Displaying items by tag: Outstanding Undergraduate Researcher

The College of Fine Arts is delighted to honor the 2021 Outstanding Undergraduate Researcher: Benjamin Stanford (Theatre). 

In 2015, The Office of Undergraduate Research established the Outstanding Undergraduate Researcher Award to recognize an outstanding undergraduate researcher from each college. Faculty mentors are invited to nominate students, and awardees are selected by committee. The criteria for the Outstanding Undergraduate Researcher Award include: a record of sustained commitment to developing research skills and knowledge under the supervision of a faculty mentor, evidence of independent and critical thinking, active participation in research-related activities on campus, and positive contributions to the research culture of the department, college, and university.

In his own words: 

Name: Benjamin Stanford
Major: Theatre Studies H.B.A.
Hometown: Salt Lake City, UT
Three words that describe me: Non, Con, and Formist.
Most impactful class and professor: Tim Slover has been the most impactful professor in my development as an artist and writer while at the U. I have participated twice in the Department of Theatre's New Play Workshop, which he runs each year, as well as three other classes of his. His Topical Theatre class in particular expanded my perceptions of what theatre ought to do. Tim has taught me that complete creative and personal trust between mentor and student is critical for learning. Honestly, most of my current talent exists because of him!
A CFA moment I’ll never forget: One of my favorite CFA events that has stuck in my mind ever since I attended it was Taylor Mac's shortened performance of "A 24-Decade History of Popular Music" at Kingsbury Hall in 2018. For me, it was the first performance I had experienced that truly broke open my perceptions and assumptions of the many different forms artistry and theatre can take.
What inspires me: I find a lot of inspiration in the creative work of other artists and collaborators whom I have the chance to work with closely. I also find inspiration in certain professional playwrights and composers such as Bruce Norris, David Henry Hwang, and Stephen Sondheim, to name a few. I am also very much inspired by my partner, Izabelle, and all six of my genius brothers.
Summary of major accomplishments on or off campus:
Ben is an award-winning playwright graduating this year from the Department of Theatre. His works include One-Sided (Univ. of Utah, 2020), The Experiment (On Pitch Performing Arts, 2020), We Don't Smoke (Univ. of Utah, 2021), and most recently, Human--a musical Ben co-wrote and composed (Open Door Productions, 2021). Ben has performed with the Utah Opera, Draper Philharmonic and Choral Society, and the Murray City Arts Council. He has also worked as Dramaturg this year on Henry V (Univ. of Utah), and is currently working as a Writing Coach for WriteOn! Workshops as well as Associate Director for the student organization Open Door Productions. Ben is headed to graduate school in the fall to start his MFA in playwriting. He is the proud recipient of the Hoenig Theatre Artist Scholarship, the Marion Stiebel Siciliano Utah Fine Arts Institute Scholarship, the Ralph E. and Winnifred S. Margetts Scholarship, the Jack Lunt and Gordon & Connie Hanks Summer Study Prize, and the Promising Playwright Award.

Published in Finer Points Blog

The College of Fine Arts is delighted to present the 2020 Outstanding Undergraduate Researcher award to Alicia Ross from the School of Dance.

In 2015, The Office of Undergraduate Research established the Outstanding Undergraduate Researcher Award to recognize an outstanding undergraduate researcher from each college. Faculty mentors are invited to nominate students, and awardees are selected by committee. The criteria for the Outstanding Undergraduate Researcher Award include: a record of sustained commitment to developing research skills and knowledge under the supervision of a faculty mentor, evidence of independent and critical thinking, active participation in research-related activities on campus, and positive contributions to the research culture of the department, college, and university.

Alicia's impressive accomplishments as an undergraduate researcher and student leader in the College of Fine Arts center around her commitment to her work as a movement researcher and performer.  In the last three years, Alicia has engaged in 14 research related activities, as a performer, collaborator, choreographer or participant.  These include her being selected to participate in work by internationally recognized artists Doug Varone and Anouk van Dijk.

