Liberal Arts College Recognizes Outstanding Faculty at Inaugural Creative Activity Reception

By Luisa Buttler, Savannah Spears | Published: April 04, 2019

Liberal Arts College Recognizes Outstanding Faculty at Inaugural Creative Activity Reception

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – The College of Liberal Arts (CLA) at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi held its inaugural Creative Activity Reception to celebrate the creative contributions CLA faculty made in 2017-2018. Memorable achievements included hosting exhibitions, premiering films at festivals, performing in orchestras, directing plays, and more. Dr. Mark Hartlaub, College of Liberal Arts Dean, recognized these honorees at a reception held on March 29.

“I want you to know that not only do we see the work you create, but we appreciate the hours, weeks, months, and years that you put into perfecting the work that we see, hear, enjoy, and respect,” said Hartlaub.

Through tangible experiences in their respective industries, faculty are better able to serve and mentor Islander students. One such faculty is Kelly Russell, Professor and Director of Theatre. In 2017-2018, he shared his extensive directing knowledge with students during productions such as “The Tempest,” “Hands on a Hardbody,” and “Peter and the Starcatcher.” As a co-director of Camp on the Coast, a theatre camp held on campus for high school students, Russell has helped educate students from Texas and the world, many of whom become Islander theatre majors.

“This new recognition and reception is wonderful,” said Russell, who has worked at the Island University for 15 years. “We’re so fortunate to have administrators in the College of Liberal Arts who recognize creative activity as well as scholarship and so I’m so pleased that we’re having this reception.”

Another faculty member recognized for her work was Jennifer Garza-Cuen, Assistant Professor of Art. Garza-Cuen was a part of many exhibitions in 2017-2018, including “Be Strong And Do Not Betray Your Soul: Selections from Light Work Collection” in Syracuse, NY; and “One Place Understood” at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art in New Orleans, LA. She was awarded a Robert Rauschenberg Residency and was an Exposure Awards 2018 Feature Photographer for Photo London, London’s premier photographer fair. Garza-Cuen says it is extremely beneficial for professors to be active in the industry they are teaching.

“I think the fine art industry can feel cryptic and difficult to access, so it’s become important for professors to show students how they can access a world that oftentimes is nebulous and does not have direct steps for entry,” said Garza-Cuen.

CLA is excited to continue the tradition of recognizing outstanding faculty’s scholarly and creative achievements with a reception each spring.