This archive contains class notes prior to October 2020. Visit our Class Notes page for more recent submissions.

The industrial and interaction design (IID) program in the School of Design reports that several IID alumni presented at the Industrial Designers Society of America’s (IDSA) virtual International Design Conference this month: Basak Altan (BID ’97), Chris Hosmer (BID ’00), Ayana Patterson (BID ’06), and James Rudolph (BID ’06).

Daina Mattis (MFA ’11) had her solo show, Family Style, featured in Design Milk by David Behringer of The Two Percent. The show was on view at High Noon Gallery in New York City August 6-September 20. View the exhibition catalog.

Last summer, Carlton Daniel (MFA ’17) wrote and directed a short film in Syracuse titled Homegoing. The film stars Malik Shakur (nephew of the late Tupac Shakur) and Khalil Kain (Juice). Homegoing touches upon themes of racialized policing, gun violence, the racial wealth gap, and toxic masculinity. The film has screened at Outfest Fusion, Palm Springs, and the Atlanta Film Festival. Earlier this month, Light Work’s Urban Video Project screened the film in Syracuse at the Everson Museum Plaza. Learn more and view the trailer.

Dani Pendergast (BFA ’17, MFA ’20) is the featured artist in Communication Arts, one of the industry's premiere publications.

Jordyn White (BS ’17) has worked at the National Football League (NFL) as a public affairs coordinator (public relations for off-field/social responsibility) for the past year and a half.

Widline Cadet (MFA ’20) is one of four artists who have been named 2020-21 artists-in-residence at The Studio Museum in Harlem. The artist-in-residence program advances the work of visual artists of African and Latino descent and has supported more than 100 graduates who have gone on to highly regarded careers.

Marion Behr (BFA ’61, MFA ’62), who is owner/principal of WWH Press LLC, was selected as Top Professional of the Year in Writing and the Arts by the International Association of Top Professionals for her outstanding leadership, dedication and commitment to the profession.

Darren Sanefski (BFA ’85), associate professor of multiple platform journalism and associate director of the Magazine Innovation Center at the School of Journalism and New Media at the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss), recently co-authored the textbook "Effective Graphic Design,” which introduces projects first and covers design concepts and tools as they are needed. He is also a Society for News Design board member (education director). 

LaToya Ruby Frazier (MFA ’07) presented “What Is the Human Cost of Toxic Water and Environmental Racism?” as part of the TED Radio Hour episode “Our Relationship with Water.”

As a student, Mitchel C. Resnick (BFA ’76) spent two and half years painting murals onsite in Jabberwocky, the on-campus night club at Kimmel Hall that hosted such artists as James Taylor, Bonnie Raitt, Cyndi Lauper, Jackson Browne, James Brown, and Talking Heads. After Jabberwocky closed in 1985, the murals were stored in a small office in New York’s Hudson Valley, where they survived a fire, and then moved to a private residence. Recently Mitchel gifted the panels back to the University, with plans for both temporary and permanent exhibitions in the works. He is “honored and humbled” to have been able to make this gift. View examples of his fine art.

Tracy (Skinner) Williams (BFA ’82, MFA ’91) had her two-page paper doll "Iryna" appear in the Spring 2020 issue of Doll Castle News.

Terri Ginsberg (BFA ’85) has co-edited a new scholarly collection, “Cinema of the Arab World: Contemporary Directions of Theory of Practice” (Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan, 2020). Among her other publications over the past several years is the monograph “Visualizing the Palestinian Struggle: Towards a Critical Analytic of Palestine Solidarity Film” (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016), and an edited special issue on film and video of the International Journal of Contemporary Iraqi Studies (2016). Ginsberg received a Ph.D. in cinema studies from NYU and is presently assistant professor of film and former director of the film program at The American University in Cairo.

Jerome Harris Parmet (BFA ’57) is a former interior design major who retired in 1997 and now practices creating and fabricating steel sculpture as the further expression of his artistic capabilities. In December his painted steel sculpture Coming Together was selected by the city of Alpharetta, Georgia, for inclusion in its Omnium Gatherum Outdoor Sculpture Project, which is on view through April 2021 in Wills Park. View his work at

Becki Davis (Bradford) (BS '69) recently appeared in AMC's The Preacher (second season), HBO’s True Detectives (third season), TNT's Claws (second season), and Hulu's Looking for Alaska. She is filming Showtime's Your Honor.

James Little (MFA ’76) was featured in the New York Times in the “Show Us Your Wall” feature “Color and Design Matter. So Does Optimism.”

Multidisciplinary artist Lisa Levy (BFA ’78) revisited one of her first projects upon arriving in New York City in 1978 when she sold “Studio 54 Reject” t-shirts outside the famous nightclub. In early March she sold a limited edition of the t-shirts outside the opening of the Brooklyn Museum’s Studio 54: Night Magic exhibition. Read more about the performance.

Megan C. Austin (MA ’12) has joined Montclair State as the new director of the University Galleries. Her significant experience in academic museums includes serving as the director and curator of the Barrett Art Gallery at Utica College and as the associate director of the Wellin Museum of Art at Hamilton College.

Grant C. Dinsmore (BFA '63, MFA '67), an illustration major, retired from La Roche University, in Pittsburgh with the rank of professor emeritus following 33 years of service. He also served as an

NCO in the Marine Corps Reserve from 1963 to 1969. His late wife Barbara was a 1967 graduate of VPA.

