By Michele Morgan-Dufour
Garbed in the traditional cap and gown, IU South Bend’s new graduates gathered at Notre Dame’s Joyce Center on May 10 for the annual commencement ceremony. IU President Michael McRobbie delivered the commencement address and greeted each graduated individually. Coordinator of Student Services Tamea Rector and assistant Trisha Miller were on hand to help arts students and faculty with their regalia. New Media Professor Michael Lasater led the arts graduates into commencement where they received their diplomas.
Afterwards the new graduates enjoyed cake and celebrated with faculty, family, and friends. Each graduate received a portfolio from the school in recognition of their achievement. During the 2010-11 academic year 86 arts students received their degree or special diploma.
The close of the academic year brought with it the annual Arts Excellence Awards, two important celebrations of academic achievement and excellence for the Ernestine M. Raclin School of the Arts students and faculty. More than one third of students majoring in the arts were honored during the annual Arts Excellence Awards Presentation on April 27. Dean Marvin Curtis presented certificates to over 200 students who attained the Dean’s List by earning a 3.0 grade point average for at least one semester during the academic year. Scholarships in music, visual arts, communication studies, and theatre were awarded to 64 students.
The most prestigious awards of the evening, the Arts Excellence Awards, recognize students chosen by the faculty for their superior scholarship, performance, or exhibition. Arts Excellence Awards were presented to: W. Jordan Wagner, mass communication; Marianne Weesner, mass communication; Emily Rockhill, speech communication; Krystal Vivian, writing; Tabetha Coburn-McDonald, art history; Leah Dominy, music, undergraduate; Deborah Mayer, music, graduate; Bethany Hudak, new media; Randal Slisz, new media; Iryna Gillis, design; Michael Banks, theatre; Brady King, theatre; Krista Kuskye, studio practice in photography; Michael Bubelenyi, studio practice in drawing/painting; Connor McDonald, studio practice in sculpture, and Gretchen Siebert, studio practice in sculpture.
Each discipline honored the contributions of alumni, individuals, and organizations to the students and faculty of the school. Honorees were: Judi Lykowski, communication studies and new media; South Bend Symphony Orchestra, music; Warren Pepperdine, theatre and dance, and Jason Cytacki, visual arts.
Dean Marvin Curtis presented the Dean’s Special Awards to Yuri Obata, the Community Foundation of St. Joseph County, June H. Edwards, Lexus of Mishawaka, William O’Donnell, Ernestine M. Raclin, and Lee Streby.