Released: April 9, 2012
Lincoln, Neb. - The Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts will honor alumni, faculty, staff and student achievement at its annual Honors Day Dinner on Saturday, April 21 at 5 p.m. in the Nebraska Union. The event is by invitation only.
The awards to be presented include five selected by the College's Alumni Board:
The Award of Merit will be presented to William Tomek, of Ithaca, N.Y. Tomek is Professor Emeritus of Agricultural Economics at Cornell University. He received his B.S. and M.A. from the University of Nebraska in 1956 and 1957, respectively, and he was an enthusiastic participant in the Cornhusker Marching Band. Tomek has endowed a fund at the University of Nebraska Foundation to sponsor graduate studies in voice and opera. He also gave the lead gift that allowed the School of Music to purchase and renovate a tractor-trailer for the Cornhusker Marching Band, allowing the band to transport its instruments, equipment and uniforms safely to away football games during the season and post-season each Fall.
Three Alumni Achievement Awards will be presented:
The Alumni Achievement Award in Art will be presented to Jim Wilson Cantrell (B.F.A. Ed. 1958). Cantrell paints with oils and watercolors. He describes his technique as abstracted realism. His forte is the human figure encompassing masterful composition and technique. A native of Oklahoma and raised in eastern Nebraska, Cantrell earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1958 and his Master of Arts degree from the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley in 1965 with a double emphasis in ceramics and painting. He began his distinguished career as a teacher. In 1971 he established himself as an independent studio artist in Bardstown, Ky., where he continues to work. Cantrell's paintings can be seen in major public and private collections. Participating in more than 200 solo, group, and juried exhibitions, he has been the recipient of many awards, including two fellowship grants from the Kentucky Arts Council and from the Southern Arts Federation.
The Alumni Achievement Award in Music will be presented to Stephanie R. Taylor (B.M.E. 1999; J.D. 2002). Taylor is an entertainment and music industry lawyer providing a broad range of legal services to clients involved in the creation, production and management of creative works. She specializes in entertainment law and understands the special needs of the entertainment industry, including copyright law, music publishing, record labels, media and general business matters. Taylor represents recording artists, songwriters, producers, managers, music publishers, promoters and music industry entrepreneurs. Taylor earned her Juris Doctor and Bachelor of Music Education from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and was admitted into the South Dakota Bar in 2002. Stephanie's love of country music inspired her to move to Nashville where she received a Masters Degree in Business Administration with an emphasis on Music Business from Belmont University. Taylor is a member of the American Bar Association and the Tennessee Bar Association, where she is a TBA member of the Continuing Law Education Committee in the Entertainment and Sports Law section. She is a classically trained violinist and country/bluegrass fiddle player. She was recently inducted into the South Dakota Old Time Fiddlers Hall of Fame.
The Alumni Achievement Award in Theatre Arts will be presented to Ahna Packard (M.F.A. 1997). Packard is a professional designer and drafter, who has worked in Hollywood designing for television, film, amusement parks and special events. Her credits include the television shows "Monk," "Star Trek: Enterprise" and the film "Star Trek Nemesis." She has also worked on projects for Universal Studios, Disney and Paramount Parks. Packard received her M.F.A. from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and she received her B.F.A. from the University of South Dakota. Her theatrical design credits include productions with the Omaha Community Playhouse, Nebraska Repertory Theatre, University Theatre and Black Hills Playhouse.
The Undergraduate Student Leadership Award will be presented to Allison Holdsworth from the Department of Art and Art History. Holdsworth is a studio art major in painting, pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.
Other awards to be presented include the Vreeland Awards in Music and Art; the Porter Awards in Theatre and Dance; the Pace Woods Scholarships in Art, Music and Theatre; the Dean's Award for Academic Excellence; and the Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant Award. In addition, the prestigious Hixson-Lied Faculty and Staff Awards will be announced, as well as the newest recipients of Hixson-Lied Professorships.