Debra (Rusenthal) Russell (BFA ’92) has been named to the professional advisory board for the National Basketball Wives Association. She is a business coach and speaker for artist and athlete entrepreneurs pursuing their passion as a business.

Jason Cicci (BFA ’93) co-created and wrote the original series Cady Did for Tony Award-winner Cady Huffman. Inspired by her turn on Curb Your Enthusiasm, Cady plays a fictional version of herself, facing an uncertain future. Jason is also the co-founder of Make Your Show, a business that creates content for actors.

Elaine de la Mata (BFA ’93) started a new position as design manager of preschool at leading toy company Spin Master in Los Angeles.

Lauren O’Brien (BFA ’01) is the writer and performer of Jaxx & Lolo – A Friendship Show, inspired by her real-life outsider friendship with punk-poet Jackie Sheeler. Jaxx & Lolo brings the audience along on a surreal and harrowing journey as Lolo battles the threat of Jaxx's suicide. Directed by Christine Renee Miller, the show will run at the Kraine Theater in New York City February 22-March 7 as part of FRIGID New York. Learn more.

Salehe Bembury (BID ’10), who is vice president of sneakers and men’s footwear at Versace, was featured on Hypebeast’s “Business of Hype” weekly series. He credits the School of Design’s industrial and interaction design program with helping him become “a ‘design Renaissance man.’”

Paul Weiner (BFA ’15) was named by the Daily Collector as one of “20 Painters Who Are Shaping the New Decade.”

Peter Hartsock (BFA ’19) and Daniel Simoni (BFA ’19), who founded 410 Pictures, a midnight movie production house, while studying film at VPA, had the award-winning short film Optic Nerve, directed by Peter, premiere in Hollywood at the IndieX Film Fest February screening.

Marisa Sage (BFA ’01) was profiled by Hyperallergic in its series of interviews spotlighting creative community members in the U.S. Southwest. Marisa is the director and head curator of the New Mexico State University Art Museum in Las Cruces.

Colin Bannon (BFA ’07) had his script First Ascent purchased by Netflix for six figures. Jake Scott will direct the script, which is set in the world of mountain climbing.

Leah Testa (BFA ’11) was promoted to associate director of merchandise and retail operations for USA Track and Field (USATF). Leah oversees the merchandise department and is responsible for forecasting and buying the merchandise sold in the Team USATF Store and at events throughout the country.

James Martin (BS ’19) is press secretary for New Jersey Congressman Josh Gottheimer. James is responsible for interacting with press on a daily basis, managing the congressman’s social media, organizing press events, and writing speeches.

Karen (Kuracina) Harris (BFA ’65) is having the the solo show Mixed Media Mélange through December 2 at Le Moyne College’s Wilson Art Gallery in the Noreen Reale Falcone Library. Work from the exhibition was featured in the Syracuse Post-Standard. Harris creates abstract works of art that evoke the viewers’ senses and imaginations.

Eric Leeb (BFA ‘88) is co-starring in season 3, episode 6, of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel on Amazon Prime.

Julia (Pitcher) Worcester (BM ’02) graduated with a juris doctorate from University of Baltimore School of Law in 2014 then had her son, Colt, in 2015 and second son, Oliver, in 2017. In July 2019 she joined the Pharmaceutical Research & Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) in their D.C. headquarters as the director of state policy & advocacy. Julia and her husband, Key, live outside of Annapolis, Maryland, with their two boys. While once an avid singer and political campaign operative, she now lists her hobbies as chasing toddlers around the house and drinking wine after chasing toddlers around the house, and sometimes singing in the car on her daily commute.

Leslie Noble (MFA ’09) recently worked with Syracuse Stage associate artistic director Kyle Bass to produce and direct his play Possessing Harriet at Franklin Stage Company in Franklin, New York, where she serves as the co-artistic director. This was only the second professional production of this play, which premiered at Syracuse Stage last fall. The cast included Erin Christine Walsh (BFA ’16). Leslie also reports that Zabelle, Nancy Kricorian’s award-winning novel about one woman’s survival of the Armenian Genocide, was produced by Egg & Spoon as part of its 2019-2020 Season at Access Theater. The piece was originally created and produced at VPA’s Department of Drama in 2015. It was directed and adapted by Noble, then a faculty member in the department, and devised by the ensemble of Sarineh Garapetian (BFA ’16)Julián GarnikCatherine Giddings (BFA ’17), and Lindsey Newton (BFA ’17). Those four artists returned to the piece almost five years later to launch Egg & Spoon’s third season with Adam Coy (BFA’ 17) directing. Read more about the production.

Olivia Accardo (BFA ’15) is a Fall 2019 Future of Film is Female fund recipient. She received a post-production grant for her documentary Finding Beast.

Grant Dinsmore (BFA ’63, MFA ’67) retired in 2007 from La Roche University in Pittsburgh and was awarded faculty emeritus status after 33 years of service there. He had previously been employed at Penn State.

Fred B. Hershey (BFA ’63) of Burlingame Interiors, LTD, shares that his firm now has a new website that showcases many examples of their work, including their latest projects:

Lisa Levy (BFA ’78) had the exhibition “But What Do You Think of My Work?” at the Satellite Art Fair in Brooklyn earlier this month. She collaborated on paintings with artist Sharilyn Neidhardt.

