Performing and Visual Arts Students Awarded at Graduate Student Showcase

Each fall, the Graduate School and the Vice President for Research Office at CSU hosts the Graduate Student Showcase. The one-day conference is an opportunity for students to present their work and talents in front of faculty and peers, and learn about other disciplines while gaining presentation and conference experience. Entries in the showcase of research and creativity are judged by CSU faculty and awarded cash prizes totaling $10,000.

Over 200 graduate students presented at the event, held on Nov. 11, 2015 in the Grand Ballroom at the Lory Student Center. Six students from the School of Music, Theatre and Dance and the Department of Art and Art History gave visual, research, and/or performance presentations, with four students winning top prizes.

The collective energy in the room was contagious as judges and attendees were overheard saying how impressed they were, not only with the high level of research and ideas, but with the quality of presentations and conversations taking place throughout.

Music Education Graduate Student Bryan Kettlewell, who won the College of Liberal Arts Top Scholar Award, felt that the event validated his months of hard work. “It’s great to know that my project has real merit and lasting value,” he said. “It’s nice to receive this type of recognition.”

Kettlewell also feels like the showcase reflects a positive direction for the School of Music, Theatre and Dance. “CSU Music is fostering a culture of scholarship and research, contributing to our great education.”


Michael BowlesFaculty Council COSRGE Award: The Committee on Scholarship, Research, and Graduate Education (CoSRGE) is a group of dedicated faculty who strive to develop and recommend the best academic policies and programs for CSU graduate students. Recognizing that professional development is core to the graduate student experience, CoSRGE is proud to sponsor this award to recognize scholarly activities of graduate students.

Top Scholar: Michael Bowles, Alan Hovhaness: An Overlooked American Master Composer

As a composer, Alan Hovhaness is an often overlooked contributor to American music. His music explores the depth of the human soul, and brings to light our innermost emotions. In order to bring more of this relatively unknown American master’s music to light, ensembles and directors must champion it. Two of his works, Symphony No. 17 for chamber ensemble and Symphony No. 4 for Wind Symphony, will be performed at Colorado State University this academic year. In addition to conducting these two works, Michael Bowles will write a thesis analyzing and justifying these two works as staples in band literature.

Bryan Kettlewell2College of Liberal Arts Award: Awards to Graduate Students in Liberal Arts Disciplines / Departments for highest achievements in Scholarly Research

Top Scholar: Bryan Kettlewell, Structured Peer Feedback in the CSU Middle School Outreach Ensemble

The Middle School Outreach Ensemble (MSOE) is a multi-tiered program that fosters the development of musicians and future music educators. On the collegiate level, this program gives undergraduate music education majors the opportunity to plan and teach weekly lessons, harnessing their teaching skills in a supervised environment. We implement a feedback system in which all teachers and ensemble conductors receive feedback from a peer or supervisor on their lesson plans and implementation of teaching strategies. This peer feedback system is the educational backbone of this program and allows all participants to gain practical experience throughout the program.

Lara MNPerformance: Lara Mitofsky Neuss, Bass Clarinet, Lone Wolf

I am the Lone Wolf. On my own and free to share with the students at CSU what it’s like to be a fiercely independent and sensitive mammal. Listen as I share with you all that we have in common. I am also Lara Mitofsky Neuss, a graduate clarinet performance major at CSU. I study mindfulness, am certified in Reiki, and I have a strong emotional connection to non-human mammals. Journey with me for a peek inside my world as I show you how I, the Lone Wolf, think, dream, and experience the world that we share.

Lydia Bechtel6Performance: Lydia Bechtel, Voice, Songs from Letters: Giving Calamity Jane another Shot at Life

Songs from Letters: Calamity Jane to her daughter Janey, 1880-1902 is a song cycle by composer Libby Larsen. The letters are surrounded by controversy over their validity because of historical and biographical inconsistencies. Whether the documents are true or not, Larsen’s cycle dramatically recounts the story of a mother willing to do anything to provide for her beloved daughter. Through the facts presented I hope to prove that whatever a person might believe about the existence of Calamity Jane’s daughter, the drama created in Songs from Letters is so realistic it gives one reason to believe she did exist.


Maggie AdamsGraduate Student Council First Year Graduate Student Award: In line with the Graduate Student Council’s (GSC) overall commitment to bring graduate students together for the purposes of networking, collaboration, and advocacy, the GSC is proud to sponsor the Graduate Student Showcase. The organization has always had a strong focus on welcoming new graduate students to CSU and empowering them to succeed. Offering the First Year Graduate Student Award in partnership with the Graduate School, is yet another way we can help these emerging scholars reach their full potential. In line with the mission of GSC, special consideration will be offered to projects focused on informing policy that may benefit graduate students and further the goals of GSC.

Top Scholar: Maggie Adams, 52 Reasons Why to Hire Me

In this competitive world we live in, we have to find a way to stand out, market our strengths, and grab the attention we have worked so hard to get. In my design, I strive to push the limits, think outside the norm, and explore outside the flat dimension. I needed an innovative resume to demonstrate my skills as an “anything but ordinary” graphic designer. My solution was to create a deck of cards showcasing 52 reasons why to hire me. This has gotten me the attention I was looking for from employers.

Nuray Packard2The Distinction in Creativity Award is presented in collaboration by the Graduate School and Office of Vice President for Research. This award recognizes the passion and personal contributions of these talented graduate students, and honors their commitment and efforts in their area of work.

1st Place: Nuray Packard, Pulsations

In my drawings, I combine unfamiliar and familiar geometric forms in spontaneous ways to evoke my cultural identity and memory to explore the relationship with the places I have been seen. In my studies, I researched artists from the last one hundred years. They have shown me the appeal of looking to the past and offers new contemporary way as a source for inspiration. I am interested in drawing with magic water beads and aroma beads to capture fluid motion and energy; because It allows me to explore various creative materials and techniques to realize my creative vision.

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