Letter from the Dean
Dear Alumni, Friends and Supporters,
As we look forward to more normal times, the College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts is returning to in-person performances and renewing our commitment to our students, alumni and supporters. We are also eagerly anticipating the completion of our new performance facilities.
The Hilberry Gateway project has sprung forth in exciting and dramatic ways. The building’s exterior is largely complete, and construction will soon turn to the interior. This building — and the forthcoming Gretchen Valade Jazz Center — will transform Midtown, Wayne State and the college.
This integrated performing arts complex will allow us to continue our long tradition of training new generations of actors, designers, musicians and managers while providing lasting experiences for our patrons. I am grateful for the support of our patrons and donors for helping to keep the dream of new facilities alive. While it’s been more than a 50-year journey to move out of the “temporary” location of the theatre program in the current Hilberry, we are excited to see our new permanent home and first purpose-built theatre coming to reality. Our performing arts programs — theatre, dance and music — will be positioned well for the future. Thank you for your support!
We also look forward to returning to face-to-face instruction for all our programs. While our faculty, staff and students have shown creativity, innovation and resilience in continuing the good business of teaching, learning, discovery and creating we are all excited to be together again. Our studios, labs, lecture halls and classrooms are once again filled with faculty and students. Campus is bustling with students and energy.
While the College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts has been changed by this moment, we have become stronger and more resilient. We have learned to work in new ways and we will continue to use technology to support teaching, creativity, research and service.
And as we look forward, CFPCA is also planning for a transition in the dean’s office. After eleven years as the dean of this amazing college, it is time for new leadership. I am very proud of what we have accomplished together and very grateful for the opportunity to have served. Thank you for your support and for helping make CFPCA a very special place.Matthew W. Seeger, Ph.D. Professor and Dean
College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts
Matthew W. Seeger, Ph.D., Professor and Dean
Editors: Da’Stanza Murphy ’10 ‘13, Lezlie Hart
Designer: Claire D’Aoust
Contributors: Alison Piech Linn, Da’Stanza Murphy ’10 ‘13, Dennis Nawrocki ‘64 ‘81, Elizabeth Ryan, Grace Serra, Thomas Pyrzewski ’07, Tom Reynolds, June Teisan ‘86 ‘91
On the cover: Late Blues, John Egner 1982, Oil on paper, 29 × 44 1/2 in. (73.7 × 113 cm) Arbor Drugs Collection collected by Eugene and Marcia Applebaum Object Number: UAC2704
WSU Board of Governors
Marilyn Kelly, chair; Bryan C. Barnhill II; Michael Busuito; Mark Gaffney; Anil Kumar; Terri Lynn Land; 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, Elliot Wilhelm, Daniel Kanter, Bud Liebler, Christina Lovio-George ’79, David Lubin, Sue Nine ’62, George N’Namdi, Robert Sestok, Paula Silver ’82,
in this issue
4. Crafting Connections
Q & A with CFPCA Board of Visitors Chair Peter Van Dyke
6. An Avant Garde Legacy Lives On
Susanne Feld Hilberry
10. Alumna shares her RESPECT for Detroit through vivacious portraits
12. Kresge Artist Fellows
Faculty and alumni selected as 2021 Kresge Eminent Artist, Artist Fellows and Gilda Award recipients
16. Music and entrepreneurial spirit create path to graduation
24. Journalism alumni honored with top communications awards
Rich Donley, APR and Michelle Franzen Martin
28. Sonya Tayeh 2021 Tony Award recipient
“Best Choreography” for her work on Moulin Rouge!
Six questions with CEO of Van Dyke-Horn Public Relations and Chair of CFPCA’s Board of Visitors, Peter Van Dyke
You have had an interesting journey in the field of public relations and both community leadership in Detroit. Tell us about yourself.
My career and community leadership journey has been guided by a goal that I set for myself while a student at Wayne State, and that was to build a company in Detroit that does important work for the community. I had the great honor and privileged to grow Van Dyke Horn upon the foundation and legacy in Detroit that was established by our founders Bob Berg and Georgella Muirhead. Van Dyke Horn serves organizations and communities in Detroit and across the state that share our values of equity and diversity. My commitment to the community is focused on what I call the “three a’s,” arts, academics and animals. I have a deep love for the arts, which has brought me to the boards of organization such as Detroit Public Theatre, Detroit Artists Market and others. I am thrilled to extend this interest and passion to support the fine and performing arts college at Wayne State. And, of course, I owe much of the successes in my career to Wayne State’s communications college, which provided a remarkable education and continued post-graduate opportunities for me and the many alumni who work at Van Dyke Horn. And, in addition to simply loving animals, I think they play an important role in the health and wellbeing of our communities. It’s been a great experience to serve on the Michigan Humane board, and support their rebranding as well as their messaging around diversity, equity
made you excited to be part of Wayne State University as a student and now, as a volunteer leader and chair of the Board of Visitors at CFPCA?
In many ways, I grew up at Wayne State as the son of a single mom who graduated from the university’s College of Education. It wasn’t unusual for my brother and I to sit in the back of classrooms or join my mom and her classmates at Campus Diner for lunch. So, entering Wayne State as a student was like
2. Being a university that is woven into the fabric of Detroit presents so many enriching opportunities for one’s academic and career development as well as provides experiences that define a person’s views of the world through the global community Wayne State serves. It is an extraordinary benefit that I believe is unique to Wayne State.
3 While this college covers a spectrum of diverse disciplines, they just so happen to align directly with my personal and professional passions – communications and the arts.
What are your favorite things about being in Midtown and our Detroit community?
No brainer - my favorite thing is calling this community my home. I’ve loved every day of the nearly 20 years I’ve lived in Midtown, and having the university, the cultural institutions, and the great dining and entertainment right at my doorstep.
Do you have a favorite place on campus?
I walk my dogs through campus several times per week and passing the McGregor Pond and Sculpture Garden is always a high point on our stroll.
What is your personal advice for recent Wayne State alumni who are up and coming in their field?
Be resourceful and, when presented with opportunities, always say “yes.” When you lead with those two principles, you can navigate most situations and you open yourself up to experiences and relationships that prove valuable throughout your career.
And, in the words of my mentor, the late great Bob Berg, “when you need a friend, it is too late to make one.” Relationships are paramount.
How can CFPCA alumni and friends give back and make a difference for students this academic year especially?
Be resourceful and always say yes…
When you take a resourceful approach to engaging with WSU, its administration, faculty and students, you have a critical opportunity to systemically enhance the industries CFPCA represents in our region. This could range from supporting a diverse pipeline of talent into the workforce to bringing industry best practices to college curricula.
And, always say yes. As alumni, it is our privilege and responsibility to support the university that helped shape our careers and personal growth. •
Although the Detroit Jazz Festival (DJF) took to the virtual stage for the second year in a row, it did not miss a beat engaging more than 2 million viewers from 40+ countries around the world over Labor Day weekend! This year, the event kicked off with a the 3-hour preview event held at the Hilberry Theatre, future home of the Gretchen Valade Jazz Center. The event was hosted by Chris Collins, Detroit Jazz Festival Foundation president and artistic director. Collins announced that the basement club performance stage in the Gretchen Valade Jazz Center will be named after this year’s Artist-in-Residence Dee Dee Bridgewater. This marks a deepening connection for Bridgewater. During the festival Bridgewater headlined multiple performances including an opening set with protégé group, the Woodshed Network Ladies, and a closing night performance with her all-female big band.
