The College of Arts + Architecture (CoA+A) honored its 2020 Distinguished Alumni on Friday, March 13, during a ceremony in the Anne R. Belk Theater in Robinson Hall. The event was the college’s sixth annual ceremony to recognize the accomplishments of alumni who demonstrate in their work the core themes of the college's vision: professionalism; global perspective; environmental engagement; connectivity with community; collaboration; and the emergence of new ideas, skills and practices.
The five alumni, one from each department of the college, received a struck limited edition medal designed by Associate Professor of Art Jamie Franki. A recipient of the 2011 American Numismatic Association's Presidential Award, Franki is a prolific designer of coins and medals and a former master designer in the United States Mint’s Artistic Infusion Program.
The 2020 Distinguished Alumni for the CoA+A are:
Sandra Atkinson (Bachelor of Arts in Dance, 2003), who is chair of the Dance Department in the Jim Henson Center for the Visual and Performing Arts at Northwestern High School in Hyattsville, Maryland. She also is the founder/artistic director of Light Switch Dance Theatre, where she creates socially conscious multidisciplinary work to be performed in nontraditional spaces. Atkinson currently choreographs works at Montgomery College, Black Rock Center for the Arts in Germantown, Maryland; and City Ballet in Hagerstown.
Joseph Benjamin Earp (Bachelor of Music Education, 2006) is the director of athletic bands at Limestone College in Gaffney, South Carolina. Formerly the founding director of bands at Cox Mill High School in Concord, North Carolina, he has had numerous accomplishments teaching at the secondary level: multiple superior ratings, grand championships and awards and recognitions for his instrumental ensembles, including the selection of one of his symphonic bands to perform at the 2013 North Carolina Music Educators State Conference.
Over a 30-year career in public schools, Cheryl Maney (Bachelor of Creative Arts, 1989) has been an art educator, arts integration facilitator and K-12 visual arts and dance curriculum specialist. She served on the visual arts writing committee for the National Core Arts Standards and as the lead for the North Carolina Arts Standards. She was awarded the National Art Educators Association (NAEA) National Supervisor of the Year in 2018.
Melanie Reddrick (Bachelor of Arts in Architecture, 2001) just joined Little Diversified Architectural Consulting after having served as the interim division director of Construction Technologies for Central Piedmont Community College. Her personal passion is building information modeling and its potential to unify the design, fabrication, specification and assembly processes that shape the built environment. She also is committed to improving upward mobility in Charlotte through strategic partnerships, including one with the Goodwill Construction Skills Training Center in Charlotte.
Playwright Stacey Rose (Bachelor of Arts in Theatre, 2008) is a 2019-20 McKnight Fellow, 2020-22 Playwrights’ Center Core Writer, 2018-19 Goodman Theatre’s Playwrights Unit writer and member of The Civilians R&D Group. She was a 2018 Sundance Theatre Lab Fellow, 2017-18 Playwrights’ Center Many Voices Fellow and 2015-16 Dramatist Guild Fellow.
Her work celebrates and explores black identity and history, body politics and the dilemma of life as the “other.” Her play “America v. 2.1” was awarded the inaugural Burman New Play Prize and received its world premiere production at Barrington Stage Company in June 2019.