Stephen F. Austin State University

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SFA College of Fine Arts Dean's Awards recognize recipients' potential

April 14, 2014 - Robbie Goodrich
From left to right: Kathrynne Garcia, Clara Boyett, Tabitha Donley and Daniel Miller

NACOGDOCHES, TEXAS - The Stephen F. Austin State University College of Fine Arts will recognize four students during the presentation of the annual Dean's Awards at 5:30 p.m. Friday, April 25, at The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House in downtown Nacogdoches.

Kathrynne F. Garcia, Houston junior art major; Clara E. Boyett, Jasper piano performance major; Tabitha M. Donley, Fort Worth junior music education major; and Daniel J. Miller, Houston area junior theatre major, were selected by the faculty of their respective schools on the basis of their potential to further develop their artistic and academic capabilities, according to Dr. A.C. "Buddy" Himes, dean of the College of Fine Arts.

The Dean's Awards not only recognize the recipients for what they have already accomplished, but the awards are also designed to inspire them to reach deep from within to aspire to a higher level of excellence, Himes explained. The awards were established by the Dean's Circle, an external support organization of community members founded in 2008 and "dedicated, in part, to nurturing potential young artists within the College of Fine Arts," he explained.

"This is not about the externally visible 'things,'" Himes said. "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 this their reality, and in doing so, inspire other students to reach for their dreams."

Garcia, who will receive the Ed and Gwen Cole Dean's Award in Art, is working toward a Bachelor of Fine Arts. She came to SFA in the fall of 2011 to study the artistic side of moving images, with concentrations in cinematography and digital media. Over time, her love of creating grew to three dimensional art objects. In combining technical elements of film and 3D objects, she has learned her path as an artist and continues to explore new technologies within the visual arts. In her position at SFA Art Galleries, she is creating a digital archive of photographs of exhibitions and events and has produced two documentaries - one on the history of the galleries and another about the artists of the 2013 Day of the Dead exhibition, which premiered at the Cole Art Center in January 2014. At the recommendation of her film professor, she became a volunteer intern for the Nacogdoches Film Festival in 2012 and was recently elected secretary of their non-profit, the Nacogdoches Art Alliance. In 2013, Kat became a student representative for SFA Friends of the Visual Arts board. She plans on continuing her studies at SFA and entering into a graduate program.

Boyett, who will receive the Jack and Naioma Ledbetter Dean's Award in Music, is in demand as an accompanist at SFA, having accompanied fellow students - both vocalists and instrumentalists - as well as serving as accompanist for graduate choral conducting recitals, appearing with the orchestra for SFA's 2013 performance of the opera "Street Scene," and with the SFA Wind Ensemble in its fall 2013 concert. She competed in the final round of the annual SFA Concerto Competition in both 2012 and 2013. Boyett is scheduled to present at the 2014 Texas Music Teacher's Association's annual conference in Houston this summer. She has been recognized on the President's List every semester while at SFA, is the class of 2015 recipient of the Cole Scholarship, holds both the Shirley Watterston Accompanying Scholarship and the Mamie Middlebrook Keyboard Scholarship, and received the 2013 high-ranking sophomore award from Phi Kappa Lamba. She serves as pianist at Northwood Baptist Church in Nacogdoches, and maintains a piano studio of 10 students through the SFA Music Prep Department.

Donley, who will receive the Dr. Robert Sidnell Memorial Dean's Award in Music Education, has been a member of the Wind Ensemble and the Orchestra of the Pines. She is currently principal flautist in both ensembles. She has also participated in the SFA flute choir, operas, and the Lumberjack Marching Band. In addition to this, she was co-section leader of the LMB piccolo section last fall. Donley has been on the Dean's List every semester, and on the President's List twice. She is an active member of the Wesley Foundation where she is on the student council and has spent four semesters as a member of its praise team, led small groups, and through the Wesley Foundation has participated in various service events. Donley and the Flute Five Ensemble placed second at the Kentucky Flute Festival in 2013. She has also been the recipient of the John Phillip Sousa Award, the Cole Outstanding Achievement Award, and is a third-year recipient of the Academic Excellence Scholarship.

Miller, who will receive the George and Peggy Schmidbauer Dean's Award in Theatre, is earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts with a concentration in acting and directing. His Mainstage credits include "A Midsummer Night's Dream," "Three Sisters," "Little Shop of Horrors," "Stage Door," "Romeo and Juliet" and, most recently, "Blood Wedding." He appeared in the student-directed productions "Tunnel of Love" and "Adam and the Experts." He was a cast member of The (New) Original Cast for one semester, and was also in the Fredonia Players' "Christmas Show." He is a member of Improv Strikes Back. Miller was the lighting designer for the student-directed production of "Lone Star." He appeared in the Summer Repertory Theatre production of "How I Became A Pirate", and he served as master electrician for the Summer Rep productions of "Godspell" and "Charlotte's Web." He recently served as one of the master electricians for this semester's opera theatre production. In addition, he is treasurer of the Beta Phi cast of Alpha Psi Omega and will serve as vice president next year. He was recently honored as one of two national Alpha Psi Omega Scholarship recipients for 2014-15.

Each student will be awarded $2,000 to be used to further his/her artistic endeavors.