“Alicia is the first undergraduate artist-scholar that I can remember who has made such a compelling case for movement research as a valid form of critical inquiry. Her proposal for the Outstanding Researcher Award articulated the multifaceted modalities that artists draw on at all times when creating and dancing in movement—physics, musicality, psychology, design, spatial-awareness, history, physicality, kinesiology— all at the neuromuscular level. Her work in the department has exemplied this multiplicity, as she has shone as a performer, maker of dances, and writer/scholar. It was a joy to see her synthesize all of this vast body-mind knowledge at receive this deserved award.”
-Satu Hummasti 
Associate Director for Undergraduate Programs and Associate Professor, School of Dance

 

In Her Own Words 

Name: Alicia Ross
Major: Modern Dance
Hometown: Las Vegas, Nevada
Three words that describe you: imaginative, passionate, intuitive 
Favorite CFA class or teacher: My favorite College of Fine Arts class is improvisation because I get to explore all kinds of movement and the infinite possibilities of the body.   
Most memorable moment at CFA: My most memorable moment here was performing "CLEANSLATE" by Satu Hummasti. It was a significant work that encouraged kindness and equality in today's world. 
One thing you learned at CFA: The most important thing I've learned at the College of Fine Arts is that I can make a difference as an artist. I have a powerful voice as a dancer and choreographer that can be used to enact change in society.  
What inspires you: I'm inspired by all of the courageous and graceful women in my life.
Summary of major accomplishments both on and off campus: On campus I have performed in works by Stephen Koester, Anouk van Dijk, Satu Hummasti, Eric Handman, and more. I have also choreographed and performed a solo entitled Introspection, and showcased two of my dance films in our Modern Student Concert. Off campus I have participated and performed in programs such as the Ririe Woodbury Summer Intensive and the Doug Varone Summer Workshop. Lastly, I look forward to continuing my off campus performance career after graduation in a local show at Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center.    
One sentence that describes your work: My work aims to convey the beauty, complexity, and intensity of the human experience through movement and emotion.

“Throughout my four years here I have been able to explore the potential of the body for creating art that is meaningful and alive. Studying the creative process with my professors has allowed me to make discoveries and figure out what it means to be a movement researcher and performer. Each professor has taught me a new way to study dance and produce material that conveys a message to the audience… Being able to physically create and feel movement that portrays intellectual thoughts and ideas is complex yet fulfilling. Through my corporeal research I have found a deep understanding and appreciation for the creative process and the expression of the dancing body within my discipline. The guidance I have received from my professors and mentors to develop that will definitely impact my future projects and long-term artistic career.”
-Alicia Ross, Class of 2020

Published in Finer Points Blog

Every spring the College of Fine Arts selects an Outstanding Undergraduate Researcher, recognizing them for their academic achievements, artistic and/or scholarly accomplishments, and their commitments to the College of Fine Arts and the University of Utah. Get to know the 2018 Outstanding Undergraduate Researcher, Cece Otto.

Name: Cece Otto

Majors (including emphases) and minors: Theatre- Actor Training Program

Hometown: South Jordan, UT

Three words that describe you: Enthusiastic, Determined, Bold

Favorite CFA class or teacher: Robert Scott Smith- for agreeing to be her UROP mentor, and for the constant encouragement in all her pursuits

Most memorable moment at CFA: Returning from the Edinburgh Fringe and performing her senior project for her friends and family

One thing you learned at CFA: The ability to accept criticism

What inspires you: Friends and family

Summary of major accomplishments both on and off campus:
• Performing her original piece, Hyperthymesia, at the Edinburgh International Fringe Festival, and the East to Edinburgh Festival in NYC
• Being a Big Sister for Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Utah
• Being a TA for the Sophomore movement class
• Completing an internship with Pioneer Theatre Company, including being an understudy for Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
• Serving as the Marketing and Outreach Intern for UtahPresents throughout my Junior and Senior year

One sentence that describes your work: Cece's work is physical, dynamic, and always demonstrates her passion for performance.

Published in Finer Points Blog