May 2020
In this issue:  
  • Celebrating the Class of 2020
  • Commencement Profiles
  • CVPA Honors Retirees
  • Alumni, Faculty, and Staff News & Notes

  • In Memorium:  Dr. Herman Middleton

Dean bruce d. mcclung

From the Dean's Desk

In late March I crossed a deserted campus on my way to deposit a check at the Cashiers and Student Accounts Office. The check 
was a refund from Global Education Tours, the company that was managing the Orchestra's European Tour, which had been planned  for later this month with concerts booked in Germany, the 
Czech Republic, and Poland. On my way past the University Clocktower, I observed a member of the Class of 2020 in her graduation gown posing for a photographer. As the wind caught the material of her gown and she smoothed her hair, I called out, "Congratulations!" She waived back, holding her diploma cover high in the air. That image has stuck with me as we find ourselves preparing for a May without commencement because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The University is planning to hold a postponed ceremony for the Class of 2020 in the fall, perhaps during Homecoming or as a separate ceremony in December. Here in the College of Visual and Performing Arts, we are working to publicize the accomplishments of our graduates with a full-page ad planned for the May 10th edition of Greensboro's News & Record, running the names of graduates on the electronic signs at McIver and West Market Streets and on Tate Street, and including them in this issue of our e-Newsletter. Our advising team will be editing a video compilation of our graduates celebrating at home, which will run on social media and on CVPA's website along with a video of their names on the electronic signs.
Our Schools of Art, Dance, Music, and Theatre are planning individual ways to recognize graduates, such as preparing graduation programs for ceremonies that cannot be held on account of social distancing. Online awards ceremonies will replace the typical awards portion of graduation ceremonies, and online receptions will allow faculty and students a chance to socialize, and for faculty to congratulate graduates. Mementos of ceremonies that cannot occur will instead be mailed to graduates. All of us are pooling resources and ideas for how to recognize the significant artistic and academic accomplishments of the Class of 2020.
This month CVPA will confer 68 graduate degrees, including terminal MFA degrees in art, dance, and theatre, and the DMA and PhD degrees in music. Some of our music students have also earned post-baccalaureate certificates in composition, ethnomusicology, historical keyboard performance, music education, and performance, or a post-master's certificate in music theory pedagogy. In addition, CVPA will confer 209 undergraduate degrees. 
Twenty-three of these students have double majored in such subjects as African American and African diaspora studies; anthropology; biology; classical studies; English; history; kinesiology; languages, literatures, and cultures; liberal studies; media studies; psychology; social work; and Spanish. One student even triple majored in arts administration, music education, and performance!

We look forward to the time when we can honor our graduates in person, and the rites and traditions of UNC Greensboro's commencement can be reenacted again. Those include a 
red-carpet reception at the Alumni House and special toasts on the day before commencement and the ringing of the University Bell at the conclusion of the ceremony.  And rather than a lone graduate having her photograph taken on a deserted campus, we  can join together as a University community to celebrate the Class of 2020 with family, faculty, and friends.

bruce d. mcclung, Dean
College of Visual and Performing Arts

Read more about how CVPA is honoring the Class of 2020  here.
Maya Simmons after presenting at the 2020 Conference on
African American and African Diaspora Culture and Engagement 

Commencement Profile:  Maya Simmons '20
BA Art History, and African American and African Diaspora Studies

Maya Simmons is graduating with a double major -- a BA in Art History and in 
African American and African Diaspora Studies -- and she knows just how she plans to use both of them:
"I have loved art from a very young age.  As I started researching art historians and curators, I realized that there are not many people of color in this profession. I made it my goal to help diversify the field as much as possible, and create spaces of diversity and inclusion in museums and galleries."  Read her full Commencement Profile here.
Yophi Bost presenting her Junior Voice Recital accompanied by 
Jacob Dishman ('18 MM Piano Performance)

Commencement Profile:  Yophi Bost '20
BM Music Education, Minor in Musical Theatre

Yophi Bost says that majoring in music education was a pretty predictable path for her:

" My mom is an Actors' Equity Assocation actress, so my younger sister and I were pushed into professional musical theatre as toddlers.  I was singing before I learned to talk, and music has always been my passion. On top of that, all the role models I had growing up were educators, including my grandmother and great aunt who hold PhDs in education. This inspired me to want to teach and to teach something that I'm passionate about.  Arts Education changed my life, but coming from an impoverished rural area in Georgia, I was deprived of it until high school. Majoring in Arts Education is my way of ensuring that I can provide that experience to others."   Read her full Commencement Profile here.

