Stephen F. Austin State University

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Fine arts students receive Dean's Awards

May 2, 2012 - Sylvia Bierschenk
Stephen F. Austin State University College of Fine Arts faculty recently selected four outstanding students to receive the annual Dean's Awards. The students' major professors introduced the recipients and helped present the awards at the April ceremony. Standing, from left, are Assistant Professor of Art Neal Cox and Mansfield junior art major Emily Grogan; Longview junior music major Brady Weldon and Associate Professor of Voice Dr. Deborah Dalton; Dallas senior theatre major Grace Hartke and Professor of Theatre Dr. Rick Jones; Professor of Theory and Composition Dr. Stephen Lias (holding Canyon junior music major Joshua Zinn's plaque); and Dr. A.C. "Buddy" Himes, dean of the College of Fine Arts.

NACOGDOCHES, TEXAS - The Stephen F. Austin State University College of Fine Arts recently recognized four students during the presentation of the annual Dean's Awards.

Emily Grogan, Mansfield junior art major; Grace Hartke, Dallas senior theatre major; Brady Weldon, Longview junior music education major; and Joshua Zinn, Canyon junior music major; were selected by the faculty of the respective schools on the basis of their potential to further develop their artistic and academic capabilities, explained Dr. A.C.
"Buddy" Himes, dean of the College of Fine Arts.

The awards were established by the Dean's Circle, an auxiliary group of community members founded in 2008 and "dedicated, in part, to nurturing potential young artists within the College of Fine Arts," Himes said.

Grogan, who received the Ed and Gwen Cole Dean's Award in Art, transferred to SFA to pursue a Bachelor of Fine Arts with concentrations in printmaking and painting. Her work has been included in two student shows, "Prinstallation" in 2011 and "Pen, Pigment & Metal" in 2012.

Her name has been listed on the President's Honor Roll several semesters. Upon graduation, she plans to pursue a master's degree.

Hartke, the recipient of the George & Peggy Schmidbauer Dean's Award in Theatre, is pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts with an emphasis in stage management. She has served as stage manager for four SFA Mainstage productions and the 2011 Summer Repertory Season.

She is a member of the School of Honors; maintains a part-time job; and is a second-year member of Alpha Psi Omega, the National Theater Honor Society, for which she currently serves as secretary.

Weldon, who received the Dr. Robert G. Sidnell Memorial Dean's Award in Music Education, is placing his emphasis on choral music education. He sang the role of Dr. Grenvil in SFA's recent production of "La Traviata" and has also performed in four other SFA operas.

He tutors Music History through the SFA Academic Assistance Resource Center, and his recent research into the tradition of the African-American spiritual earned him recognition in SFA's Annual Undergraduate Research Conference.

Zinn, the recipient of the Jack and Naioma Ledbetter Dean's Award in Music, joined the ceremony through a Skype videocall from Hobart, Tasmania, where he is continuing with his music composition degree in an exchange program at the University of Tasmania.

While at SFA, Zinn has worked on the musical scores of two SFA films, had two compositions performed at the state conferences of the National Association of Composers and taught composition for SFA's Music Preparatory Division.

During the awards ceremony at The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House, the recipients were introduced by their major professors, awarded $2,000 to be applied towards next year's school expenses and given an opportunity to speak.

Himes said the focus of the annual Dean's Awards ceremony is inspiration. "It is about inspiring students with pride and self-confidence to pursue the ideal; for each of them to dream what the ideal is for them; and to inspire them to use this award to go about making that dream their reality."