CAL Currents: The Newsletter of the College of Arts and Letters
Vol 4 | Issue 3 | April 2021
A Message from the Dean
This semester has been anything but routine around the College of Arts and Letters. From continuing to deal with the COVID pandemic while singing dancing and making music, to opening the spectacular new Ferman Center for the Arts, the College of Arts and Letters is constantly evolving.

In this issue of CAL Currents you'll hear about some of the excellent work being done by faculty and students around the College and you'll see inside the new Ferman Center that is home to just about half of the faculty and programs in CAL. You'll also hear about another new graduate program (our second in two years), and read about numerous ways CAL continues to prepare students for professional and personal success.

That, by the way, is something I think about frequently as I walk around the new Ferman Center for the Arts - it is a building about much more than the visual and performing arts and humanities. It is a place where creativity, innovation, effective communication and collaboration thrive.

I had a chance to explain to the Tampa Bay Business Journal that these are the skills that will take students into many different professional contexts, and I look forward to seeing how the faculty and students in the College of Arts and Letters animate the spaces of the Ferman Center for years to come.
David Gudelunas, Ph.D.
Dean, College of Arts and Letters
The Ferman Center for the Arts Dedication
With four floors of studios, labs and performance venues, the new facility is a home for CAL creativity
Celia and Jim Ferman and family, Charlene and Mardy Gordon and Liz and Jim MacLeod were all on campus in February for their first look into the recently finished, and by all measures spectacular, Ferman Center for the Arts.

While a larger opening is planned for Fall when more members of the UT and Tampa Bay community can gather safely, the small ribbon cutting ceremony was a way for faculty and students in the College of Arts and Letters to express their gratitude for the generous support of those who made the building possible. Those with their names on and in the building were treated to special performances and tours that showcased the amazing versatility of the new academic building. Later in March members of the CAL Advisory Board were also treated to a "first look" inside the new building.

You can see some exclusive photos of The Ferman Center for the Arts in the Tampa Bay Business Journal and read coverage from 83 Degrees.
CAL Student Excellence
Music students garner national honors
Faith Kopecky, Carley Heskett, Alexis Ault, Virsi Melo, and Katherine Knippel were recognized by the Tampa Bay Chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing in each of the following areas:
  • 1st Year College Women (Classical): Virsi Melo – 3rd Place
  • 2nd Year College Women (Classical): Alexis Ault – 1st Place
  • 3rd Year College Women (Classical): Faith Kopecky – 2nd Place
  • 4th/5th Year College Women (Classical): Katherine Knippel – 2nd Place
  • Upper Div. of College Women (Musical Theatre): Faith Kopecky – 2nd Place
  • Upper Division College Women (Musical Theatre): Carley Heskett – 3rd Place
ADPR majors recognized at ADDY awards
Students James Houlahan, Jasmin Jewell, Emma Lynch, & Madelyn Sprinkle just won the "Pick of the Pros" from the American Advertising Federation Tampa Bay Student ADDYs for their creative advertising campaign work they did for The North Face in their Advertising Creative Direction class with Dr. Minjie Lie.
Communication and Speech Studies and MAPC students shine at Florida Communication Association meeting
The Florida Communication Association concluded its 90th annual conference at the end of February. Eleven undergraduate students, six graduate students, and several faculty from the Communication and Speech Studies Program presented and at the conference and many others participated.

  • Tamar Shimon, an undergraduate communication and speech studies/chemistry major, won the Best Undergraduate Paper award.
  • Marte Marshall, a graduate student in the Master of Professional Communication program, won the FCA Grant.
  • Lauren Steed, undergraduate actuarial science major, won the Poster Award for Best Research Question/Topic with her teammates Tiffany Maziarz and Thomas McMullen.
  • Vreanna Bautista, an undergraduate advertising and public relations major, and Maddison Olley (an undergraduate biology major) won the Poster Award for Best Oral Presentation.
  • Prof. Kristen Foltz (pictured left), Assistant Professor of Communication and Speech Studies, won the FCA President’s Award.
CAL Newsmakers
The College of Arts and Letters is a place where great things happen...and media notice.
CAL Alumna goes from pages of The Washington Post to the halls of the Ferman Center
UT Alumna Nneka Jones ('20) was selected by the Gasparilla Arts Festival as one of 15 emerging artists back in 2019. The following year, TIME magazine commissioned her to design the cover for their issue, “The New American Revolution.” Jones has also been featured on the popular NowThis media channel for her artwork and recently was commissioned by The Washington Post to do a portrait of Vice President Kamala Harris.

One of her latest pieces, “Special Delivery,'" is on display in the Ferman Center for the Arts as part of that building's permanent collection curated by Prof. Jocelyn Boigenzahn. Creative Loafing has details in a recent profile of Jones.
Film major's internship with UT alum in spotlight
Senior Abby Byrne got the chance to participate in a life-changing internship with UT Alumnus, Doug Tower. With Tower, Byrne was able to work on projects for HGTV, FOX, and Discovery. Byrne has also been offered a job at Tower’s company post-graduation. In an article by Bobby Lewis at 10 Tampa Bay, Byrne said, “I think without UT I definitely would not have been able to grow and learn the fundamental skills and learn kind of the basics of the industry, so I definitely appreciate them preparing me and getting me ready for the real world. Tampa will always have a special place in my heart.”

Check out the story from CBS-10 here.
Part-time faculty member chosen to create gift of "unity" for NFL owners ahead of Super Bowl
Part-time CAL professor Ya Levy La’ford was chosen to create a Super Bowl commemorative gift of art for the NFL team owners. La’ford created one painting, SUN-SPHERE, from which 75 prints were made. According to La’ford, “SUN-SPHERE is a dramatic geometric abstract tribute created for each NFL team owner that bridges the energizing power of art, sports and community with the memorable experience of Super Bowl 55 in sunny Tampa Bay” (White, 2021).

