Annual report 2018-19

2018-2019 College of Fine Arts and Communication Annual Report

Part One: Accomplishments

Teaching & Student Learning:  Summarize unit highlights in teaching during the reporting period (i.e., awards, significant improvements/initiatives, and curricular and/or pedagogical innovation). 

Curriculum in Arts Programs (reduced to 120 hours)

Undergraduate programs in Art, Theatre and Dance, and Music have reduced curricular requirements to 120 hours. The programs that undertook these curricular changes include: BFA in Art, BFA in Art Education, BM in Music, BM in Music Education, BFA in Theatre Arts, BFA in Theatre Arts Education, and BFA in Dance. The revised curricula will be implemented in Fall 2019. These revisions will allow our units to better accommodate student scheduling thus improving our “Finish in Four” graduation rates.

Study Abroad and Internationalizing the Curriculum

CFAC has made significant progress in global initiatives to internationalize our curriculum and faculty. We centralized our process in CFAC by tasking Linda Kean with coordinating programs across the college. This year we had 41 ECU students participate in CFAC short-term study abroad programs, four students from Krosno State College visited ECU’s campus for a global educational experience, and 81 students studied abroad via Italy Intensives. Examples of global activities include:

  • We have continued to develop a strong partnership with Krosno State College (KSC) in Krosno, Poland and we are expanding to include Jagiellonian University in Krakow. This year we offered one summer 2019 study abroad program to Poland. Laura Prividera and Deborah Thomson from the School of Communication (SOC) took 13 students to Poland and the Czech Republic to study intercultural and global communication. The SOAD and the SOTD anticipate study abroad programs in Poland next summer. In addition, Chuck Twardy (SOC) spent the Spring 2019 semester at KSC teaching global communication. SOTD Theatre for Youth student Taylor Reed, spent the Spring 2019 semester at KSC as an ERASMUS scholar. Linda Kean taught two classes – Media Effects and Health Communication at Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland during summer one. CFAC received four students and their faculty mentor from KSC for a two-week visit in April. The students participated in courses throughout the university and activities throughout the college. During summer 2019, Chris Buddo accepted the International Partner of Excellence Award on behalf of ECU at Krosno State College.
  • The SOC hosted Peter Schultz from the University of Switzerland who spent a week on campus meeting with faculty and students and giving several lectures. John Howard, SOC, traveled to China University of Political Science and Law (CUPL) in July 2018 to teach a summer class in computer mediated communication.
  • The established Italy Intensives program led by SOAD faculty member Linda Darty hosted 81 study abroad students. In the SOTD, Teal Darkenwald took six students to England and Paris to study dance in Summer 2, 2018. Christine Gustafson with the School of Music traveled with four students to the University of Taipei – this summer 1 to study music. This is the first SOM study abroad to this location. School of Communication faculty members Cindy Elmore and Gina Presson took 18 students to Costa Rica to study gender and communication and environmental journalism.
  • Mi-Sook Hur traveled to South Korea to teach a workshop at Seoul National University. Because of Mi-Sook Hur’s efforts, an MOU was signed in 2019 with Seoul National University. Matt Egan taught Art 3000 that included virtual engagement with students and faculty from the United Arab Emirates – this course will support future study abroad experiences in the UAE.


Faculty and Student Recognition

CFAC is a teaching intensive college that demonstrates pedagogical excellence in each of our schools.

  • Cynthia Wagoner in the SOM earned the ECU Alumni Association Award for Outstanding Teaching and Brittany Thompson in the SOC earned the Robert L. Jones Outstanding Teaching Award. In the SOTD, Teal Darkenwald continues to serve as the ECU Innovation Entrepreneurship Engagement Fellow. Finally, Brian Massey from the SOC earned the College of Fine Arts and Communication’s Scholar Teacher award.
  • Jocelyn Nelson’s textbook, Gateway to Music, Cognella Academic Publishing, received the Most Promising New Textbook Award from the Textbook and Academic Authors Association. Other faculty members who published textbooks include Barbara Bullington (SOC), A Guide to Copy Editing and Design, Kendall Hunt Publishing and Sachiyo Shearman (SOC), Communication Across Cultures, New River Learning.
  • In April, 20 Stage Combat students of Jill Carlson (SOTD) completed their Society of American Fight Directors Skills Proficiency Testing. All students passed with basic passes with 6 students now eligible to be Actor/Combatants with the Society of American Fight Directors.
  • At the National Association of Teacher’s of Singing (NATS) regional auditions, between the SOTD and the SOM, our students took home the following top awards: 1st place graduate women (SOM), 2nd place graduate women (SOM), 3rd place graduate women (SOM), 1st place senior men (SOTD), 1st place junior women (SOM), 2nd place junior women (SOM, SOTD), 1st place sophomore men (SOM), 1st place freshman women (SOM, SOTD), 2nd place freshman women (SOTD), 3rd place junior men (SOM), 3rd place freshman men (SOTD), and 2nd place sophomore women (SOTD).


