Faculty and Staff

Bebe Miller Recognized at Movement Research Gala 2015

by Dori Jenks

Bebe Miller directs students.

On Monday, June 8, Movement Research held its 2015 Spring Gala at the beautiful and historic Judson Memorial Church in New York City. The Gala Program honored three exceptional individuals for their vital contributions to the field. Bebe Miller, Distinguished Professor and alumna (MA ’75), was selected by her contemporaries to receive this prestigious recognition, along with fellow artists Moira Brennan and Tere O’Connor. Movement Research is an organization dedicated to the creation and implementation of free and low-cost programs that nurture and instigate discourse and experimentation in the field of dance. This organization strives to reflect the cultural, political and economic diversity of its moving community, including artists and audiences alike.

Susan Hadley Receives Ratner Award for Distinguished Teaching

by Susan Van Pelt Petry

Susan Hadley provides instruction to a student.Professor Susan Hadley received one of the inaugural Ronald and Deborah Ratner Distinguished Teaching Awards. This prestigious honor recognizes faculty for developing new courses, original materials, innovative methods and venues for delivery, as well as for making a difference in students’ educations, lives and careers. Each Ratner Award includes a $10,000 cash prize plus a $10,000 teaching account to fund future projects. She is one of five arts and humanities faculty to receive the 2014 award. With support from the award, Hadley will lead a group of 11 dance majors to Salvador, Brazil, during spring break 2016 to perform, teach and share in cultural exchanges with Brazilian dancers, musicians, students and community. In preparation for this experience, Ohio State dancers will rehearse works by students, faculty and visiting artists in addition to taking a course in Brazilian history, religion, arts and culture. Her proposal adds to the globalization of our curriculum, just as Brazil becomes the third partner country in the Ohio State Global Gateways program.

Melayne White Dixon Honored for Her Work in Dance in Higher Education

by Dori Jenks

Melanye Dixon.Melanye White Dixon, PhD, associate professor, received the 2015 International Association of Blacks in Dance (IABD) Educator/Scholar Award at the 27th annual IABD conference and festival in Cleveland Jan. 24. She was honored for her contributions to dance through her teaching and mentoring in higher education. The award was presented by Dixon’s mentor, dance scholar Brenda Dixon Gottschild. Additionally, Dixon was recognized on April 7 by the Office of Diversity and Inclusion for a grant to support her conference paper, “Social Change and The Black Dancing Body: Mary Hinkson and the Martha Graham Dance Company.” Dixon presented the paper at the 21st Annual Popular Culture Association Conference in New Orleans April 1-4.

Michael Kelly Bruce Awarded for Distinguished Faculty Service

by Sarah Levitt

Bruce Kelly.Michael Kelly Bruce received the 2015 President and Provost’s Award for Distinguished Faculty Service. This award honors faculty whose service has been extensive and made a long-lasting positive impact on the quality of the university and beyond. Bruce began his career here in 1990 and has always looked for opportunities to serve the department, college and university. In whatever capacity he serves, he stays focused on wanting to find the best outcome for any given problem or situation. He has been on 18 university committees, almost continuous service on college senate and curriculum committees, and a full array of service in the department including interim chair for a two-year period and assistant chair for many years. Bruce was an associate dean in the former College of the Arts from 1998 to 2001 where he was a program founder and director of the original Arts Scholars, and chaired the college’s honors committee helping to advance honors work in the college. Chair Petry wrote, “The sum total of his accomplishments, advocacy and munificence has helped countless students, programs and initiatives to advance and thrive.”

Susan Chess Selected for Distinguished Staff Award

by Dori Jenks

Susan Chess.Susan Chess, PhD, music supervisor, was one of 12 university honorees who received Distinguished Staff Awards for the 2014-15 academic year on Monday, May 4. Ohio State President Michael Drake and Provost Joseph Steinmetz presented each recipient with a crystal trophy, a $1,500 cash award and a $700 base salary increase. Professor Karen Eliot described Chess as “a sturdy backbone of the Department of Dance since she first took the piano bench as a dance accompanist in 1978. She has been a dedicated staff member who, during her long tenure in the dance department, has interacted with generations of students, faculty and staff.” Rachel Riggs Leyva, PhD, and assistant director, Dance Notation Bureau Extension, added, “Susan’s playful and witty personality, combined with her dedicated work ethic, make her a treasured teacher, colleague and friend.”