Check out the article about La'ford here.
Graphic Design major scores big
University of Tampa senior graphic design major Patchanit Sriviroch was given an opportunity of a lifetime to design the Super Bowl Host Committee logo for Super Bowl 55. Sriviroch’s internship with Schifino Lee presented her with this opportunity in the summer of 2019. Sriviroch spend three months working to perfect the logo. A year and a half later, the Super Bowl Host Committee chose to use Sriviroch’s logo incorporating a Gasparilla pirate ship, five sails for Tampa Bay’s fifth Super Bowl, and five laces of a football for the “Forever 55” social initiative (Hinds, 2021).

Art History professor on Black History Month artwork
Visiting Professor of Art History Dr. Mora Beauchamp-Byrd provided commentary about Nick Cave's artwork at the Tampa International Airport as part of Black History Month. See the video here.
New partnerships prepares Film majors for the technological future
Prof. Gregg Perkins, FMX, was featured in the Tampa Bay Business Journal discussing a groundbreaking partnership with Diamond View Studios that will train film majors on bleeding edge digital technologies being pioneered at the company's Tampa headquarters. The new studio features one of the largest LED volumes in the country. Diamond View's CEO, Tim Moore, serves on the CAL Board of Advisors.
Art Therapy professor heard on NPR
Prof. Angel Duncan, part-time professor of Art Therapy, was interviewed on NPR in January about her work on various projects relating to art therapy, health, and wellness. She discusses teaching at the University of Tampa and her experiences with her students. Listen to the interview here.
Senior Art major profiled in Caribbean media
Marie-Ange Pollonais, University of Tampa senior, is a Trinidadian visual artist double majoring in Art & Graphic Design. Featured in Carib Voxx, Pollonais discusses how she wants her art to affect people. “I wanted to open a window for the community within art and break social barriers,” Pollonais shared with Stefan Bowes of Carib Voxx. The avant-garde artist wants to change society’s viewpoints about homophobia, misplaced religious loyalty, and the LGBTQ community – especially Carribbean society. Pollonais believes her art can help shape the cultural identity of the Caribbean (Bowes, 2021).
CAL Faculty Achievements
The College of Arts and Letters is home to dynamic community of scholars and creatives
Assistant Professor Dr. Lina Gomez-Vasquez was recognized by Public Relations Society of America Tampa Bay for her outstanding contributions to programming initiatives. She received the “2020 PRSA Tampa Bay President’s Award.”
Dr. Andrew DeMil, Associate Professor of Spanish and Portuguese, and student Alysha Assaf were recently accepted for publication by The Florida Undergraduate Research Conference. Lauren Wilenski and Rachel Kozikowski have also been accepted for publication by FURC, the Southeastern Conference on Linguistics and the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship.
The first Biannual Conference of the Center for José Martí Studies Affiliate was held January 28-30th via Zoom. Dr. James López and Dr. Denis Rey of the University of Tampa were on the Conference Organizing Committee. The overall objective of the conference was to share scholarship as well as creative and pedagogical projects related to the Center.
Assistant Professor of Art Jaime Aelavanthara curated an online Cyanotype exhibition for LA-based Analog Forever magazine that featured works from three UT students: Zane Willard, Courtney Pasterchick and Elijah Gresham.

The latest issues of Studies in the Fantastic, published by The University of Tampa Press, features artwork by Assistant Professor of Art + Design Ry McCullough on the cover. The peer-reviewed journal is edited by English and Writing faculty member Dr. Sarah Juliet Lauro with Dr. Steven Mollman serving as the Assistant Editor.
MA in Social and Emerging Media Launches Fall 21
The University of Tampa College of Arts and Letters announced a new master’s program that will launch this fall [pending approval from SACSCOC]. The MA in Social and Emerging Media blends technology and creativity. “In addition to receiving hands-on media training, students will have a chance to network and collaborate in Tampa’s vibrant downtown and gain marketable skills that are immediately applicable in a variety of fields,” Dr. Stephanie Tripp, program co-director, said.

To learn more about the program, click here.

Read the Tampa Bay Business Journal article featuring the program co-director Stephanie Tripp here.
Happening Around CAL
Can't miss end-of-semester events
  • April 11, 2 PM - Honors Music Recital, Charlene A. Gordon Theater

  • April 15 -17, 9PM - The musical "Little Women," Falk Theater

  • Through April 16, Daily: The Boomer List photography exhibit in partnership with the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts, Scarfone/Hartley Gallery

  • April 18, 2 PM - Faculty Guest Recital featuring Scott Kluksdahl, Grigorios Zamparas and Hein Jung, Charle A. Gordon Theater

  • April 21, 2 PM - CAL student Awards, Falk Theater

  • April 22, 7 PM - Spartan Story Slam, Charlene and Mardy Gordon Performance Gallery

  • April 23, 4 PM - NEON Student Reading, Charlene and Mardy Gordon Performance Gallery

  • April 23, 12 PM and 7:30 PM - "When Frank met Ella," Ferman Center BlackBox Theater

  • April 23 - May 7, Daily, Art+Design Senior BFA Show, Scarfone/Hartley Gallery
Give Day is April 13th!
While there is never a bad day day to support the visual and performing arts and the humanities, Give Day is an especially good one to do so!

On April 13th the UT community will be asked to go "All in for UT" as part of the annual Give Day and students from the College of Arts and Letters will be participating in a special presentation at 1 PM you can stream from anywhere.

For more information on how to watch head here and to make your gift to the College of Arts and Letters, visit here. Thank you!