On opening night of the Jazz Festival, President Wilson announced a new, generous gift to CFPCA from Wayne State alumni Drs. Mary Schlaff and Sandy Koltonow naming the donor lounge inside the
Gretchen Valade Jazz Center in honor of Chris Collins. In addition to his DJF roles, Collins is professor of music, director of jazz studies and Valade endowed chair in jazz in the Department of Music.
"Those who know me will attest, I am rarely speechless-but, there are no words to express my gratitude for Drs. Schlaff and Koltonow's generous gift and decision to forever attach my name to the donor lounge of the Gretchen Valade Jazz Center,” expressed Collins.
“Instead, I will honor their decision by committing all my efforts to realizing Ms. Valade's grand vision of a world-class jazz center at Wayne State."
The festival included a special student performance featuring Department of Music jazz students who participated in the educational branch of the Havana-Detroit Jazz Project. In addition, a variety of Wayne State’s Department of Music faculty and alumni were featured. Jazz enthusiasts enjoyed live performances on the festival’s web site and social media platforms.. •
Susanne Feld Hilberry (B.A., 1965), renowned gallery owner, intuitive visionary and fervent supporter of Detroit artists, connected Detroit to the larger international art scene through groundbreaking exhibitions for more than 40 years in her flagship gallery. The works of art in the Prentis Building, selections from her personal collection, reveal her unwavering support for the arts and artists.
Much of the collection features works by artists, many with strong ties to the Wayne State, and many that lived and worked in the Cass Corridor during the 1960s and 1970s. These artists developed a vibrant community that produced Detroit’s first Avant Garde movement.
The results of her advocacy for art are featured in this installation of many works
bequeathed to Wayne State. Rich in artwork from the Cass Corridor, it enhances and deepens the University Art Collection, which is well on its way to becoming the primary repository of the art and archives of the corridor vanguard from the 1960s to 1990s and even into the new millennium.
Although the Hilberry Gallery closed in 2017, Hilberry’s legacy lives on not only in her gift of art to Wayne State but also at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD) where she played a pivotal role in its founding in 2006. This collection and MOCAD will continue to sustain and enhance encounters between artists and audiences for a long time to come. Life is short, art is long. •
Susanne Hilberry an Avant Garde legacy lives on
James Pearson Duffy Department of Art and Art HistorySheryl Oring Chair, James Pearson Duffy Department of Art and Art History
"Art can change the world by interrupting the everyday and opening our eyes to new ways of seeing. All of us can use the creative tools employed by artists and designers to navigate the rapidly changing world that we live in today."
2021-2022 Program Schedule
In the Air: September 3-17, 2021
Art Department Lecture: September 15 @ 7pm www.lansuh.com
In the Air: September 28-October 15, 2021
Kresge Artist Fellow Lecture: October 6 @ 6pm www.lillienwaller.com
In the Air: October 19-November 14, 2021 www.jamalcurrie.net
In the Air: January 4-28, 2022 www.philipac.com
In the Air: February 1-25, 2022
Kresge Artist Fellow Lecture: February 9 @ 6pm www.nourballout.com
In the Air: March 1-25, 2022 kimmillerkimmiller.com
In the Air: March 29-April 24, 2022
Kresge Artist Fellow Lecture: Apr. 6 @ 6pm www.nandicomer.com
In The Air: Voices from Detroit and Beyond Billboard series returns to Midtown
After last year’s success, the James Pearson Duffy Department of Art and Art history is continuing In The Air: Voices from Detroit and Beyond for a second year. The department has invited a second group of local and national artists to respond to the global pandemic and racial injustice. Each resulting work will be featured on a billboard located at the corner of S. Woodward and E. Canfield, near the Wayne State campus. A total of seven solo-presentations, each one month in duration, will be on view beginning September 2021 and running through April 2022.
This year, onlookers can view works by the following artists as part of the exhibition series: Gilda Emerging Artist award recipient Nour Ballout (2019); Kresge Artist Fellows Nandi Comer (2019) and Lillien Waller (2015); Lancer Casem, Philip Crawford, Jamal Currie, and Kim Miller
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, provides Wayne State students and the surrounding community with exhibitions that include works by local and national artists to view safely with easy access,” 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,” said Pyrzewski.
Ballout, Comer and Waller will participate in an online lecture series that will be held when their billboard project is featured. This programming has been made possible with the support of Kresge Arts in Detroit in partnership with the Department of Art and Art History.
“The selected artists graciously accepted their invitations to participate in our department’s billboard series In The Air, embracing the direction of Tyanna Buie, our special guest curator and Kresge Arts Fellow who exhibited her work in In The Air, 2020. The curatorial process has enabled artists’ voices to be heard through this unique platform,” said Pyrzewski. “The Elaine L. Jacob Gallery is pleased to host In The Air for its second season of programming and hope for an ongoing and sustainable annual exhibition series with similar impactful, public artworks for years to come.”
The series is being documented and will have a long-standing online presence for audiences to view. A full schedule with the exhibition dates and lecture details can be found at www.waynestategalleries.org
Desiree Kelly shares her RESPECT for Detroit through vivacious portraits
When asked to share her perspective on Detroit, artist Desiree Kelly says it’s much more than portrait painting; it’s about capturing the essence of individuals and their life experiences.
Kelly, a 2011 alumna of the James Pearson Duffy Department of Art and Art History, is an award-winning artist who is known as Detroit’s premier portrait painter. She is acclaimed for her portraits of public icons. Each is an immersive encounter in which she incorporates artifacts and phrases into the work, using a unique mixture of street art and traditional oil technique.
Kelly who grew up on the Eastside of Detroit, says that she has always been into performing art and fine art. “I studied graphic design at Wayne State which was one of the best decisions I made, said Kelly. “Even though graphic design was my concentration, my program had courses that further contributed to design in general. Sculpture, 3D design, textiles. I especially appreciated the advanced courses of typography.”
Kelly says she has always been an artist but she also wanted a stable career path. With her diploma in hand Kelly became a production manager/senior graphic designer for the Detroit Metro Times. As a result of her work on and off the job, Pepsi’s advertising agency contacted her as they were launching the “Full of Detroit Soul” campaign. Pepsi teamed up with local artists, makers and organizations to celebrate Detroit, Pepsi’s history in the city and what being a proud Detroiter is all about.
Pepsi expressed its interest in Kelly’s work, noting her energetic use of colors and mixed media. “Pepsi was definitely one of the projects that I was looking forward to in 2020. It was a long, long year,” explained Kelly. “We started talking in February and the campaign launched late December. I loved Pepsi’s campaign pitch and was like ‘Yes’ this is something that I really connect to.”
The Pepsi campaign featuring Kelly’s artwork in limitededition packaging and labels rolled out in January. “It was with great joy and honor that I was involved in the project as not only a representative from the city of Detroit, but a representative of WSU,” said Kelly.
With a strong bond to the Detroit community, Kelly explains that community involvement definitely ties back to supporting local business and highlighting the positives of the City of Detroit. Kelly has worked with local businesses such as Kuzzo’s Chicken & Waffles and Chilli Mustard Onions to provide artwork for its spaces. She has also focused her energy on new businesses and non-profits.
