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Congratulations to our 2021 scholarship recipients!

Submitted by Caroline Rensel on June 7, 2021 - 1:30pm
Portraits of scholarship recipients

Congratulations to our 2021 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.
Recipients: Iveliz Martel (2nd year MFA acting student), Esther Okech (2nd year MFA acting student)

Iveliz MartelEsther Okech headshot

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: Brandon Riel (2nd 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.
Recipients: Alex Mellor (undergraduate drama major), Panda Standridge (undergraduate drama major)

Alex MellorPanda Standridge

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.
Recipients: Sam Jemuelle Quiambao (undergraduate drama major), Hannah Saito (undergraduate drama major)

Sam QuiambaoHannah Saito

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: Isabella Harris (undergraduate drama major)

Isabella Harris headshot

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: Taylor Narissa Sewann Freeman (undergraduate drama major), Isabella Harris (undergraduate drama major), Derrick Bertram Johnson (undergraduate drama major), Kalea Levy (undergraduate drama major), Patricia Ma (undergraduate drama major), Rebecca Pirkle (undergraduate drama major), Sam Jemuelle Quiambao (undergraduate drama major), Madison Sasaki (undergraduate drama major, not pictured), Daisy Schreiber (undergraduate drama major), Darby Sherwood (undergraduate drama major), James Cody Tumlin (undergraduate drama major, not pictured), Samantha Weinert (undergraduate drama major), Rachel Mollye Wilson (undergraduate drama major), 

Taylor Freeman HeadshotIsabella Harris headshotDerrick JohnsonKalea Levy headshotPatricia MaRebecca PirkleSam QuiambaoDaisy SchreiberDarby SherwoodSamantha WeinertRachel Wilson

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.”
Recipients: Cate Heiner (PhD student), Mona Merhi (PhD Student)

Cate HeinerMona Merhi

Laura and Robert McBride Endowed Drama Fund
Laura McBride was born in Oregon Oct. 3, 1917. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Washington in Seattle, probably in 1939. Robert McBride received his Master of Fine Arts in Drama at UW in 1942. The McBride's were actors in New York City and summer stock in Connecticut from the late 1940s through the 1950s. Robert went on to be vice president and Far Eastern representative with Irving Trust in Hong Kong, where they resided for 15 years. Laura was a world traveler, talented seamstress and knitter, writer, author and artist. This scholarship is for undergraduates or graduates who are pursuing a degree in the Recipient: Amanda E. Rountree (2nd year MFA directing student)

Amanda Rountree Headshot

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.
Recipient:  Fiona Zhang (undergraduate drama major)

Fiona Zhang

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: Alex Mellor (undergraduate drama student), Gretchen Hahn (3rd year MFA acting student), Iveliz Martel (2nd year MFA acting student), Antonio Mitchell (3rd year MFA acting student), Esther Okech (2nd year MFA acting student), Amanda E. Rountree (2nd year MFA directing student), Emily Stone (2nd year MFA acting student), Joellen Sweeney (3rd year MFA acting student), Gabriel Trimbur (2nd year MFA acting student), Amber Walker (3rd year MFA acting student)

Alex MellorGretchen HahnIveliz MartelAntonio MitchellEsther Okech headshotAmanda Rountree HeadshotEmily StoneJoellen SweeneyGabriel TrimburAmber Walker

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: Sam Jemuelle Quiambao (undergraduate drama major)

Sam Quiambao

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 Harris (undergraduate drama major), Panda Standridge (undergraduate drama major), Jenni Gile (2nd year MFA design student)

Isabella Harris headshotPanda StandridgeJenni Gile

The Lyle and Liz Martin Humanitarian Student Award
Jessica Martin, School of Drama BA '08, created this student award to honor her parents and their enduring generosity. This award seeks to recognize an undergraduate student who is active in their studies and community; who may have been overlooked or ineligible for other scholarships, but most of all, who possess a generosity of spirit. 
Recipient: Rachel Mollye Wilson (undergraduate drama student)

Rachel Wilson