Purchase College Alums David Grill ’86 and Edie Falco ’86 Earn Emmy Nominations

david grill

edie falco nure jackie













Two Purchase College alumni were among the Emmy nominees announced yesterday.

David Grill ’86, assistant professor of theater design/technology, earned a nomination for Outstanding Lighting Design/Lighting Direction for a Variety Special for his work on the Super Bowl XLVIII Halftime Show Starring Bruno Mars.

Grill has won two Emmy Awards in his career and has extensive experience in lighting design and direction for international events, dance, architecture, television, and corporate theater. His credits encompass multiple Super Bowl half-time shows as well as the Pan American Games and the Olympic Winter Games.

In 2013, he served as lighting director for Michelle Obama’s Best Picture award sequence during the Academy Awards. The presentation was the climatic moment of the Oscars—and represented an apex of achievement in the field of lighting design.

“Dave exemplifies what distinguishes Purchase College: our faculty of top-tier working professionals who bring their firsthand knowledge and unsurpassed expertise to our students,” says Greg Taylor, Director of the Conservatory of Theatre Arts. “We are proud that Dave has received this validation of his talent.”

Grill earned his BFA in theatre design at Purchase College in 1986. He has taught at the college since 1998 and is coordinator of its Design/Technology BFA and MFA programs.


Edie Falco, ’86 earned her fifth Emmy nomination in the category Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for her role as Jackie Peyton in Showtime’s Nurse Jackie.

Falco has earned 12 Emmy nominations in her career and has won four times.

Winners will be announced Monday, August 25 on NBC.

More about Purchase College here.

Purchase College Among 300 Chosen for 2015 Fiske Guide to Colleges

fiske logoPurchase College, SUNY is proud to appear in the 2015 Fiske Guide to Colleges, which considers many qualities when selecting schools for inclusion, such as academic ratings, price category, and quality of student life on campus.

According to the guide, Purchase College is “…a perfect place to study the arts and still be able to indulge in academics of all kinds, or vice versa….Purchase offers the opportunity for a personalized, diverse education unique within the SUNY system.”

A literature major quoted in the publication says, “There’s a raw energy that exists on campus—in the students and professors—that I don’t think many other colleges have.”

Another student adds, “The professors are engaged, extremely qualified, and very interested in our education.”

The 2015 Fiske Guide to Colleges will be released July 5.

About the Fiske Guide
For more than 30 years, millions of students, parents, and guidance counselors have relied on the Fiske Guide to Colleges to present the “best and most interesting” schools during their college search.

Compiled by former New York Times education editor Edward B. Fiske, the top independent voice in college admissions, Fiske Guide to Colleges 2015 is a selective, subjective, and systematic look at 300+ colleges and universities in the U.S., Canada, and Great Britain.

Edward B. Fiske served for 17 years as education editor of the New York Times, where he realized that college-bound students and their families needed better information on which to base their educational choices.

More about Purchase College here.

Best of SUNY Art Exhibition Features Three Recent Purchase College Graduates

kyle breitenbach


The work of three recent Purchase College graduates earned places in this year’s Best of SUNY juried art exhibition. Works of art by Class of ’14 painting and drawing majors Kyle Breitenbach, Nora Fantry, and Stephanie Manzi are currently on view at the New York State Museum in Albany until August 31.

Breitenbach, originally from Sleepy Hollow, NY and now living in Philadephia, PA, earned an Honorable Mention award for his submission, Untitled (11-5), a 60-inch square painting on canvas.

“We are deeply proud to have our Best of SUNY art exhibition on display at the New York State Museum again this year,” said SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher.

“Showcasing our top student works from the past year, this annual exhibit has become a must-see attraction for those who live in Albany as well as the museum’s many visitors from across the state and nation. Congratulations to all of this year’s contributors.”

When asked about his post-graduation plans, Breitenbach responded, “I will continue to paint.”

About SUNY Exhibitions
The SUNY student art shows were initiated in 2002 so that the work of SUNY’s most talented student artists would be seen by a wider audience. SUNY student art is also on display year-round at State University Plaza in Albany, SUNY Global Center in New York City, and Governor Cuomo’s Washington, DC office.

Kyle Breitenbach
Untitled (11-5), 2013
Flashe on canvas, 60 x 60 inches
Image courtesy of the artist

More about Purchase College Conservatory of Art+Design here.

SUNY Announces Six Purchase College Recipients of the 2013-14 Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence

chancellor's award for excellence

SUNY announced today the 304 recipients of the 2013-14 Chancellor’s Award for Excellence and six members of the Purchase College community were honored.

Congratulations to the following for their accomplishments and continued dedication.