Jane R. Snyder (MFA ’78) had her story Mr. Kops published in issue #23 of the Toronto-based English-language journal , which showcases the finest contemporary writing on Jewish themes and is read in more than 140 countries. The tale introduces Abby, a perceptive eight-year-old who makes an unusual offer to her Hebrew School teacher.

Kinsey Robb (BFA ’04) recently joined Galerie Perrotin as the artists and exhibitions liaison for their New York space. Prior to joining she held artist liaison positions at Lehmann Maupin and Gagosian Gallery. This fall she will be working on forthcoming exhibitions for artists Chen Fei and Lee Bae. Learn more.

Mark Blane (BS ’11) wrote, directed, and stars in the feature film “Cubby,” a coming-of-age comedy that will be released in theaters in New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles on November 1. The film premiered in international competition at Torino LGBTQ International Festival and has played festivals in Barcelona, Spain; Toronto; Los Angeles (Outfest); San Francisco (Frameline); Dublin, Ireland; Stockholm, Sweden; Chicago; Fort Lauderdale, Florida; and others. The film is the New York Centerpiece screening at the 31st Annual NewFest LGBTQ Film Festival in New York City on October 25. After showing at the TCL Chinese Theaters at Outfest in July, Mark was signed by Frontline Management's Craig Dorfman for future acting/directing/writing and is currently shooting as a recurring character on a new J.J. Abrams television series due out in 2020.

Two VPA alumni were among the winners at the 71st Emmy Awards: Tony Zajkowski (BFA ’88) was part of the “Queer Eye” editing team that won the Emmy for Outstanding Picture Editing for a Structured Reality or Competition Program. Joshua Guillaume (BFA ’14) was the compositing supervisor among a team at Framestore who completed “Free Solo: 360,” which won an Emmy for Outstanding Creative Achievement in Interactive Media Within an Unscripted Program. In addition, seven VPA alumni received nominations: Ellen Burke (BFA ’11), production manager, “HQ Trivia”; Vera Farmiga (BFA ’95), actress, “When They See Us”; David Hyman (BS ’75), nominated twice in in his roles as producer of “The Good Place” and co-executive producer of “Veep”; Kevin M. Richardson (BS ’88), voice actor, “The Stinger”; Kent Sublette (BFA ’91), head writer, “Saturday Night Live”; Briana Vowels (BFA ’05), supervising producer, “American Ninja Warrior”; and Christopher White (BFA ’94), visual effects supervisor, “Umbrella Academy.”

Robert L. Kasprzycki (BID ’74, MS ’96, MBA ’99) , owner/artist of Kasprzycki Artistry in Fayetteville, New York, will have an  art exhibition  Nov. 5 through Dec. 7 at the Adirondack Lakes Center for the Arts in Blue Mountain Lake, New York. He also recently published the novel  The Talisman , available Sept. 30 at most major book retailers.

Renee Cox (BFA ’78)  was recently appointed an assistant professor of visual arts at Columbia University. This fall she will be exhibiting work in group shows at the African American Museum in Philadelphia, Maccarone Gallery LA (Los Angeles), and Pen + Brush in New York City. She will also have a solo show at Cathouse Proper in Brooklyn, New York, and her  Baby Back  (2001) will tour America through 2024 as part of  Posing Beauty in African American Culture . She also photographed Nick Cave for the cover of  The New York Times Magazine , which will be released this October.

Helen Zughaib (BFA ’81)   and her father,  Elia Zughaib (BA ’51, MA ’52, PhD ‘57) , have published the book  Stories My Father Told Me  (Cune Press), a collection of 25 stories of Elia’s growing up in Damascus, Syria, under the French Mandate and his young adulthood in Lebanon before he immigrated to America in 1946. Helen painted each story included in the book.

Anthony J. “Tony” Zajkowski (BFA ’88)   is part of the editing team for the reality television show  Queer Eye , which won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Picture Editing for a Structured Reality or Competition Program.

Cheryl Powell (MA ’98)  is having a show of oil and watercolor paintings based on the town of Maysville, Kentucky, Oct. 4-28 at the Cox Gallery in Maysville. An opening reception will be held on Friday, Oct. 4, from 5-7 p.m. Visit Cheryl’s  website  for more information.

Wesley Clark (BFA ’01)   is having the solo exhibition  Reparations: Some are Just Owed and Some More than Others  through Oct. 31 at Galerie Myrtis in Baltimore.

Writer/director  J.D. Dillard (VPA ’10)  had “ An Open Letter To the Man Who Yelled “Go Back To Africa” At Me ” published in McSweeney’s.

Ozan Atalan (MFA ’16)  is showing the installation  Monochrome  (concrete, soil, water buffalo skeleton, video, 2019) at the 16th Istanbul Biennial. He also held the conversation “Anthropocentrism and Animal Breeding,” a discussion of the water buffalos of Istanbul, with Prof. Dr. Serhat Alkan of Istanbul University.

Vera Farmiga (BFA ’95) received an Emmy Award nomination for the role of Elizabeth Lederer in the limited series When They See Us. The Emmys will be awarded on Sept. 22.

James O. Welsch (MM ’07) is conductor of the El Paso (Texas) Youth Orchestra and was interviewed on KFOX14 in connection with the recent “This Is El Paso” benefit concert.