“I’ve recently worked with the non-profit No Kid Hungry to create a mural for their campaign ‘rebuild,’ said Kelly. “We had discussions with Detroit Public Schools Community District students to connect with them about their experiences throughout the pandemic. It was great to hear from them because they were kids of essential workers at the schools.”
Kelly is currently designing and painting a mural at Cass Avenue in downtown Detroit for No Kid Hungry. The nonprofit works to solve problems of hunger and poverty in the United States and around the world. No Kid Hungry works with artists the communities to create murals inspired by local children and their vision for a better future.
Onlookers can also enjoy Kelly’s latest mural at the Meijer Rivertown Market located at Jefferson Avenue in Detroit, which is set to open October 2021. The mural is dedicated her daughter, Isabella.
Paying RESPECT to Detroit
In 2021, Kelly was asked to take part in the roll out campaign for RESPECT, a film following the rise of Aretha Franklin and her journey to becoming a musical icon.
“The team had been familiar with my previous Aretha mural in Eastern Market as well as my other canvas work,” said Kelly.
“Creating Jennifer Hudson as Aretha Franklin was cool,” said Kelly. “She’s great and I heard that she was excited about this piece being created. The fact that she was able to see and experience it in person made it even better. I was humbled by her appreciation of what we created and my execution of my painting.” •
2021 Kresge Awards
The College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts would like to congratulate the outstanding faculty and alumni who were selected as 2021 Kresge Artist Fellows and Gilda Award recipients in literary and visual art!
Kresge Artist Fellows receive $25,000, along with a year of professional practice support. The Fellows will also be included in Kresge Arts in Detroit’s ongoing commissioned film series. Brief artist videos are available online at kresgeartsindetroitpresents.com and Vimeo. The
2021 Kresge Eminent Artist
A Kresge Eminent Artist is recognized annually for a distinguished record of high-quality work and professional achievement in the arts as well as a lifetime of contributions to their art forms and to the cultural community of metro Detroit. Noted for her bold and expressive use of color and brush strokes in large-scale, figurative paintings, this year’s awardee is Shirley Woodson . A legendary Detroit artist and educator, Woodson’s artistic career spans six decades, and her work is represented in collections across America, including the Detroit Institute of Arts and the Studio Museum in Harlem. Woodson received both her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1958 and a Master of Fine Arts in 1965 from Wayne State.
2021 Kresge Literary Fellows
2021 Gilda Award Winner
Kresge Eminent Artist Images:
Monika Sinclair Lecturer, Fashion Design and Merchandising
Monika Sinclair is a fashion marketing strategist and applied visual communication specialist, living and working in Detroit and New York City. Her research focuses on consumer behavior, as well as retail development in conjunction with sustainability practices. Sinclair utilizes consumer psychological theory and methods to help organizations within the fashion industry form meaningful connections with their consumers through culturally informed brand direction.
Sinclair got her start with the Adidas Fashion Group. At Adidas she worked in
Evan Pavka Assistant Professor, Interior Design
Evan Pavka is a writer and editor whose work explores the intersections of power, memory, gender, sexuality and the built environment. He previously held editorial positions at Azure magazine, Inuit Art Quarterly and Canadian Art and has presented creative and scholarly work at the DesignTO, Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art and the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm. In addition, his writing has appeared in
many capacities, including trend forecasting, retail and wholesale marketing, social media strategy, advertising campaign management, influencer strategy, fashion show production, and overall brand strategy. She has worked on brand development for the following design collaborations with Adidas: Yohji Yamamoto, Jeremy Scott, Raf Simons, Rick Owens, Stella McCartney, Porsche Design, Opening Ceremony, Muhammed Ali and Tom Dixon. Sinclair is now a strategy consultant and works on a broad range of brand strategy and design research projects in the business sector and beyond.•
ArchDaily, ANInterior, Lunch, Pidgin, -SITE, The Architect's Newspaper , the special issue of Field Journal “Becoming a Feminist Architect” and the upcoming book Digital Fabrication in Interior Design: Body, Object, Enclosure, among others. He holds a Master of Architecture in Architectural History and Theory from McGill University.
Department of Music
"I never imagined that I would feel the way I do today. After all, the halls of Old Main were silenced by the pandemic. No sounds from the recital hall… no students on the fourth-floor practice rooms. In my mind, I heard only the tunes of the 1964 Simon and Garfunkel song, “The Sound of Silence.”
But today, I hear what I did not imagine. I hear students racing to their 8:30am theory class, and students struggling to sing their ear training assignments. I hear students playing during their lessons, moved from studios on the second floor to large classrooms on the first floor, where there is more room and safe spaces. I hear the history lectures and music ed students struggling to produce a good sound from an unfamiliar brass or string instruments. In other words, I see and hear music alive again, and to my ears, nothing sounds better. We are back. Music triumphs again. Tune the harp and strings, strike up the band, warm up the choir. I hear the sound of music! "Norah Duncan IV Chair, Department of Music
Fall 2021 Performance and Events Calendar
November 3, 2021 4:00pm Piano Studio Recital
November 10, 2021 4:00pm Electronic Music Ensemble
November 11, 2021 1:00pm Guitar Ensemble I
November 16, 2021 3:00pm Jazz Big Band II
November 16, 2021 5:00pm Voice Studio Recital
November 18, 2021 3:00pm Guitar Ensemble II
November 22, 2021 2:30pm Concert Band
November 23, 2021 3:00pm Wind Symphony
December 1, 2021 4:00pm Jazztet/Combo
December 5, 2021 4:00pm Choral Showcase
December 7, 2021 11:30am Chamber Music Class Recital
December 7, 2021 1:00pm Jazz Big Band I
December 9, 2021 3:00pm Opera Workshop
December 13, 2021 1:00pm University Orchestra
Schaever Music Recital Hall 480 Hancock, Detroit
Old Main, Room 2402
4841 Cass Ave, Detroit
Old Main, Room 2414 4841 Cass Ave, Detroit
Old Main, Room 1108 4841 Cass Ave, Detroit
All Fall Performances and Events will NOT be open to in person audiences unless otherwise communicated. All events will be livestreamed to audiences. Dates, times, venues and artists are subject to change. Student degree recital will be posted online as scheduled. Visit music.wayne.edu for most current information.
Brandon Waddles Lecturer, Choral Conducting and Music Education
As a composer, conductor, educator and music director, Dr. Brandon Waddles has committed his creative energy to supporting music in schools and the community. Enjoying a multifaceted career spanning the musical gamut, Dr. Waddles, a Detroit native, is no stranger to the city’s rich musical legacy. In addition to his post at Wayne State, he was recently appointed as artistic director of the Rackham Choir, Detroit’s oldest choral organization.
Dr. Waddles has worked with a diverse array of artists. Most recently, he has served as
music director for Grammy-award winning recording artist Ledisi, as she prepared for her tribute to the great Nina Simone at such historic venues as the Hollywood Bowl and Newport Jazz Festival.
At the heart of Dr. Waddles’ work is his unwavering passion for Black sacred music, instilled within him at a very young age by his father, Alvin Waddles, one of Detroit’s most beloved musicians. Dr. Waddles’ areas of research focus on Negro spirituals, the evolution of contemporary gospel music, and the life and work of Thomas Whitfield.•
Soprano Caitlin Lynch recently returned to the Metropolitan Opera as Countess in “Le nozze di Figaro” and to the Seiji Ozawa Music Academy in Japan as Micaëla in “Carmen.” She has debuted with San Diego Opera, English National Opera, and the Handel and Haydn Society.
