressions | 2019-2020 31
University Art Collection launches online gallery The University Art Collection (UAC) is to enhance the cultural life of the university and support the university’s mission to advance knowledge and prepare students to thrive as they positively impact the world. Research provides evidence that exposure to the arts contributes to the health of a civil society through increased civic engagement, greater social tolerance and reduction of unhealthy behaviors. Art teaches empathy and compassion for others. Its inclusion in higher education prepares passionate students with the ability to navigate a very uncertain future. The UAC is just one more way that the university promotes the knowledge and the well-being of students and the world around them. Without question, we know that access to art is more important now than ever before because art challenges the way that we
think. It helps us look at the world differently and to understand different points of view. The majority of the UAC is currently on view in public spaces throughout the main campus, medical school and satellite campuses. In fact, works of art installed in the libraries are accessible to both students and the public on a daily basis, providing greater access to the arts than any other museum or gallery in the city. However, given that many students, staff and community members are working remotely, highlights from this evolving collection of over 6,500 works can now be accessed online at artmuseum. wayne.edu/collections. This site will continue to evolve and grow to include more of the important works in the collection along with a wealth of content and archival materials. The University Art Collection online gallery is unique because it reveals how the collection is used as a resource for scholarship
and provides students with an authentic hands-on experience with original works of art. Undergraduate and graduate students from the James Pearson Duffy Departments of Art and Art History have written essays that accompany many of these works. These essays have provided them the opportunity to conduct research on art, to write about it and have their writings published online. Undergraduate photography student, Jack Rowland, will expand the online collection by photographing the volumes of artist drawings from the James Pearson Duffy Collection that have not been properly documented in the past. Graduate students from the Arts Administration and Library Science programs have also contributed to this online gallery effort, providing database management assistance and digitization of accompanying archival materials.
above: Freshman Dean’s Scholarship Activity Award Recipient, Jack Rowland, viewing online collection at artmuseum.wayne.edu (photo credit Tim Thayer) 32 expressions | 2019-2020
A curated online exhibition by undergraduate art history student Samantha Hohmann will preview in Fall 2020. This exhibition features works in the collection by WSU alumna Susan Hauptman (MFA 1970, 1947-2005). Hohmann has also been responsible for creating the picture of the week essays for the 2019-2020 academic year and has managed the social media during the Spring/ Summer semesters. Find the University Art Collection on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @wsuartcollection.
Untitled (101), 1972, ink on gesso panel, 42x42 inches by Susan Hauptman, Featured in “The Fine Lines of Identity: Susan Hauptman’s Early Works” online exhibition (Photo credit Tim Thayer) left: Kelly Farrell, graduate student in the Arts Administration program, has been instrumental in helping with online efforts over the 2020 Spring/ Summer semester and continues assisting with ongoing collections management and care projects for the collection. right: LaChelle Barton, graduate student in the Library Science program, has been working with the collection to set up systems for its digital archives. Most of the archival materials associated with the collection predate the internet and are currently inaccessible for online research.
The Gallery Internship (ACS 5210) course offered through the University Art Collection provide students a hands-on learning opportunity that emphasizes art collection management and care, accessibility and education. The online Fall 2020 class has been designed around programming for the online collections. The class will introduce students to curatorial practices, collection management practices and virtual exhibition and educational programming. Students will curate online exhibitions and associated programming, providing them with first-hand experiences that will offer future students and the community ways to engage with the collection both online and on campus. Jenna Karam Undergrad Graphic Design
Shelly Brinkley Undergrad Art History
expressions | 2019-2020 33
CFPCA joins Detroit Public Schools Community District’s expanded arts and music partnership 24 participating metro Detroit organizations committed to contributing robust programing Detroit Public Schools Community District (DPSCD) announced in February its partnership with 24 arts organizations for an intentional investment of resources and expertise in the Detroit School of Arts (DSA) Pathways Initiative. The initiative is designed to position DSA as the premier arts school in Metro Detroit and to develop students’ talent in the years to follow. “Wayne State’s College of Fine Performing
34 expressions | 2019-2020
and Communication Arts (CFPCA) is committed to continuing and strengthening our extensive programming with Detroit Public Schools Community District. The Detroit School of Arts pathways initiative is a perfect opportunity to partner with a neighboring high school in our own Detroit community that has a shared focus on the arts. We aim to create a substantial connection for the world’s next generation of
arts contributors/advocates/professionals.” Former CFPCA Academic Services Officer, Kelly Driscoll. Driscoll is now the university’s director of communication for enrollment management. In Fall 2019 the District embarked upon Phase I of the DSA Pathways Initiative with 24 partners committed to providing programming in multiple art forms either in-kind or at no-cost during the first full year
of rebuilding (through June 2020). Four schools are designated as Middle School Arts Conservatories, or feeder schools, to DSA – Brenda Scott Academy for Theatre Arts, Duke Ellington Conservatory of Music & Art, John R. King Academic and Performing Arts Academy and Spain Elementary-Middle School. The
Middle School Arts Conservatories will work with the 24 partnered institutions as well as with students and faculty from DSA. In addition, DSA Pathways partners are collaborating with national organizations such as Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Educational Theatre Association, and the Debbie Allen
Dance Academy to bring the best of arts to DSA and its middle school programs. The Middle School Arts Conservatories will offer five core art forms – dance, theatre, visual arts, instrumental music and vocal music.
Detroit School of Arts Pathways Partners The Carr Center • College for Creative Studies • Detroit Institute of Arts • Detroit Institute of Music Education (DIME) • Detroit Jazz Festival Foundation • Detroit Public Theatre • Detroit Symphony Orchestra • Eisenhower Dance Detroit • Heritage Works • InsideOut Literary Arts • Living Arts • Michigan Opera Theatre • MSU Community Music School-Detroit • Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit • The Motown Museum • Music Hall • Pewabic Pottery • Shakespeare in Detroit • Sphinx Organization • Stratford Festival • University of Michigan SMTD • University Musical Society (UMS) • Wayne State University CFPCA • Y Arts & The Detroit Creativity Project
For more information on the Detroit School of Arts Pathways Initiative, visit www.detroitk12.org/DSAPathways. expressions | 2019-2020 35
Nonprofit Org. U.S. Postage PAID Detroit, MI Permit No. 3844
Office of the Dean 5104 Gullen Mall Detroit, MI 48202 www.cfpca.wayne.edu
36 expressions | 2019-2020