Excellence in Teaching
Kathleen McCormick
Professor of Literature and Pedagogy, School of Humanities

Jennifer K. Uleman
Associate Professor of Philiosophy, School of Humanities

Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities
Rachel Hallote
Professor of History, School of Humanities

Excellence in Professional Service
Dennis FitzGerald
Wood Shop Instructional Support Specialist, School of Art+Design

Pat Amanna
Director of the Children’s Center

Excellence in Classified Service
Nancy Mascolo
Secretary II, Student Health Services

“Faculty and staff who receive the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence have served their students, fellow faculty and staff, campuses, and communities with the utmost distinction, and it is a great honor to be able to recognize them with the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence,” said SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher. “Congratulations to all of this year’s recipients.”

About the Awards
The Chancellor’s Award for Excellence are presented annually to faculty and staff in six categories: Faculty Service, Librarianship, Professional Service, Scholarship and Creative Activities, Teaching, and Classified Service.

The honor provides system-wide recognition for consistently superior professional achievement and encourages the ongoing pursuit of excellence. Through these awards, SUNY publicly proclaims its pride in the accomplishment and personal dedication of its instructional faculty, librarians, and staff across its 64 campuses and system administration.

Read more here

More about Purchase College here.

Three Purchase College Students Recognized for Athletic and Academic Achievement

athletic academic achievement

Three Purchase College student-athletes— Kevon Kareem Bruce ’14 and rising sophomores Andrew Latona and Emma Yavel—were among 83 students from across the SUNY system recognized for a combination of athletic and academic achievements.

Hailing from Hayes, Jamaica, Bruce ’14, was a member of the men’s volleyball team and graduated last May with a major in theatre and performance and a minor in playwriting and screenwriting. He capped his Panther career by being named to the All-Skyline 2nd Team, the league office announced in April.

Latona, from Silver Spring, MD, competes in men’s swimming and studies jazz guitar performance in the Conservatory of Music. He was named a Skyline Conference Men’s Swim Rookie of the Week last February.

Brooklyn native Yavel, a psychology major, competes in women’s tennis. Last October she earned the Skyline Conference Women’s Tennis Rookie of the Week award.

“SUNY scholar athletes are stand-out students who have excelled not only in their respective sports but in our classrooms as well,” said SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher.

“With an average GPA of 3.55 among this year’s honorees, we are exceptionally proud of their achievements. Congratulations to each of the students recognized, and thank you the many professors, coaches, and staff across SUNY who support them.”

In order to be considered for this award, student-athletes were nominated by their campus athletic director. Nominees’ academic credentials and athletic accomplishments were then reviewed by a panel of athletic directors from across the SUNY system and members of the provost’s office.

Above: Purchase College student Andrew Latona studies jazz guitar performance and is a member of the men’s swimming team.

Purchase College School of the Arts Dean Ravi Rajan Selected for 2014-15 Tony Award Nominating Committee

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The Tony Awards announced its Nominating Committee for the 2014–15 awards yesterday and Ravi S. Rajan, dean of Purchase College’s School of the Arts, earned a place on the list.

Rajan will attend every new Broadway production this coming season. Last season that numbered about 50, half of which started in the spring. “While being on the committee is a major commitment of one’s time and energy, the effort is worth it, as the TONY awards bring great public value to the theatre by the broad attention the awards attract,” he says.

Along with 49 other theatre professionals that comprise the committee, Rajan will serve a three-year term.

“It is an honor to serve as a nominator for the TONY awards, and help the American Theatre Wing and the Broadway League support the work of the men and women that make theatre possible in the US. Starting with our first graduates in the 1970s, a significant number Purchase College alums have made their livings through work in the theatre, so I’m doubly happy that my service on the committee also contributes to the lives of our students, past and present,” he adds.

Rajan has been dean of the School of the Arts at Purchase College since 2012, after serving concurrently as both director of the School of Art+Design and associate dean of the School of the Arts.

Hollywood Reporter Names Purchase College Drama Program As Among the Best

hollywood reporter

The Hollywood Reporter asked 60 top casting directors and agents to name the best drama schools in the world and Purchase College ranked 20 in their list of The 25 Best Drama Schools in 2014.

The Purchase College Conservatory of Theatre Arts offers an intensive, highly focused BFA training program in acting and both a BFA and an MFA training program in theatre design/technology for a limited number of students who seek to pursue professional careers in these fields. In addition, the conservatory offers two BA programs in playwriting and screenwriting and theatre and performance.

Learn more about the Purchase College School of the Art’s Conservatory of Theatre Arts.

Image above: from the Purchase College Repertory Theatre (PRT) spring 2014 performance of William Shakespeare’s A Comedy of Errors, photo by Zoe Markwalter.

Purchase College Students Chosen for SUNY’s Thayer Fellowship and Patricia Kerr Ross Award

Thayer Kerr-Ross awards

Purchase College is proud to announce that two of its 2014 graduates received SUNY-wide awards for achievement in arts.

