Alumni Spotlight: James Martin ’19

James MartinIn September, James Martin ’19, a graduate of the College of Visual and Performing Arts’ Department of Communication and Rhetorical Studies (CRS), began working as a press secretary for U.S. Rep. Josh Gottheimer (N.J.-5). Martin is responsible for interacting with press on a daily basis, managing the congressman’s social media, organizing press events, and writing speeches.

“As a CRS major, my classes have prepared me for the high-pressure environment that I have to work through on a daily basis,” says Martin. “I’m so grateful for my professors and mentors that have helped me with this wonderful opportunity.”

Martin was originally going to work for Gottheimer’s campaign in the digital and fundraising department but was asked to join the official team in August.

Martin has completed internships with U.S. Sen. Charles E. Schumer (N.Y.), Madison Square Boys and Girls Club, the Partnership for Public Service and a private investigative firm. He hopes to own his own digital media, PR, and communications firm in the future as well.

Design Senior Named 2019 Forbes Under 30 Scholar

Courtney Jiggetts Courtney Jiggetts, a senior environmental and interior design major in the College of Visual and Performing Arts’ School of Design, was named a 2019 Forbes Under 30 Scholar. The program awards 1,000 college and university students the opportunity to attend the Forbes Under 30 Summit, an immersive experience that brings together the best minds across industries, venture capitalism, public policy and other disciplines to learn, network, collaborate, recruit and exchange ideas.

This year’s summit was held in Detroit in late October, and Jiggetts was able to attend and participate in a variety of events, including specific programming for the scholars.Courtney Jiggetts

“There are no words to truly express the dynamic of the experience in its entirety,” says Jiggetts. “I had the opportunity to engage with some of the world’s greatest and most ingenious thinkers and game-changers from a variety of industries, from technology to social media. I participated in discourse, events and panels centered around extremely complex topics, all geared toward redefining the ways in which we not only think about our world, but the ways in which we engage with it.”

The summit featured more than 200 speakers, including athletes Serena Williams, CEO of Serena Ventures, and Kevin Durant, co-founder and partner of Thirty Five Ventures; a start-up hub, where start-ups in a variety of sectors demonstrated their new ideas and inventions; and such panel discussions as “Venture Capital Secrets: What They Look For,” “The Roadmap to Building a Sustainable Future” and “Building Companies Outside of Silicon Valley,” all of which Jiggetts found memorable.

“The summit was an experience of everlasting impact, providing me with the opportunity to network with some of the industry’s brightest,” says Jiggetts. “I gained tools, tactics and resources that will last me a lifetime and am so fortunate to have been selected to attend the summit as a scholar. I am proud to have been able to represent Syracuse University.”

Random Access Gallery to Recognize Remembrance Day for Lost Species

Artwork by SUNY ESF and Syracuse University students
Artwork by SUNY ESF and Syracuse University students highlights loss of biodiversity.

Random Access Gallery will present “The Extinction Gallery,” an exhibition featuring work by Syracuse University and SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry students, with an opening reception on Friday, Dec. 6, from 5-8 p.m. in 117 Smith Hall. The exhibition is free and open to the public. See full details.

‘Destination Outdoors’ Alumni Exhibition

This fall the College of Visual and Performing Arts’ School of Design presented Destination Outdoors, an exhibition at the Sue & Leon Genet Gallery featuring work by alumni from the school’s industrial and interaction design (IID) program: Rob Miller ’99, Simon JJ Park ’00, Lori Jacobs ’92, Talia Horner ’15, Yun Pei Hsiung ’10, Sean Horita ’96 and Glen Walter ’80. The exhibition celebrated innovative products and creative design work specifically geared for outdoor use.

During Family Weekend in October, Park, Jacobs, and Walter returned to Syracuse for the reception and to give advice interviews and presentations to IID students about “life lessons” after graduating from the program.

Making Music in Strasbourg

Conservatoire de Strasbourg’s wind ensemble in concert
Professor Bradley Ethington applauds the Conservatoire de Strasbourg’s wind ensemble.

