School of Arts and Communication

SOAC Advisory Board

The SOAC Advisory Board provides guidance, support, and assistance to the School of Arts and Communication in fulfilling its mission. The board has neither governance nor fiduciary responsibilities. Board members are passionate about the disciplines housed within the School of Arts and Communications and have a track record of leadership, resources, skills, and other qualities that serve to advance the School of Arts and Communication mission. To achieve this purpose, the Board:

  • Provides guidance on program directions, strategic growth, and community connections.
  • Enhances public awareness of the School and its three departments – Art & Design, Communication & Theatre, and Music.
  • Participates in networking activities that promote the mission of the School of Arts and Communication.
  • Supports the School through personal contributions and corporate, foundation, and individual connections.

Katherine Severson, Chair

Richard (Dick Moe), Honorary Chair

Danforth Comins '97

Maureen Francisco '99

Kathryn Habedank, '66

Nancy Bourne Haley

Ray Heacox, '76

Judith Herrington

Louis Hobson, '00

Monica Hurley
Monica Hurley '94

Deborah Hushagen, '72

Aaron Jacobs, '00

Tom Koehler, '81

Allan Kollar, '70

Melissa Richardson Lomax, '09

Jeremy Mangan, '98

Terry Marks, '88

Pamela Mayer

Angela Meade, '01

Scott Ramsey, '95

Jim Walker, '76


Katherine (Kit) Severson, Chair

Kit Severson has served on many boards in Tacoma including Children’s Museum of Tacoma 1995 – 2001, Charles Wright Academy 1999 – 2008, Tacoma Art Museum 2005 – 2011, Multicare Health Foundation 2005 – present, Greater Tacoma Community Foundation 2008 – present, and Charles Wright Academy class of 1974.

She graduated from Scripps College in 1978 and has been successfully self employed in Real Estate Development and Management.

Richard (Dick) Moe, Honorary Chair

Richard Moe, born in Fargo, ND, received his B.A. from Concordia College in Moorhead, MN in 1951, earned his Masters of Education from the University of Colorado in 1953, and his EDD in 1960. He taught school in Longmont, Colorado and Mason City, Iowa. He joined the faculty at Waldorf College in Forest City, Iowa and later taught at Augustana College in Rock Island, IL. In 1965, Moe came to Pacific Lutheran University as Dean of the College of Professional Studies and was also appointed Dean of the School of the Arts and Dean of Summer Studies. He retired in 993 and splits his year enjoying the summers in Tacoma and winters in Sun City West, AZ.

Since 1965, he has served on the boards of Augsberg/Fortress Publishing House, The Pantages Theater, Tacoma Philharmonic, Seattle Opera, Tacoma Opera, Seattle Symphony, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Tacoma Art Museum, and Hilltop Artists in Residence, as well as on several national Professional Associations. Primary avenues of recreation are golfing and hiking. Currently, he and his wife, Marcia, are members of the St. Mark’s Lutheran Church. He is a Lifetime Emeritus Board Member of the Tacoma Art Museum and Hilltop Artists in Residence. Moe is a 30 year Rotary #8 of Tacoma.

Danforth Comins, ’97

Danforth Comins has performed for 10 seasons at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Roles have included Stanley Kowalski in A Streetcar Named Desire; Cranston in The Liquid Plain; Mark Anthony in Julius Caesar; Loverboy in Ghost Light; Brick in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof; Bassanio in The Merchant of Venice; Yoshiako Miki in Throne of Blood; Bertram in All’s Well That Ends Well; Cardenio in Don Quixote; Coriolanus in Coriolanus; Cassio in Othello; Orlando in As You Like It; Lucentio in The Taming of the Shrew; Bo in Bus Stop; the Dauphin in King John; Richmond in Richard III; Benvolio in Romeo and Juliet; Room Service; Antony and Cleopatra; Idiot’s Delight; Titus Andronicus.

Other theatre credits have included Banquo in Macbeth, Alcibiades in Timon of Athens (Chicago Shakespeare Theater); Hamlet in Hamlet, Joe Sutter in The Spitfire Grill, Ross, Porter in Macbeth, Valentine in The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Suffolk in The War of the Roses, The Merchant of Venice, Ah, Wilderness!, Julius Caesar, (Utah Shakespeare Festival); Hamlet in Hamlet (PCPA Theaterfest); A Christmas Carol (Geva Theatre Center) Utah Shakespeare Festival.

