Kutztown University’s College of Visual and Performing Arts (VPA) has announced its annual Student and Faculty Art Excellence Awards.
The Faculty Excellence Award recognizes two VPA faculty members whose professional accomplishments positively impact the quality of students’ experiences at KU. This year’s winners include communication design professor Ann Lemon and communication studies professor Megan O’Byrne.
Lemon coordinated the recent Creative Royale competition at KU and continues to coordinate large-scale New York City design and advertising tours for communication design students with KU alumni. Dedicated to experiential learning, she assisted in the implementation of silkscreening in the Idea Lab and has offered seminars for graduate and undergraduate students to learn to silkscreen. Lemon has been a full-time faculty member at KU since 2011. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Delaware, a Master of Education in English from Kutztown University and a Master of Fine Arts in graphic design from Marywood University. She resides in Mohnton, Pa.
O’Byrne collaborates with colleagues from campus and around the country in her work and research. She is essential in the areas of general education and assessment, at times being the only professor teaching two major core courses, methods and capstone, for a semester. O’Byrne earned her doctorate in communication from the University of Utah.
The VPA Student Excellence Award recognizes one student from each of the six departments within VPA: art, art education, cinema, television and media production, communication design, communication studies and music. This year’s winners are Hadley Wiktor, Eirené Hoover, Tim Corrao, Gina Naseef, Emily Harrington and Adrianna Howden.
Wiktor is a student in the Department of Art, double majoring in art history and crafts with a double concentration in ceramics and textile arts. Wiktor is both a Dean’s List student and captain of the Golden Bears’ nationally-ranked field hockey team, where she was named a National Field Hockey Coaches Association Scholar of Distinction and Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Scholar-Athlete.
Hoover is a senior art education major. Hoover was nominated after an outstanding placement at Kutztown Middle School, where her talent and dedication went above and beyond. She is the daughter of a self-employed ornamental woodcarver, which helps nurture her own craft along with her involvement in the Kutztown Christian Fellowship.
Corrao is a student of cinema, television and media production. He is lauded as an exceptional student with a high degree of professionalism in every project he takes on. Carrao is also noted by both faculty and peers as being talented, funny and wildly creative.
Naseef is a student of communication design. She serves as the committee co-chair for the KU Chapter of the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) and has volunteered in Designathon and DesignRx over multiple years. Naseef is one of the head lab monitors in the KU Communication Design Print Lab and described as dedicated, collaborative and an excellent leader.
Harrington is a communications studies major who transferred from Lehigh Carbon Community College in 2018. In her short time at KU, she has joined the honors program, taken on the presidency of the Communication Club, earned straight A’s and maintained full-time employment. Harrington is collecting qualitative interview data about women’s experiences with endometriosis, an honors capstone project which she hopes to continue in graduate school.
Howden is a senior in the music performance program. Equally capable in playing oboe and piano, she was a winner of KU’s Fall 2019 concerto competition, competing with a demanding concerto for oboe and orchestra. She has also participated in a wide variety of chamber groups both as oboist and pianist, performing music from the Baroque to the 21st century with insight and conviction. Howden continues to perform music via recordings posted online during the covid-19 distanced learning.
More information on individual winners can be found on the VPA celebration website. For more information on Kutztown University’s College of Visual and Performing Arts programs, visit their website.