Professor of Music Bradley Ethington’s first visit to Strasbourg, France, to conduct the Conservatoire de Strasbourg’s wind ensemble, was a five-day whirlwind trip. Ethington conducted two evening rehearsals with the Orchestre d’Harmonie, made up of the Conservatoire’s graduate and undergraduate students, who had been practicing the music for a month. The rehearsals were followed the next day by a concert performed before a full house, with Ethington conducting. “The students were fantastic to work with and played extremely well,” says Ethington, director of bands and co-conductor of the Setnor School of Music’s Wind Ensemble. “The day after the concert, I served on a jury panel for the final conducting examinations at the Conservatoire.” He is the latest Setnor professor to teach in Strasbourg and participate in a faculty exchange with a Conservatoire counterpart. Continue Reading

Statement from the College of Visual and Performing Arts

We are saddened and outraged by the recent racist and anti-Semitic incidents on the Syracuse University campus. We reaffirm the college’s ongoing commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and we will not tolerate behavior or language that degrades any member of our community.

Our college remains focused on providing a safe and supportive learning environment for our students, faculty, and staff. We understand that students may feel anxious and afraid or have questions and concerns, so we have created opportunities for dialogue and reflection. We are optimistic that through meaningful conversation, shared goals, and positive action, our college and the University will become even stronger. We proudly stand behind our students, who are the foundation of our belief that art, design, performance, and commentary can affect change.

Holidays at Hendricks Expands to Two Shows, Set for Dec. 8

Syracuse University invites the Central New York (CNY) community to “Holidays at Hendricks,” which for the first time will be expanded to two performances in Hendricks Chapel.

On Sunday, Dec. 8, two identical performances will take place at 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. The addition of an earlier show will ensure that more guests receive an opportunity to attend this annual holiday event. Read full story.

Marine Corps Veteran Combat Photographer Adrian Weekly ’20 Finds New Opportunity at Syracuse University

It’s said a picture is worth a thousand words. For military service members who go forward into combat with a rifle and a camera, it’s more than just an adage. Syracuse University student veteran Adrian Weekly ’20 knows this all too well.

“I had enlisted in the Marine Corps to be an aviation mechanic,” says Weekly, a communication and rhetorical studies major in the College of Visual and Performing Arts. “Then some people found out I could draw pretty well, and I was made into a combat photographer instead.” Continue Reading

Message to the VPA Community from Dean Michael S. Tick

Dear VPA Community:

I’m writing to you this evening as a follow up to my November 13 message regarding VPA’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion and providing a safe and supportive environment for our students. Over the past several days I have listened to and talked with a number of VPA students; I also met with students at the Barnes Center at The Arch Thursday, yesterday, and tonight. In order to provide our students with additional time and space to share their concerns or ask questions, I have cancelled my meetings for the next three days so that I can offer the extended office hours listed below. My office is located in Room 200 Crouse College; no appointment is necessary.

  • Tuesday, November 19, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • Wednesday, November 20, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
  • Thursday, November 21, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

I welcome this dialogue as we continue to work to combat issues of racism, bias, and all other forms of discriminatory behavior on our campus.


Dean Michael S. Tick

Syracuse Stage, Department of Drama Celebrate the Magic of Love For the Holidays with ‘Disney’s Beauty and the Beast’

Beauty and the Beast poster.Syracuse Stage and the Department of Drama in Syracuse University’s College of Visual and Performing Arts will ring in the holiday season with the family musical “Disney’s Beauty and the Beast,” directed by Donna Drake and choreographed by Anthony Salatino with musical direction by Brian Cimmet. Preview performances begin Nov. 22. Opening night is Nov. 29, with performances scheduled through Jan. 5. Excellent seats remain for many performances and are available through the Box Office (315-443-3275) and at

With music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Howard Ashman and Tim Rice and a book by Linda Woolverton, “Disney’s Beauty and the Beast” was adapted from the 1991 animated feature film. The musical opened on Broadway in 1994 and closed in 2007 after 5,461 performances. Most recently, a 2017 live action film version starred Emma Watson and Dan Stevens.

Director Drake and musical director Cimmet are the creative team behind Syracuse Stage’s last two holiday hits, “The Wizard of Oz” (2017) and “Elf The Musical” (2018). Drake said she expects audiences will be enchanted by the show. “It is magical, heartfelt, and beautiful.”

Cimmet noted that the 12-piece orchestra is the largest ever for a Syracuse Stage show.

The familiar story of “Beauty and the Beast” has its origin in the 1740 French novel “La Belle et la Bete” by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve. Sixteen years later, Jeanne-Marie Leprince De Beaumont shortened and simplified the tale and established the basis for most future versions. The Brothers Grimm included a similar story “The Singing, Soaring Lark” in early editions of their “Kinder – und Hausmärchen.” Continue Reading