He has also appeared in films Redwood Highway, Walkin, Shale, and Indigo.

He has a MFA from the University of Illinois and a BFA from Pacific Lutheran University.

Maureen Francisco, ’99

Maureen Francisco has more than 15 years of experience in the entertainment and news industry from being a TV news anchor and reporter to now being an executive producer of reality programming, red carpet events and live shows including the only competition in Washington, Idaho and Montana that qualifies to go to the annual Miss USA. She is also a published author of It Takes Moxie: Off the Boat, or Out of School, to Making it Your Way in America, winner in the Multicultural Nonfiction category of the 2013 National Indie Excellence Awards. Maureen is married and resides in the Eastside.

Kathryn Habedank, ’66

Kathryn Habedank, Director of Early Music at PLU, has taught harpsichord, chamber ensemble and directed the Early Music concerts on campus for the past twenty years. Formerly she was Director of Music at the Annie Wright School and prior to that appointment taught in the Tacoma Public School District.

A lifelong educator and mentor of students, especially young musicians, Habedank has taught and performed widely, both locally and regionally, and throughout the country. She is known, as well, as an arts administrator and consultant. She has served on numerous boards of local and national arts organizations including the Westfield Center for the Advancement of Early Keyboard Music. In 1993 she co-founded the acclaimed Northwest Sinfonietta, receiving the Pierce County Margaret K. Williams Award in 1996 for service to the arts.

She received her training at Whitman College, PLU and New England Conservatory of Music, Boston.

Nancy Bourne Haley

Nancy Bourne Haley’s life thus far has been a tapestry of endeavors and explorations in arts and communication, woven out of a myriad of opportunities in education, travel, and family heritage. From writing plays in elementary school and editing her high school newspaper, to producing rudimentary “documentary” films while studying American art history in college, then going on to achieve a Masters in Film & Broadcasting in graduate school, her path has always been a creative pursuit.

Thirty six years ago she moved to Tacoma. Along with developing her career as an independent documentary filmmaker, she has spent much of her time as an arts and education advocate, serving on several school and community organization boards. She has raised funds and organized programs and events as well as cultivated a wonderful network of friends. Two of her favorite achievements were the production of Finding Thea (a documentary about Thea Foss) and the creation of the Childrenʼs Museum of Tacoma; but her most special, without a doubt, has been the raising of two wonderful sons along with her husband, Mark.

As a long time friend to PLU, having had the great pleasure to assist on a J-term class to Antarctica & Argentina, she looks forward to more interaction with faculty and students in the support of the fine arts education & career training happening here at PLU.

Ray Heacox, ’76

Ray Heacox is a senior executive with experience in television, technology and higher education. Mr. Heacox currently serves as President and General Manager of King Broadcasting. King Broadcasting is a subsidiary of Gannett Co a Virginia based media company. While with Gannett, Heacox has also served as the V.P. of Digital Operations.

Prior to joining Gannett, Heacox was the first Director of the Paul F. Harron Graduate Program in Television Management at Drexel University in Philadelphia where he was charged with creating this two year, full time, dual degree (MS/MBA) curriculum. Simultaneously, he was the principal of Deft Management, providing consulting services to clients in media, technology and sales. During the 1990’s, Heacox held several prominent management positions with NBC including President and General Manager of KNBC in Los Angeles and EVP of Sales for the NBC owned and operated station group. Mr. Heacox left NBC in 2000 to become President and later CEO of MediaOcean Inc., a business to business technology company.

Mr. Heacox is a Tacoma native having graduated from Clover Park High School and Pacific Lutheran University. He lives in Seattle, with his wife Cynthia Huffman. Mr. Heacox is past Chair of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society/Greater Northwest Chapter, Trustee and Chair elect of the ArtsFund Board, a member of the Seattle Children’s Hospital Foundation Board, a former member of the Benaroya Research Institute Board of Directors, former board member of the northwest chapter of the American Heart Association and a past member of the NBC Affiliates Board.

