CCFA News & Notes

News & Notes by Department  (click on name to see news/notes)
Architecture Art Communication
Journalism &
Strategic Media
Rudi E. Scheidt
School of Music
Theatre &


Jimmie Tucker, Gassner award winnerJimmie Tucker, adjunct faculty and student mentor/employer, received the AIA Memphis Francis Gassner Award, the highest award given by AIA Memphis. He has shown a commitment to "designing a better Memphis" particularly through inclusion, which is evident in his work in the profession as well as in the classrooms and design studios. As an architect, teacher and mentor, Jimmie has instilled this value in his students. Previous department winners include: Jim Williamson (2017), Sherry Bryan (2011), Michael Hagge (2011), Jim Lutz (2008), Frank Ricks (2006) and Francis Mah (1985). The Francis Gassner Award was established in 1977 to commemorate the legacy of architect Francis P. Gassner, who practiced in Memphis from the 1950s until his death in 1977.

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Assistant Professor K Brandon Bell and Associate Professor Gary Golightly, along with students Cassie Farrier, Parks Purdue and MFA candidate Chad Malone, are working to create video projection sets for the upcoming Midtown Opera Festival at Playhouse On The Square, April 6-14. This is the sixth annual festival presented by Opera Memphis: two weeks of opera, parties, panel discussions, family events, and more, in the heart of the city. This year's festival will feature Scarlatti's The Triumph of Honor, set in a mashup of the 1690's and the 1990's. It will also boast the world premiere of the Opera 901 Showcase, a series of five original operas commissioned by Opera Memphis, all set in Memphis. Check out the event at

Adeline White, senior Art Education major, received the H.E. Rumble Outstanding Teacher Candidate Award, which is presented to students whose performance in student teaching is judged to be the most outstanding.

Alexandria Salisbury, MA in Art History candidate with a concentration in Egyptian Art and Archaeology, won first place in the 30th annual Student Research Forum in the Liberal and Fine Arts Graduate Division for her poster highlighting the results of her MA thesis research, "Behind Every Man is a Strong Woman: Reconsidering the Form and Function of Old Kingdom Non-Royal Dyads."

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Congratulations to Dr. Marina Levina! She published a genealogical entry "Technology" as part of The Genealogies of Feminist Media Studies issue of Feminist Media Histories which is now available at It includes 35 genealogies of key fields within feminist media studies. The entire issue will be open access throughout the month of April as University of California Press celebrates its anniversary.

UofM Department of Communication was awarded the 2018 Minority Recruitment & Retention Award by the Southern States Communication Association. The award "honors institutions that have demonstrated noteworthy commitment to the recruitment and retention of minority students for their campuses."

Yiyi Yang, lecturer at University of Memphis-Lambuth, was awarded Top Faculty Paper by the Gender Studies Division of the Southern States Communication Association. Yang's paper with Lu Tang of Texas A&M, "One Woman's Wine is Another's Poison: A Narrative Analysis of Women's Stories About Drinking," will be presented at the SSCA convention in April.

Professor Katherine Hendrix is an invited gues scholar scheduled to deliver a campus presentation about her instructional communication research. Her February colloquium, sponsored by the Communication Department at Missouri State University is titled, "Interrogating the Hypervisibility and Credibility of GTAs and Faculty of Color."

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Journalism and Strategic Media

Associate Professor Tom Hrach was asked to participate in a panel discussion in March at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. The panel discussion, titled "Fifty Years Later: The Kerner Report: How the Kerner Commission Changed Media Coverage of Black America," marks the 50th anniversary of the 1968 Kerner Commission Report. 

In honor of the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., students from a spring semester Journalism and Strategic Media class will interview surviving participants of the sanitation workers strike as well as current social justice activists in preparation of a documentary. This is a partnership with the Civil Rights Museum.

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Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music

Robert Apple, PhD candidate in Musicology, received the 2018 Fulbright Award to Austria. The Fulbright Program is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. Fulbright alumni include 59 Nobel Laureates, 82 Pulitzer Prize winners, 71 MacArthur Fellows, 16 Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients and thousands of leaders across the private, public and non-profit sectors. Since its start in 1946, more than 380,000 people have participated in the program.

Dr. Artina McCain, professor of Piano in the Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music, was invited to interview for the PBS documentary series Roadtrip Nation. This episode, "Degree of Impact," follows three doctoral students travelling across the nation interviewing leaders of diverse backgrounds from diverse career fields who overcame various struggles to complete their educational goals. The episode will air Feb. 15, 2018. For more information, go to Roadtrip Nation online.

Alumnus Dr. Kevin F. E. Sütterlin, director of Orchestral Activities at Concordia College, won an Emmy award together with his colleagues for the Concordia Christmas Concerts television production from last December. Sütterlin also conducted this year's North Dakota All-State Orchestra Festival (2017), and will conduct the All-West Tennessee Symphony Orchestra in February 2018. In addition, he was invited to conduct the 2018/19 Minnesota All-State Orchestra.

Dr. Mathias Elmer has been named as the recipient of the Arts Award 2018 of his home canton Glarus, Switzerland.

Matthew Palazzolo (student of Dr. Kimberly Patterson), BM Cello '17,  just won a position with Orchestra Iowa.

Dr. Randal Rushing recently performed as tenor soloist in Handel's "Messiah" with the National Chorus of Korea at the Seoul Arts Center and in Gwangju, South Korea, broadcast on ARTE European Television. He also conducted a series of master classes at Seoul National University, Ewha Women's University, and Yosei University.

Dr. Kyle Ferrell has joined the faculty of SongFest, a prestigious summer program for singers. It takes place in May and June at the Colburn School in Los Angeles.

Dr. William Shaltis was invited to present a clinic at the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) National Teacher In-Service in Dallas, TX. He was also invited to present a clinic on snare drum sound production strategies at the Indiana Music Education Association conference in Fort Wayne, IN.

Dr. Kimberly Patterson and Dr. Marcin Arendt directed the inaugural Honor String Orchestra conducted by maestro Robert Moody. The festival hosted 60 string students from Tennessee high schools for a 3-day festival which included rehearsals, masterclasses, sectionals, a wellness clinic and concerts. In addition, Patterson recently performed recitals throughout Vietnam and China. She also performed as a soloist with the Manila Symphony in the Philippines.

Dr. Jack Cooper will appear in a TV production and video about composer Charles Ives. It will be produced by Anne-Kathrine Peitz, an independent bio/film maker from Leipzig contracted with Accentus Music. They will use film clips and audio from the premiere of his Ives CD to accompany the video interview portion.

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Theatre & Dance

Jo Sanburg, MFA Student, received the 2018 John Spiegel Theatrical Artist Award from the Southeastern Theatre Conference.

Theatre Professor Jo Lenhart is directing Theatre Memphis' production of Fences  by August Wilson. Jazz Miller, MFA alum, is the assistant director.

Dennis Darling, MFA student, is the director of Sunset Baby at Hattiloo Theatre. Also working on the production are Associate Professor Brian Ruggaber, scenic design, MFA alum Mandy Heath, lighting design, and BFA alum Austin Conley, costume design.

Theatre Instructor Tracy Thomas is a cast member of Once at Playhouse on the Square.

Taylor St. John, MFA student, is directing Elephant's Graveyard at Theatre South. The production also features Department of Theatre's Director of Publicity and Promotions Alice Berry; MFA students Jennifer Ammons and Justin Braun; BFA students Jordan Hartwell, Blake Currie, Theorri London, Simmery Branch, Emily Edwards and Matthew Turner; MFA alum Bill Baker and BFA alum Jason Gerhard.

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