Lynch created the role of Eliza in Nico Muhly’s “Dark Sisters” with Gotham Chamber Opera and Opera Company of Philadelphia. She also works closely with Jake Heggie,
and premiered his song cycle, “Another Sunrise with Music of Remembrance.” Lynch completed Seattle Opera’s Young Artist Program, Houston Grand Opera’s Studio Program, and Glimmerglass’s Young Artist Program. She has a Bachelor of Music from University of Michigan and a Master of Music from University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. Lynch is also a passionately dedicated voice teacher, mentor, and producer.•
Music and entrepreneurial spirit create path to graduation for Ana Jaquim
Ana Jaquim’s journey to Wayne State has included a few stops along the way, but a pivotal moment was when she picked up a violin.
“Though I was born in Chicago, my childhood was spent in my hometown of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, located on the border of El Paso, Texas. As a middle school student, I participated in a national level program called Esperanza Azteca, which offered and promoted music education access to all Mexican youths no matter their background. This program made it possible for me and other students to learn about instruments and the opportunities available in music,” Ana said.
Following high school graduation, Ana enrolled at nearby University of Texas at El Paso to pursue her passion for music. Eventually, her family moved to Rochester, Michigan and Ana transferred to Wayne State and the College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts.
“Coming to Wayne State University was
so perfect for me. I found my place right away, as it was full of spirit and so diverse. I became surrounded by like-minded people and ignited my entrepreneurial spirit.”
Off to a fast start, Ana became involved in the Music Business Student Association and the University Orchestra, which offered perspectives into both the business and performance sides of her academic pursuits.
During her second year at Wayne State, Ana started working as an orientation leader, which she fondly calls “the best job ever.”
She also served as a tour guide and a resident advisor.
“I also enjoyed taking a break from classes to dance with the Swing Club and hang at the Newman Center. I participated in the Alternative Spring Break Detroit to get to know the city of Detroit better and give back.
This was an amazing experience that I did each year and had the opportunity to be a group leader in my final year to guide my own group during this great experience.”
The business side of music emerged as
Ana became part of the Optimize Wayne Innovation Challenge, which she said helped her and her best friend develop their idea for their business Preludio Entertainment LLC. “We connect and employ musicians in the area for weddings or special events.”
Ana has interned for the National Philharmonic, based near Washington, DC. and is currently the manager of marketing and digital productions at the Chamber Music Society of Detroit.
The 23-year-old received a bachelor’s in music with a concentration in music business from CFPCA and a minor in business administration from the Mike Ilitch School of Business.
Since graduation, Ana continues growing Preludio Entertainment LLC and would like to eventually develop a program that gives music education access to young musicians and helps them reach their full potential. “I want to give back – to help young people accomplish their own dreams.” •
CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR CREATIVE WARRIORS!
Master of Arts
Zalika Aniapam Ruth Kaltenbach Arena
Nicholas James Beaven
Zachary Earl-Bryan Conklin
Abigayle Judith Cryderman
Erecenia Marissa Ann Friday
Jasmine Marionna Jenkins Sheryl Arlette Johnson-Fambro Isabelle A. Lauerman Emmitt Lewis Kevin John Mardirosian Tara McManus Derek Nesbitt
Taylor Jewel Nondorf Shayla Patton
Cydni Dominique Robinson Caitlin Nichole Rodriguez
Aya Amena Sheikh Garrett Shu-Loon Shum Taylor Rae Sikorski Emily Sue Stephens
Lynn P. Hartshorn
Master of Arts Administration
Dana Mark Gamarra
Sydney M. Richards Brittany Andrea Singleton
Master of Arts in Dispute Resolution
Alex Green IV Angel McFarland Monica Muscedere
Master of Fine Arts
Taylor Lizann Benjamin Sally Kathryn Bremer Kristen Allyse Canda Benjamin Leroy Geibel
Tylar Elizabeth Hinton Ethan R. Williams Trever Ray Wilson
Megan Elizabeth O’Brien
Jason Alexander Palmer
Master of Music
Lucy Joy Alessio Eli Christopher Bucheit Thomas P. Haney Joseph James Palmer
Bachelor of Arts
Omar Sami Abdel-Baqui* Rebecca Christine Ableson Madelyn Margaret Amesse Dunamis Archer Elissar Asfahani**
Abigail Goldie Barnett** (UH) Chad R. Berkobien Cedric Lacarl Berry Ebony Brianna Binns
Leah Janae Blasingame** Millicent Akosuah Emefa Boakye
Jen Hope Boyd
Emily Adele Braun* Garrison Wayne Briggs** Shelley Andrea T. Brinkley* Michael Rowan Burke Aaron Joshua Campbell Victoria Rose Campbell** Reilly Constance Card Anthoney Aaron Charaman Jamie Erin Chmara Drew Richard Churchward Jarod Douglas Clark Anna Bianca Cloutier Caileigh Irene Cooper Chelsee Noell Crutchfield* Salem Elizabeth Daly Diana Davidow
Alexandria Maria Di Noto Corinne M. Duwe Gabrielle N. Eggert**
Haley M. Elliott Kaiyita M. English Emily Violet Erdt
John Lyle Filbrandt Minmei Karina Everett Findlay* Marianne Elizabeth Gagrica Tracy Lynn Gratkowski***
Piper Elizabeth Hans***
Thomas Joseph Hartwig
Carolann M. Hergenroeder*
Joy R. Johnson*
Marisa Gabriella Kalil-Barrino
Jourdan Ceira-Rosalie Kania
Nina Christine Aisha Knauf*(DH)
Megan Christine Kusulas***(DH)
Catherine Grace Latham
Andrew M. Lewis
Min Li Madison Elizabeth Lim
Lacy Lynn Lobenstein
Taylor Jacob Delin Lutz
Liam Patrick Lynch*
Philip B. MacRae***
Lyndsey Marie Maiuri
Blake Edward Majchrzak
Jessica Ann Mallet
Adriana Anoush Mardigian
Genia Fay Marsee
Versailles Angelino Maxey Ryan Michael Mazzola* Kathleen Ann McGowan
Gabriel R.A. McIntosh*
Milan Amina McLaurin
Kiarra Anais Mclellan
Brooklyn Rose Miller*** Madison Moleski
Angel Louise MontgomeryKennedy Kortne Lashea Morris
Joseph Christian Najor Dayna Napolitano
Sydney Veronica Nash
Damon Curtis Nathan Danyyil Nosovskiy
Kelley N. O’Neill***
Kevin Andrew Papuga II
Jennifer Lynn Parent
Shanya N. Parrott
Spencer D. Pierrard
Maggie Kathleen Plotzke
Sara Nicole Powers*
Jordan Ray Prisby***
Juliana Marie Quain
Ashley Carol-Ann Ramirez
Denise Maria Reece-Jennings
Darece Lemont Roberson Jr.
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.
