The Jack and Lavon Brosseau Creativity Awards recognize outstanding creativity and originality among University of Kansas undergraduate students. Open to students in any department for writing and multimedia projects, the awards honor work that demonstrates risk-taking and critical thinking.
A multidisciplinary selection committee determined the honorees for the 2014–2015 academic year. In the diverse media category, Luke Rhodes, a senior from Lawrence majoring in piano performance, was honored for his album of solo concert piano music featuring an arrangement of Mozart’s Turkish March by Russian pianist Arcadi Volodos. In the writing category, Melanie D’Souza, a junior from Muscat, Oman, majoring in architecture, was honored for her ethnographic essay, “He’s Definitely Good with Words,” which describes the pressure-filled world of international Scrabble competition.
Two honorable mentions were awarded in the diverse media category. The students in Professor Patrizio Ceccagnoli’s 20th Century Italian Theater class were recognized for their collaborative project, “Futurist Theater: 4 Italian Avant-garde Plays,” which was submitted by Spencer Crouch, a junior Italian major from Wichita. Nicholas Shaheed, a Lawrence junior majoring in computer science, music composition, and music theory, was also recognized for On the Wind-Battered Staircase, a composition for tuba-euphonium ensemble and live electronics.
Lavon Brosseau of Concordia, Kansas, believes in education and in the profound importance of teaching. She states, “There is a deep and almost sacred beauty in literature and in art. Each may deal with the abstract and each may involve interpretation, but each has its own reality that permits the mind to explore and to soar.” Her ultimate goal in establishing this award is to encourage and reward the caliber of creative work that, if properly nurtured, has the potential to influence the cultural contributions of an emerging generation.
These awards form part of the Spencer Museum’s mission to strengthen, support and contribute to academic research, as well as to foster interdisciplinary exploration at the intersection of art, ideas, and experience. The Spencer’s contemporary vision is to motivate creative work, object-centered learning, and transformative public dialogue.