Westminster College Students Receive Drinko Research Grants, Attend Kennedy Center Festival

Friday, February 1, 2013

NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. - Five Westminster College students received undergraduate research grants from Westminster's Drinko Center for Experiential Learning to attend the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF) Jan. 12-16 in Towson, Md.

The KCACTF national program involves 18,000 students from more than 600 academic institutions. In January and February of each year regional festivals include workshops, symposia, and regional-level award programs. From there the best regional theatre students are invited to the national festival in the spring.

"At KCACTF we had three students present their Production Design/Stage Management work that they had done over the past year. Along with that we had two students audition for the Irene Ryan Scholarship Competition. In all instances the students performed/presented for professionals in their respective fields, gaining feedback, that will hopefully help them grow as theatre artists. This conference allowed them to make connections, view their contemporaries' works, and learn a bit about what it takes to make a career in theatre," said Terry Jachimiak, Westminster assistant professor of theatre.

The students who attended KCACTF included:

Courtney Jackson, a senior theatre major, is a daughter of Christina Jackson of Julian and a graduate of State College Area High School. She presented costume designs and research from the Beauty Queen of Leenane production.

William Currie, a freshman business administration major, is a son of William and Stephanie Currie of New Castle and a graduate of Shenango High School. He participated in the Irene Ryan Scholarship competition.

Christian Heasley, a senior music education major, is a son of Daniel and Lisa Heasley of New Castle and a graduate of Laurel High School. He participated in the Irene Ryan Scholarship competition.

Danielle Newport, a senior communication studies and theatre major, is a daughter of Timothy and Susan Newport of Lodi, Ohio, and a graduate of Cloverleaf High School. She presented on lighting design from The Drowsy Chaperone production.

Carol Sulla, a senior theatre major, is a daughter of Gaitano and Felice Sulla of Malverne, N.Y., and a graduate of Valley Stream North High School. She presented on stage management for The Drowsy Chaperone production.

The undergraduate curriculum in the Westminster College Theatre program is designed to introduce the student to the content and structure of theatre as an important cultural institution, and to encourage the student to explore both theatre's theoretical and its practical aspects. The College offers classes in acting, movement, voice, script analysis, theatre history, stagecraft, lighting, and design. The low student/ faculty ratio and the excellent theater facilities allow students to receive individual attention and care in the classroom.

Contact Jachimiak at (724) 946-7273 or email for additional information.

The Drinko Center for Experiential Learning was created to enrich undergraduate education at Westminster through advancing world-class teaching as well as by participating in collaborations that address community and regional needs including strengthening K-12 education.  The Undergraduate Research Initiative provides funding for students to conduct research and to present their research at regional and national conferences.  

Visit www.westminster.edu/drinko for more information about the Drinko Center and its programs.

About Westminster College...
Founded in 1852 and related to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Westminster College ranks first in the nation as "Best College for Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math," according to Forbes.com. Westminster is a top-tier liberal arts college and a national leader in graduation rate performance, according to U.S. News Best Colleges guide. Westminster is also honored as one of "The Best 377 Colleges" by The Princeton Review, and is named to the President's Honor Roll for excellence in service learning.

Nearly 1,600 undergraduate and graduate students benefit from individualized attention from dedicated faculty while choosing from 41 majors and nearly 100 organizations on the New Wilmington, Pa., campus. Visit www.westminster.edu/advantage to view "Advantage: Westminster" A Strategic Plan 2010-2020.