Nilo Alcala (MM ’09) won the 2019 American Prize in Composition in the choral division (major works), for his composition Manga Pakalagian (Ceremonies). The American Prize is the nation's most comprehensive series of non-profit competitions in the performing arts, unique in scope and structure, designed to recognize and reward the best performing artists, ensembles, and composers in the United States based on submitted recordings.

Ben Holtzman (BFA ’13) was selected as the next Geraldine Stutz T. Fellow in the one-year program designed to educate and empower new creative producers. Fellows receive a stipend of $10,000 with a $20,000 budget for the development of a new theatrical production and have access to courses in Columbia University School of the Arts’ M.F.A. theatre management and producing program. Holtzman is a co-producer on Be More Chill.

Ken Rush (BFA ’71) will have 12 new paintings, Skies and Subways, on view June 25-July 31 at the George Billis Gallery in New York City, with an opening reception on June 27. This summer he will also have work, Summer Skies, featured at the 3 Pears Gallery in Dorset, Vermont, with an opening on July 13.

Sally Gladden (MA ’73) has showcased her three original plays that appear in her recent book Geepers, I Love You with the Sullivan County (New York) Dramatic Workshop. Geepers is a full-length play taking place in the Depression era, with her dad, Parker, as the sole Fayetteville barber, and the effects of these times on his small village and its people; Linger A While (one act) is an irreverent look at how we treat oldsters; and Grave Secrets (one act) features deceased ones who finally get to say what they really wanted to.

Ania Majsterek (BS ’18) is a social media engagement associate with Redbox Movies.

Tony Award-winning producer Jane Dubin (BS ’57) is a co-producer of The Prom, which is nominated for seven Tony Awards this year, including Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical, Best Original Score, Best Direction of a Musical, and three Best Acting awards.

Tony Award-winning costume designer Susan Hilferty (BFA ’75) received the 2019 TDF/Irene Sharaff Lifetime Achievement Award in April. She credits a trip to London as a Syracuse University student studying abroad with opening her eyes to the world of theater. Her Broadway credits include WickedPresent Laughter, and Into the Woods.

Linda Troeller (MFA ’75) will have the exhibition Linda Troeller: Apolda - New Yorkfrom June 8 to August 4 at Gallery Kulturfabrik Apolda in Apolda, Germany. An opening reception will be held on June 28 at 7 p.m. The exhibition celebrates her many pictures connecting the Tuscany of the East, Thuringia, in all its beauty in nature as well as in the wellness and spa world with her home New York City and her many travels all over the world. To learn more, visit Linda’s website.

Bob Chancia (BFA ’78) and Dick Chancia (BFA ’58) co-author a column in the Utica Observer-Dispatch about growing up in the 40s and 50s in Utica, New York, and Central New York. To date, 21 stories have been published, some with references of their experiences at Syracuse University in the 50s. All include photos and are upbeat, nostalgic vignettes about good times in all the old familiar places.

Kansas City, Missouri-based illustrator Shane W. Evans (BFA ’93) and actor/authorTaye Diggs (BFA ’93), who together publish acclaimed children’s books, presented a conversation in April at the UMKC-Pierson Auditorium in Kansas City in celebration of family literacy.

Jason Read (BFA ’06) was promoted to principal lighting designer at Walt Disney Imagineering.

Donathan L. Brown (MA ’08) was named the RIT assistant provost and assistant vice president for faculty diversity and recruitment effective August 15. While overseeing the Office of Faculty Diversity and Recruitment, he will provide institutional leadership for the effective recruitment and advancement of a diverse and excellent faculty. He is currently an associate professor in the Department of Communication Studies at Ithaca College.

Hannah Corneau (BFA ’10) made her Broadway debut as Elphaba in the international hit musical Wicked on May 14 at the Gershwin Theatre.

Ben Holtzman (BFA ’13) and Sammy Lopez (BFA ’13) are producing a new musical, Gun & Powder, which will have its world premiere at Signature Theatre in Arlington, Virginia, in January 2020. Ross Baum (BFA ’12) is composing the music for the show. Ben and Sammy are co-producers of the Broadway musical Be More Chill, which is nominated for a 2019 Tony Award for Best Original Score.

Tatiana Fenner (BS ’16) is an independent producer/storyteller. Recently she served on the submissions committee (festival programming) for the Lower East Side Film Festival; was a producer of the independent film The People of Climbing; and was a producer’s assistant to Tiffany Marie-Soto on the Ty Dolla$ ft. J.Cole music video for “Purple Emoji.” She also appeared on the TBS show The Last O.G.with Tracy Morgan.

Helen Slayton-Hughes (BS ’51) is librettist and lyricist for the musical Limberlost, based on Gene Stratton Porter’s (blockbuster!) 1909 novel A Girl of the Limberlost, which is being showcased in a program with the Sierra Club in Los Angeles. Professionally an actress, she is also featured in Entertainment Weekly (week of April 11 issue) in connection with her recurring guest-star role as Ethel Beavers in Parks and Recreation.

Recent publications by Beverly Jerold Scheibert (BM ’60, MM ’61) include “Tartini and the Two Forms of Appoggiature,” Eighteenth Century Music 16/1 (2019): 83-86; “Pascal Boyer: A Pioneer in Journalistic Music Criticism,” Fontes Artis Musicae, 65/3 (2018): 146-56; and “A Vindication of Ferdinand Hiller,” Journal of Musicological Research 37/2 (2018): 141-65 as well as The Complexities of Early Instrumentation: Winds and Brass (Turnhout: Brepols, 2015) and Music Performance Issues: 1600-1900(Hillsdale, N.Y.: Pendragon, 2016). Forthcoming are “A 1760 Dream for Better Performance Standards,” The Musical Times, (2019) and “Marmontel/[Piccinni] on Neapolitan Opera,” French Music Criticism Network (Brepols).