Mentorship of Students

CFAC faculty have consistently supported student scholarship and research.  This mentorship resulted in 10 undergraduate student recipients of URCA grants with awards totaling $15,000 from the Division of Research, Economic Development and Engagement. The URCA grant recipients were in the SOAD, SOC and the SOTD. Examples of topics include: improving cardiovascular fitness in dancers through aquatic conditioning, performing in sign language, and producing films. The SOC had 8 presenters and 1 award winner at Research and Creative Activity week. The SOAD had 12 presenters at Research and Creative Activity week, including one award winner. In the SOTD, Dylan Bailey presented results from his study abroad experience in Krosno, Poland. His presentation also received an award.


Research/Creative Activity:  Summarize unit highlights in research/creative activity during the reporting period (i.e., awards, recognition, partnerships, and innovation). Attach (where appropriate) the unit’s one-page graphical results from the Academic Analytics.


In the SOAD, faculty produced 352 scholarly products, ranging from traditional peer-reviewed presentations and articles to solo exhibitions, commissioned design projects, film screenings and more. Forty-three products were international in scope, 162 national, 81 regional, and 79 local. For example, Cynthia Bickley-Green’s Yellow Miss was exhibited in Copenhagen as part of the U.S. Department of State Art in the Embassies. Scott Eagle (painting and drawing) had two solo exhibitions at the Sun Trust Gallery at the Durham Arts Council featuring 47 works and at Washington and Lee University, Virginia, featuring 15 pieces. Robin Haller’s (textile design) work as co-curator of the Fold/Unfold exhibition was featured in the well-known trade publication Selvedge.


In the SOC, faculty authored 2 books (one scholarly and one creative activity), 27 articles/book chapters and delivered 40 professional presentations this year. Some highlights include: Rebecca Dumlao published the book, A Guide to Collaborative Communication for Service-Learning and Community Engagement Partners, Stylus Publishing. In addition, she was selected as the NC Campus Compact Engaged Faculty Scholar. Glenn Hubbard received an Award for Excellence in Audio Production at the Broadcast Educators Association conference. Cui Meadows and Charles Meadows won a Top Paper award at the International Public Relations Research conference. In addition to these scholarly achievements, the SOC has created a Communication Research Center with state-of-the-art hardware and software to investigate communication phenomenon from a variety of perspectives.


Carroll Dashiell, Jr., from the School of Music, was among 50 African American musicians, writers and artists, honored by Governor Roy Cooper in celebration of Black History Month. He was one of 13 musicians honored at this event. Travis Alford, also from the School of Music, was awarded the Goddard Lieberson Fellowship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Faculty in the School of Music produced 774 research and/or creative items including performances, published articles, presentations, master classes, recordings, and compositions. Highlights from this year’s productivity include research and creative activity in 34 states and foreign countries including Canada, France, Nigeria, Korea, Israel, Austria, China and England.


In partial fulfillment of its co-curricular mission to produce plays and musicals from the world’s dramatic repertory for the communities of ECU, Greenville and the eastern NC region, the School of Theatre and Dance produced the 2018-19 season of the ECU/Loessin Playhouse consisting of two plays, two musicals, and two main-stage dance productions. This series reached more than 14,000 people. Other SOTD highlights include Jill Carlson being accepted among an elite few as an apprentice with IDI (Intimacy Directors International). This is a major achievement that will help keep the SOTD at the forefront of industry standards in Intimacy Direction. Bryan Conger received an Outstanding Production Award from Chatham Life and Style for Directing the production of Gidion’s Knot by Johnna Adams performed at Bartlett Theater. This production was named one of the top 5 outstanding productions in the Triangle area. Michael Tahaney was recognized nationally as a composer/lyricist for his original score in End of the Road: The Musical, when his work was selected to be performed at Resonation – A Festival of New Works, at the True Mirage Theatre in South Florida.


John Dixon and Teal Darkenwald (SOTD) co-choreographed an innovative collaboration piece, titled, Terra Lingua. This work was a commission from the NC NewMusic Initiative, Edward Jacobs (SOM), Director, supported by funds from CFAC, with additional support from the School of Music, the School of Theatre and Dance, and a CFAC Research and Creative Activity Award. Patch Clark was awarded the Plant Bloome Grant in collaboration with Carol Goodwillie from the Department of Biology in the Harriott College of Arts and Sciences for the project Bringing Plants to Life through Theatre Arts. The goal of the project is to engage and educate undergraduate students, school children, and the public about trees and the positive benefits they bring to our communities and environment.


Service: Summarize unit highlights in service during the reporting period (i.e., awards, recognition, partnerships, and innovation). 


The SOC’s Speech Communication Center continues to serve the ECU community both on east and west campus. The SCC had a total of 404 appointments with 257 clients. The SCC served additional clients through workshops, and they also went out into the academic community to present retreats, workshops, guest lectures, and special events. The SCC sponsored two Face Your Fear! events and had a total of 54 students attend. Pam Hopkins presented a total of 84 workshops, retreats, and educational sessions during the academic year. The total of participants including students, staff and faculty members was 1,529.


