Architecture - Art - Communication - Journalism - Music - Theatre & Dance


Heather B. Koury (BA '97) received the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Memphis 2015 Francis Gassner Award. Heather was recognized for her outstanding contribution to the architectural fabric of the Memphis community. She is chapter director for AIA Memphis.

Megan Hoover (BFA '13) received the department's Creative Achievement Award.


Lester Merriweather, curator at The Martha and Robert Fogelman Galleries of Art, created the poster for the Memphis in May International Festival. This year's festival was a tribute to Poland. His painting was based on "the natural beauty of the honored country."

The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston chose Associate Professor Michael Schmidt's article on children's rights as their cover story for the June issue of Communities and Banking. 

Madsen Minax, Department of art instructor and video artist, was featured in a December 2014 issue of The Memphis Flyer. Madsen makes work about violence, intimacy and power. He is also a musician, and his folk pop duo, Actor Slash Model, toured through Memphis before Madsen moved to the city.

Richard A. Lou, chair of the department of art, had an exhibition this summer at Crosstown Arts called "Stories On My Back." The large-scale multi-media installation incorporated audio, video, digital photographs and tamale leaves.

Donalyn Heise, associate professor of art education, retired in May. During her tenure, Donalyn has received numerous grants and
awards and has conducted more than 100 workshops and presentations at the state, regional and national levels. Her research
focused on art teacher preparation, resilience theory and community art collaborations. Before retiring, she presented on "Resisting Ideological State Apparatuses with Women in a Shelter for Families who are Homeless: An Exploration of Althusser Through Foucault" at the Southeast Philosophy of Education Society. Donalyn also presented at the National Art Education Association Convention with Ellery June Nief (BFA '15) and Nicole Miller (BFA '15).

Pixy Lia (MA '09) explored gender roles in art this summer in her show "Experimental Relationship" at Circuitous Succession Gallery, which recently opened on South Second. 

Lawrence Matthews III (BFA '14) received the Department of Art Creative Achievement Award, which is awarded annually to an undergraduate student for outstanding accomplishments in art. He also received the CCFA Dean's Creative Achievement Award, selected by college administrators from departmental Creative Achievement Award recipients. Lawrence's art was chosen to be on this year's Africa in April Cultural Awareness Festival poster.

Lacy (Jones) Gillette (MA '10) has been working as a museum professional in New Britain, Conn. This fall she will be pursuing a PhD in Archaeology at Florida State University with full funding and a stipend.

Brooke Garcia (MA '15) was awarded a graduate internship at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. K. Brandon Bell (MFA '96) designs virtual sets for the Tony Awards. He created the first virtual set in 2011, when the show was forced to leave Radio City Music Hall for the smaller Beacon Theatre. Living in Memphis, Brandon does interactive web design, photography and motion graphics.

Rachel Bush (MFA '14) was hired as assistant professor in graphic design at Austin Peay State University. 

Frank D. Robinson, Jr. (BFA '93) received the fifth annual Emmett O'Ryan Award for Artistic Inspiration presented by Metropolitan Bank. He was nominated by the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art. Professor Cedar Nordby was a finalist.

Amelia Briggs (MFA '15) received the 2015 Art Purchase Award.

Lauren Michelle Evans (BFA '15) won first place in the UofM Research Forum. She won for a poster presentation of the research involved in her BFA thesis.

Ellery June Nief (BFA '15) received the 2015 University of Memphis Donalyn Heise Art Education Leadership Award. This award recognizes one art education major who has demonstrated commitment to the profession through outstanding service and leadership, someone who understands the role of art education in transforming the lives of individuals and communities.

During the 32nd Annual Juried Student Awards, 69 students entered 130 works and 53 were selected for the exhibition. Those receiving awards were Anna Maranise, Wei-chu Su, Kaitlyn Dunn, Amelia Briggs, Whitney Paige Ellens and Ruben Garnica

Allison Lemon, senior, attended the prestigious and highly competitive Yale Norfolk Summer Program. The program is an official academic session at Yale University and course credit is earned. Students from across the country compete for the six-week intensive studio program. She also designed the "U Belong Here" mural, which the mural painting class created for the west staircase of the CFA building.