Dwanna Ross McCreary
Ian James Ruhala
Stephen R. Sabaugh
Hailey Rose Sambor
Cameron Joshua Sanders
Gwenyth Ingrid Schmidt
Sydney Madison Scholz***
Frank Otto Secen
Stephany Allyse Simmons
Ali Moussa Soueidan
Agnes Noelle Sponenburgh
Ria Delores Stewart
Slone Jo Terranella** (UH)
Gale Emily Thompson`
Lauren Candice Turner
Jessica Ann Vanassche*
Savannah Nicoletta Veri Douglas Carl Vollmer II Nina Yolanda Walker
Jalen Jermaine Washington
Reilly Jane Weed
Nicole Ann Werling
Julie Christine Wertz Micah Williams Justin Dewaun Williams Avise Jenelle Wilson Mahia Zannat
Anna M. Blanchet*** Sean Michael Camburn* Muhammad A. Chambers Yaritza Guadalupe Espinoza Rose Marie Gaioni Mya Glasper Nicholas Vincent Gonella Cassie Elise Hall* Jakkar Lee Jackson Sarah Elizabeth Jacobs*** Majeste Grace Jones Kimberly D. Kendrick Ursula M. Krause
Tisha Renee Long Olivia Lee Monette Morgan Drew Porter
Amber Lauren Rasho* Elizabeth Linard Scofield** Jonathan B. Szczepaniak**
Bachelor of Fine Arts
Mariam Hussein Ayoub Stephanie Rose Bedore*** Amanda G. Benjey***
Faith Victoria Berry*** Logan Allen Bloyer Miles Brown
Rachelle K. Brown
Monica Lynn Byrne***
Carissa Renee Chacon
Amanda Lauren Christian***
Frederique Joie Christiansen** Vanessa Marie Cuellar*** Christina M. Daguanno*** Benjamin Davis III Julia Anne del Rosario*** (UH) Charles Terrell Douglas Jacqueline Fay Dowding Alice Kathleen Duffy* Clove Ash Ellis
Lexie Mare Farrer* Julia Bridget Ferracciolo Romney Lee Funderburg Mariela Gallegos-Bañuelos Kelsey Loren Gamino Jamie Elizabeth Garcia
Fateha Imu Gency Lacy Madelyn Gill* Madlyn Lorraine Golden Victoria Krystyna Gonzalez* Dori Price Gross Shaelyn M. Hainsworth* Jordan Louise Hasse* Stephanie Rae Herman*** Chloe Elizabeth Hill* Madison Mae Hollamon*** Brittney Jean Holliday Maxwell John Jurcak***
Jenna Michel Karam***
Arnell Kinney*** (DH) Nikki Lynn Kogelmann Millie B. Kuehnast*** Lydia Ariadne Kuzak* Marcela Lecourt*** (UH)
Alexandria Marie Mayrand Krystin Maria Morency Alexander James Morrison Sydney Mitchell Oliva Angela Dorthea Papageorgiou* Brooklyn Lashae Parks
Itchel Y. Arriaga Ramírez Jennine Relph**
Deanna Maria Rogers
Mae Jin Young Kocher Rooney Breanna Simmons (DH) Kathryn Zeta Spademan** (DH/UH)
Marissa M. Spears Christine Allison Supowit Leah Ann Surprenant* Sophia Thanoi Erin Stewart Theroux Giulianna Borrelli Thomas Natalie E. Turner** Sydney Allana Walker
Samantha Nicole Weslin
Dasia Patricia West
Dawnyelle Patrice Williams***
Hilarie Jean Williams* Mason A. Williams
Emily Gabrielle Ynclan
Caitlin M. Zachow*
Ileana Simone Bell
Madison Corinne Daniels
Orlando Alberto Gonzalez
Michaila Lee Hazael***
Tyrone Jacari Miller
Lorrain Bassel Nassif*
Randy Ofosuhene Owusu
Charlene Maartje Stoffle**
Sofia Marilyn Tomeo
Bachelor of Music
Noah Alexander Anderson*
Mark Philip Bettendorf
Ryan Timothy Bills**
Catherine Anne Butler***
Taylor Elizabeth Charbonneau
Caoilfhionn Shelby Davis
Peyton Leigh DeSchutter** (DH) Ana Paula Jaquim
Elise Marie Komer***
Trevor Dana Lamb
Shawn David Lee*
Genevieve Mary MacPhee
Samuel Paul Mead
Jocelyn Rose Palmer
Kiswana Mica Parris
Adam James Reese
David A. Roberts
Lauren Therese Walega*
Bachelor of Science May 2021
Micah Tamia Bolden
Abigail Li Bunkelman
Journee E. Clayton
Courtney Michelle Furman
Makena Marie Junttonen**
Tiffany D. Mitchell
Angelique Marie Stringer
Victoria Annamaria Greco
Lauren Michael Miller
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. Students who have achieved distinction by completing the requirements for department and/or university honors are designated in the program book by (DH) for department honors and/or (UH) for university honors.
Department of CommunicationKatheryn Maguire Chair, Department of Communication
“This year is going to be different”. I hear this phrase often, with hope for a better future underlining the sentiment. In the Department of Communication, we are excited for the coming academic year, as we welcome back our students to in-person classes, launch several new and exciting initiatives, and continue to conduct critically important scholarly and creative work that will help (re)shape the conversation happening around us. In a political climate where misinformation and disinformation permeate the public sphere, where fact and opinion blur together, and where social and racial justice initiatives are vilified, our role as communication professionals has taken on added significance. Thus, we will continue to harness our interdisciplinary strengths to foster student excellence, support faculty innovation and collaboration in teaching, research and the creative arts, and engage the Metropolitan Detroit community as we work to create a better future for all."
Professor, Digital and Emerging Media
Paul Echeverria joined the Department of Communication during the Fall of 2020. He holds an M.F.A. in Interdisciplinary Media Arts Practice from the University of Colorado Boulder and an M.A. in Media Studies from The New School.
Echeverria is a filmmaker and digital artist who works with multiple forms of media and technology. His creative practice examines the formative dynamics between childhood, parenthood, and the family structure. In addition, he creates works that contemplate the unavoidable collision between humans
and technology. Echeverria's films and digital works have been exhibited at multiple venues, including the Angelika Film Center, the FRACTO Experimental Film Encounter, the Wrong Biennale, the Festival Internacional de Videoarte de Camagüey, Experiments in Cinema, and the NY Media Center by IFP.
In the Department of Communication, Echeverria is teaching classes in Digital and Emerging Media, including COM 1610, Fundamentals of New Media Production and COM 6090, Digital Screen Media.Jessica D. Moorman
Dr. Jessica D. Moorman earned a Ph.D., in Communication Studies from the University of Michigan and a Master of Health Science in Health, Behavior, and Society from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She draws on her interdisciplinary training to explore how media shape human health and development over the life course.
In her most current project, Moorman examines the media’s role in shaping Black women’s single socialization; the process by which attitudes and beliefs about single status acquired. Her current singlehood research considers how structural, socio cultural, and interpersonal articulations of
race and gender inequity work alongside the media to shape Black women’s experiences of unmarried life. Moorman’s innovative research and teaching have been repeatedly recognized for their quality and impact. She was a recipient of a Top Paper Award from the Health Communication Division of the National Communication Association in 2016; was named a Pre-Doctoral Fellow for the American Association of University Women in 2017; and in 2018, received a Pro-Quest Distinguished Dissertation Award from the University of Michigan for her project “Being
Single Is…: A Study of Black Love Media and Black Women’s Sexual Socialization.”.
