In Awards and Achievements, Faculty and Staff

Recognition included four university awards and three college awards.

Several faculty from the College of Fine Arts and Communications were recognized as part of the 2017 University Conference for their outstanding efforts and accomplishments.

College faculty include Curt W. Holman, Thomas B. Russell, Jean S. Applonie and Jeffrey L. Parkin for university level BYU Faculty and Staff Achievement Awards and Joseph Ostraff, Pam Musil and Rodger Sorensen for college awards.

University awards were recognized at the opening session of the University Conference. Recipients were given their awards during a presentation by CFAC Dean Ed Adams at the college meeting on Wednesday Aug. 30 along with the college award recipients.

University Awards

The University Conference Committee recognized the awardees by saying, “Over this past year and throughout their careers, these awardees — professors, nurses, directors, secretaries, editors, technicians — have found, in the simpleness of a daily vocation, significant ways to contribute to the university. We recognize each one of them and thank them for helping us remember our foundations and build on new opportunities.”

Curt W. Holman | Karl G. Maeser Research and Creative Arts Award

Department of Dance Chair Curt Holman (photo courtesy of the CFAC Dean's office).Holman, professor and chair of the Department of Dance, was awarded the Karl G. Maeser Research and Creative Arts Award. The award honors faculty members for “outstanding research and creative accomplishments,” given through the Karl G. Maeser Scholarship Society.

Holman’s creative endeavors include work as the artistic director of the Ballroom Dance Showcase Company and Ballroom Dance Company. He has created over 45 works of ensemble choreography for the Ballroom Dance Company, 21 commissioned pieces for professional competitors in the cabaret category, seven of which received first place awards at the U.S. National Championships with three of those being invited to present internationally.

At the college meeting Dean Adams said, “This work, created for academic and professional ballroom dance, places (Holman) among the top creative artists in his discipline. Professor Holman is a consummate citizen and a well-loved mentor and teacher. He is an expert teacher who continually hones his craft and infuses his creative work into his teaching.”

TMA Professor Tom RussellThomas B. Russell | General Education Professorship

Russell, teaching professor in the Department of Theatre and Media Arts (TMA), received the General Education Professorship as recognition for his work with the “Introduction to Film” general education (GE) course. This award is given to faculty who give “outstanding contributions to undergraduate general education” and put their scholarly interests toward serving the university community.

More than 350 students enroll in the Introduction to Film course taught by Russell each semester. He focuses on student learning through thought-provoking lectures and discussions that help students ponder the influence films have on their thinking and actions. Russell has also been working to make the Intro to Film course available as an online course.

“Professor Russell is an engaging leader whose presentations of film principles encourages students to explore their own media literacy interests and abilities. He has been a force in improving the course over time,” Dean Adams said.

School of Music adjunct faculty member Jean Applonie (photo courtesy of the CFAC Dean's office).Jean S. Applonie | Adjunct Faculty Excellence Award

Applonie, adjunct professor in the School of Music, conducts the Women’s Chorus audition choir. She received the Adjunct Faculty Excellence Award which is given to part-time faculty who have worked at the university for at least five years and have “demonstrated excellence in teaching or in other professional responsibilities.”

Applonie has served as an adjunct faculty member for over 15 years. In addition to conducting Women’s Chorus, Applonie teaches teacher education courses, instructing hundreds of future choral educators throughout her career. She has also served in the American Choral Director’s Association Western Division.

Dean Adams credited Applonie with the transformation of the Women’s Chorus. “During her 15 years as an adjunct faculty member for the School of Music, Jean has moved the Women’s Chorus to one that is central to the choral program.”

TMA Professor Jeff Parkin (photo courtesy of the CFAC Dean's office).Jeffrey L. Parkin | Teaching and Learning Faculty Fellowship

Parkin, teaching professor in the Department of TMA, received the Randall Morgan Teaching and Learning Faculty Fellowship. The fellowship recognizes “the sacrifice and efforts by the university’s support service.” Recipients receive a “transfer of positions and budget to enhance teaching and learning,” as explained by the University Conference Committee.

Parkin prepares film production students for their future vocations by engaging students in practical production work. The fellowship will continue Parkins’ effort to improve teaching and learning, especially efforts designed to achieve the Aims of a BYU Education, according to Dean Adams.

“Professor Parkin is a charismatic classroom leader whose coursework and syllabi reflect his desire for students to collaborate with each other in creative settings,” Dean Adams said. “His work at the university has influenced his students to be prepared and detailed producers of quality products.”

College Awards

Recipients were selected from nominations from department chairs and school directors over the past year. Each recipient has been at the university for at least five years prior to their nomination and are faculty “whose commitment to excellence and performance as citizen, teacher, and scholar is exemplary and merits recognitions by the CFAC community” said Dean Adams.

TMA Professor Jeff Parkin (photo courtesy of the CFAC Dean's office).Joseph Ostraff | CFAC Excellence in Research and Creative Work Award

Ostraff, professor in the Department of Art, is a successful painter, but also excels with mixed media, video and photography. He has participated in several prestigious exhibitions, residencies and awards.

Ostraff has been awarded the competitive Utah Arts Council Visual Arts Fellowship three times, a considerable accomplishment for an artist. Ostraff lectures regularly on a national level and has lectured internationally as well. He has participated in 244 juried exhibitions, presented 53 lectures and received numerous grants.

“He is not only prolific in the creation of artwork, but he exhibits his work regularly and extensively in quality regional, national and international venues,” Dean Adams said. “Professor Ostraff loves to create art with faculty and students from our institution and other institutions. He is integral to the strength and vitality of the department and has a positive influence on students.”

Department of Dance professor Pam Musil (photo courtesy of the CFAC Dean's office).Pam Musil | CFAC Excellence in Teaching Award

Musil, professor in the Department of Dance, has an in-depth knowledge of kinesiology and experience teaching abroad in India. She is devoted to continual learning and is involved in international teaching pedagogical discussions. Teachers and students agree that she is invaluable to the department.

One of her students wrote, “Pam Musil is absolutely phenomenal. She has high standards and high expectations, but I always felt believed in, and motivated in her class.”

Dean Adams said, “With the great breadth and depth of knowledge in heart and mind, Professor Musil has facilitated change and progress within the BYU Department of Dance, broadening the scope of understanding for students and enhancing their preparation for an even brighter future.”

Rodger Sorensen | CFAC Excellence in Citizenship Award

TMA Professor Rodger Sorensen (photo courtesy of the CFAC Dean's office).Sorensen, professor in the Department of TMA, has served in several leadership roles in the university throughout his career, including service as associate dean and department chair. As associate dean, he served on several university committees and helped clarify hiring policy and implented other instrumental changes in the college.

Sorensen has a sincere desire to work together with others and recognize their gifts. As a teacher, he shows deep enthusiasm for the topics and individuals he teaches. He is a talented director and has several credits for writing, directing and acting on the stage and on the screen in academic and professional venues. Recently, Sorensen was awarded the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF) Gold Medallion on behalf of Region VIII, the most prestigious regional award given by KCACTF.

“Rodger is a man of God who has devoted all of his time, talents and intellectual resources to expressing that love through his citizenship, teaching, leadership and artistic achievement,” said Dean Adams.

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