Jarvis Boyland, junior, will be attending the Andrew W. Mellon Summer Academy and Undergraduate Curatorial Fellowship Program at the Art Institute of Chicago this summer. This all expenses paid program provides specialized training for students across the United States from groups historically underrepresented in the curatorial field or those who support the goal of promoting inclusive, pluralistic museums. Jarvis was one of a small number of students selected from outside of Illinois.


Professor Allison Graham was quoted in an article in "The Envelope", special section of the Los Angeles Times. In the article, "Selma's' depiction of civil rights years: Less saintly, more swagger," Allison talked about the portrayal of people in movies depicting that era. She is the author of Framing the South: Hollywood, Television and Race During the Civil Rights Struggle.

Amanda Hanson (BA '07) joined the Heartland News team as the weekend Breakfast Show anchor and reporter in Cape Girardeau, Mo.

Jay Bishop (BA '15) was the first UofM Lambuth graduate in Communication. He was officially the first CCFA graduate to walk across the stage at a Lambuth ceremony for graduates.

Graham Winchester (BA '11) was featured in an article in The Memphis Flyer about 20 people under 30 who are shaping the future of Memphis. Graham is a descendant of city co-founder and first mayor James Winchester and a relative of singer-songwriter Jesse Winchester. Graham is also a drummer and fund-raiser. He started Memphians in Support of the Mentally Ill and holds benefits to bring Memphis musicians together to raise money for institutions treating the mentally ill.

Brian Heslop received the Graduate Assistant Meritorious Teaching Award, which is awarded to two outstanding graduate teaching assistants who have been nominated by faculty, staff or students.


Elle Perry, Teen Appeal coordinator, was featured in an article in The Memphis Flyer about 20 people under 30 who are helping shape the future of Memphis. The Teen Appeal is the city-wide high school newspaper produced by students of Shelby County Schools. The department of journalism hosts and administers the program, hosting an annual week-long summer journalism camp and monthly staff meetings. It is printed and distributed by the Commercial Appeal. The Journalism Education Association presented Elle and The Teen Appeal, with the 2015 Diversity Award in recognition of their efforts in promoting diversity in the scholastic media arena.

Darrin Devault, instructor and Online Undergraduate PR Program coordinator, had a book signing for his book Graceland Too Revisited this spring. Published by the Devault-Graves Agency, the book captured a series of images from Graceland Too, a tourist attraction in Holly Springs, Miss. Graves and co-publisher Tom Graves were photographers for the work.

U.S. Attorney Edward L. Stanton appointed Louis Goggans (BA '11) Community Outreach Specialist and Public Information Officer for the U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Tennessee.

R. Scott Williams (BA '89) wrote a biography about Richard Halliburton, world-traveler, author and lecturer. Scott is a currently director of marketing and communications at the Newseum, a museum of news and history in Washington, DC.

Kayla Marie Stringer (BA '15) received the Dean's Academic Achievement Award, which is awarded to the graduating CCFA student with the highest grade point average.

Jill Burgin (BS '90), vice mayor of Brentwood, Tenn., is running for city commissioner.

Brit Fitzpatrick (MA '11) was featured in an article in The Memphis Flyer about 20 people under 30 who are shaping the future of Memphis. Brit is communications coordinator for the Ronald McDonald House. She developed an interest in technology to advance social causes and began MentorMe, an online platform connecting mentors with mentees through personality profiles. She mentors in organizations such as Start Co., Girls Inc. and the YMCA.

Micah Nikole Pender (BA '15) was the first Journalism graduate of UofM Lambuth.

Wink Martindale (BS '57), radio personality, television host and producer, received the Distinguished Alumnus for Lifetime Achievement Award from the UofM Alumni Association.

Barry K. Parks (MA '15) won Top Student Paper in the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) Law and Policy Division for his paper, "Injunction Junction: A Theory and Precedent-Based Argument for the Elimination of Speech Codes at American Public Universities." Barry will present his research at the August AEJMC Annual Conference in San Francisco.

Junior Melissa Byrd was one of two honors students at the University of Memphis named finalists for the 2015 Truman Scholarship, a prestigious national fellowship that provides up to $30,000 for graduate study. She was among 201 finalists for the award.

Callie Compton received the Department of Journalism Creative Achievement Award, which is awarded annually to an undergraduate student for outstanding accomplishments in journalism.

Loghan Laufenberg, junior, received the $2,000 Jan Gardner Memorial Scholarship at the 7th District American Advertising Federation spring conference. The Jan Gardner Memorial Scholarship recognizes academically talented students in advertising-related disciplines, helping them complete their undergraduate education.

