Spotlight on Alums Spring 2010

Alumni Green

Greetings Alumni and Friends!

Our alumni are part of our extended family.  We are proud of your accomplishments and all that you do. 

We hope you enjoy this newsletter and that you will stay in touch, as we hope to remain in touch with you.

Geoffrey W. Newman,
Dean, College of the Arts

P.S.  Please log onto our Alumni web pages, developed just for you!
        Art & Design  Broadcasting   Communication Studies    Music    Theatre & Dance

(note: Our newsletter Donors section and Giving web pages also feature alums, including those who have graciously created scholarships )


Alumni on the Move . . Recent News.


Art & Design Alums

 Sculptor NATHAN SKILES, a 2006 graduate of Art and Design’s MFA Studio program, recently held a solo exhibition at Sloan Fine Art, in conjunction with Greene Contemporary entitled “Black Forest/White Lightning”.  The show presented a “collection of densely adorned cuckoo clocks, ranging from the intricately elegant to the over-the-top outrageous, as a means to invigorate his method of associative image making and feed his interest in the incongruous,” according to the gallery’s press release.  For full gallery press release and images, Click here.

Artist JOANNE LEFRAK, a 2001 graduate of Art and Design’s MFA Studio program, had two pieces featured in the exhibition “InVisible: Art at the Edge of Perception,” which opened February 13, 2010 at MASS MoCA (Museum of Contemporary Art, MA). The group show also features work by artists Uta Barth, Christian Capurro, and Karin Sander, among others. According to Katia Zavistovski, curator of the show, “Joanne Lefrak creates surprisingly detailed ‘drawings’ using light and shadow. Working with paper, plastic, and Plexiglas, she draws using processes of subtraction and elimination – cutting, burning, and scratching into the surfaces of these materials. The artist’s subject matter is derived from her own photographs and addresses the temporal nature of existence and the cyclical processes of death, decay, and regeneration.”  “InVisible” is part of a continuing series of MASS MoCA exhibitions presented in collaboration with the Clark Art Institute and Williams College that runs through June 30, 2010. For full article, click here.


Art & Design alums… Stay connected! Check out the Art & Design Alumni Web page.


Broadcasting Alums

Alum and adjunct professor, BOB SHAPIRO has been nominated for a New York Emmy for his 2009 documentary On The Frontlines: Doing Business in China (Feature 2).


PEGGY HEALY ’09 served as a co-coordinator for HBO as part of "We Are One, The Obama Inaugural Celebration" at the Lincoln Memorial Center.   She is currently a full-time production assistant with the nationally syndicated talk show, "The Wendy Williams Show."

RAYMOND CARSILLO ’07 works as a producer, specializing in original productions for radio station 1050 AM's and ESPN Video Games' websites.  He is also a writer for,,, and hosts a weekly on-air segment Fridays on the Brandon Tierney Show on 1050 AM ESPN.

CRISTINA PINZON ’08 is now working at the 20th Legislative District office of Senator Raymond Lesniak, Assemblyman Joseph Cryan and Assemblywoman Annette Quijano where she is her Legislative Aide.

IOANNIS HALKIAS ’04 is an Audio Engineer with the Fox News Channel and currently works on “Happening Now! “, which airs from 11am- 1pm and Studio B with Shepard Smith airing from 3pm-4pm. She has been with the Fox News Channel since May 2007.


Broadcasting alums… Stay connected! Check out the Broadcasting Alumni Web page


Music Alums

Composition alumnus PATRICK VALENTINO attended Brevard this summer

Music alums… Stay connected! Check out the Music Alumni Web page


Theatre & Dance Alums

This spring (April 29 and 30, May 1 and 2, 2010) award-winning playwright and Montclair State alumnus JASON GROTE’93 (BFA in Theatre with a concentration in acting) will kick off Montclair State’s first New Works Initiative with a workshop presentation of a new play for the American theatre. This will mark the first year in which acclaimed artists will be invited to develop new performance works at Montclair State University in collaboration with Theatre and Dance students. This initiative is sponsored by College of the Arts Advisory Board member Robert Gregory.

TIMOTHY KOCHKA (BFA Dane 2009) and TINA NIKITHSER (BFA Dance 2009) are performing the duet from May O’Donnell’s Pursuit of Happiness for the 92nd St Y's “Fridays at Noon” series.

DIANA ALFIERI (BFA Dance 2005) Managing Director of the Garden State Dance Festival, a non-profit presenting dance organization, is a Dance Educator and Choreographer at CORE Academy of Movement, Mt Laurel NJ.

NINOSKA ESCOBAR (BFA Dance 2009) is pursuing a MFA degree in Dance at the University of Texas in Austin, TX.

STACEY PEPPER SCHWARTZ (BFA Dance 2006), Founder and Director of Leaping Legs Creative Movement Programs won the 2009 Dr. Toy award for 100 Best Children's products and 10 Best Active Products 2009 for her DVD Up Down & All Around.

ERIN PRIDE (BFA Dance 2002), CRISTINA MARTE (BFA Dance 2000) and CRISTEN BOTTEGA (BFA Dance 2005) are all finishing their Dance Education degrees at New York University.   


Theatre & Dance alums… Stay connected! Check out the Theatre & Dance Alumni Web page


Communication Studies Alums

Communication Studies alums... Stay connected! Check out the Communications Studies Alumni Web page