a2ru Welcomes New Executive Committee Members

a2ru News, Member News

Sep 12, 2022

a2ru is delighted to welcome five new members to our Executive Committee. The Executive Committee advises a2ru staff on important trends and emerging needs within the higher education sector, and advises on a2ru research, recruitment, fundraising and programming. Each new Executive Committee member will serve a three-year term ending in August 2025.

Executive Committee nominations will reopen in Spring 2023 for 2023-2026 terms; elections will take place in summer 2023. If you are interested in nominating yourself or a colleague for a future election cycle, please contact a2ru Executive Director Maryrose Flanigan at flanigam@umich.edu.

This year’s new Executive Committee members are:

Dan Cavanagh, Interim Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Professor of Music, University of Texas at Arlington

Dan Cavanagh is Professor of Music and Interim Dean of the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Texas at Arlington. A composer and pianist who has garnered numerous awards in both areas, he received a 2009 gold medal prize from the International Music Prize for Excellence in Composition. In 2017 he was awarded a Special Judges’ Citation in the American Prize for Chamber Music Composition for his work for trumpet ensemble and drum set, Waves. As a composer Cavanagh has written or arranged for Latin Grammy-winning AfroBop Alliance, the legendary Patti LaBelle, and a wide range of classical and jazz performers across North America and Europe. He has released four critically acclaimed jazz CDs as a leader. His new recording with James Miley featuring John Hollenbeck will be released in October 2022 on S/N Alliance (Japan). His music can be heard on many other recordings both classical and jazz and continues to be commissioned and programmed around the world. Cavanagh has also performed extensively in North America and internationally. He has been a finalist in the EuropaFest Jazz Contest in Bucharest, and in the Jacksonville Jazz Festival Piano Competition. Prior to serving as interim Dean, Cavanagh held various academic leadership roles, including program director, music department chair, and associate dean. From 2015-2020, he served as the Co-Chair of Region VI for the Society of Composers. Cavanagh chairs Downtown Arlington’s Cultural Arts District Partners group and serves as Vice Chair for the Board of Trustees for the Dallas Wind Symphony.

Lisa DuRussel, Assistant Professor of Practice, University of Michigan School for Environment + Sustainability (SEAS)

Lisa DuRussel, RLA, LEED AP, ASLA has a unique background as an educator,  landscape architect, urban ecologist, builder and design activist.

Her 15+ years of experience has resulted in a progressive landscape design portfolio of professional work, creative inquiry into ecology + design, a flexibility in teaching interests and enthusiasm for transdisciplinary collaboration within the academy and the profession. Her desire to teach was born from an interest to create a stronger connection between theory and practice – – – and to expand creative practice by deepening design inquiry through application of research into the built environment. She currently serves as an Assistant Professor of Practice at the University of Michigan School for Environment and Sustainability (SEAS).

Lisa has led the design and implementation of award-winning projects that innovate on ecological design as a project leader at established design firms: West 8 New York, Future Green Studio Brooklyn, MNLA New York, and Hoerr Schaudt Landscape Architects Chicago.  Her own collaborative practice dubbed Field Catalysts, partners students with nonprofits and communities to use landscape as a lens to amplify thoughtful public engagement with collaborative action and impact.

In addition to teaching graduate level courses on design, design thinking and public engagement at the University of Michigan, Lisa collaborates with firms OSD Outside on design implementation of an Arts Campus in downtown Detroit, with Unknown Studio on green infrastructure and urban afforestation initiatives in Baltimore and with Horizon Geospatial on geodesign-based community engagement workshops around the country.

She is currently the VP of Education for the Michigan Chapter of ASLA and has previously held board positions with the New York City Chapter ASLA and was their chapter’s Public Awareness Representative with National ASLA.

Lisa received her Bachelor of Science in Environmental Policy and her Master of Landscape Architecture from the University of Michigan.

José Manuel Izquierdo König, Associate Professor of Music and Director of Research and Postgraduate Studies, Faculty of Arts, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile

José Manuel Izquierdo is associate professor of music, and Director of Research and Postgraduate studies in the Faculty of Arts of the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. During the last five years he has been leading the PhD in Arts, a pioneering program in Chile and South America, the first in the region with an interdisciplinary focus on  Practice as Research in performance, visual arts and music. With a PhD from the University of Cambridge (where he was selected as a Gates Cambridge Scholar), his research focuses on music and culture and Latin America, and opera studies, with a focus on mobilities and the circulation of music. He has a particular interest in problems of postcolonial approaches to culture and heritage in Latin America, having led several projects in rethinking the ways in which Western art forms have operated in the region since colonial times. His publications have earned him several awards, including the Otto Mayer Serra prize for musicology, and the Tosc@ award for transnational opera studies.

Susan Lakin, Professor, School of Photographic Arts and Sciences, and Director, Frameless Labs, Rochester Institute of Technology

Susan Lakin is currently a Professor at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) in the College of Art and Design and Director of Frameless Labs, an interdisciplinary collective to advance research, innovation, accessibility and artistic creation in the fields of virtual and augmented reality.  She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California and worked as a freelance photographer in Los Angeles, Sweden and Australia. In addition to her commercial photography work, she owned and operated a professional retail photographic supply store in Burbank, CA.

Attracted to RIT’s strong photography and computer science departments, Susan accepted her teaching position shortly after completing an MFA in Art Studio with an emphasis in digital arts at the University of California, Santa Barbara.  She works across disciplines in her academic and art practices, which led to her role as a Fellow in the School of Individualized Study, an RIT academic unit that provides flexible individualized education pathways.

Susan’s artwork has received numerous awards and is part of the permanent collection at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Oakland Museum of California, the Griffin Museum of Photography, and Photography Museum of Lishui, China.  She has produced multiple interactive transmedia projects exploring the intersections of music, art, and technology.  More recently, she is engaged with immersive technology and collaborates on community projects in the nonprofit sector.  She was chair of the 2020&2021 annual Frameless Labs XR Symposium, an event and online journal for the community of VR/AR makers to encourage collaboration, growth of existing ventures and inspiration for new projects and technology.

Chris Walker, Director, Division of the Arts, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Chris Walker is the Director of the Division of the Arts at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He is a Professor in the Dance Department and founding artistic director of the First Wave program in the Office of Multicultural Arts Initiatives. Walker co-directs #BARS Workshop at The Public Theatre in NYC, a lab series for artists to investigate the intersection between contemporary verse and theater, created by Rafael Casal and Daveed Diggs. He is also a senior choreographer with the National Dance Theatre Company of Jamaica, and program director for the New Waves Dance & Performance Institute in Trinidad & Tobago.

Walker creates contemporary dance, theater and performance artwork rooted in the visual and performance cultures of the African Diaspora. He works in the disciplines of dance, theater, film/video. He served as movement director for two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage’s Mlima’s Tale, which ran at the Public’s Martinson Hall and he is the recent choreographer for The Secret Life of Bees, The Musical produced by Atlantic Theatre in NYC. Walker has collaborated with Laura Anderson Barbata to develop Jus Luv/Rolling Calf a Jamaican ‘mas’ for her Intervention: Indigo project, a performance that was presented in the 2015 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in Brooklyn, NY.

His concert dance work has been presented in Europe, Asia and throughout the Americas. His collaboration with Kevin Ormsby and KasheDance in Toronto titled FACING Home: Love & Redemption is currently and has been on tour internationally since its premiere in 2015. He has received numerous international and national grants and honors for his creative research work. He recently completed a Romnes Fellowship, which supported his research on homophobia in the African Diaspora and in 2020 he was named one of the School of Education’s Impact 2030 Faculty Fellows.

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