Ken Rush (BFA ’71) was featured in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle for his oil painting of the S.W. Bowne Grain Storehouse.

Karen Guancione (BFA ’81) showed work in the online group exhibition Artists Fight Trump curated by artist/ activist Patricia Dahlman.

Allison Buchsbaum Barnett (BFA ’91) and her husband, Ivan Barnett, celebrated 20 years of running Patina Gallery in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Patina represents nearly 100 artists from around the world. The gallery has become a space where connoisseurs can heighten their senses in a world of surface, texture, and color against a backdrop that is itself a dynamic and organic work of art.

Nenad Vukovic (BS ’17) is an actor at the Dallas Theater Center in Texas.

Teona Yamanidze (MFA ’18) will have Presence, her first public presentation of works in New York City, hosted by the Consulate General of Georgia. The exhibition is curated by Mariam Charlton. An opening reception will be held on April 18 from 7-9 p.m.

After a 14-year career in retail advertising, Fr. Michael J. Nicosia (BFA ’77) pursued a religious vocation, using his artistic talents as a liturgical consultant and in various chaplaincy and parish ministries. Ordained in the Ecumenical Catholic Communion in 2012, he currently serves as the Presiding Bishop’s Vicar to the Rocky Mountain Region and as a member of the Colorado Council of Churches’ Judicatory Board and Board of Directors. A cabaret singer and Native American flute musician, his company Spirit Songs provides musical programs for retirement and assisted living facilities. He also plans and presides over traditional and unique weddings, funerals, and other rituals. With an online store featuring his artwork, he exhibits at various venues around the greater Denver area. A member of the Aurora Arts Guild, he is honored to have repeatedly received 2-D Best in Show awards in their Gateway to the Rockies Art Show in 2016, 2017 and 2018; last year he also took first place in miniatures.

Max Sullivan (BS ’90) has a new job as director of casting business operations for RWS Entertainment Group. He oversees two casting departments: RWS Casting, which provides entertainment for cruise ships (Holland America and Azamara Club Cruises), more than 20 theme parks, and corporate events; and Binder Casting, which casts for Broadway (The Lion King), numerous regional theaters, commercials, television, and film.

Erika Colon (BS ’05) has been working for MTV/Viacom International for close to nine years and is currently a senior coordinator for the MTV International Talent and Music Team. She works across all MTV award shows, including the VMAs, EMAs in Europe, and MTV MIAWS in Mexico City; talent bookings; shoots and more. She is also a food influencer who started her own Instagram/blog account, nyc_brunchbabes, where she posts about her food experiences all over New York City and the world.

J.T. Wolohan (BS ’13) recently launched the first two chapters of his book Python for Big Datasets (Manning Publications). The book teaches you how to write easily readable, easily scalable Python code that can efficiently process large volumes of structured and unstructured data. With an emphasis on clarity, style, and performance, J.T. expertly guides readers through implementing a functionally influenced approach to Python coding.

Last summer Wayne Williams (BFA ’58, MFA ’62), a sculptor and professor emeritus at Finger Lakes Community College in Canandaigua, N.Y., placed a life-size sculpture in bronze at the new veterans memorial cemetery in Duluth, Minn. The piece was casting sections and assembled and finished by the artist. It was commissioned by the Northern Minnesota Vietnam Veterans group. His work is represented by Oxford Gallery in Rochester N.Y.

Ken Rush (BFA ’71) had his 1971 painting Brooklyn Bridge and the World Trade Center, one of the first paintings he created when he arrived in Brooklyn, N.Y., accepted into the permanent collection of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum. The work depicts the Trade Center Towers as they neared completion. Ken’s 1988 painting Mid-day at Coney Island is now on view at the Brooklyn Historical Society. The work captures the people and flavors of a typical summer day on the boardwalk in the late 1980s. The painting can be viewed during the museum’s public hours.

In 2017 Rhonda (Erlanger) Mitchell (BS ’75) was named to a part-time position created for her in social media and public relations at Lamar Institute of Technology, a community college in Beaumont, Texas. She also owns her own business, developing social media, PR, and graphic and web design that includes local and out-of-state clients. An award-winning graphic designer and radio commercial writer as well as journalist, her creative career has spanned graphic and web design, copy writing, PR and social media. She has held positions for other companies internally and at ad agencies, as senior writer, senior graphic/web designer, PR writer, social media director, creative director, and creative services manager with an e-commerce company in Chicago.

Lindsay Mason (BS ’06) is owner of and designer at French Knot, a textile company based in Lafayette, Ind., that works with artisans in Nepal. In 2018, French Knot collaborated with Anthropologie, Sundance Catalog, Olive and Cocoa, Soft Surroundings, Peach, J. Peterman, and more than 150 other retailers around the U.S. to sell French Knot winter accessories and gifts. Lindsay recently debuted her seventh winter collection in New York City, and the company announced that it exceeded sales of $1 million in 2018.

