Faculty and student newsmakers

Read here about the many awards, exhibitions, performances, book publishings, and other accomplishments of VPA faculty and students.

Summer 2014
An archive of past issues of Newsmakers may be accessed by using the navigation at the left.

A team of fourth-year industrial and interaction design (IID) students in the Department of Design won three $1,000 awards in the Royal Society of Arts U.S. (RSA-US) Student Design Awards. Boaz Cohen, Jesse Handelman, Jon Langer, Miles Ray, Kevin Scheiferstein, Zach Stringham, and Shelby Zink and their project “Bioroll Geotextile Mat” won the RSA-US Leadership Award for Applied Industrial Design, the Techmer PM Award for Sustainable Design and the Techmer PM Award for Materials Science. The mat is made out of mushroom spores manufactured into a biodegradable fiber roll. It can be used on construction sites to prevent sediment runoff (required by law) and is a sustainable alternative to silt fencing, which is made from petroleum-based black plastic and discarded after a single use.

The Department of Drama was ranked No. 13 on the Hollywood Reporter's list of the “25 Best Drama Schools in 2014” in its June 6 issue. The department was ranked No. 20 on the list in 2013 and was also named to the list in 2012.

Award winners of VPA's international graduate student exhibition SUtura were exhibited at the Everson Museum of Art in Syracuse in April. They are: June Kyu Park G'15, film; Seung Huk Lee G'15, film; Kejun Zhao G'15, illustration; and Neven Lochhead G'16, art video.

Three winners of Chancellor Syverud's Fast Forward competition, held in conjunction with his April inauguration, were from VPA. The student projects will be awarded grants of as much as $1,500 to fund the completion of their projects:

  • Ryan Pierson '15 and Sally Zheng '15 for "Park Bar": The two industrial and interaction design majors in the Department of Design, propose modular designed seats on the Quad to provide more working, thinking, and relaxing spaces.
  • Madelyn Minicozzi '18 for "Mural on the Mount": Minicozzi, an industrial and interaction design major, wants to "reinvent the Mount steps" by refurbishing the stairway and allowing a group of students to create a mural that stretches the length of the stairway.
  • Melissa Anne Bassett '14 and Lisa Kranz '16 for "Update the Live Stream Technology in Setnor Auditorium": The School of Music students seek funding to update the streaming technology in the auditorium that would help attract students, make for a better viewing for family and friends, keep alumni connected, and invite in worldwide audiences.

Peppie Calvar, assistant professor of music in the Setnor School of Music, had his work La mejor profesión premiered on May 4 in Hendricks Chapel by the Syracuse Children's Chorus in collaboration with Otto Tunes as part of their Spring Celebration Concert. The piece is in the style of a choral salsa and featured Calvar and Setnor faculty member Josh Dekaney on percussion alongside Setnor students Mario Pietra '14, a B.A. music major, and Stephanie Mata '15, a music education major, on bass and flute, respectively.

Fashion design faculty Todd Conover and Jeffrey Mayer appeared on WSYR Channel 9's "Bridge Street" on May 1 with fashion design major Michelle Lee '16 to discuss the recently announced Fashion Without Limits size 12+ design initiative. View the video here.

Bill DiCosimo, assistant professor of music in the Setnor School of Music, was named the 2014 Jazz Educator of the Year by CNY Jazz Central. As Jazz Educator of the Year, DiCosimo joins the ranks of the award's notable recipients, including Jerry Santy, Joe Carelo, and Joseph Riposo.

Emily Vey Duke and Cooper Battersby, associate professors of transmedia in the Department of Transmedia, won the EMAF Award at the European Media Arts Festival in Osnabrueck, Germany, for their video Here is Everything (2013). EMAF is one of the most influential forums of international media art. Each year the festival offers its visitors a current overview of experimental films, installations, performances, digital formats, and hybrid forms, ranging from personal and political subjects or formal experiments to provocative statements from the pulsating area of "Media Art - Society." 

James Fathers, Iris Magidson Endowed Chair of Design Leadership in the Department of Design, is the featured story in Imagining America's May e-newsletter. Read the story on the Imagining America blog.

Noël Frodelius '12 G'14, a graduate student in museum studies, curated Oz: A Visual Celebration at the Manlius Library of Central New York. Presented by the library and the International Wizard of Oz Club, Inc., Oz: A Visual Celebration is an exhibition of original artwork created in celebration of author L. Frank Baum, Oz literature, and The Wizard of Oz by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studios. The works span photography, drawing, painting, and 3D collage. On view through June 8, the exhibition was organized in conjunction with the 36th Annual Oz-stravaganza Convention June 5-8 in Chittenango, New York.

Bob Halligan, instructor of music in the Setnor School of Music, and his band, Ceili Rain, will be performing at various venues during May. Visit the band's web site for a full schedule.

