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Our Brilliant Student Year


Arts students covered themselves with honors and public achievements during this busy year of performance events and awards ceremonies.

Spring Opera production

The music program's annual opera production, Little Women, by American composer Mark Adamo put some UCSC's finest singers on the stage for four performances in late May, early June. Under the direction of Brian Staufenbiel, with orchestra conducted by Nicole Paiement, the story of Louisa May Alcott's coming-of-age in Victorian New England provided a challenging vehicle for two expert casts of music majors.

Irwin Scholarships

The Mary Porter Sesnon Gallery hosted its annual Irwin Art Exhibition in June, showcasing the work of undergraduate Art students nominated for excellence in studio art. This year's Irwin Scholars included David Rosales, Kristen Gautier-Downes, Melissa Wong, Chelsea Cramer, Marnie Sehayek, Ari Finkelstein, William Lee, Oscar Moreno, Elizabeth Hibbard, Louise Leong, Gina Farkas, and Miguel Libarnes. The student exhibition displayed animations, digital installations, photography, intaglio prints and paintings, all of which filled three gallery spaces.

Deans and Chancellor's Awards

Each year students are selected from each Division to receive Dean's Outstanding Undergraduate Awards. One student from each Division also is honored with a Chancellor's Award.  This year's Dean's Awards went to:


            Art: : Louise Leong and Nico Secunda

            Film & Digital Media: Julia Reardin, Nicholas Kerr

            History of Art and Visual Culture: Margaret Wander, Michele Jennings

            Music: Stephanie Hoffman and Zachary Ragent

            Theater Arts: Bronte Nelson and Brooke Jennings


Music student Zachary Ragent was this year's Chancellor's Award recipient.


Shakespeare to Go

Over two dozen Theater Arts students brought Shakespeare to Go performances to enthusiastic school groups throughout the county this spring. Creatively devised for young audiences Shakespeare's ­­­­­­­­­Twelfh Night was performed 27 times at 21 different schools including 3 public performances.  Many students were involved behind-the-scenes in making these popular outreach events possible, and ten actors plus a stage manager traveled with the production.


Social Documentary Masters screening

Students in the Masters' Program in Social Documentation had a public screening of their final thesis projects at the Del Mar Theater on June 14. The Video and Multimedia works premiered were created by graduate colleagues Miguel Astudillo, Zac Buck, Rian Dundon, Melinda James, Melissa Koch, Susie Smith and Joanna Sokolowski.


Faculty mentor and SocDoc co-director B. Ruby Rich had high praise for the graduating artists. "We like to say that SocDoc goes 'beyond the story' to unearth the truths of our society, and this year's cohort really proved the truth of that ideal."