Martin Etem (BS ’09) is exhibiting work in a two-person show at Kopeikin Gallery in Los Angeles at March 16 – May 4. A reception will be held on Saturday, March 16, from 6-8 p.m.

The School of Art’s illustration program is proud to note that Abbey Lossing (BFA ’14)had an illustration featured in the Sunday, February 17 New York Times in connection with the feature “Summer Travel Programs for Middle & High School Students.”

The School of Design’s communications design program is excited to share that Erin Reeves (BFA ’18) won a gold award in the Graphis New Talent Annual 2019 for “Borderland Distilling Co.,” design packaging work she created as a student. In addition, Alison Emmel (BFA ’18) and Sami Albert (BFA ’18) had student work selected to appear in Creative Quarterly’s “100 Best Annual 2018” in the graphic design top 25 list.

Since graduating, Kim Roth (BFA ’18) was cast as Janet in the first national tour of The Magic School Bus: Lost in the Solar System for TheaterWorks USA joined the Actors Equity Association. She now travels the country educating and entertaining children through the power of theater. The nine-month-long tour includes a stop in Syracuse at the Landmark Theatre on March 20.

Joan Lesikin (BFA ’68) is having her oil painting Bad-ass Olympia shown at the Chautauqua National: Truths and Consequences through February 15 at Eastern Kentucky University’s Giles Gallery in Richmond, Ky.

Ann Walsh (BFA ’77, MFA ’79) is exhibiting Ann Walsh: Colors, a survey of abstract paintings and sculptures, through March 15 at the Sam & Adele Golden Gallery at Golden Artist Colors in New Berlin, N.Y. The exhibition features an interview with Ann by Robert Seward on February 18.

Barbara Hocker (BFA ’81) is showing works on paper and handmade books in the exhibition Downstream through March 24 at Real Art Ways in Hartford, Conn.

Helen Zughaib (BFA ’81) has work on view in I Contain Multitudes at the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design’s Frederick Layton Gallery through March 19. The exhibition features Helen’s work and that of nine other female artists from different countries. Viewers are invited to consider how multiculturalism impacts their lives and how issues of immigration and diversity are relevant in today’s society.

Nilo Alcala (MM ’09) had a world premiere of his orchestra work The Magi’s Journeycommissioned by the San Bernardino Symphony Orchestra for guest conductor Dean Anderson. The holiday-themed concert was held December 1 at the historic California Theatre of the Performing Arts and also featured American Idol finalist David Archuleta as guest. In September, Nilo was chosen as Artist of the Month by Musical America Worldwide, the oldest American magazine on classical music. Nilo was a Billy Joel Fellow at VPA and currently lives in Los Angeles.

Jave Yoshimoto (MFA ’12) is one of 32 artists who have been awarded residencies at the Joan Mitchell Center in New Orleans for the coming year. This residency program offers space and time for artists to create work in a contemplative environment, focusing on the transformative possibilities of a residency experience.

Nydia Blas (MFA ’16) was chosen by World Press Photo Foundation as one of six artists for their Global Talent Program, which selects under-recognized visual storytellers from around the world.

This past July, Wayne Williams (BFA ’58, MFA ’62) placed a life-size sculpture in bronze in Duluth, Minn., at the new veterans cemetery. This piece is a cast done by Wayne from cast pieces from Fireworks Foundry Penn Yan. It was commissioned by the Northern Minnesota Vietnam veterans group. His work is represented by Oxford Gallery in Rochester N.Y.

A posthumous retrospective for Nicolas A. Apgar (BFA ’59, MFA ’61) titled Mid-Century Master: The Art of Nicolas A. Apgar is on view at the Catherine Dianich Gallery in Brattleboro, Vt., through January 26. As noted in the artist statement, Nicolas transposed his inner thoughts to canvas. He intended his art to reflect his emotions. At the same time, he left room for viewers to help create the work, using their own perceptions.

Jack Brubaker (BFA ’66) has come out of retirement after nearly 50 years heading his own artist-blacksmith studio and now chairs the three-person blacksmithing department at the American College of the Building Arts in Charleston, S.C. The college offers a four-year undergraduate degree in architectural ironwork.

Work by Deborah Roberts (MFA ’14) was featured on the cover of the December 2018 issue of Art Basel Miami Beach.

Dylan Cownie (BFA ’15) won a regional competition to design a water tower in Hamburg, N.Y.

Photographer Matthew Pevear (BFA ’15) will have the solo exhibition Matthew Pevear: Mastering the Art of French Cooking at the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art in Colorado January 14-May 5. Matthew will present a refined survey of work that was captured over the course of two years. This is his first solo show in the region.

Adam LeGrand (BS ’18) and his service dog, Molly, are featured in the documentary film A New Leash on Life: the K9s for Warriors Story, which recently won four Suncoast Regional Emmy Awards. Adam and Syracuse University’s Student Veterans Organization, in partnership with VPA, presented a screening of the film in November to raise awareness of and destigmatize mental health issues as well as to raise funds toward the sponsorship and naming of a K9s for Warriors service dog for a post-9/11 veteran suffering from the invisible injuries of military service.

Donato Rossi (MFA ’18) directed the short film House Unbound, which was an official selection of the 2018 New York City International Films Infest Festival and an official selection of the 2018 Veritas Film Festival.

