Current MIller Arts Scholars Award Recipients

Class of 2026

Henry Boland, Music

Rising 3rd Year Award

Self-Produced Pop E.P.
I will write, record, and produce a pop E.P. (a collection of 4-6 pop songs) and release it on all streaming services in January 2025. The primary focus of this project will be to further develop my skills as a producer, which include curating unique sonic palettes, creating impactful mixes, recording live instrumentation, and optimizing my workflow. Additionally, I want to elevate my songwriting by incorporating jazz vocabulary into my chord progressions and melodies and writing lyrics that present authentic narratives. I am requesting funding for equipment that will enhance my ability to make songs from home.

Faculty Mentor: Michael Rasbury
Department: Drama

Kailash Patel, Music

Rising 3rd Year Award

An Exploration of Musical Styles Through Composition
An opportunity to explore the framework of different types of music from a theory standpoint will be quite beneficial for my growth as a musician. I plan to collaborate with Professor Daniel Sender, employing his guidance and expertise to achieve my desired product. In order to complete my project, I am applying for a grant to allow me to purchase resources such as composition tools, recording and processing equipment, instruments, and services to present my work to the desired audience. I am requesting an arts award of $3000 to meet my goal.

Faculty Mentor: Daniel Sender
Department: Music

Lucas Piette, Studio Art

Rising 3rd Year Award

Shooting Analog: 16mm and 8mm Motion Picture Film
I am requesting a total of $3,000 to be used for the purchase of both a 16mm and 8mm (Super 8) film camera to use as I progress through the cinematography concentration of my studio art major at UVA.

Faculty Mentor: Kevin Everson
Department: Studio Art

Reese Robers, Studio Art

Rising 3rd Year Award

UVA Community Zine Series and Public Video-Zine Screening
I am requesting funds to create and distribute a series of short zines that will be based on community submissions of all forms of art and later converted into a video zine, where the submissions will be incorporated into a video presentation to be screened at a public community event at which the paper zines will also be distributed. With this funding, I will be able to 1) travel to New York City for two days and attend the East Village Zine Fair, where I can learn about and engage with a well-established zine-making community and further develop my project ideas before bringing them to Grounds, 2) afford the materials to physically produce the paper copies of the zines, and 3) have access to video programs and production equipment that will allow me to create a cohesive, stylized, and high-quality presentation of a video version of that zine, which will be screened at a public event for the contributing artists and community members to enjoy and find pride and appreciation for the culmination of their work.

Faculty Mentor: Mona Kasra
Department: Drama, Studio Art

Lilla Woodard, Drama

Rising 3rd Year Award

A Summer of American Theater
I am requesting a total of $2,662 to fund tickets to theater performances in the Washington DC and New York City area, as well as offset the costs of traveling and staying in New York City.

Faculty Mentor: David Dalton
Department: Drama

Class of 2025

Carly Ault, Studio Art

Rising 4th Year Award

Framing Lost Familial Locations with Large Format Film
I will be requesting $2,998 in order to travel to Southern Germany and buy large format film, darkroom paper, film sleeves, and darkroom filters. This semester I have been working on a photo series about my relationship with my dad, and want to extend this train of thought and practice on a broader scale in order to make work about my relationship with my foreign identity and relatives.

Faculty Mentor: James Scheuren
Department: Studio Art

John Barnes, Drama

Rising 4th Year Award

Low Life: Making a High-Quality Short Film
I am requesting funding to produce a coming-of-age short film loosely based on my experiences working at a movie theater chain at 14 years old. This story has been a passion project of mine for many years, as I have been working sporadically on a feature-length screenplay for this film since 2019. The funding would support film production expenses, professional post-production costs, and film festival submission fees for the 2024-2025 school year. Additionally, I am requesting that a small portion of my grant be used toward travel costs for the 2024 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) in September 2024. I attended the festival in 2023 and it was greatly beneficial for networking and immersion in the film industry.

Faculty Mentor: Kevin Everson
Department: Studio Art

Jesper Braley, Studio Art

Rising 4th Year Award

An Exploration of Experimental Animation
This summer, I plan on creating an experimental animation that involves digital and traditional components. With this Arts Award, I would be able to purchase a Wacom Cinq screen tablet—a comfortable, efficient, and powerful tool used by professional animators. Not only would this purchase assist me with this summer project, but it would allow me to continue creating works for my future professional endeavors. Immediately following this summer project, I would use this tablet to start working on my fourth year UVA art thesis project(s). I am also applying for a DMP in Studio Art, for which I may use this summer’s animation as a blueprint or sister work.

