UNCSA students and teachers score awards

Johann Teng, a graduate student at UNCSA (University of North Carolina School of the Arts), is the latest UNCSA student to receive the Kryolan Professional Makeup Design Award from the USITT (US Institute for Theatre Technology) at its annual conference held last month in Salt Lake City, Utah. Teng is the eighth UNCSA student to receive the Kryolan award in the past 10 years and the fifth consecutive to do so.

Previous UNCSA Kryolan winners have included Chia Chia Feng (2015), Kai Ravelson (2014), Lauren Wilde (2013), Holland Berson (2012), Ming-Yen Ho (2009), Kaylan Paisley (2008), and Jillian Carter Rivers (2007).

“Johann Teng is a bright young talent in theatrical makeup design and technology,” said Michael J. Kelley, dean of UNCSA’s School of Design & Production, in an official statement. “His creativity and skill will carry him far in his career, and he will be a powerful ambassador for the School of the Arts.”

Teng, who hails from Taiwan, is pursuing an MFA from the School of Design & Production. In addition to his award, 10 students from the school were selected to participate in Young Designer and Young Technician Forums held at the USITT conference.

“The forums are a tremendous opportunity for students to receive professional critique of their portfolios,” added Kelley. “Only 30 students are selected, and this year a third of them are from UNCSA. That is truly remarkable.”

The other UNCSA students participating in the Young Designer and Young Technician forums included Samantha Sherman (wig and makeup), Melanie Lamb (costume technology), Jenna Snyder and Tony DiBernardo (scene design); Christy Kneisel, Alex Finkel and Chelsea Norman (scene painting), Aimee Phillips (sound design), Jen Gillette (costume design) and Alex Wylie (stage props).

“We are proud for our students to demonstrate the caliber of work that we do in the School of Design & Production, through participation in the forums,” said Kelley.

The students at UNCSA aren’t the only ones being celebrated for their efforts. A few columns ago, I wrote about how the winter semester concluded with the announcement of the seven recipients of the school’s annual “Excellence in Teaching” awards for 2015-16, as nominated by students, fellow teachers and UNCSA alumni – and that one recipient from each UNC campus would receive a teaching award from the Board Governors that includes a $12,500 stipend, commemorative bronze medallion, and official recognition at commencement exercises.

The recipient this year is none other than Dale Pollock, associate professor at the School of Filmmaking at UNCSA. Pollock, who joined the faculty in 2006 after serving as dean for seven years, was one of seven faculty members honored by UNCSA this year, the others being Douglas L. Bohannon and Jeffrey H. Morgan (High School Academic Program), Dennis G. Booth (School of Design & Production), Lawrence Dillon and Dmitri Shteinberg (School of Music), and Greg Walter (School of Drama).

“Nothing we do here is more important than teaching,” said Lindsay Bierman, UNCSA chancellor, in an official statement. “Especially at a conservatory, where faculty members must serve both as professional mentors and arts and academic instructors. The caliber of their teaching directly impacts the success of our students. We have extraordinarily talented, experienced and knowledgeable faculty who demonstrate selfless dedication to our students. Dale Pollock has long represented the excellence in teaching that defines our institution. I congratulate him on this much-deserved award, our highest honor for teachers.”

When I explained to Pollock that I had to cover both the RiverRun opening and the Southern Circuit screening in Greensboro and hadn’t had room for this item until now, he said “Thanks a lot!” in mock indignation – and shot me the sort of disdainful “Dale Pollock Look” that he usually gives me when I sing the praises of some (deservedly) forgotten movie monstrosity of yesteryear. But, truly, there are some people who recognize the distinctive merits of a Damien – Omen II (1978) or an Escape to Athena (1979) or an Osterman Weekend (1983).

(Incidentally, Pollock was quoted in my RiverRun story, and of course UNCSA is one of the primary RiverRun venues.)

OK, Dale, here it is now. You happy?

Besides, you’re the one who likes Zardoz (1974)! (OK, I like it, too – but you’re on your own with Exorcist II: The Heretic.)

For more information about all the goings-on at UNCSA, visit the official website: !