Dunamis Archer beats the odds with unbridled determination and grit
Twenty-three years ago, doctors told Dunamis Archer’s parents that their newborn baby would likely spend most of his life in a near-vegetative state – unable to walk, talk or even remember his name. Born prematurely at 23 weeks, he was diagnosed with cerebral palsy.
On May 5, Archer received a B.A. in communication during Wayne State University’s virtual commencement ceremony.
“Throughout my educational career, I had to defeat the odds by working hard. Nothing in life is easy to obtain, but with confidence and a fearless attitude, I’m ready to leave my mark in life,” Archer said.
Beating the odds not only meant overcoming the physical challenges in the aftermath of a dire diagnosis, but advocating for himself in achieving an education. “When I was attending Henry Ford Academy’s School for Creative Studies, or what is known today as University Prep: Art and Design, I was behind a grade. I wanted to be with my right age group. So, I went to my principal at that time in the middle of 2012 and asked, ‘What will I have to do to get in my right grade?’ To my surprise, I had to take a test to see if I was ready to be double-promoted to the eighth grade. There were no study guides or notes. I had to rely on my experience and knowledge thus far.”
Archer said he was scared and didn’t know what to expect or how it would go, so he made a conscious decision that this was going to be his life-changing
numerous areas, including Wayne State. “Thanks to my hard work ethic here at Wayne State, I'm proud to say that I became a Dean's Delegate and developed friendships that will last for years to come.”
Along with a busy academic schedule and dealing with the dayto-day challenges of mobility, Archer immersed himself in several activities that reflected his desire to help people. He is an alumnus of Detroit’s Teen Hype (Helping Youth by Providing Education) youth organization, which helps youth face their challenges. He has also participated as an actor for the group’s annual stage productions surrounding various social issues, such as diversity and facing fears, to name a few.
In his spare time, Archer plans to continue exploring his love for music, particularly the gospel genre, which he performs at several venues in Detroit. “I am a musician, a drummer. In fact, when I came to Wayne State, I was thinking about becoming a music major. I ended up choosing communications, which I believe has been a life changing experience in more ways than one.”
Archer considers his academic, professional and volunteer efforts to be major forces in sending his message. “I wanted to impact people in a positive way. I have always wanted to give back to the community by being an advocate, especially to those who are in my capacity who need strong support and encouragement,”
Looking beyond graduation, Archer said he’s exploring all options that will facilitate his desire to help others
Tracey Lynn P
Van D k e
Al nder Sebasti
C hrysta Wilson
PRSSA hosts virtual panel: COVID-19 lasting impacts on the industry
With the continuation of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Communication remains committed to giving students an excep tional education while applying real-world contexts to curriculum.
On April 14, the department’s Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) chapter hosted a virtual panel, “Communication post pandemic: How did COVID-19 change the game?” The panel of professionals was moderated by Peter Van Dyke, CEO of Van DykeHorn Public Relations and chair of the college’s Board of Visitors.
The four panelists were Tracey Lynn Pearson, deputy media relations director for the City of Detroit in the current Duggan administration; Chrystal Wilson, assistant superintendent of communications and marketing for Detroit Public Schools Community District; Jeff Adkins, senior public relations specialist at Henry Ford Health System; and Alexander Sebastian, director of communications and philanthropy for The Guidance Center. The panel of professionals and the moderator are all Wayne State University PR program alumni.
Over 100 students, professionals, and alumni joined the 60-minute panel discussion. This event focused on the lasting impacts and changes the COVID-19 pandemic has made on the communication and public relations industry.
“Planning this event was one of the most meaningful experiences of my undergraduate career, and it was everything I hoped it would be for the students and alumni,” said Nina Knauf, PRSSA president
and recent Wayne State PR graduate. “It was an hour of transparent dialogue about the current state of the local communication industry in various sectors for graduating seniors. I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to organize an event that contributed to the growth and fellowship of my fellow Warriors!”
Panelists discussed their pivoting strategies to respond to the pandemic, changes they believed were helpful and hurtful to the industry, and the importance of informing the public while dealing with technology gaps. Graduating students listened intently to the panelists’ advice about entering the career field. Returning alumni gained other professionals’ perspectives on how they can continue to adapt their communication strategies in the pandemic.
Shelly Najor , director of the undergraduate PR program at Wayne State said: “Our alumni panelists were spot on with their student-centered approach to offering valuable insight into how they coped this past year, as well as sharing some creative workarounds that they may just hold on to!”
This event is an example of the hands-on experience and net working opportunities that students can access in the public relations program. It allowed students to engage and participate in an educational discussion about the lasting impacts and changes COVID-19 has had on the industry.
A campaign led by two Department of Communication alumni who work at Mort Crim Communications, Inc. (MCCI) was honored this year with two prestigious communications awards. Rich Donley, APR (B.A., 1989) and Michelle Franzen Martin (B.A., 1996) oversaw the statewide marketing/communications campaign, which educated and empowered historically undercounted pop ulations to complete the 2020 census. In partnership with their client, Michigan Nonprofit Association (MNA), their work earned both an Award of Excellence (Silver Anvil finalists) from the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and a Gold Quill award from the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC). It is an honor to be a finalist for PRSA’s Silver Anvil Award. This
award symbolizes the forging of public opinion and is awarded to organizations that have successfully addressed challenging issues with exemplary professional skill, creativity and resourcefulness. The census campaign was one of three finalists for the Silver Anvil in the integrated communications category for nonprofit organizations. Their work also earned a Gold Quill award from IABC — the only awards program that honors the dedication, innovation and passion of communicators on a global scale.
“Our success with this campaign can be credited in part to the 23 distinct and different media we used, but more importantly, to the outcomes and results we had,” Martin said. “We reached the historically undercounted populations in a very hyper-focused
with top communications awards
way, with trusted messengers who helped to deliver our message and with media that reached the right audience where they were.”
Donley and Martin shared their insights about the campaign during an IABC/PRSA webinar in June called "Rebuilding Trust in Your Communications: The Medium, the Messages and the Messengers.” Influenced by the myths and misinformation that have stemmed from recent political and social issues, the webinar looked at the ways that mistrust has become one of the biggest challenges that communicators face. Donley and Martin showed how, with the right mix of media, messages and messengers, communicators can break down barriers and regain trust with their publics.
“We are proud of the award-winning work our teams did on this
integrated campaign that will have an impact on people throughout Michigan for the next decade,” Donley said. “We appreciate the partnership and trust of MNA, which had the foresight and passion to generate awareness and action to ensure the historically undercounted population’s voice was heard.”
Currently, Donley is president of MCCI and past president of PRSA Orlando (2020) and PRSA Detroit (2010). In addition to being an account director at MCCI, Martin is a former Department of Communication adjunct journalism instructor and a former editor of Wayne State Magazine.
Maggie Allesee Department of Theatre and DanceMary Anderson
"What a sheer joy it has been to reopen our classrooms, rehearsal studios and performance venues. During the pandemic, dance student Joey Mattar shared, "To be able to show work is no longer something that I take for granted. It is a true privilege. And a true joy." Imagine that. We never thought that live performance in shared physical space is something that could be taken away from us. Yet that is precisely what happened. Behind the scenes, students, faculty and staff continued to create extraordinary work and share it remotely. But what I heard time and again on both sides of the stage is: it’s not the same.