CVPA Honors Retirees

In a virtual Closing Assembly this spring, CVPA recognized five faculty members and one staff member who are retiring this year.   Collectively, they have contributed 159 years to the life of UNC Greensboro!

Top row:  Gerg Carroll, George Dimock, Jim Fisher
Bottom row:  Jeff Gillis, Bob Hansen, David Nelson

Watch the Retirement Recognition presentation here.

Janet Allard (Associate Professor of Playwrighting) has been awarded a Faculty First grant in the amount of $5,000 for the development of a new musical.
Teri Bickham (Assistant Professor of Voice) has been awarded a Faculty First grant in the amount of $5,000 for her project "The Human Heart: The Art Songs of Dr. Elaine Ross." This project celebrates female artists and will be written, produced, and performed entirely by women. It will be released by Albany Records in 2021.
Erika Boysen  (Assistant Professor of Flute) has released Moving Sound, a video mobile App featuring three newly commissioned works for the singing, speaking, and moving flutist by David Biedenbender,  Mark Engebretson  (Professor of Composition and Electronic Music), and Jane Rigler. The App includes interactive elements that expand what constitutes an album.  Interviews from composers/collaborators and photos documenting the recording process provide a behind-the-scenes experience of commissioning, recording, and creating the App.  For more information, visit .

Rachel Briley (Professor of Theatre for Young Audiences) has received a Faculty First grant in the amount of $5,000 to support her return to Santiago, Chile to complete her fall 2019 research assignment, which she had to abandon when evacuated during a period of civil unrest.  Briley will return to finish teaching classes at Universidad Alberto Hurtado, conduct Friday Drama Workshops for the university community, continue to explore the techniques of miniature puppet street theatre (Lambe-Lambe Puppetry), reignite conversations with the Artistic Directors of La Llave Maestra, and engage colleagues at the US Embassy and the Fulbright Commission in Santiago.

Carol Ott Coehlo (Associate Professor of Conducting, Choral Music) has received CVPA's Outstanding Teaching Award for 2020.  Her nomination letter reads, "Ott Coehlo's outstanding work over her tenure at UNCG is well documented by exemplary performances, consistently praise-worthy student evaluations and complimentary peer review, and national and internationally recognized research and creative activities."

Jeff Gillis ( Research Operations Manager and Scene Shop Supervisor) is the recipient of a University Staff Excellence Award, which is annually presented to "two deserving permanent SHRA or EHRA non-faculty employees in recognition of Devotion to Duty, Innovation, Service, Human Relations, and Other Achievements going beyond the call of duty." Gillis's nomination letter reads, "Jeff works passionately with students from all degree tracks in the School of Theatre while imparting knowledge and skills in one of the most caring manners I have ever witnessed in supervisor/student relationships."

Ana Paula Höfling (Assistant Professor of Dance Studies) has been awarded a Faculty First grant in the amount of $5,000 to support research for chapter five of her second book, "Dancing Brazil's Other: Choreographies of Race, Class, and Nation."  Her first book, 
Staging Brazil: Choreographies of Capoeira (Wesleyan University Press, 2019), focused specifically on capoeira, and this second project asks how the notion of "Brazilian culture" has been conceptualized through dance -- which cultures within Brazil were selected as exemplary and how this cultural material was staged.
Andy Hudson (Assistant Professor of Clarinet) has received a UNCG Faculty First Grant in the amount of $5,000 to record an album of new music by women and non-binary composers. The featured composers include Cassie Wieland, Theresa Martin, Jessica Rudman, brin solomon, Rossa Crean, Ledah Finck, and UNCG alumna and current Princeton University Naumburg Doctoral Scholar Anna Meadors ('15 MM Music Composition).  Colleagues
Anthony Taylor (Associate Professor of Clarinet) and Inara Zandmane 
(Professor of Music - Accompanying) will also appear on the album, which is slated for release in the fall of 2021.

John Poole (Associate Professor of Theatre History) will step down on June 12th as Director of the School of Theatre. During the past four years, John's accomplishments as Director include improvements to Taylor Theatre (box office, elevator, audio infrastructure, dimmer controls, and Adwar video), the renovation of Sprinkle Theatre, the use of student fees to bring in guest artists, the transition of the Musical Theatre program from the Dean's Office to the School of Theatre, and the pending application to the University/Resident Theatre Association. John will return to teaching theatre history next year. 

