School of Arts and Letters: Spring 2017 Update

School of Arts and Letters: Spring 2017 Update

March 27, 2017

Faculty News

Creative Writing faculty member Monica Barron appeared on the Council of Independent Feminist Journal Editors panel at the National Women’s Studies Organization in Montreal.

José Carreño-Medina, assistant professor of Spanish, recently published Como si fuese a dejar la tierra” , a collection of short stories with Ediciones Lacre, Madrid, Spain.

English faculty member Heather Cianciola was invited to present a talk at the Annual Educational Opportunity Association Conference in St. Louis in November. It was titled “Learning the Habits: Underrepresented Students and the Research Writing Process,” a study she is developing with English students Alyssa Johnson, Jacob Colangelo, and Katie Maag.

New English faculty member Sara Day presented on dystopian fiction, participated in an editing roundtable as a representative of the Children’s Literature Association Quarterly, and chaired a panel at the South Central Modern Language Association Conference in Dallas. She’s also the associate editor for Children’s Literature Quarterly.

Heidi Cook and Julia DeLancey (Art) in collaboration with Amanda Langendoerfer (Pickler Memorial Library Special Collections) presented two exhibitions and related programming in commemoration of the centennial of U.S. involvement in World War I.  Information on programs and a wealth of resources for those interested in the topic can be found at

Michelle Davidson (Theatre) will be directing Wizard of Oz at the Minot State University Summer Theatre, while serving as costume and scene designing the show as well.

Stacy Davis, Assistant Professor of Spanish, was awarded the Premio Peter Bly from the Asociación Internacional de Galdosistas  for outstanding dissertation of the year on renowned 19th century Spanish novelist, Benito Pérez Galdós.  Davis was also elected to serve as Publicity Officer for the new San Luis Rey Chapter of American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese, and recently received invitation to give a presentation in late March on masculinity and 19th century Peninsular literature at Virginia Military Institute.

Matt Derezinski (Art) is coordinating the second annual High School Art Conference for the Clarence Cannon Conference of schools, to take place April 11 on campus. Visiting high school students will each participate in two workshops in areas including studio art, design, and art history and will also compete in a juried high school art exhibition.

David Charles Goyette (Theatre) and Charles Gran (Music) have received an Interdisciplinary Community Grant from Truman to work with a student composer and book writer over the summer on the creation of a new musical.

Priya Kambli (Professor of Art) received second place in the 2016 PhotoNOLA Review Prize contest, and recent exhibitions have taken place in Quincy, Illinois and Jaipur, India.

New English Education faculty member Summer Pennell presented her paper “Stability in Mobility: How Students Move Through Literary Practices for Social Justice” at the Literacy Research Association Annual Conference in Nashville and, with Ashley Boyd, her paper “Re-imagining Critical Theory: Young Adult Literature as a Language for Understanding” at the American Educational Studies Annual Conference in Seattle.

Linguistics faculty member Greg Richter recently edited award-winning poet Heidi Morrell’s recently released collection Old as Rainfall.

Antonio Scuderi published “Tracing Ritual to Theatre: The Carnival Encoded in Plautus’ Menaechmi.” In Stage, Page, Play: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Theatre and Theatricality. Eds. Ulla Kallenbach and Anna Lawaetz. Copenhagen: Multivers Academic (2016): 187–200.

He also was invited to chair a session entitled “In Celebration of Dario Fo,” for the annual American Association of Italian Studies conference, April 21–23 2017, in Columbus Ohio.

English faculty member Linda Seidel presented her paper “Margarethe von Trotta, Hannah Arendt, and the Banality of Patriarchy” at the Film and History Conference in Milwaukee.

Dana Smith (Theatre) is a newly elected member of the Board of Directors of the International Lessac Institute for Research and Training.  She was also appointed Associate Literary Manager for the New American Voices Play Development Program, and this summer she will be participating in an Advanced Workshop for Alba Technique training in Asheville, NC.

The 18th Annual Friends of the University Gallery fundraiser, coordinated by Department of Art chairperson Aaron Fine, took place on March 3. This year guests were encouraged to make up to 100% of their donation to the Kirksville Arts Association, in support of their efforts to rebuild after the fire that destroyed the Kirksville Arts Center in December.


Student and Alumni News

The Honorary Art Fraternity Kappa Pi is coordinating submissions for solo or group art exhibitions for the The Pickler Memorial Library Gallery.  The Truman student body will decide the winners through voting at events around campus.

Theatre Alumna Chelsea Cole is working for View Askew, a film production company in Los Angeles, California.

The annual Gold Medal Concerto Concert took place on March 4, including concerto performances by Truman students Darby Dachroeden (piano), Kaylee Hershberger (piano), and Donald Rabin (flute).  The symphony orchestra was directed by Dr. Sam McClure, Professor of Music.

The 49th Phi Mu Alpha Jazz Festival took place on February 25, featuring guest soloist Carl Allen who also presented a clinic during the festival.  The jazz festival at Truman has become one of the larger events of its kind, attracting high school and middle school bands throughout the Midwest, and has been ranked as one of the top collegiate jazz festivals in the country by Down Beat magazine.

Alumna Bailey Jones (Theatre) is working at Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago.

Students Samantha Ormesher (Art and Psychology) and Kathleen Kernell (Psychology) recently completed a Disabilities Studies capstone project aimed at creating a more inclusive environment for the Truman State University Gallery, and other galleries in the future.  Elements of the gallery experience that can be designed to accommodate a variety of disabilities include guided tours, exhibit text, and alternative activities.

The Truman Concert Percussion Ensemble I, directed by Prof. Michael Bump, performed an invitational showcase concert at the 10th annual Missouri Percussion Arts Festival, in Lebanon, MO, March 3-4.

The Truman Piano Festival took place February 17-18, featuring guest pianist Dr. Josh Pifer who also conducted a master class featuring Truman piano majors.

Theatre Alumna Kelsey Weinrich is working for Disney in the products and promotions department.

Alumna Kelsey Viola Wiskirchen (Art) is opening Viola Textiles Studio, a fiber arts studio in the St. Louis Area.


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