I wonder if you, too, have been basking in the glow of this return as we have. To feel the radiant beauty of each individual human presence in space – all 360 degrees of a person – the warmth of their smile, the gravitas of their questions, the artistry of their gestural vocabulary, the sonic embrace of their voice. Such is the poetry of existence that speaks to the most ancient and the most contemporary parts of our soul. Such is the essence of why dance and theatre exist and persist. Together, again!"
Oct. 1 -
Dec.Chair, Maggie Allesee Department of Theatre and Dance
Karen Prall Lecturer, Dance
Karen Prall brings the energy and rhythms of traditional and contemporary central African movements to her students as a lecturer and as the artistic director of the “To Sangana” African-inspired dance com pany. Prall’s training began in Detroit and continued in New York at the Ailey School before becoming a member of “Tanawa” the first Congolese dance company in the United States.
Research, physical study, and professional presentations have taken Prall from New York to Congo, Scotland, Ghana, Paris, Liberia, Senegal, and beyond. During her travels to
Africa, Prall taught, learned, rehearsed, and performed dance outside, affording benefits of feeling nature directly through the body and breath by imitating the movements of daily life, animals, wind, rivers, healing, as well as pure enjoyment.
Prall is the founder/artistic director of the Art of Motion Dance Theatre. She is dedicated to the idea that “young people hold the key to the future of our society, with knowledge that our elders are an important link, we must know our past as we journey to the future.”Cheryl Turski Associate Professor, Acting
Associate Professor Cheryl Turski is an Acting and Movement for the Actor specialist for the graduate and undergraduate acting programs. She was previously a Visiting Professional Specialist at the University of Notre Dame, and an instructor with the ART/ MXAT Institute at Harvard. Professionally, she has worked as a choreographer with national directors West Hyler, Allegra Libonati, Drew Fracher, Cameron Knight, and Scotty Arnold. In addition, she has
performed internationally in China, as well as regionally at Meadowbrook Theatre, Purple Rose Theatre, and Tipping Point Theatre. She recently worked with Cleveland's immersive theatre company, Shadow of the Run, where she performed and choreographed a new work called “DreamWalkers” based on the unsolved Torso Killer murders of the 1930's. She hopes to continue this relationship and provide immersive training to the Wayne State students.
The college would like to congratulate Sonya Tayeh (B.F.A., 02), 2021 Tony Award recipient for “Best Choreography” for her work on Moulin Rouge! Tayeh became the first woman to win in the category since 2011 and continues to push boundaries on stage and television. She joined the popular Fox series So You Think You Can Dance in 2002, and has choreographed for Madonna, Florence and the Machine, Kylie Minogue, and Miley Cyrus. In her
acceptance speech, Tayeh spoke passionately about accessibility in the arts industry and advocated for further equity and inclusion. Tayeh’s accolades for her versatile work also include two Emmy nominations for Fox’s So You Think You Can Dance, two Drama Desk nominations and one Drama Desk Award for “Outstanding Choreography,” an Obie Award and two Lucille Lortel Awards for “Outstanding Choreography.” •
“Dance is an art that survives the multiplicity, color, and layer in community. As we steady ourselves again, I hope we can remember what art collectively brings us. It welcomes. As a brown, queer, ArabAmerican woman, I wasn’t always welcome. It takes graceful hands to lead people like me to the door. It’s been 10 years since a woman has won this award. Though I’m honored to be a part of this legacy, this legacy is too small. We need a vastness to break into a new era for all people.”
THEATRE ALUMNAE PREPARE TO OPEN DOORS AT DETROIT PUBLIC THEATRE’S MIDTOWN LOCATIONCourtney Burkett Sarah Clare Corporandy
Right down the street from where many firsts occurred for Sarah Clare Corporandy (Meyer) M.F.A., 2007 and Courtney Burkett M.F.A., 2005, the two directors are preparing to open the doors at Detroit Public Theatre’s new Midtown location. Next spring, the venue will welcome guests to a new 200-seat black box theater, rehearsal space and a bar. This marks a big milestone for the theater founded in 2015.
“We are so thrilled to be creating a new space for live professional theatre in Midtown Detroit. It means so much to be building something for our community, a space where we will be able to connect to each other and see our lives reflected back at us onstage,” said Burkett. “We look forward to creating opportunities for WSU students and graduates to see and create world class theatre.”
The new location, a former garage, is just three blocks from their original space inside the Detroit Symphony Orchestra's Robert A. and Maggie Allesee Rehearsal Hall. The new space will provide a
variety of programming, a deeper relationship with the community and more of DPT in general.
“I am thankful for the opportunity to make a new theatre in a city that I care about within a community I love,” said Corporandy. “It has been an empowering journey, one made unique by all of the people who have touched and supported DPT.”
Reflecting back on her time at Wayne State in the theatre program, Corporandy shares that she is thankful that she was able to make it her own in many ways, ensuring that she received the tools needed to pursue the career she envisioned for herself.
“The relationships I formed with my peers during my three years at the Hilberry have changed my life and have been invaluable. I met my husband at the Hilberry, one of my partners at DPT and many of my closest relationships began at WSU,” says Corporandy. “Courtney and I are so lucky to be building a sacred space for our community in this amazing city. The support has been phenomenal.” •
Hilberry Gateway and the Gretchen Valade Jazz Center
The manifestation of a 50-year dream has quite literally sprung from the ground as the new Hilberry Gateway is being built on the corner of Cass and Forest.
The shell of the building, including the main audience chamber, seating 550, is nearly complete and our construction partners from Rockford are working to complete the lobby and close in the building before winter.
The next major construction phase will involve the interiors, including the back-of-house scene shops, costuming shops, design studios, dressing rooms and green room.
Upon completion, the facility will house the main proscenium theater (seating 550) the black box theatre (flexible seating up to 225) and supporting facilities necessary for modern theatrical and dance productions. The Hilberry Gateway will include audio and visual booths that will allow state-of-the-art audio, video recording and streaming.
While the construction challenges have been considerable and have resulted in some delays, the anticipated timeline for substantial competition is late fall of 2022. This new home for Maggie Allesee Department of Theatre and Dance will celebrate Wayne State’s long tradition of excellence in the performing arts.
As the work on the new Hilberry Gateway continues, plans for
the Gretchen Valade Jazz Center (GVJC) have been finalized and some work has begun.
The GVJC will include a main performance space seating 350 and the Dee Dee Bridgewater - the renamed Underground Theatreseating 110 in an intimate setting. Performer lounges and dressing rooms, sound booths, and acoustics designed for jazz as well as other music performances will make the GVJC a destination for jazz and music lovers.
The refurbished donor lounge will be named after Chris Collins, a professor of music and the artistic director of the Detroit Jazz Fest.
The GVJC will retain much of classical architecture of the existing Hilberry Theatre. The new main entrance will be from Hancock and will celebrate the classic columns that define the building.
The GVJC will be a home for Detroit jazz and help ensure that this quintessential American art form is alive and continues to bring together people of all backgrounds.
The grand opening of the GVJC is currently planned for fall of 2023. Outdoor performance and reception between the two buildings will provide connection and continuity between these new performing arts facilities allowing for receptions, pop-up performances and improvisations. •
Long-time Theatre and Dance supporter turns 100
Doris Lola Adler (B.A., 1944) was born in 1921 in Saint Paul, Minnesota. She moved to Detroit as a young child. She attended Detroit Public Schools and graduated from Wayne State University in 1944 with a major in health education and a minor in social studies. During her years at Wayne State she was an avid dancer, using the stage name Lola Relda, Adler’s middle name and her last name spelled backwards.