Donald Sutherland (BM ’61, MM ’63) and Phyllis Bryn-Julson (BM ’67, MM ’69) retired this year after having taught collectively for 75 years at the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University, where Donald was coordinator of the organ department and Phyllis was chair of the voice department. At that time, they were awarded the Johns Hopkins Heritage Award for service to the university. Both of them have been presented with other awards, including the Distinguished Alumni Award (1988) by Syracuse University and the Excellence in Teaching Award (1996, 1997) by Johns Hopkins University.

Mixed media artist and calligrapher Caitlin Dundon (BFA ’89) is expecting her first how-to art book to be published by Schiffer Publishing at the end of this month. The Painted Word: Mixed Media Lettering Techniques offers a step-by-step approach to adding inspirational words to art using collage, rubber stamping, stenciling, embossing, typewritten fonts, calligraphy, gel plate printing, and others. Caitlin lives in Seattle; learn more about her workshops and art at .

Holly Barlow Burns Rhodes Healy (MA ’90) is co-founder and CEO of Still using her Syracuse University education, she focuses on brand design and development, advertising and marketing, food design, and development, and says, “there is an incredible correlation between food design and graphic design.”

John Reffue, Ph.D. (MS ’92) has been named chair of the Department of Communication, Humanities and Foreign

Languages at Hillsborough Community College (HCC) in Tampa, Fla., where he has served as professor of communication since 1995. John is the senior communication faculty member of HCC's five-campus system.

Rob Goodman (BFA ’01) hosts the podcast Making Ways, showcasing unexpected paths to creative careers. A recent episode featured fellow illustration alumnus and Caldecott honoree Jason Chin (BFA ’01).

Phillip Gregory Burke (BFA/BA ’07) made his national televised commercial debut in CBS Sport’s “A Girl Named Raven,” directed by 36-time Emmy Award-winner Pete Radovich and airing last NFL season during the Baltimore Ravens vs. Miami Dolphins game to nearly 10 million viewers on CBS’s Thursday Night Football broadcast. Phillip will be seen in upcoming commercials with Citi Bike and Verizon Visible. He is the face of Walmart’s campaign with Veterans Home Commitment to hire more than 250,000 veterans in their stores by 2020; the print ad can be seen in Walmart stores nationwide. Phillip obtained an MA in classical and contemporary text from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and is a member of SAG-AFTRA, Actors’ Equity Association, and the New York SAG-AFTRA Film Society. Born in Syracuse, he now resides in Brooklyn.

Angky Budiardjono (MM ‘15) recently received a glowing review in Opera News for his performance in La CIfra: “Baritone Angky Budiardjono delivered an impressively stylish, polished performance as the scheming Rusticone. Pairing a forward, clear baritone with precise physicality and skilled comic chops, he frequently used details in the music as a guide to gestural comedy. “

‘50s and ‘60s

Edward S. Lisk (B MUS ’56) is an internationally recognized clinician, conductor, and author whose numerous honors include the distinguished National Band Association’s 2015 Academy of Wind and Percussion Arts Award, the highest honor that the association can confer on any individual, as well as the Syracuse Symphony Outstanding Music Educator Award (2009), the Midwest Medal of Honor (2009), and the Phi Beta Mu Outstanding Contributor to Bands Award (2012). He is also an honored and elected member of the prestigious National Band Hall of Fame for Distinguished Conductors. Learn more about him at

Barbara J. Klump (M MUS '59) had a long career in music, most recently in Southern California. She has served as organist of Our Lady of Grace in Encino, St. Bede the Venerable Catholic Church in La Cañada, and St. Therese of Avilleux, a large parish of the Carmelite Discalced Order. She is semi-retired from church organ work and continues teaching piano and organ. She is also an active member in the Glendale Branch of the Music Teachers Association of California as well as the Dominant Club, a singular group of professional and performing women musicians, which organization harks back to 1906 and includes many nationally and international women musicians.

Like his wife Barbara, George E. Klump (M MUS '59) enjoyed a long career as a music educator and musician. Now retired, he currently teaches piano and organ privately and is active in the Glendale Branch of the Music Teachers Association of California. Prior to his retirement, he served as organist for Loyola Marymount University, where he taught students there and accompanied the LMU choruses under Paul Salamunovich. Along with his church work, he managed to acquire the large Casavant Organ [84 ranks] designed and built by the late Lawrence Phelps, which was modeled after Syracuse University’s Holtkamp Organ in Crouse College.

Aviva Gold (BFA ’62) holds groundbreaking Painting From the Source® creative breakthrough workshops with people all over the world, most recently in Switzerland. She published the book Painting From the Source: Awakening the Artist's Soul in Everyone (HarperCollins) and is having a documentary made about her and her work. Videos of Aviva are available on YouTube.

‘70s and ‘80s

Vicki Feldman (BFA ’72) will receive Syracuse Sounds of Music Association’s annual Ovation Award on October 18 for her advocacy, dedication, and commitment to the Central New York music community. Vicki has been a freelance graphic designer in the Syracuse area for many years, and began providing graphic design and event planning services to a number of non-profit organizations as well as Central New York music and cultural organizations. She has also served on the boards of several CNY music organizations.

Terri Quirk (B MUS ’72) played clarinet professionally for 25 years with the Hartford Symphony core group for Simsbury Light Opera in Connecticut. She also played principal clarinet with the Torrington Symphony and the Farmington Valley Orchestra. She now plays with the Wind Ensemble and Concert Band of the Villages in Florida.

