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2019-2020 Senior Celebration and Department Awards

View our Year in Review 2019-2020

View Chair Harley Erdman's address to the graduating students recorded for the College of Humanities and Fine Arts:

View the HFA theater page, including a list of students, and a slideshow.

View the UMASS THEATER entire ceremony (1:07 run time):

Department of Theater: Class of 2020

Maegan Allen 
Bryana Belling 
Faolain (Fay) Bobersky 
Luke Bosco 
Samantha (Sami) Brzozowski 
Joseph Casassa 
Allison Chen 
Cassandra Clark 
Maeve Connolly 
Samantha D’Orazio 
Lily Davis 
Liz Diamond 
Ryan Dunn 
Jacqui Dupre 
Tomasz Dvorak 
Steve Folmar
Gregory Ford 
Emily Formato 
Greta Gaffin 
Aidan Gerard 
Rebecca Hetherson
Urgyen Joshi
Thomas Kelleher 
Chelsey Leiper
John Llewellyn 
Lily Macleod 
Isabelle Marseille
Althea McCrory 
Angela Medina 
Jordan Mitchell 
Brooke Morrison
Benjamin Nadelstein 
Shannon Nelson-Maney
Kit Newell
Samuel O’Donnell 
Jacob Ostrowski 
Thomas Reynolds 
Tatiana Rodriguez 
Akira Rose 
Varun Sathiyaseelan 
Rebecca Simons 
Melissa Smith 
Estrella Soto 
Lindsey Thunberg 
Kayla Van Aken 
Yi-Wei Wang 
Maxwell Winalski 
Lianglingjia Zheng

Graduating MFA Students

Vishnupad Barve 
Gabriel Harrell
Maryam Hemayati
Emma Hollows
Shaila Schmidt
Li Xinyuan

Multicultural Theater Certificate Recipients

Elisabeth Goncalves
Jenny Gutierrez
Hannah Jones
Carolyn Parker-Fairbain
Jahlisa Pelle
Melissa Smith

Award Winners

The 2020 FRANK PRENTICE RAND SCHOLARSHIP IN DRAMA is funded by the generous bequest of the late Margarita H. Rand. Professor Frank Prentice Rand taught dramatic literature here in the English Department. Our Rand Theater is named for him because he and Mrs. Rand loved theater and promoted the founding of our department.  The Frank Prentice Rand Scholarship in Drama is given to undergraduate theater majors on the basis of scholarship and demonstrated merit in production work in the areas of: Directing,Producing,Playwriting,Dramaturgy. Scholarship checks for this award, along with all other scholarships this year, will be mailed to the awardees.The 2020 Frank Prentice Rand Scholarship in Drama recipients are:
Samantha D’Orazio
Jacqui Dupre
John Llewellyn
Eliza McCann

Presented by Production Manager Julie Fife, with (clockwise) Samantha D'Orazio, John Llewellyn, Jacqui Dupre, and Eliza McCann



The purpose of the Ed Golden Acting Scholarship Endowmentis to honor the exemplary teaching career of Professor Emeritus Edward J. Golden by recognizing and fostering students with exceptional acting talent through scholarship awards. Awards may be made to Theater majors who are either sophomores or juniors who have demonstrated outstanding promise and commitment to the art. The 2020 Ed Golden Acting Scholarship recipients are:
Alison Butts
Fiona Herter
Celena Lopes
Emma Perakis

Presented by Professor Gina Kaufmann, with (clockwise) Alison Butts, Fiona Herter, Chair Harley Erdman, Celena Lopes. Not pictured but present: Emma Perakis.



The Susan M. and Larry G.Benedict Scholarship Endowment was created to provide undergraduate scholarship support for students within the Department of Theater who are studying theater design, production, and management.Special consideration will be givento sophomores and juniors who have who have demonstrated technical proficiency and a commitment to professionalism. The 2020 Susan M. and Larry G.Benedict Scholarship recipients are:
Rebecca Cottrell
Thomas Kelleher
Sena Yacteen

Presented by Professor Penny Remsen with Larry Benedict, to awardees (clockwise) Rebecca Cottrell, Sena Yacteen, and Thomas Kelleher.



The Denise Lessard WagnerCommunitySpirit Award is given tograduating seniors who, through their beyond-the-call-of-duty dedication and commitment, have made an outstanding contribution to thecommunityspirit of the Department of Theater. Though not a scholarship, the names are of the winners will be added to the plaque that is posted in the Curtain Theater Lobby. The award is named in honor of longtime Department of Theater Administrative Assistant Denise Lessard Wagner, who exemplified the ideals behind the award. The 2020 Community Spirit awardees are:
Liz Diamond
Thomas Kelleher
John Llewelyn
Jordan Mitchell
Tatiana Rodriguez

Presented by General Manager Willow Cohen with Denise Wagner, to awardees (by rows starting at top) Tatiana Rodriguez (with Sami Brzozowski and Emma Perakis), Liz Diamond, John Llewellyn, Jordan Mitchell, and Thomas Kelleher, with chair Harley Erdman.



The UMass Rising Researcher Award, given by the university, is designed to raise the profile of our most promising undergraduate students and to publicly acknowledge their excellent work. This program is jointly supported by University Relations and Office of Research & Engagement. Winners are exceptional undergraduates who have demonstrated leadership and impact in their chosen area of study. We are proud to honor Kit Newell, who was one of this select group of awardees.

Professor Milan Dragicevich and Chair Harley Erdman congratulate Kit Newell on their Rising Researcher award.



The William F. Field Alumni Scholar Awards were established in 1976 to recognize and honor third-year students for their academic achievements at UMass Amherst. The program was named in honor of William F. Field, the university’s first Dean of Students, for his outstanding support of academic excellence and his personal commitment to bringing out the best in every student. 

Theater major Angela Kwebiiha was one of only 5 students in the College of Humanities and Fine Arts to be awarded this honor.

Angea Kwebiiha, theater major


A compilation of photos of senior majors, minors, MTC and BDIC students