Judith Herrington

Judith Herrington brings more than 35 years of teaching and conducting experience to her work at Tacoma Youth Chorus and Charles Wright Academy in Tacoma, Washington, where she received the Inspirational Faculty Award and the Murray Foundation Chair for Teaching Excellence. A graduate of the University of Oregon, Ms. Herrington earned her Master of Education degree from Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon. She has served on the Washington American Choral Directors Association Board as R&S Chair for Children’s Choirs, President and Past-President of the Board and is the 2011 recipient of its Leadership and Service Award. She is an inaugural member of the School of Arts and Communication Advisory Board at Pacific Lutheran University. Judith Herrington is the Founder and Artistic Director of the highly acclaimed Tacoma Youth Chorus, a choral education program of seven select choirs, grades 2 through 12, serving more than 240 young people in the south Puget Sound region of Washington since 1991.”

The chorus is recognized throughout the Northwest-Puget Sound area for their performance of outstanding music literature, superb musicianship and collaborations with professional performing organizations. Under Ms. Herrington’s direction, the Chorus has performed for National Orff-Schulwerk Conventions, Northwest MENC convention and the Northwest ACDA conventions (1998, 2002, 2006, 2010, 2014).  The Chorus has performed internationally as well, with cathedral tours in France, Eastern Europe and in Britain, Wales, and Ireland.

Ms. Herrington is highly regarded as a guest conductor, workshop and choral clinician. Mostly recently, Ms. Herrington has conducted all-state and regional honor choirs and festivals in Idaho, Texas, Oregon, Washington, California, Hawaii, Montana, Wyoming, Pennsylvania, Alaska, Tennessee and Tokyo. She served as visiting faculty for graduate coursework at VanderCook College of Music.  A noted composer and arranger, she has published choral compositions, arrangements and co-authored choral teaching texts through Pavane Publishing, Hal Leonard Publishing, and Colla Voce Publishing. She also edits a choral series for Pavane Publishing.

Louis Hobson, ’00

Louis Hobson is a 2000 graduate of Pacific Lutheran University where he received undergraduate degrees in both Music and Theatre and was a founding member of the popular student club, Night of Musical Theatre. He is also a recipient of the 2007-08 Outstanding Recent Alumnus Award. After graduation Louis quickly rose in the ranks of Seattle theatre, receiving awards for his portrayals of Che in Evita (Village Theatre), Claude in Hair (5th Avenue), Tony in West Side Story (5th Avenue), Neechee in Stupid Kids (Empty Space), Sir Galahad in Spamalot, George in A Room With A View (5th Avenue) and Valjean in Les Miserable at the former Balagan Theatre where he briefly served as Artistic Director. In 2008 he moved to NYC and became best known for creating the role of the Doctor in the original Broadway production of the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winning smash hit Next to Normal, named by many as one of the most important musical of this century. Other Broadway credits include Ted Hinton in Frank Wildhorn’s Bonnie & Clyde, Dr. Goldberg in The People in the Picture (Roundabout) and most recently Raul Esparza’s cover for the 2012 Tony nominated Best Musical, Leap of Faith. NYC workshops include The Addams Family (Lucas), Kiki Baby (NYMF/dir. Lonny Price), Carrie (dir. Stafford Arima), A Room With A View (George), Stunt Girl (MTC/dir. Brian Yorkey), Gay Bride of Frankenstein (Joes Pub/dir. Igor Goldin), To Life (dir. Leigh Silverman), Sick Bastard (dir. Kathleen Marshal/Sam Gold), Allegiance (dir. Stafford Arima) and Bare (dir. Stafford Arima).

Film and TV credits include Megan Griffith’s Lucky Them (opposite Toni Collette/TIFF 2014), Kyle Patrick Alvarez’s C.O.G. (Sundance 2013), Lynn Shelton’s Laggies (Sundance 2014) starring Kiera Knightley, Captain Fantastic (opposite Viggo Mortensen), and the pilot episode of the new Amazon series, The Man in The High Castle. Louis is a student of famed NYC acting coach Michael Howard, has been profiled in the NYTimes and American Theatre Magazine and currently heads the new theatrical investment and licensing company, Indie Theatrical.