Dori Jenks Awarded for Service Above and Beyond

by Susan Van Pelt Petry

Dori Jenks.Executive Dean Manderscheid made a surprise visit to the department in December to present Dori Jenks, external relations coordinator, with the College of Arts and Sciences’ “Above and Beyond Buckeye Award” for her dedicated efforts in the department. Jenks played a key role during a period of enormous change including the move back to Sullivant, the turnover of a number of staff and the absorption of new systems and duties. As her nominators said: “She is stalwart, positive, committed, caring, funny, fun, creative, visionary…” and “The end of this tumultuous era was the building opening coupled with an alumni reunion, which she ran with effort to detail and quality above and beyond.”


Sarah Levitt Named Albert Schweitzer Fellow

Sarah Levitt.Sarah Levitt was selected as an Albert Schweitzer Fellow, one of 18 graduate students selected for the 2015-16 class of Albert Schweitzer Fellows from Columbus and Athens. Levitt’s project is addressing the health and wellness of senior citizens in Columbus by creating a dance program for older adults incorporating a variety of movement styles, including hip-hop and social dance. Working with the Clintonville-Beechwold Community Resource Center, Levitt will teach participants methods to create their own dances, promoting physical activity and artistic expression. “Sarah is testing the efficacy of dance to positively affect the health of a senior population, demonstrating once again the power dance has to improve communities in many ways,” said Susan Petry, former chair, Department of Dance.

Michael Morris Honored with National Fellowship Award and Graduate Associated Teaching Award

Michael Morris.Michael Morris (PhD, ’15) swept the Graduate School Awards Reception April 21. Morris was recognized
with the Presidential Fellowship Award of 2014. This award was based on Morris’s dissertation proposal,
“Material Entanglements with the Nonhuman World: Theorizing Ecosexualities in Performance.” Morris
also received the Graduate Associate Teaching Award, the university’s highest recognition of the
exceptional teaching provided by graduate students at Ohio State, an honor bestowed on only 10
graduate teaching associates per academic year.


BFA Students Mimi Lamantia and Serena Chang Receive Pelotonia Undergraduate Research Fellowships for their Cancer Research Projects

These $12,000 awards fund their research and continued coursework next year.

The Pelotonia Undergraduate Fellowship Program supports undergraduate students who want to help cure cancer. Competition for Pelotonia Undergraduate Fellowships is intense. Each year, approximately 80 undergraduate applications are submitted and reviewed by members of the Pelotonia Fellowship Committee.

Mimi Lamantia’s “It Takes Two to Tango: A Study on the Effect of Dance-Based Interventions for Cancer Survivors” is a yearlong study to determine the feasibility of using two dance-based interventions, Argentine Tango and dance alumna Lise Worthen-Chaudari’s game-like visual art feedback program to improve balance and quality of life among cancer survivors with balance deficits. Lamantia has earned the BFA in dance and will attend medical school after completing her pre-med studies and research next year.

Serena Chang’s “Dance: A Holistic Expression of the Cancer Experience” is a choreographic dance project intended to raise awareness of cancer by encompassing the physical and emotional experiences of cancer survivors. Serena will complete a BFA in dance and a BS in molecular genetics next year. She intends on going to medical school after she pursues professional dance.


Dianne Mcintyre Wins Doris Duke Award

Dianne McIntyre.Dance alumna Dianne McIntyre is one of 20 recipients of a Doris Duke Impact Award, announced in June. Each recipient receives unrestricted/flexible funds plus restricted project funds up to $80,000. The award is part of the Doris Duke Performing Artist Awards, launched in 2011 as a 10-year initiative to empower, invest in and celebrate artists.

An Arts and Sciences Distinguished Achievement Alumni Award winner, McIntyre’s trailblazing career has touched the genre of dance for more than 40 years. Her work combines elements of both dance and theatre, exploring cultural themes while challenging the viewer’s ability to think and feel. As an improviser and experimentalist, she interweaves dance with live jazz music, creating what she coined “visual conversations” between the dance and music makers. She created a Dance Downtown piece with Ohio State dance students in 2013.

Alumna Honored with Ruth Page Award

Diane Smagatz-Rawlinson teaches dance to high school students.Alumna Diane Smagatz-Rawlinson (dance education, 1983) has been honored with the 2014 Ruth Page Award, celebrating her dedication to teaching young dancers for nearly 30 years, not only in the discipline of dance but also the importance of community philanthropy and citizenship. Rawlinson is the orchesis director and dance teacher at Wheeling High School in Wheeling, Illinois, and founder of Dance for Life’s Next Generation — an annual student produced benefit concert.

The award was presented at a private reception in March. The award has been given annually by the Ruth Page Center for the Arts on behalf of the Ruth Page Foundation and the Chicago dance community since 1986. It honors dance icon Ruth Page (1899-1991) and is an opportunity for the center to acknowledge an individual’s or organization’s artistic momentum.