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SOAC recognizes graduates and retirees on May 25

Posted by: Date: May 9, 2018

By Kate Williams
Outreach Manager

The School of Arts and Communication will celebrate graduating majors and minors at a Recognition Ceremony and Reception, Friday, May 25, 2018. The ceremony will take place from 12:30 – 2:30 pm in the Eastvold Auditorium in Karen Hille Phillips Center for the Arts. The event celebrates graduates from across our various disciplines in Art & Design, Communication & Theatre, and Music. Also, the Dean’s Awards for Excellence are announced and presented to between 5-10 extraordinary graduating students.

Below are a few highlights of the event:

  • Dean Cameron Bennett gives an address and all area Chairs offer remarks
  • All graduating SOAC majors are brought on stage, by department, to be recognized
  • All majors are corded (a tri-colored cord is placed around everyone’s neck)
  • All majors are pinned (a small, round pin with the SOAC rune is given to each student)
  • All minors are recognized
  • All retiring faculty and staff are recognized
  • The Dean’s Awards for Excellence are announced
  • Light refreshments are provided at a post-ceremony reception

Faculty and Staff Retirements

David Deacon-Joyner, Professor of Music

David Deacon-Joyner celebrates retirement after 18 years of service at PLU. Beginning his career as Associate Professor of Music in 2000, arriving from the venerable jazz program at University of North Texas, David had a substantial record of teaching and scholarship.  He arrived at PLU as a double authority in performance (as a pianist, vocalist and arranger) and in the history of jazz and popular music (as a published author), and he did not disappoint after his arrival. David received tenure at PLU in 2004 and was promoted to Professor of Music in 2008.  Whether directing the university’s Jazz Ensemble, teaching non-majors in one of the university’s most popular courses (History of Jazz) or classical music majors in the required Jazz Theory Lab, David’s passion for jazz is palpable. Throughout his PLU years, David has enriched the music department, university and community through his infectious love of music, family and friends.

Peter Ehrenhaus, Professor of Communication

Peter Ehrenhaus will retire after 20 years in the Department of Communication & Theatre at PLU. With Peter’s retirement, the department will lose an insightful leader, a brilliant scholar, a dedicated teacher, and a good friend. Peter’s teaching opened students up to their own possibilities as learners and scholars. He often pushed them to find their voices, to hone their ability to write and speak, to critique the world around them and to ask good questions. Peter also served as a leader. He served as chair of Communication & Theatre, but with or without the title, he was often the first person that people went to for professional advice.

Peter is one of the most recognized scholars in rhetorical studies in this country. He has published in every flagship journal in the field and is considered a premier thinker on questions of race, race lynching, reenactment, memorial, and media. He has an exceptional ability to weave together theory and case study to illuminate an often difficult and painful truth. His commitment to understanding some of the most traumatic moments in our nation’s history, to treating those moments with respect, to give the victims of race violence the kind of dignity in his writing that they never had in their lived experience, reveals a kind of scholarly activism that serves as a model for others writing in our discipline and outside it. His scholarship is an exercise in empathy.

Bea Geller, Associate Professor of Art & Design

Bea Geller joined PLU in 1984, and served the university for 33 years, teaching black and white, color, and digital photography. She was the first woman to be tenured in the Department of Art and Design. Professor Geller’s work at PLU has impacted majors in the Department of Art and Design as well as students from across campus. These students have gone on to work in a number of fields, becoming artists, photographers, and filmmakers, but also working areas such as advertising, special effects, and game design, as well as in curation and in higher education. Through her service to the university, Professor Geller has helped create a legacy of PLU artists that has an international scope.

Alongside her work as an educator and mentor, Professor Geller has maintained an active and distinguished career as a photographer and artist. Her work has been exhibited widely, and at diverse venues, including the Tacoma Art Museum, Bellevue Arts Museum, the Whatcom Museum, and the Center on Contemporary Art in Seattle. Professor Geller has been selected to participate in more than 50 juried exhibitions. Throughout her professional years as an artist, she has received numerous and varied honors for her work. She was granted a Creative Artist Project Award in New Jersey, and she was the winner of an Oregon State Arts Commission Public Art Award. In 2007, Professor Geller was selected for a Pierce County Portable Works Award. In addition, Professor Geller’s artwork is featured in many private collections.

Joanne Lisosky, Professor of Communication

Joanne Lisosky is retiring after 22 years at Pacific Lutheran University. Joanne was the first woman to hold the rank of Professor in the division. She served as interim chair of the Department of Communication & Theatre, again, the first woman to chair SOAC. She won the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS) Silver Circle Award for outstanding contributions to both the television industry and the community. She has been awarded three Fulbrights. She is an extraordinary leader in local, regional, and national media organizations. She has run seven media outlets at PLU by herself — there is truly no one else on earth with the range of expertise Joanne has. By any professional standard, Joanne is at the very top.

Beyond that, Joanne is a truly generous colleague and friend. She dives into projects that need to be done. She shows up, literally and figuratively, for what is important. She is always willing to provide feedback to her colleagues on their teaching. She provides cover for students doing provocative journalism. She is brave, and she encourages others to be brave, too.

Linda Miller, Administrative Associate

Linda Miller celebrates 39 years of dedicated service to PLU’s Department of Music. Linda served as the department’s comptroller, including building and tracking budgets, purchasing and rental arrangements, processed professional and guest-artist contracts, concert licensing and ticketing, enrichment program registrations, student payroll management, performance library oversight, course registrations for private lessons and music ensembles, and concert attendance reporting. Through the years, the music office was reconfigured in myriad of ways.  At each restructuring, she was flexible, creative, and willing to take on extra responsibilities. In all she does, she maintained the highest standards for accuracy, dependability, and efficiency, all the while maintaining a wry sense of humor that made every day in the music office a pleasant one.