Faculty Mentor: Federico Cuatlacuatl
Department: Studio Art

Alex Burijon, Music

Rising 3rd Year Award

New York Summer Internships
With the help of the Miller Arts Scholars program, I plan to live in New York City this year from late May through early August to pursue two internships, one in-person within the music industry and one remote in the administrative realm through UVA’s Internship Placement Program. I intend to gain more experience to assist in determining my career path, network among the New York music and theater scenes, work on my vocal proficiency, and earn money.

Faculty Mentor: Noel Lobley
Department: Music

Alex Burijon, Music

Rising 4th Year Award

Fourth Year Preparation: MAS DMP Proposal
I humbly request $3,000 for the preparation and execution of my Distinguished Majors Program (DMP) project through the Music Department, set to be completed by May 2025. At present, I am planning to unpack the musical Hadestown using vocal and guitar performance, academic research, and critical analysis to present the relationship between speaking about and speaking to within the arts.

Faculty Mentor: A.D. Carson
Department: Music

Hunter Colson, Music

Rising 4th Year Award

Funds Towards Distinguished Major Project
I am applying for a fourth-year award to purchase two instrument libraries and a Zoom Field recorder for use in my upcoming distinguished major project. The distinguished major project is the culmination of my past few years at UVA and will build on my existing composition skills and training by allowing me to focus on a large scale composition. This three part project will involve studying how to write idiomatically for classical guitar, writing a classical inspired multi-movement piece for guitar and piano, and will conclude with a live recital performance of the composition.

Faculty Mentor: Matthew Burtner
Department: Music

Zoe Edelman, Studio Art

Rising 4th Year Award

Forming Landscapes Through the Art of Tufting
My proposal is to create a rug through tufting to demonstrate large changes to our landscapes due to climate change. The goal is to scale the landscapes down to be more tangible for audiences to view and feel for themselves. I hope to center this project around my final thesis for the new media concentration in my studio art major. I am requesting about $2,000 to fund the unique tools for the tufting process.

Faculty Mentor: Federico Cuatlacuatl
Department: Studio Art

Ava Flory, Studio Art

Rising 4th Year Award

Creating Pottery to Explore Beauty, Service, and Gift-giving
I am seeking $3,000 to buy materials, training, and equipment to create an exhibition of hand-painted pottery vessels. This multi-piece exhibit will be entitled “Cup Overflowing.” As I create this project, I will gain skills through personal experimentation, an 8-week pottery class, and guidance from my faculty mentor Conrad Cheung.

Faculty Mentor: Conrad Cheung
Department: Studio Art

Mary Hall, Drama

Rising 4th Year Award

Exploring Black Womanhood through the Dramatic Lens
With the help of the Miller Arts Scholars Program, I am requesting $3000 to aid in my research for my undergraduate thesis project: writing a one-act play surrounding Black womanhood and how aspects of it transcend time, then staging and producing it. The Distinguished Majors Program in the African American and African Studies Department is the primary sponsor for this project. Professor Theresa M. Davis has agreed to be my thesis advisor and faculty mentor for Miller Arts, having an extensive background in devising work and the overall field of Black Theatre. The plan is to write a 60 to 90-minute play surrounding two generations of Black women, a mother and daughter, and how they experience life as Black women independently and together. This will be accompanied by a dramaturgical packet: a packet detailing the research and methodology that went into writing the script. My script and dramaturgical packet will be informed by research in areas such as Black feminist theory, queer theory, and social science, in addition to autobiographical perspectives as I pull from lived experiences.

Faculty Mentor: Theresa Davis
Department: Drama

Abby Kim, Music

Rising 3rd Year Award

Learning the Viola
My proposal is to learn the viola through both personal study and guidance from Professor Daniel Sender while continuing my studies in violi

Faculty Mentor: Daniel Sender
Department: Music

Meg Kosefeski, Studio Art

Rising 3rd Year Award

1.8 Cents a Can
I’m asking Miller Arts Scholars for about 1000 dollars to achieve this project. Most of the cost accounts for transport, cleaning, and assembly, because the sad fact is trash itself is everywhere; it is extremely easy and inexpensive to work with and source.