Monica Hurley '94

Monica (Ricarte) Hurley graduated Pacific Lutheran University (PLU) with a Bachelor of Arts, Communications ‘94 and Master of Arts, Education ‘99. Currently she serves as Executive Director for Multicare/Good Samaritan Foundation in Puyallup.  She worked at the university from 1994 to 2008, eventually serving as Admissions Counselor, Annual Fund Associate Director, and Director of Development, Major Gifts. In 2009, she established a consulting firm named Philanthropy 1st, headquartered in Bonney Lake.  As a consultant she assisted clients with major fundraising campaigns, feasibility assessments, philanthropy reviews and board development. She continued to consult for PLU until assuming her foundation position in fall 2014.

Deborah Hushagen ‘ 72

Debbie Hushagen has been involved in music for as long as she can remember. At PLU, she sang with the Choir of the West and currently sings with the Choral Union. After retiring from 30 years teaching Kindergarten, she has used her voice, piano and teaching skills as an accompanist, music director for children’s theater, church worship leader and volunteer hospice musician. Debbie is an active community volunteer with Mary Bridge Orthopedic Guild and Festival of Trees.

Aaron Jacobs, ’00

Aaron Jacobs is the CEO of OMH Creative, a Video Marketing and E-Learning Solutions Firm for fortune 500 Companies. He holds a BFA from the PLU Theatre Department, Class of 2000 and received his Post Graduate Degree from LIPA (UK) in Acting and Directing, Class of 2004.

Tom Koehler, ’81

Tom Koehler has led employee communications and media relations initiatives in a wide array of contexts for Boeing since he joined the company in 1985. He has worked in the company’s commercial airplanes and defense, space and security business units, and the central research-and-technology unit, as well as at the corporate headquarters. Prior to Boeing, Tom was a small-town newspaper reporter and editor, where he covered high school sports and local government, and enjoyed writing feature stories about people and events. He holds a bachelor of arts degree in Communication Arts and English from PLU, as well as a master’s degree in Business Administration from PLU. At PLU, he worked as the editor of the Mooring Mast student newspaper and was a member of the basketball team.

Allan Kollar, ’70

Allan Kollar owns and operates A.J. Kollar Fine Paintings. His expertise in American and European Paintings of the 19th and Early 20th Centuries (1830 – 1930), has made him a sought after consultant for private and public collections of paintings. He routinely gives lectures for the Seattle Art Museum, Seattle Asian Art Museum and University of Washington. Allan has served the art community for several years; he co-founded the Council of American Art at the Seattle Art Museum and has served on the Education and Acquisition Committee at Henry Art Gallery Museum at University of Washington. Allan was also inducted into the Pacific Lutheran University Athletic Hall of Fame in 2002.

Melissa Richardson Lomax, ’09

Melissa Lomax (maiden name Richardson) graduated from Pacific Lutheran University in 2009 with her bachelor’s degree in Communication with a focus in Public Relations and Advertising, as well as a minor in History. She graduated with honors and was selected for Lambda Pi Eta, the National Communication Honor Society. Since graduating from PLU, Melissa currently works at Dark Horse Comics as Marketing & Advertising Coordinator and likes to volunteer in the community through her church in her spare time. She and her husband Nick currently live in Milwaukie, Oregon and recently had a baby girl (Josephine) last June.

Jeremy Mangan, ’98

Jeremy Mangan is a painter who lives and works in Tacoma, Washington.  Mangan’s honors include a Fulbright Fellowship, a Jacob Javits Fellowship, the Artist Trust Fellowship, the Foundation of Art Award, and a selection as a Neddy finalist.  His work was included in The 10th Northwest Biennial at Tacoma Art Museum, and featured in New American Paintings #97.  Mangan’s work has been exhibited in Germany, China, and across the United States.

Terry Marks, ’88

Terry Marks is principal of tmarks, a multi-disciplinary creative firm in Seattle, Washington which powers & guides great ideas and missions with strategy, branding, design, motion, and interactive. He also oversees marketing and design as Chief Marketing Officer for 360modern and Next Century Modern, sister companies that focus on modern real estate and upscale modern homes, respectively.

Terry’s design work has been recognized nationally by Print Magazine, Communication Arts, Critique Magazine, HOW Magazine, Neenah Papers, and Potlatch Papers, among others. Mr.Crumbly Dreams A Tiger, a book which he wrote and illustrated, was selected as one of the ten “Perfect 10” projects in a national competition sponsored by HOW magazine.