After graduation, Adler began her teaching career with Detroit Public Schools (known today as Detroit Public Schools Community District) at Finney Elementary (later Finney High School) as a physical education teacher. She worked for a year and a half before joining the Red Cross to serve in World War II. She spent time training in Washington DC, then was sent to the west coast via train and sailed to Japan for service with the Red Cross from Sept 1945 to 1948. She was then assigned to work in Germany (1948-1950).
DPS had been holding a position for her but contacted her to say she either had to come back to Detroit or the job would terminated. In 1950 she returned to the US and teaching, this time as an elementary social studies teacher at Wayne Elementary. Adler continued her education at WSU, completing a Master’s in Geography in
1958. She purchased a home in Detroit soon after and lives there still. In 1963 she accepted a position teaching social studies at Osborn High School and taught there until her retirement in 1986 with 43 years of service. Adler is a champion of the city and has dedicated years to volunteering at the Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Fisher Theatre, Meals on Wheels, UNICEF (United Nations Children's Fund), and, of course, the Red Cross. Thank you, Doris, for your many years of exemplary support to the city and the arts!
The name Eugene Applebaum is well known. His impact on Wayne State University and Detroit continues to be profound and lasting. Among the many areas of his leadership commitment, Eugene Applebaum believed strongly in enriching the cultural arts as a means to enhance the entire community — including the Wayne State University community.
Therefore, it will come as no surprise that along with his 1998 gift to name the pharmacy school (the largest individual gift in its 150year history) came the generous contribution of an important contemporary art collection. This collection, on permanent display in the Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (EACPHS), was given with several goals in mind. The collection is used to educate and inspire all who fondly call the EACPHS their “home away from
home” and to prepare future health care leaders, practitioners, and researchers to be holistic problem solvers by forming meaningful connections with their patients and the world around them.
New efforts are underway to more deeply connect this collection to students, staff and faculty who use the facility daily, as well as the broader community. To do this, the Applebaum Family Philanthropy recently invited Alexander Heath, CFPCA art history student, to participate in the summer Applebaum Internship Program (AIP).
“The artwork has had the ability to stand on its own without description or explanation for all these years. However, by telling the story and building content around each work, the connection and impact will become more profound,” said University Art Collection Curator and Coordinator Grace Serra
During Heath’s AIP he worked through the University Art Collection to research and write about the art in the collection. Heath is majoring in Art History, English, and Philosophy and is currently in his fourth year (anticipating graduation in May 2022). He serves as the event coordinator for the Wayne State Dungeons and Dragons club and is a creative writer of short stories in his spare time.
The Applebaum College of Pharmacy collection will soon be featured as a special collection on the University Art Collection website ( artmuseum.wayne.edu ), and students and visitors will be able to access the essays and history of the collection by using their smart phones. Plaques will be installed using QR codes that will directly link to information about the artwork. •Around the Bend, Stephen Fox, 1982
Grammy award winning singer-songwriter Ledisi joins Department of Music’s choral experience, Wayne Redefined
The pandemic certainly did not slow the momentum of Department of Music’s Assistant Professor Brandon Waddles, Ph.D., and his vision to reimagine the choral experience for Wayne State music students.
Last fall, Waddles launched Wayne Redefined, an initiative providing choral ensembles with a more stimulating experience centered around a wider notion of choral music and a wider variety of musical techniques. Students garnered industry tips online from Motown the Musical’s Arielle Crosby, The Color Purple’s Angela Birchett , Hamilton’s Jonathan Kirkland , and internationally renowned composer/ arranger Stacey Gibbs among others. The initiative concluded with a guest appearance by Grammy award winning singer-songwriter Ledisi
During the exclusive virtual event titled “The Songwriter’s Initiative: The Singer Speaks,” Ledisi lead a thought-provoking discussion
with the choral ensembles on songwriting and shared her stories and perspective based on her experience in the music industry.
"Wayne Redefined has set a new precedent in WSU's choral department,” said graduate voice performance major Ashli HunterMiller. “I would have never imagined having the opportunity to learn from the world renowned Ledisi in a classroom experience. Wayne Redefined is the group you want to be in."
This opportunity has been Waddles’ main focus since his start with the department. His goal is to provide more than a traditional classroom setting by infusing professional artists into the department’s choral ensembles to create a unique experience that focuses on many techniques within the musical arena.
“For all that I have learned within the formal halls of musical academia, that much more have I been educated about in music pits,
soundstages and recording studios,” said Waddles. “My vision is to educate, engage and expand the artistic mindsets of Wayne State’s choral groups about the endless possibilities of the ensemble concept.”
Waddles has joined forces with a diverse cast of artists including Ledisi. He recently served as the music director to the 13-time Grammy-nominated powerhouse vocalist and performed on stage with Ledisi for “Ledisi Sings Nina Simone” at the Hollywood Bowl. The two have also teamed up for performances at historic venues such as the Newport and Monterey Jazz Festivals. “As our current situation calls the nation to reevaluate our approach to education, I believe our university shall lead the way in reevaluating our commitment to our community, creative and otherwise,” said Waddles. “Wayne State will redefine.” •
Corey T. Collins (Globke) (1979-2021)
Corey Collins was complex and deep, as well as full of love and light, with a memorable laugh that was silenced too soon. In 2014, Corey received his MFA in Theatre and was a member of the program’s Hilberry Company. He shared a love of costume design and theatre where often his friends worked alongside him, sharing many laughs as well as stressful moments in the sometimes-breakneck speed of the theatre world, which he loved and thrived in. Corey is survived by husband of 20 years, Kevin Collins.•
Earl Krentzin (1929-2021)
Earl Krentzin earned a B.A. from Wayne State University in 1952 and a M.F.A from Cranbrook Academy of Art in 1954. He was a Fulbright grant recipient, performed post-degree work at the Royal College of Art in London from 1957 to 1958, and was awarded a Tiffany Grant in 1966. Krentzin was sculptor at the Marshall Fredericks Studio in Royal Oak from 1954 to 1956, a lecturer at the University of Wisconsin from 1956 to 1966, and a visiting professor at Florida State University in 1969. Krentzin was a self-employed silver sculptor in Detroit from 1961 to 1964, and 1967 to 2021. He was represented by the Kennedy Galleries in new York City. Krentzin’s artwork was part of private and public collections across the country, including the Cranbrook Museum, Detroit Institute of Arts Museum of Contemporary Crafts, St. Paul Art Center, Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Jewish Museum in New York City. His work appeared in one-man shows and group shows for a period that spanned more than 50 years.
Peter Williams (1952-2021)
Peter Williams served on faculty at Wayne State University from 1987 to 2004. During his 17-year tenure, he was a major influence in the lives of his students and colleagues, and in the Detroit artworld at large. During and after his time in Detroit, Peter earned numerous awards including grants from the McKnight Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Michigan Council for the Arts, and the Joan Mitchell Foundation. His work was included in the prestigious Whitney Biennial and he was honored by the National Academy of Design, The American Academy of Arts and Letters, and most recently with a Guggenheim Foundation fellowship. He is survived by his wife Elishka Vitanovska Mayer, also a former Wayne State University faculty member, and two step sons.