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NMSU Theatre Department recognizes outstanding students


The New Mexico State University Theatre Department honored students at its annual awards ceremony, which was held May 14, with limited attendance because of public health orders.

Here are the principal award winners:

  • Imani Caldwell received the Hershel Zohn Award for outstanding senior, which requires a balance of scholarship and creative activity in the department. Caldwell also received an American Southwest Theatre Company (ASTC) graduate grant of $1,000 to advance her career, which she will use for her move to Los Angeles, said Theatre Department Head Wil Kilroy. (ASTC is the nonprofit that benefits the students and staff of the theatre department.)
  • Aliyah “Jet” Montellano received the department’s scholarship award, which mandates that the recipient have a GPA of 3.5 or higher.
  • Community member Denise Welsh for leadership as the long-time president of the ASTC board of directors. Welsh joined ASTC in 2007, after seeing the theater department’s production of “Dracula.” She became board vice president in 2011 and president in 2017.
  • Department visiting professor Lisa Hermanson for faculty service, going well beyond what is required of a visiting instructor.
  • Jay Venega for staff service, for assisting the department with administrative work.
  • Assistant Professor Nichole Hamilton and associate professor Larissa Lury for advocacy honoring their work with the Las Cruces Blessed Community.
  • Christa Fredrickson as production contributor for her dedication to the ASTC fundraiser “Broadway: On Stage” in March.
  • Outstanding actor awards went to Imani Caldwell and Peyton Womble in “Letters to the Future”; Hugo De Billie and Riley Merritt in “The Land Where We Stand”; Jet Montellano and Edward Goldstein in “Tracer on Zoom”; Joshua Jackson and Brianna Horvath for “Holiday Cabaret”; Joshua Jackson and Chad Gonzalez for “Destination Broadway”; and Joshua Jackson and Elia Vasquez for “The Shakespeare Project.”
  • These awards were also presented: Jet Montellano as outstanding assistant director/production designer for “Letters to the Future”; Peyton Womble for outstanding original music for “Letters to the Future”; Jazmen Escarcega as outstanding stage manager; and Gus Sanchez for outstanding principal photography.

Visit https://theatre.nmsu.edu/.