Marks authored Color Harmony: Layout for Rockport Publishers in 2006, 3 Feasts, a collaboration with Chef Erik Cannella, Rule29 design and O’Neill Printing in 2008. Good Design for Rockport Publishers was released in 2009.

In March of 2008, he was accorded the AIGA Fellow Award, granted to select members as
“a means of recognizing mature designers who have made a significant contribution to raising the standards of excellence in practice and conduct within their local or regional design community as well as in their local AIGA chapter.” AIGA is the professional organization for design.

Terry serves on the Link Leadership Team, having helped found the outreach program in Seattle 20 years ago. Link works with high school students from many area schools hosting art workshops and scholarships to edify and encourage self-esteem and self-expression. Terry has been a Board Member and Vice-President for AIGA Seattle. He co-chaired the Oodles of Doodles For Your Noodle project: an award-winning activity book for hospitalized and seriously ill children for the non-profit foundation Art with Heart – the first of many for the notable organization.

Terry regularly speaks on creativity, design and inspiration around the U.S. He has spoken to more than 50 organizations and presented at the HOW International Design Conference three consecutive years. He has judged nearly every major design competition in the U.S. and is an honorary member of the University and College Design Association. Terry is also is one of the progenitors and directors of Design Family Reunion, a bi-annual conclave of creative leaders.

Pamela Mayer

Pamela (Selden) Mayer is a life-long Tacoma resident, community advocate, philanthropist. She was involved in initial Society of the Arts including two years as chair, board member of Greater Lakes Mental Health for 13 years; Eastvold Restoration Committee (now renamed the Karen Hille Phillips Center for the Performing Arts/Ness Chapel). She has also served on the boards of Temple Beth El, Tacoma Philharmonic, and is now beginning her 2nd term on the board of Tacoma Art Museum. For 51 years, she was married to the love of her life, Kurt Mayer, who was a successful tri-state businessman. She is recently widowed and has two grown children and three grandsons.

Angela Meade, ’01

Angela Meade, soprano, is the winner of the 2012 Beverly Sills Artist Award from the Metropolitan Opera and the 2011 Richard Tucker Award. Since her professional debut in 2008, she has quickly become recognized as one of the outstanding vocalists of her generation. The New Yorker has stated, “Meade is astounding … She has exceptional dynamic control, able to move from floating pianissimos to sudden dramatic swells. The coloratura effects – rapid runs, trills, delicate turns, and so on – are handled with uncommon ease. She is a very musical singer, naturally and intelligently riding the phrase.” The New York Times singled out Angela Meade as “an impressive soprano who powered out a ‘Casta diva’ from Bellini’s Norma that left everyone breathless.”

Scott Ramsey, ’95

Scott Ramsey (PLU 85 – BFA Graphic Design) is a fourth generation Tacoma native, living with his wife Denise and son Mac in the Browns Point neighborhood of Tacoma. Scott is active in his community; serving as a member of the Tacoma Arts Commission, and the City of Tacoma’s Fiscal Sustainability Task Force, as well as an enthusiastic Rotarian in the Tacoma Rotary 8 club. As the Director of Marketing and Business Development for Korsmo Construction, Scott has enjoyed the opportunity to be involved in the revitalization of PLU’s Karen Hille Phillips Center for the Performing Arts project through his work at Korsmo.

Jim Walker, ’76

Jim Walker was President and Chief Creative Officer for some of the world’s premiere creative agencies before founding He has spent his career inventing and reinventing how businesses big and small are structured and helping his clients launch, and re-launch their brands. Walker has been recognized creatively both nationally and internationally, from Cannes and the London International Awards, to the Favourite Website Awards and the American Marketing Association’s Effie Awards for effectiveness. He has launched national brands like Taco Bell, Coca Cola, PowerAde, Washington Mutual, and Talking Rain’s Sparkling Ice.  He has also led campaigns for American Airlines, Microsoft, REI, Nintendo, Ray Ban, Princess Cruises, Group Health Cooperative and AT&T.

Jim has served as a trustee for the Seattle Art Museum, Seattle Repertory Theatre, and ArtsFund, and is currently on the advisory board for the School of Art + Communication for Pacific Lutheran University and an advisor to The Raikes Foundation. He has a BFA in painting and drawing and attended the UCLA extension program in film.