Aidan Porter, senior, is one of the top 20 AAF students in the United States and has won the Logo & Social Media Design Contest for the Mass Communication & Society Division of AEJMC. He will receive $500 and his designs will be featured on MCSD's social media. His logo won with 101 of 115 votes. He will be interning at BBDO Worldwide in New York City this summer.

Jonathan Capriel, junior, has a summer internship with Scripps-Howard News Service in Washington, D.C. He was among just six
students selected nationwide.

Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music

Mary Wilson, assistant professor of Voice, sang Pergolesi and Scarlatti with Chatham Baroque at the Festival Internacional de Musica Sacra de Quito in Quito, Ecuador, where her concerts were broadcast on television throughout Central America.

Dr. David Evans, professor and author, was a member of a symposium panel during the Sleepy John's Country Blues Jam in Brownsville, Tenn. He discussed "The Influence of West Tennessee's Country Blues." Evans is a Grammy Award winner, who has produced more than 30 albums and numerous books on blues history. He travels the world performing as a soloist and with the Last Chance Jug Band. 

In July, Dr. John Mueller, associate professor of Euphonium, was guest soloist with the U.S. Army Band "Pershing's Own" as they presented what has become an annual tradition of welcoming alumni members back for a summer blow-out concert on the Capitol Steps. He also toured in Maine for a week in July with the Yankee Brass Band, performing 19th century music on antique instruments and was featured in a euphonium duo at the Great Western Rocky Mountain Brass Band Festival in Silverton, CO.

Music Education Division Head Dr. Ryan Fisher's article "The Impacts of the Voice Change, Grade Level, and Experience on the Singing Self-Ecacy of Emerging Adolescent Males," appeared in the October 2014 issue of the Journal of Research in Music Education. He has also recently been appointed to serve a three-year term on the National Association for Music Education Council
for Choral Education as the representative of the Southern Division.

Lecolion Washington, associate professor of Bassoon, has been named one of the "Top 40 Under 40" by The Memphis Business Journal. He will be honored at a luncheon in late November. He performed with the Sphinx Symphony Orchestra in performances with Pinchas Zukerman. Lecolion also received a Community Engagement Fellowship through ArtsMemphis that led to workshops learning about the history of Orange Mound and Soulsville areas. The project culminated in a letter of intent submitted to ArtsMemphis to revitalize school music programs in the Orange Mound Area.

Voice Professor Kyle Ferrill was the guest artist and presenter at the Kentucky NATS (National Association of Teachers of Singing) State Auditions in Murray, Kentucky. Kyle gave a recital followed by a Q&A session about careers in singing, and on Saturday presented "Concentration Skills For Your Best Singing" to the attendees of the conference. 

The City of Tomorrow has been awarded a 2014 Chamber Music America Commissioning Grant for a new work for wind quintet written by Dr. Hannah Lash, Professor of Composition at Yale University. Assistant Professor Elise Blatchford is the founding flutist of the wind quintet and was co-author of the grant. The grant is in the amount of $26,000 for the work's inception and eventual premiere in New York.

Dr. Kevin Sanders, associate professor of Tuba, recently performed recitals and clinics at Colorado State University, University of New Mexico and the Denver School for Performing Arts.

Robyn Jones, assistant professor of Clarinet, played Copland "Symphony No. 3" with the Louisiana Philharmonic with JoAnn Falletta conducting in New Orleans. She also produced a successful Clarinet Day for Memphis area high school students.

Professor Jack Cooper received a favorable review in the May 2015 issue of the Jazz Journal for his CD "Mists: Charles Ives Music for Jazz Orchestra."

Griffin Browne (MM '08, DMA '13) performed Edward Elgar's "Cello Concerto" with the Dyersburg Community Orchestra's spring concert. Griffin is a section member of the Memphis Symphony Orchestra and principal cellist with the Jackson Symphony Orchestra (Tennessee).

Dr. Sydney McKay, former director of Bands, was inducted into the Tennessee Bandmaster's Association Hall of Fame during the Tennessee Music Educators Association All-State Conference in Memphis.