Madeline Mondrala ’14 (music) will receive $4,000 from the Thayer Fellowship and Gina Mingione ’14 (creative writing and literature) will receive the $1,000 Patricia Kerr Ross Award.

A Thayer Fellowship in the amount of $7,000 is awarded to one student, or shared among several students, who demonstrate outstanding achievement and high professional potential in the arts.

The Patricia Kerr Ross Award, for $1,000, is given to a student, or shared among several students, who have demonstrated excellence, originality, and promise in the arts.

Both awards are intended as a bridge between SUNY study in the arts and entry into a professional career in the arts.

Above: Madeline Mondrala (left) and Gina Mingione (right)
(Mondrala photo by Lauren Berthelot)

Purchase College Community Embodies Sustainability

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On Friday, May 2nd, members of the campus community worked to help reduce the carbon footprint of Purchase College.

For its 9th annual Clean and Green Day, the Purchase College Beautification Committee joined with members of the Facilities Management grounds department and additional staff, faculty, and students to spruce up the area around the Admissions and Human Resources Buildings adding shrubs and flowers to the landscape.

In what has become an annual tradition, the group also planted a tree—this year, a Red Maple (acer rubrum)—in the grassy area adjacent to the driveways that serve the admissions area and the Children’s Center.

Also on Friday, a ribbon-cutting ceremony celebrated the latest initiative of the Sustainability Committee: the launch of The Rocket composting system. Installed last winter behind Campus Center North, the composting machine will turn food waste from the Hub and coffee grounds from Starbucks into compost to be used mainly in the vegetable gardens maintained by students behind the Dance Building.

Anna Palmer ’15, environmental studies major, pedaled the quadracycle-turned-compost hauler—complete with a sign that reads “Keep Calm and Compost”—that she’ll use to move the food scraps to the composter as the resident “compost master.”

The initiative reflects the college’s commitment to environmental sustainability, as well as its strong tradition of engaging students in community and social activism. Co-chairs of the Sustainability Committee, Assistant Professor of Sociology Matthew Immergut and Associate Professor of New Media, Brooke Singer, spearheaded the effort to bring The Rocket to campus.

“The Rocket is part of a bigger vision of sustainability on campus,” according to Immergut. “In any sustainability program, you need to close the loop. And now, instead of throwing the food away, we’re composting it, and closing the loop.”

Both Immergut and Singer plan to integrate the initiative into their courses.

Immergut plans to incorporate learning about the composter into his environmental sociology class, explaining that, “Recently sociology has become more concerned with ecological issues and environmental activism.” Singer plans to have students in her Information Aesthetics class take raw data from the composter and make it visual. “By building a graphic interface, students can visualize the live data stream from the composter to show how much food is being processed,” she explains.

The Rocket was paid for by the mandatory student Green Fee.

Click here to learn more about The Rocket.

Pictured: Purchase College President Schwarz (center) with Anna Palmer ’15, compost master (right) and friends.

Novel by Purchase College Professor Warren Lehrer Receives Accolades

Warren Lehrer update

Purchase College Professor Warren Lehrer’s latest book, A Life in Books: The Rise and Fall of Bleu Mobley, was just named Outstanding Book of the Year, Most Original Concept by Independent Publisher. Dubbed the IPPY Awards, they recognize excellence in independent publishing. In January 2014, the College Book Art Association (CBAA) awarded the book Best in Show in its juried exhibition.

Lehrer, professor of Art+Design in graphic design, is widely recognized as a pioneer in the fields of visual literature and design authorship. Nine years in the making, A Life in Books is what Lehrer refers to as an “illuminated novel.”

It’s a memoir of Bleu Mobley, fictional author, journalist, college professor, experimental novelist, and pop-culture pundit, who is whispering his entire life story into a recording device from inside the jail cell he occupies for failing to reveal the name of a confidential source. The autobiography/apologia is “illuminated” by the book jackets, catalog copy, and reviews of the 101 books he has written. Excerpts from 34 of those volumes serve to flesh out his story further.

While the physical book sits at the center, several offshoots of A Life in Books are in the works. The New York State Council on the Arts awarded Lehrer over $20,000 for the development and production of an enhanced e-novel and multi-media performance, “to take advantage of the tablet as a new medium for storytelling.” It will include animation, video, audio, annotations, galleries, an interactive timeline, and crowd-sourcing components.

Another exciting aspect of the e-novel project is the ability to crowd-source the completion of Bleu Mobley’s books based on excerpts provided in the novel. Lehrer invites writers of all stripes to submit short stories that will eventually be published as an e-book. Click here and then click “contest.”

A Life in Books: The Rise and Fall of Bleu Mobley was published by Goff Books.

Follow links below to hear interviews with Lehrer on NPR-affiliate KCRW’s Bookwormand on NPR’s Studio 360.

KCRW’s Bookworm

NPR’s Studio 360

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