Congratulations to our 2020 scholarship recipients. These students' scholarship, artistry, and citizenship embody the best of the School of Drama community. Thank you to the many generous supporters that make these scholarships possible each year.
The Frank and Martha Ackerman Scholarship
Created by Marion and Chester Beals in honor of Marion's father and mother, this scholarship provides financial support to students in the University of Washington Schools of Drama and Music. Frank Ackerman, Marion's father, was a "marble setter"- a skilled artisan who installed marble in public buildings. Martha, Marion's mother, devoted her energy to her home, her husband, and three children. Marion passed away in December 2009. Marion, a graduate of Camas High School, enjoyed playing the piano. She traveled extensively throughout the world with her husband, Chet, which not only kindled their knowledge, but motivated Marion's artistic endeavors. As a contemporary artist, she had her art displayed in California, Portland and other cities in the United States and Canada.
Recipient: Kristie Post Wallace (2nd year MFA directing student)
The John Ashby Conway Memorial Scholarship
John Ashby Conway taught design at the School of Drama for 40 years and retired in 1975. He was the original designer of the Penthouse Theater. Upon his death in 1987, a memorial scholarship was set in his name and overseen by his widow, Dorothy.
Recipient: Chih-Hung Shao (rising 3rd year MFA design student)
The James R. Crider Undergraduate Fund for Costume Design
James Crider was a member of the UW School of Drama faculty from 1952 until 1990, during which he taught various history of dress and costume design/construction courses, as well as designing for School of Drama productions and outside professional productions. The purpose of this fund is to provide financial support to undergraduate students in the SoD, and to encourage and nourish the love of theatrical costume design and construction in students in whom the seed of that love has already sprouted. This scholarship is awarded to one undergraduate who shows special promise as a designer and builder of theatrical costumes.
Recipient: Miranda White (undergraduate drama major)
Donal Harrington Memorial Scholarship
Donal ("Dan") F. Harrington joined the School of Drama faculty as a directing professor in 1938. A beloved teacher and director, he served the school nearly 30 years, retiring in 1967. He spent one year as the School's Executive Director. Harrington is remembered as remarkable for keeping in touch with all of his students after they graduated. An avid traveler, he could summer almost anywhere in the world and count on spending time with former students turned friends. Endowment established by a bequest from alumnus William Crossett. Many of Harrington’s former students are also donors.
Recipient: Jeremy Steckler (undergraduate drama major)
The Holliday Family Scholarship
Kathleen Holliday was the undergrad adviser from 1998-2008. Upon leaving the UW, she established the Holliday Family Scholarship “because of the work we do – and for the students.” The fund will support undergraduate students pursuing a degree in dramatic arts at the UW; to honor her parents who lacked the means to pursue education and the arts, but instilled its importance in their children; and to express gratitude for the scholarship support she received as an undergrad which allowed her to complete her own degree.
Recipient: Maria Rojkova (undergraduate drama major)
Glenn Hughes Memorial Scholarship
In honor of Founding School of Drama Director Glenn Hughes, this scholarship was established at the time of his passing in 1964 by the Arena Alumni Group. This group is comprised of School of Drama BA alumni and faculty who preserve the memories and activities of the School of Drama and have been the principle donors to this fund over many years.
Recipients: Em Dickson (undergraduate drama major), Elijah Pasco (undergraduate drama major), Maria Rojkova (undergraduate drama major), Hannah Saito (undergraduate drama major), Darby Sherwood (undergraduate drama major), Miranda White (undergraduate drama major), Rachel Wilson (undergraduate drama major)
Michael Quinn Writing Prize
Michael Quinn was a member of the SoD PhD faculty from 1989 to 1994 when he lost his battle with lymphoma. In the words of Sarah Nash Gates, “PhD and BA students found him intellectually challenging, clear and very witty. His photographic memory allowed him to quote playwrights, theorists and baseball stats with amazing ease. Michael was instrumental in bringing major guests to campus to enrich our program and was an excellent mentor in the PhD program. Illustrating his generosity – before he died, he arranged for the royalties from his book to fund a student prize for writing.” Barry Witham adds, “Michael was a genuine young scholar who prized scholarship and wanted to encourage it. At first the fund was meant for PhD students but then he decided it should award good writing at any level. For me it certainly encapsulates the spirit and vision of a wonderful man.”
