Dr. Matthew Carlson, associate professor of English, pictured at left with English majors Maya Davis, McKinley Johnson and Max Kresock, traveled to Denver, Colorado for the annual convention of Sigma Tau Delta, the international English honors society.
HIGH POINT, N.C., May 24, 2023 – High Point University faculty and students recently received the following academic and professional awards and recognitions.
Students Win Awards at National Sigma Tau Delta Convention
English majors Maya Davis, McKinley Johnson and Max Kresock traveled to Denver, Colorado, with Dr. Matthew Carlson, associate professor of English, for the annual convention of Sigma Tau Delta, the international English honors society.
In addition to presenting their research and creative works, the students had the opportunity to attend career workshops, hear keynote speakers and network with other students majoring in English. At the convention awards banquet, Kresock received the first place Beth DeMeo Poetry Award for Best Critical Work on Poetry or a Poet. Johnson received the second place Isabel Sparks President’s Award for Original Poetry.
“With more than 900 active chapters, Sigma Tau Delta is one of the largest organizations in the Association of College Honor Societies,” said Carlson. “Being invited to present is a great accomplishment. The fact that two of our students were given prestigious awards shows that HPU’s English department is home to some of the best undergraduate writers and researchers in the country.”
Student’s Short Horror Film Wins Awards
Class of 2023 graduate Grey Rich, a media production major, continues to win honors for his short horror film, “Doll in the Dark.” The film recently won the Best Student Short Film award from Direct Monthly Online Festival and an honorable mention in Global Shorts. These add to the awards the short film has garnered since its release in December 2022. The film also won an Award of Merit at the One Reeler Film Festival, an Official Selection at the Direct Monthly Online Film Festival and was a Best Horror Film nominee at Couch Film Festival. The film is considered by some as HPU’s most successful student only produced short film in its history.
“I am impressed with your ideas and what you have pulled together with lighting, music and scare in this short film,” said HPU President Dr. Nido Qubein as he personally congratulated Rich. “I can’t wait to see where your career takes you.”
Dr. Virginia McDermott, Dean of the Nido Qubein School of Communication, also congratulated Rich.
“I enjoyed watching this (short film) and was impressed by your use of lighting, (camera) angles and effective music choices,” said McDermott. “You are also comfortable with negative space, which is great to see.”
Rich used the High Point University Estate as the film’s primary shooting location, at the suggestion of Media Production Professor Joe Michaels. The atmosphere provided the film with a nostalgic horror film backdrop and shows the university’s commitment to creating a learning environment in which students can explore their talents and thrive. When asked about the film’s success, Michaels says he has never seen a student short film gain as much attention as this.
Judges from the festival said they were impressed by this student-made project, which appeared to be a professional short film. One judge praised it by saying, “With minimal dialogue, it’s a great exercise in visual storytelling with many eerie and effective compositions.”
“Doll in the Dark” received more than 6,500 views on YouTube in less than four months. It premiered at an HPU student event in February, which drew more than 40 people.
“I’ve worked hard to get this film project off the ground, but never imagined the film would find the success it has,” said Rich, who is from Cary, North Carolina. “I have been extremely fortunate to have such a strong campus-wide exposure from faculty and students. I am thrilled that so many people enjoyed this project.”
Rich worked with fellow School of Communication students Evan Bayer, Davis Ritenour, Greg Christian and Michael Snyder to bring the project to life.
The film can be viewed on YouTube
Music Professors Perform in National Concert Series
Dr. Scott MacLeod, HPU associate professor of music, performed in the National Gallery of Art Concert Series in Washington, D.C., on Earth Day, April 22. MacLeod sang baritone alongside soprano Lorena Guillén. They were accompanied by electric bassist Alejandro Rutty and pianist Anja Arko, an HPU adjunct instructor of music.
They performed a concert titled “Because the Oceans,” a chamber group initiative dedicated to promoting ocean conservation and bringing awareness to the climate crisis. “Because the Oceans” was conceived in 2022 via a federal grant from the U.S. Consulate in Marseille, France, with the goal of using the power of music as a tool for environmental advocacy and education. The initial tour included engagement with schools and concerts hosted by the Camargo Foundation and Prince Albert II of Monaco.
“Music has the power to educate and inspire,” said MacLeod. “We are grateful for the invitation to perform at the National Gallery of Art and hope we can continue to use this platform to encourage preservation of our shared natural resources.”
The concert’s title piece features a video by Bradley Lambert, an HPU associate professor of media production and director of the MA program in strategic communication. It sets to music expert climate data from governmental panels to allow listeners to process the information through a humanistic lens.
HPU History Students Present Work at N.C. Association of Historians Conference
For the fifth consecutive year, the HPU Department of History succeeded in placing students in the North Carolina Association of Historians Conference.
“This year, four HPU history majors presented papers, received praise for their efforts and all received requests to submit their papers for the Midgette Award, which is given for the best student paper,” said Dr. Michael V. Kennedy, instructor of history. HPU students won the award in 2022 and 2021.
The four students are HPU History Club President Bonnie Showfety, Maeve O’Dea, Jayne Eaves and Kenan Althoff. All are Class of 2023 graduates. While at HPU, they were members of Phi Alpha Theta, the National History Honor Society. Dr. Kennedy accompanied the students at the conference.
HPU Students Learn Regency Dances Through Experiential Learning Opportunity
Students from all majors enjoyed learning various Regency dances by professional historical and dance experts from the Regency Assembly of North Carolina in April. This experiential learning opportunity gave students in Dr. Amanda Allen’s British history class, as well as other students, the chance to study the Regency Era in a much more hands-on way.
Allen says author Jane Austen, other Regency books and movies often include central scenes at a ball, as these were highlights of the Regency culture and society. The dances were not only about dancing, but also about networking.
“This opportunity for students to learn Regency dances greatly enhances their learning in various subjects like history, English and dance,” said Allen, assistant professor of history. “Balls were highly important social events, and they are essential scenes in literature, letters and historical memory. Through this active participation, led by expert historical dance interpreters and musicians, students can truly experience this important aspect of history. It really was a blast getting to provide this for our students and see how fun it was for them to learn.”
Students also enjoyed English treats that would have been served at afternoon dances.
Dr. Megan Carr Accepted to Tideswell Scholars Program
Dr. Megan Carr, assistant professor of clinical sciences in the Fred Wilson School of Pharmacy, was accepted into the selective American Geriatrics Society Emerging Leaders in Aging Program for 2023-2024.
“I am incredibly honored to be selected for the American Geriatrics Society Emerging Leaders in Aging Program and I am looking forward to working with and learning from interprofessional geriatrics leaders in the program,” said Carr. “I am excited for the opportunity to develop my skills in creating academic environments that prioritize excellent medication care for older adults and support our students in positively impacting medication outcomes for older adults across the continuum of healthcare.”
Known as Tideswell Scholars, this competitive program is uniquely multidisciplinary. Tideswell is designed to equip leaders with a clear commitment to the field of aging to leverage existing leadership skills for clinical, research, policy and educational initiatives in aging. Learn more about the program on this website.
“Within this program, Dr. Carr will work with a multidisciplinary cohort and mentor teams to develop expanded access to medication care services for older adults here in High Point. She will also take steps toward the creation of a geriatric pharmacy fellowship program,” said Dr. Julie B. Cooper, interim chair and associate professor of clinical sciences.