Faculty Mentor: Federico Cuatlacuatl
Department: Studio Art

Jolinna Li, Studio Art

Rising 4th Year Award

归舟 Gui Zhou (The Return)
I want to adapt and realize this script as a 20 minute narrative film with documentary and experimental elements, casting myself as the main character in the story contemplating cultural and generational gaps.

Faculty Mentor: Anna Hogg
Department: Studio Art

Emily Liu, Studio Art

Rising 4th Year Award

Murmured Memories
I plan to create a large digital archive of images, embodying the act of observation and chronicling beauty in mundanity. For this project, I am requesting $3,000 for supplies, which will be detailed in the budget breakdown.

Faculty Mentor: Federico Cuatlacuatl
Department: Studio Art

Grace Sellers, Studio Art

Rising 3rd Year Award

Exploring Printmaking through an Ordinary Day
I am requesting $3000 for resources to create a series of prints and explore advanced printmaking techniques.

Faculty Mentor: Akemi Ohira
Department: Studio Art

Grace Sellers, Studio Art

Rising 4th Year Award

A Puppet’s Life
I am requesting $3000 to make a series of prints that investigate the psychological effects of control and obedience through representations of puppets, exaggerated facial expressions, theatrical scenes, and gothic elements.

Faculty Mentor: Akemi Ohira
Department: Studio Art

Amanda Yo, Music

Rising 3rd Year Award

Funding for a Piccolo
With my own piccolo, I would be able to practice piccolo pieces/parts on my own time without having to borrow it from the university, which can be difficult to coordinate due to the need of the piccolo in other areas.

Faculty Mentor: Kelly Sulick
Department: Music

Class of 2024

Tyler Burkhardt, Music

Rising 3rd Year Award

Comet (E.P.)
This project will consist of a 4-song, all original E.P. The genre will be primarily modern jazz with hints of fusion and world music. The songs will be primarily instrumental and focus on tonality and meter we don’t hear in popular music today. My stylistic experience in metrically modulating rhythms and shifting modal harmonies will center the album, but each song will be focused on a different aspect of these ideas.

Faculty Mentor: Michael Rosensky
Department: Music

Tyler Burkhardt, Music

Rising 4th Year Award

Eclipse (E.P.)
Last year, for my 3rd year arts award, I recorded an E.P. “Comet” of 4 original songs. The project was a huge success, and I’d like to propose a similar project for this year, but with new music and a new vision.

Faculty Mentor: Mike Rosensky
Department: Music

Becca Davis, Drama

Performing Shakespeare: Attending Shakespeare & Company’s Summer Shakespeare Intensive for Actors
I am requesting a $3,000 Miller Arts award to help cover my tuition for the 2023 Summer Shakespeare Intensive for Actors through Shakespeare & Company (May 29-June 26).

Faculty Mentor: Tovah Close
Department: Drama

Jalia Dillard, Drama

Rising 4th Year Award

The People of 276: Persevering Through Generations
I am requesting a grant of $3,000 to aid with the project. This award will support me by enabling me access to a camera, and all of the equipment for video creation.

Faculty Mentor: Mona Kasra
Department: Drama

Elise Ebert, Music

Rising 3rd Year Award

Classical Voice Performance Study in Vienna
In Vienna, I will be taking 16 credits, including both Music and German courses. I am very excited for my schedule, which includes a Music Performance Workshop, where I will participate in weekly chamber, solo, and opera theatre performances, join an ensemble of instrumentalists and vocalists, have an in-house collaborative pianist, and learn from guest lecturers and renowned professionals from Vienna. I will also take private lessons and end the semester with my own vocal recital. This recital will help prepare me for my UVA third-year recital, which I will present only 4 months later in the Spring.

Faculty Mentor: John Mayhood
Department: Music

Cecilia Huang (黄馨萌Xinmeng Huang), Drama

Rising 4th Year Award

Directing A Play
During this project, my top priority will fall on the aspect of directing and acting. In the past two years at the Drama Department, I greatly focused on those two areas.

Faculty Mentor: David Dalton
Department: Drama

Emily Hunter, Music

Rising 3rd Year Award

Performance Inspiration: A New Perspective
I am asking for funding in three areas: continuing private lessons over the summer with my local instructor in Northern Virginia, attending a New York Philharmonic Orchestra concert, and one private lesson from a New York flutist, recommended by Kelly Sulick. This work will be ultimately presented via two orchestral excerpt recordings: one before I visit New York and one after.