Juliet Hess, assistant professor of music in the Setnor School of Music, had the song cycle Places Among the Stars recently premiere in Toronto. The seven-song cycle is based on the poetry of Stephen Crane. The performance was given by Dann Mitton, bass, and Kathryn Tremills, piano, in Walter Hall, Toronto.

Talia Horner '15, a fourth-year industrial and interaction design student in the Department of Design, was part of the team from SU, SUNY-ESF, and Onondaga Community College that won the grand prize in the U.S. Department of Energy's first Challenge Home Student Design Competition. The winning teams produced market-ready, state-of-the-art design solutions for high-performance homes that are energy efficient, comfortable, and durable. Horner's team, Montage Builders Northern Forest, won for best single-family detached design.

Arthur Hunt, executive assistant to the chair in the Department of Communication and Rhetorical Studies, was nominated and selected by the SU Recognition Awards Selection Committee to receive the 2014 Integrity Recognition Award from SU's LGBT Resource Center. Recipients of this award display professional accountability and respect for individuals and groups whom they encounter. They are consistent in their approach and demonstrate authenticity in their leadership and agency around working with people with marginalized genders and sexualities.

Jing Liu G'15, a graduate voice performance major in the Setnor School of Music, has been accepted into the six-week SongFest young artists' program this summer in Los Angeles. Her voice teacher, Setnor faculty member Kathleen Roland-Silverstein, will also be at SongFest as a master class teacher on Scandinavian art song.

Sarah McCoubrey, professor of painting in the Departments of Art and Foundation, will have the solo exhibition Sarah McCoubrey: Works on Paper May 10-August 24 at the Everson Museum of Art in Syracuse. In the exhibition, McCoubrey takes on the role of alchemist through her transmutation of the potato into mystical contraptions built to coast above the earth or journey along the desolate landscape.

Erin Perkins '16, a film major in the Department of Transmedia, was the recipient of the inaugural VPA Dean's Award for International Education. The $500 award is for an undergraduate student to use toward studying abroad.

Annina Rüst, assistant professor of computer art and animation in the Department of Transmedia, had a site-specific version of her project A Piece of the Pie Chart selected by the Art+Technology Lab at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) as one of five artist projects from a pool of 450 to be developed during the inaugural year of the Art + Technology Lab. Inspired by the spirit of LACMA's original Art and Technology program (1967-1971), which paired artists with technology companies in Southern California, the Art + Technology Lab at LACMA supports artist experiments with emerging technology. The Lab provides grants, in-kind support, and facilities at the museum to develop prototype projects.

Nicolas Scherzinger, associate professor of music in the Setnor School of Music, received an honorable mention for his work Fractured Mirrors in the 2013 American Modern Ensemble's Eighth Annual Composition Competition, Tier III category (professional, all ages). 

Miso Suchy, associate professor of film in the Department of Transmedia, was proud to be one of ten distinguished filmmakers who participated in the project Twenty - Slovakia, a feature-length anthology that premiered simultaneously in 22 theaters throughout Slovakia on April 10. The filmmakers were asked to make ten short films reflecting on the social reality of this young European nation. A broadcast on public television and an online exhibition followed the theatrical premiere. The filmmakers who worked on the project spanned from "living classics" of the Czecho-Slovak New Wave to a new generation of filmmakers. A DVD of this anthology feature film is in printing.

James Tapia, associate professor of music in the Setnor School of Music, was proud to be selected as clinician and guest artist at the 2014 American String Teachers Association (ASTA) International Convention in Louisville, Kentucky. Tapia worked with 18 orchestras over three days and conducted a rehearsal clinic with the Louisville Arts Magnate Orchestra. Tapia was also honored to present a clinic at the largest music convention in the world, the International Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic. More than 18,000 performers, educators, and music industry professionals gather in Chicago each year to share concerts, clinics, and technological advances in music. The clinic, Total Tone Transformation, was presented in conjunction with the Alfred Music Publishing Company; ASTA President Robert Phillips; and Erin Tapia, music educator in the Westhill school district. 

Long-Nam TÔ, assistant professor of fashion design in the Department of Design, was a guest speaker for the Arts of Fashion Foundation's Fashion.edu event on May 1 at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. His talk was titled "Fashion Creativity + The Journey." He was also a jury member for the foundation's student competition.

Andrew Waggoner, professor of music in the Setnor School of Music, will have his This Powerful Rhyme, Sonnet Cycle after Shakespeare for two actors and 10 players, performed on July 20 in Ozawa Hall at the Tanglewood Music Center as part of the 2014 Tanglewood Festival of Contemporary Music.

Katie Wieser G'15, a graduate voice student in the Setnor School of Music, will play the role of Cosette in Les Miserables at TriArts Sharon Playhouse in Sharon, Conn., June 18-29. She will also participate in the AIMS Opera Studio in Graz, Austria, this summer. The AIMS Vocal Program prepares vocalists for a professional career in opera or on the concert stage. During this six-week intensive program, Weiser will study operatic repertoire, working closely with European and American opera coaches, conductors, and stage directors.