Performing Arts Recognizes Graduating Students for Departmental Distinction

Bill Doncaster | May 23, 2018
Performing Arts Recognizes Graduating Students for Departmental Distinction

Image by: Christian Arthur

UMass Boston’s Performing Arts is proud to share the 2018 graduates who will be honored with Departmental Distinction, Honors, and Awards at the College of Liberal Arts Convocation this evening.

Departmental Distinction, Theatre Arts, is awarded to Jacques Matellus.  Matellus was chosen by the Theatre Arts Faculty considering a broad criteria across his academic career, including, GPA, leadership, performance, career potential, and academic/professional maturity. Matellus has been a mainstay on the UMass Boston stage, and recently was awarded a National Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship through the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, which he attended after his performance in The Importance of Being Earnest. He will spend this summer as an apprentice at the Williamstown Theatre Festival and plans to pursue his MFA at the University of Florida.

Departmental Distinction, Music, and the Susan Cunningham Campbell Award, and awarded to Neuba Silva. Selected by the Music faculty, Silva is a vocalist and pianist who twice won the Susan Cunningham Music Scholarship through her performance. Her Senior Honors project combined her Music and Psychology majors by investigating the effects of musical training and crossmodal attention. She plans to attend graduate school to further her vocal and piano studies as well as her research on the effects of musical training in cognitive stimulation, maintenance, and rehabilitation.

The John J. Conlon Prize in Theatre Arts, Stanzi Potenza. This prize recognizes outstanding service to the Theatre Arts Program in honor of Professor John Conlon, distinguished scholar, theatrical director/performer, and dedicated educator of UMass Boston theatre arts students.  This honor is bestowed upon a graduating senior in THRART who has received extraordinary praise from faculty and who exemplifies a spirit of dedication and service to the theatre arts, fellow students, and the community. Potenza, who will sing the National Anthem at the 2018 Graduate Commencement, won a National Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, which she attended after her performance in Bat Boy: The Musical.

The Louis E. Roberts Award in Theatre Arts, Paige J. Austin. This prize is named for the founder and Professor Emeritus of Theatre Arts, and bestowed upon a graduating senior who has received extraordinary praise from faculty and who has best combined academic excellence with artistic excellence in theatre. Austin is majors in Management and Theatre Arts, and was nominated by the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival Region I for Excellence in Stage Management for The Importance of Being Earnest, and received an undergraduate Research Grant to share her work at the festival. She acted and sung in Bat Boy: The Musical and the Holiday Spectacular, and also served as Stage Manager for Nothing is the End of the World, and The Comedy of Errors

In addition Andrew Sell and Aidan Thomas will be recognized with Honors in Music, in recognition of a high GPA and completion of a senior honors project. Sell is a Music Education major and vocalist who performed with John Nilsson for a fall Honors Concert. Aidan Thomas, vocalist, majored in Music and Economics, and performed with a jazz trio for her spring Honors Concert.

Tags: acting , music , performing arts , performing arts department , piano , stage management , theatre arts , vocals

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