Jay Aubrey Jones (BS ’76) was the baritone soloist in Leonard Bernstein’s SONGFEST with the Queens College Orchestra. He also sang the baritone role in Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms with Oratorio Society of Queens. This past spring he became an Internet sensation as the voice behind the “laurel” vs. “yanni” controversy. At this writing I am about to open at Goodspeed Musicals in East Haddam, CT as Underling in THE DROWSY CHAPERONE.

The University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) has promoted Darren Sanefski (BFA ’85)to associate professor of multiple platform journalism with tenure. He teaches graphic and multimedia design at the Meek School of Journalism and New Media, where he was also recently named associate director of the Magazine Innovation Center.

T.J. Stein (BFA ’86) opened an East Coast office of Stein Entertainment Group in New York City, now a bi-coastal talent management company. His book Next Stop, Hollywood was updated to a 2018 version.


Julia Hechtman (BFA ’91) will be a Fulbright Scholar to Iceland in January 2019. She will be teaching at the Iceland Academy of Art in Reykjavik and working on her own projects in video.

Jon Steinberg (BS ’93) is executive producer of The Rookie starring Nathan Fillion, which premiered on ABC on October 16 at 10 p.m.

Nancy Harrison (MA ’94) illustrated interiors and more than 200 book covers for Penguin Workshop’s “Who Was…?” series, which reached No. 1 on the New York Times Best Sellers Series list in 2018. Netflix has also launched a 13-episode series based on the books in 2018. Nancy works as a full-time illustrator for magazines and children’s books and is launching a series of tutorials based on material taught in her Digital Painting courses on both the East Coast and West Coast.

Michele H. Cahill (BFA ’98) owns the growing business Pet Portrait Fun Inc, which was featured in the New York Times. She paints portraits of people’s pets in a fun whimsical way based on the pet's personality. She also published her first Pet Portrait “Pun” Adult & Kids Coloring Book and successfully introduced “Paint Your Own Pet Parties” in New York City, which allows her to teach people without an art background how to draw and watercolor their own pets. For those who don’t live in New York City she developed the “DIY Pet Portrait Fun Kit,” which includes a personalized sketch, hand-drawn instruction, and all art supplies. The kit was chosen to be sold on New York Makers.

Lauren Braun (BFA '99) was selected as an “Emerging Artist” in the 2018 Three Rivers Arts Festival. Pittsburgh International Airport transformed one of Lauren's mixed media paintings into a large-scale wall mural, on display through December 2018. The Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia purchased three of Lauren's collages for its new, permanent West Wing Art Collection. View more of her work at

Jack Powers (BFA ’78), an award-winning poet, wrote Everybody’s Vaguely Familiar, his debut volume, described as “brilliant, humanistic, quick-witted and fast-paced” and “a book that will last” by D. Nurkse, “as human as it gets” by Kevin Pilkington, and a book that “reminds me how grateful I am to be alive” by Jennifer Franklin. Learn more about his poems.

Matt Petosa (BFA ’85), a New York photographer, had images from his current project, Elevations and Avenues, featured on Creative Boom. View more of his work at

Printmaker Holly E. Brown (BFA ’98) and her brand Clockworks Press, which combines contemporary design and sustainability to create unique, eco-friendly printed denim garments and accessories, will launch its limited edition Denim Clutch at the 2nd annual New York Denim Days September 22-23 in Manhattan at the Metropolitan Pavilion as part of a collaboration with Tonello, Officina +39, and deverazul. During the event and as part of this collaboration, Brown and artist Juan Manuel Gomez will host a workshop and print their creations on limited edition t-shirts using an ecological process that connects technology and sustainability.
Heather Reavey (BID ’99) is head of practice innovation at EPAM Continuum. She will be sharing that expertise with Syracuse University innovators, inventors and entrepreneurs, at an on-campus workshop at the Blackstone LaunchPad on September 21.

Composer Nilo Alcala (M MUS ’09) was named Musical America’s New Artist of the Month for September. Read more updates on Alcala at
Alexander Meszler (B MUS ’13) was awarded a Fulbright U.S. Student Program award to France in music from the U.S. Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board. Meszler will conduct research at Conservatoire à Rayonnement Régional de Versailles as part of a project to examine the secular life of organs in contemporary France. He is currently pursuing a doctor of musical arts degree at Arizona State University.

Joshua Dean Tuthill (MFA ’16) will have his short film Black Dog (2017) presented at the 56th New York Film Festival, which runs September 28-October 14. The film will be part of the “International Shorts II” program. Black Dog won the Jury's Choice award at the 37th Black Maria Film Festival and has screened at the Chicago Underground Film Festival, Slamdance Film Festival, and Message to Man International Film Festival, among many others.

Isobella Antelis (BFA ’18) and Zoey Peck (BFA ’18) had their final film theses screened at the Independent Shorts Awards in Los Angeles this past July. Antelis’s Blue Toes won platinum awards for Best LGBT Short and Best Student Short. The short also received gold awards for Best Children Short and Best Original Story and a bronze award for Best Cinematography. Peck’s Our Way to Fall received silver awards for Best Children Short and Best Microfilm.

Ja’Lisa Arnold (BFA ’18) had her final film thesis The Dick Appointment selected to screen at BAMcinématek Presents: Film School Shorts 2018 in Brooklyn on September 26.