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Caine College of the Arts Honors Students, Faculty, Staff and Donors

Thursday, May. 01, 2014

Caine College of the Arts award program opening number

Theatre Arts Department faculty members Jason Spelbring (left) and Richie Call (right) were MCs for the evening. They were joined in an opening musical number by CCA Dean Craig Jessop (center).

Caine College of the Arts awards program with entertainment from Tarzan

Entertainment was included throughout the awards. Here, Michael Francis as Tarzan and Sarah Boucher as Jane are featured in a musical selection from "Tarzan" which was presented by USU's Theatre Arts Department.

Utah State University’s Caine College of the Arts recently honored students, faculty, staff and college donors at its annual awards ceremony for their hard work, outstanding performance and generosity throughout the 2013-14 academic year

“Our mission at the Caine College of the Arts is to produce excellence in everything we do,” said Craig Jessop, dean of the CCA. “This would not be possible without our donors.”

Kathy Puzey, associate professor in the Department of Art and Design, was awarded Teacher of the Year. At the awards ceremony, Jessop also announced that Puzey was given tenure earlier that day.

Eight students received the A-Pin, one of the oldest awards at Utah State University, for earning straight A’s through two consecutive semesters. The Legacy of Utah State Award was given to Rachel Van Kampen, a junior in the Department of Theatre Arts. Van Kampen is part of an after-school theater program for kindergartners at Edith Bowen. Her goal is to reach out to young students and make a difference in their lives by helping them foster creativity, build team-working skills and realize their full potential through theater.

Tori Benson, a student in the Department of Theatre Arts, was awarded Scholar of the Year. During her undergraduate career, she has performed in more than ten plays, including two leading roles. Benson has served as a Caine Ambassador for two years, and also created and taught an after-school drama program, which she will continue teaching once she graduates.

The Undergraduate Research Mentor of the Year was awarded to Matt Omasta, assistant professor in the Department of Theatre. His research on educational drama, theater for young audiences and applied theater is widely published and recognized. His students have been recipients of the CCA’s Undergraduate Researcher of the Year award for the past three years.

The Champion of the Arts was presented to Richard Ratliff who first became involved with the CCA near its inception in 2010, and has taken the lead on several important projects, including organizing the search efforts for several key leadership positions in the college.

A new scholarship, Caine Scholars for Excellence, was announced at the awards ceremony. This program is made possible by the support of Dan C. and Manon Caine Russell with the scholarships coordinated through the Marie Eccles Caine Foundation — Russell Family. The scholars program addresses the goal of the college to attract and retain exceptional students as majors and strives to keep financial considerations from limiting their success. The awards are intended to be large enough that students are freed from the need for outside employment unrelated to their major during the academic year. The college will also provide the Caine Scholars for Excellence awardees special opportunities to interact with visiting artists and scholars, major donors and leaders in the arts and academy.


A complete list of awards:

A-Pin Recipients

Kevin Cook, Music; Kevin Goodrich, Art and Design; Ethan Seegmiller, Music; Olivia Snarr, Art and Design; Ellyn Thornton, Music; Trevor Dane Vincent, Music; Sara Mason, Music; and Kelsey Owen, Music

Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Fellow — Brookelynne Sanders

Undergraduate Researcher of the Year — Nicole Martineau

Legacy of Utah State Award — Rachel Van Kampen

Valedictorian — Kevin Goodrich

Scholar of the Year — Tori Benson

Graduate Student Teacher/Instructor of the Year — Joshua Kuensting

Graduate Student Researcher of the Year — Spencer Potter

USU/AS Arts Student Senator — Samuel Wright

Outstanding Employee of the Year (Professional) — Allyson Bailey

Outstanding Employee of the Year (Classified) — Keri Shoemaker

Undergraduate Research Mentor of the Year — Matt Omasta

Scholar/Creative Artist of the Year — Alexa Sand

Teacher of the Year — Kathy Puzey

International Professor of the Year — Darrin Brooks

Champion of the Arts — Richard Ratliff

Related link:

USU Caine College of the Arts

Contact: Denise Albiston, 435-797-1500,

Writer: Whitney Schulte, 435-797-9203,

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