Dr. Kimberly Brown (DMA '08), soprano, had a voice recital at the Performance Center of Mason Hall at Jacksonville State University in Florida. 

iTuba, tuba/euphonium quartet, competed in the chanber music competition of the International Tuba and Euphonium Association. They were selected to move to the final round along with ensembles from the Eastman School of Music, the University of Southern California, the University of Georgia and Japan. Members of the quartet were Mark Bonner (BM '13), Zach Corpus (pursuing a DMA), Will Hammer (Music Education senior) and Kevin McKenzie (Music Education senior). They are students of Dr. Kevin Sanders.

Alumnus Tesfa Wondemagegnehu (BM '04), assistant artistic director for VocalEssence, was hired to help program and promote Minnesota Public Radio's 24-hour streaming of choral music. He then went full time at National Public Radio (NPR), where a new choral initiative will bring him to area schools for music outreach.

Lauren Moscato, senior Music Business major, recorded music at Capital Records in Los Angeles, Calif., after winning songwriter of the year at the 2014 Indie Music Channel Songwriter Awards. She won a total of 11 awards. Her song "He Gives Me Strength" won Best Contemporary Christian genre and Best Overall. She recorded six songs while at Capital Records. Lauren studies classical voice with Mary Wilson. Micah Pounds, junior Music Education major, has been chosen to be a Berkshire Choral Scholar at the Berkshire Choral Festival this summer in Massachusetts. Micah studies voice with Mary Wilson, assistant professor of Voice.

Emily Hinkle sophomore Vocal Performance major, won the Memphis Grizzlies Showcase talent competition. Her prizes include a one-year lease from Toyota and a recording session with the Grizzlies Band. Emily studies voice with Mary Wilson. 

Current and former students and faculty participating in the Opera Memphis Midtown Opera Festival include Dr. Randy Rushing, Chelsea Miller, Dominic Johnson, Norah Graham-SmithJesse Koza, Bethania Baray, Amanda Woodward- Boyd (MM '13), Marcus King (BM '07, MM '10) and Jennifer Goode Cooper.

Joshua Thomas Palazzolo, junior, received the School of Music Creative Achievement Award, awarded annually to an undergraduate student for outstanding accomplishments in Music.

For the second year in a row, Kevin Sutterlin, doctoral student and conductor, is a finalist in the American Prize Awards, a competition for young artists in many areas of music. He is judged based on videos of himself conducting the UofM Symphony Orchestra. 

Zack Corpus, doctoral candidate, and Will Hammer, senior, made it to the semifinals of the Tuba Artist Division in the Leonard Falcone International Tuba Euphonium Competition held at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp. The University of Memphis was the only school with two students that placed in the top division. Hundreds of artists apply for this competition every year from all over the world.

Eight School of Music voice majors competed in the NATS Tennessee State Auditions at UT Martin this month. U of M boasted two winners, Matthew Queen and Dale DeWood. Additionally, Tressa Tiner came in second in her category, and Gabriella Galletti and Korynn Lacher finished third in their categories. Korynn, Tressa, and Matthew also participated in the master class with Rice University Professor Thomas Jaber. 

Andrew Cook's, senior, new publishing company has been accepted as a member of ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Artists and Publishers). Andrew is a music education, trombone major.

The University of Memphis Chamber Choir performed at the 2015 Tennessee Music Education Association State Conference, to be held at the Cannon Center in Memphis in April.

In October, Vocal Artist Diploma student Chelsea Miller performed the principal role of Zerlina in Opera Memphis' production of "Don Giovanni" and sang excerpts from "Die Zauberflote" with the Memphis Symphony Orchestra. Chelsea is a student of Mary Wilson.

The University Singers along with the Memphis Symphony Orchestra recently performed several pieces during Magnicat Day Memphis before 2,000 attendees at the Cannon Center for the Performing Arts. The afternoon performance was also broadcast live on the EWTN Global Catholic Network around the world.

Theatre & Dance

Jung Kim was selected to receive the Graduate Performance Award, which is awarded to CCFA graduate students for creative achievement.

Travis Blackwell, senior, received the Department of Theatre & Dance Creative Achievement Award, which is awarded annually to an undergraduate student for outstanding accomplishments in Theatre & Dance. He also submitted a Paperless Stage Management
Project and a Green Fee project to install LED lights in the Mainstage Theatre to the Broadway Green Alliance. The department was named a finalist for their award and received the first BGA College Green Captain Prize for Greener Theatre. The department is making strides in greener theatre, which is unique among university theatre departments.