Faculty Mentor: Kelly Sulick
Department: Music

Emily Hunter, Music

Rising 4th Year Award

Investing in my Flute’s Tonal Flexibility
I am proposing to receive funding to upgrade my flute’s head joint. The grant would allow me to invest in my future music career and surpass the limitations of my current instrument for my proposed DMP recital, where I will be performing expressive French flute repertoire.

Faculty Mentor: Kelly Sulick
Department: Music

Heeran Karim, Studio Art

Rising 3rd Year Award

Five Stages of Grief
I plan to create a picture-book of approximately 20 prints associated with the 5 stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Each print will involve a mixture of planography, intaglio, and relief; I hope to have many layers on a single page. Each stage of grief will have 4 prints associated with that certain stage. The story of the book will follow a character in their journey of life; they will experience loss and embark in the five stages of grief. I hope to portray their emotions and process in finding themself and acceptance.

Faculty Mentor: Akemi Ohira
Department: Studio Art

Heeran Karim, Studio Art

Rising 4th Year Award

The Melancholy of Memory
I propose to create a series of seven prints for my Disinguished Majors Program (DMP) show, and I hope to edition and frame each of the pieces.

Faculty Mentor: Akemi Ohira
Department: Studio Art

Anne Kickert

Hyebin Lee, Studio Art

Rising 3rd Year Award

Humans of UVA: Stories to be Heard
I propose that I will make a short documentary series that is about 4 episodes which will be distributed primarily through Youtube. My vision for this project is to tell often untold stories in our UVA community. These digital stories will not be limited to just students and professors.

Faculty Mentor: Mona Kasra
Department: Drama

Hyebin Lee, Studio Art

Rising 4th Year Award

Present in the Past
I propose to make an autoethnographic short I'm and a portrait series exploring my identity as an immigrant Korean American by creatively examining the interactions of three generations: my grandmother, mother, and I. The short film will be distributed through Youtube, and the portrait series will be exhibited at a physical location. This funding will allow me to pursue my passion for visual storytelling, new media art, video art, and film making. The award money will be used for filming equipment and post production expenses.

Faculty Mentor: Mona Kasra
Department: Drama

Cassie Lipton, Music

Rising 3rd Year Award

National Flute Association Convention 2022
For many years, I have wanted to attend the National Flute Association Convention, which would involve a similar kind of rich educational experience, but on a much larger scale. This year’s convention is being held at the Hilton Downtown in Chicago, Illinois, and for my rising third-year arts award, I would love to request funding to be able to attend this convention.

Faculty Mentor: Kelley Sulick
Department: Music

Cassie Lipton, Music

Rising 4th Year Award

Exploring Music in the Birthplace of Jazz
I would like to request funding to travel to New Orleans in the Summer of 2023. Known as “the birthplace of jazz,” New Orleans has long been a hotspot and melting pot for musical creativity and a variety of musical cultures.

Faculty Mentor: Kelly Sulick
Department: Music

Talia Pirron, Music

Rising 4th Year Award

Fourth-Year Recital: Reflections
I am proposing support for a fourth-year voice recital which would allow me to present the culmination of my work as a music major and arts scholar at UVA. I am requesting $2500, which I have broken down in detail in my budget below, to be used to support the artistic preparation as well as logistics for putting together said recital.

Faculty Mentor: Bonnie Gordon
Department: Music

Collin White, Dance

Rising 3rd Year Award

Expanding my Dance Training and Preparing for Future Choreographic Work
My project proposal is to attend the Joffrey Ballet School San Francisco summer intensive program from July 25 - August 6, 2022. With this grant, I am hoping to gain more experience within my discipline. At this intensive, I will be able to take ballet, contemporary, modern, pilates, and a variety of other classes throughout the two weeks that I am there.

Faculty Mentor: Katie Schetlick
Department: Dance

Adin Yager, Music

Rising 3rd Year Award

Creating and Performing a “lofi” Album
I am proposing the creation and performance of an album to be completed over this summer and fall. I will be recording, producing, mixing, and mastering the album, and then releasing it to music streaming platforms. Then, I will be creating and performing live sets of the album. I will be using this grant money to ensure that my album will be as authentic and high quality as possible, and that I am able to perform my music to live audiences to further my exploration of this genre.

Faculty Mentor: Michael Rasbury
Department: Drama