Joan Titus (Associate Professor of Musicology) received a Kohler Award in the amount of $1,000 from the Committee on Discretionary Funds for International Programs to support her research, "Dmitry Shostacovich and Music for Stalinist Cinema: Follow-up Research in Moscow and Environs, and Course Preparation."
Lee Walton (Professor of New Media & Design, Interdisciplinary and Social Practice) will become the Associate Director of the School of Art beginning August 1st. The Associate Director position was created with the addition of the Arts Administration program to the School of Art.

Pat Wasserboehr (Professor of Ceramics & Sculpture) received a Kohler Grant in the amount of $1,000 from the Committee on Discretionary Funds for International Programs to support her research "Sculpting with Robots in Italy."

Eric Willie (Associate Professor of Percussion) has been awarded the Fulbright US Scholar Award to Brasil in Music.  Willie will lecture at the Universidade Federal de Pernambuco and the Universidade Federal de Alagoas as part of a project to "Study and Compare the Rhythms of the Maracatu Naçoes of Recife, Pernambuco and Maceió, Alagoas Brasil."  The Fulbright Program is the US government's flagship international educational exchange program and is designed to build lasting connections between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. Recipients of Fulbright awards are selected on the basis of academic and professional achievement, as well as record of service and demonstrated leadership in their respective fields.
Faculty and Staff News & Notes are compiled from self-submissions
 and  from the university news clips service.  

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Chris Chalk ('01 BFA Acting) has booked a role in the new Perry Mason to debut on HBO Noir on June 21st.  Watch the trailer here.
Justin P. Cowan ('14 BA, '16 MM, '18 DMA Music) has been named Associate Chair for the Department of Theatre Arts beginning this fall at Western Connecticut State University.  

Makayla Ferrick ('20 MFA Dance) has received CVPA's 2020 Outstanding Graduate Teaching Award.  In her artist statement, Ferrick writes, "I do not see a divide between my role as a working artist and my role as an educator; which I believe makes me a strong mentor, passionate teacher, and advocate. I believe that good teachers are those that are at the forefront of their craft because they emphasize through their practice, the importance of contributing to the field and thus being an example for students in and outside of the academia."   You can watch Ferrick's MFA thesis here on CVPA Virtual! 

Colin McDearman  ('16 MM Piano Performance) has accepted a doctoral assistantship at the Thornton School of Music of the University of Southern California, to begin in January 2021.

Gabby Tull ('20 MFA Dance) has accepted a tenure track Assistant Professor of Dance position at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, South Carolina.  Her MFA thesis is featured on CVPA Live! Watch it here

Catherine Bailey Wingler  ('18 BFA Studio Art) has been hired by Rowan-Cabarrus Community College to facilitate  Here's My Story , a $50,000 inclusive public art project funded by the Z Smith Reynolds Foundation.  This documentary will be aired on UNCTV's Muse program in Spring 2020, and the project, which highlights the stories of historically marginalized communities, will be unveiled in early summer.

A lumni News & Notes are compiled from self-submissions 
and from the university's news clip service. 
In Memorium:  Dr. Herman Middleton

Dr. Herman Middleton, Professor Emeritus of Theatre, passed away in Greensboro on April 12, 2020. 

Dr. Middleton was head of the then Theatre Department at UNC Greensboro from 1956 to 1990. During his tenure, both BFA 
and MFA degrees were added; formal studies in speech communication/communication disorders were included, necessitating a change in the department's title to Drama and Speech; a Children's Theatre was created; and a summer theater experience, Parkway Playhouse in Burnsville, NC, was included. 

Dr. Middleton's family has requested  that memorials be made to the Herman Middleton Scholarship Endowment at UNC Greensboro.  Checks should be made out to UNC Greensboro (indicate Herman Middleton Endowment on check) and mailed to Advancement Services, PO Box 26170, Greensboro, NC 27402. 
Gifts may also be made online here.   

Read the full tribute here.

Closing Spotlight:  

The recently completed Jan Van Dyke Courtyard in the Mary Channing Coleman Building named in memory of  Professor Emerita Jan Van Dyke ('89 EdD)  whose commitment to the art form  of Modern Dance made an impact on the  University, Greensboro, and North Carolina.  The courtyard was funded by Professor Emerita Sue Stinson, John Robins, and contributions from the Dance Enrichment Fund.