Recipient: Carlos Salazar (PhD student)
2020 Pamela Reed Scholarship
This scholarship is made possible through a generous gift from Pamela Reed, this year’s School of Drama graduation keynote speaker. Pamela is a 1975 BFA graduate from the School of Drama. She asked that her donations be used to help a student in need.
Recipients: Sabrina Pirzada (undergraduate drama major), Amber Walker (rising second year MFA acting student)
Shelley & Phil Schermer Endowment Scholarship
Shelley (Henze) Schermer (B.A. 1971) and Phil Schermer (M.A. Scenery and Lighting Design, and Technical Direction, 1969) both graduated from the University of Washington’s School of Drama. For several years Shelley was a scenic artist and prop master at A Contemporary Theatre (ACT) and the Seattle Rep while she built her career as a scenery designer for ACT, the Bathhouse, Seattle Children’s Theatre, Intiman and many other theatres. Shelley has designed for well over one hundred theatre productions, as well as museum exhibits, conventions and fairs, and facility interiors. Upon finishing graduate school, Phil was hired as the UW School of Drama’s Theatre Production Supervisor where he oversaw the School’s scenery shop and theatre facilities, and the technical staff and students working in them. In 1974, Greg Falls hired Phil as Technical Director of ACT. Phil spent twenty-three years with the theatre, overseeing all aspects of the productions and the expansion and renovation of the original Queen Anne facility. The Schermers’ fruitful professional relationship with Greg Falls and his wife Jean led to partnerships beyond ACT. In 1975, the couples and another former UW associate, Mac Perkins, founded Pacific Northwest Theatre Associates (PNTA), which, would become one of the premier theatrical suppliers in the country. Upon the ACT' board's decision to move into a larger facility, Phil, with architect Gary Wakasuki, designed the renovation and then supervised the move into the historic Eagles Auditorium in 1996. Shelley, meanwhile, was tasked with designing the interiors of ACT's new home, and so they spent the majority of the last year of Phil’s life, after his receiving a lung cancer diagnosis, working together on this venture. Shelley has since remained a vital part of the theatre community in the Puget Sound Area as a designer, producer, and author of a book series on the history of ACT- you can see her scenic design for ACT’s annual production of A Christmas Carol every winter. In creating this fund, it was Shelley’s desire to give students opportunities similar to those she was afforded by providing financial support to undergraduate or graduate students in the technical and theatre design programs.
Recipients: Rosemary Jones (undergraduate drama major), Emily Smith (undergraduate drama major)
School of Drama Scholarship
In 1962, when Greg Falls was Director of the School of Drama, he felt it necessary to establish a School of Drama Scholarship. Many, many alumni have and continue to support this fund.
Recipients: Andrew Coopman (rising third year MFA directing student), Abigail Dominguiano (undergraduate drama major), Emma Fleming (undergraduate drama major), Gretchen Hahn (rising second year MFA acting student), Asialani Holman (rising third year MFA acting student), Erica Matthews (rising third year MFA acting student), Koo Park (rising second year MFA acting student), Sabrina Pirzada (undergraduate drama major), Jason Treviño (rising third year MFA acting student), Amber Walker (rising second year MFA acting student)
Senior Capstone Project Award
The Senior Capstone Project award funds an applied research project that investigates, explores, and articulates the various areas of study in the Drama BA. Project guidelines can be found on the Honors and Capstone Page. In addition to financial support, this award grants students faculty mentorship, and designation as a School of Drama Honors student. Projects funded by this award are designed so that students have a portfolio documenting their work that can be used for graduate school applications and job interviews, as well as in pursuing practical experience creating arts in the Seattle community.
Recipients: Christopher E. Hogan (undergraduate drama major), Elijah Pasco (undergraduate drama major), Sam Jemuelle Quiambao ( undergraduate drama major), Christie Zhao (undergraduate drama major)
The Jenna Ulrich Memorial Award
Jenna was a BA student who tragically was killed in an auto accident shortly after graduating. The award was established by her parents, Rick and Mya, “for a deserving BA student who emulates Jenna’s spirit and artistic contributions to the School of Drama.”
Recipient: Christie Zhao (undergraduate drama major)
The Meri Wada Award
Meri Wada is an amazing woman and costumer who dedicated her 46-year career to the UW School of Drama. Upon her 1997 retirement, a fund was established by members of the Costume Shop Staff to honor her. This award is for a current or graduating undergraduate student who shows promise and skill in the area of technical costume.
Recipient: Isabella Reed Harris (undergraduate drama major)