Under the mentorship of Patch Clark, the Theatre for Youth and Theatre Education students present workshops and perform yearly for the following conferences promoting literacy, global understanding, and theatre arts education techniques for the classroom:

    • The Librarian to Librarian Networking Conference – ECU Joyner Library
    • The LSCN Clinical Teacher Conference – ECU College of Education
    • The Mary Lois Staton Reading Conference – ECU College of Education

In addition to these performances, Theatre Arts Education and Theatre for Youth Outreach Projects and Touring Storybook Performances collaborates with schools in the following counties:  Pitt, Beaufort, Bertie, Craven, Greene, Nash-Rocky Mount, and Onslow Counties. In the community, the SOTD presented programs and performances in Little Washington at the Turnage, at the Rotary, Vidant Children’s Hospital and sponsored 2 ECU Days of Dance for regional high school students.


As part of CFAC’s outreach to ECU and the community, the S. Rudolph Alexander Performing Arts Series (SRAPAS), Family Fare and Arts Smart, presented 31 distinct events, serving 13,043 individuals including 545 ECU students. The Four Seasons Children’s Residency (SOM) and Family Night utilizes the Next Generation platform to present interactive concerts throughout our region and in numerous public concerts to families. The 2018/2019 residency featured The Concert Truck, a mobile concert hall, and performed six free concerts: four in Pitt County elementary schools and two pubic concerts (the Dream Park in west Greenville and Brookgreen Neighborhood). This initiative combines guest artists, faculty artists, current ECU students and former students and places them in the community. The GlasStation offered free demonstrations to the public as well as 39 paid continuing education courses to 217 people. The SOAD also offered two painting courses through continuing education.


CFAC faculty and administrators collectively serve on more than 100 university committees. We serve our various professions through membership, board leadership, editorial boards, conference reviewers and accreditation services. Some examples include: Jen-Scott Mobley (SOTD) was elected to be Co-Coordinator for the Jane Chambers Feminist Playwriting Contest 2019, which is sponsored by the Women and Theatre Program and the Association for Theatre in Higher Education. Erica Cooper (SOC) serves as co-director of the AAAS program in THCAS. Cynthia Bickley-Green (SOAD) serves as Co-President of the National Art Education Association Women’s Caucus. Ed Jacobs (SOM) is on the Board of Trustees for the Composers Conference and Chamber Music Center.


All four Schools in the College participated in the Pitt-Greenville Chamber of Commerce’s Grow Local Initiative. Across our four schools, 80 middle and high students participated.


Part Two: Reflection


The 2017-2022 unit strategic plans have recently been approved by the Chancellor. Provide no more than five bulleted points to briefly describe key opportunities, uncertainties, or challenges that may have impacted or will impact the implementation of the unit’s new strategic plan.


Key Opportunities

CFAC faculty and administrators have been developing strong study abroad and international programing and fostering meaningful international partnerships. We continue to view this as a key opportunity that aligns with our educational mission.


We believe a growth in graduate education is a key opportunity for CFAC. In the SOC, the graduate committee is currently developing a 2nd emphasis in Strategic Communication for the MA in Communication program. The realization of these efforts will be challenged by the current fiscal environment.


Plans for a new Performing Arts Center at ECU present both a challenge and an opportunity.  In the past year, the Dean coordinated efforts to develop conceptual drawings to help create high quality promotional materials for use in fundraising. The Dean also met with city and county officials to discuss potential partnerships.






Faculty salaries have remained stagnant for the past decade. This has had a deleterious impact on faculty morale that, in turn, adversely impacts our day-to-day operations.


Three out of our Four Schools continue to face significant facility challenges. External reviewers in the SOC program review process noted the generally decrepit state of Joyner East. SOTD Director Host, in partnership with facility services, has worked hard to update facilitates in Messick and McGinnis to meet health and safety standards. Nevertheless, dance studios remain a significant impediment to National Accreditation and program growth. The SOM does not have a large concert hall that is acoustically satisfactory nor a venue to produce opera. Thus, we have needed to partner with Turnage Theatre to present Opera productions off-site.


In last year’s annual report, we outlined the challenges we faced as a teaching intensive college in regard to growing our research agenda. Though we have taken some small steps to reallocate faculty time to increase research productivity, these efforts have not had the time to realize results. Now, in the face of significant budget reductions, we will be forced to roll back many of those initiatives as we will need to prioritize teaching in the faculty workload.



Part Three: Unit Strategic Plan Update

Summarize the plan or progress toward achieving each unit objective in the strategic plan. 

In the Actions Taken section, describe Actions Taken by the unit in 2017-18. Include budgetary or other resource investment /reallocation, if applicable. Units are not required to take substantial actions for all objectives. Provide data for associated Metrics in each Unit Objective. If the data has been collected for the first time in 2017-18 provide a summary of the baseline data.

In the Actions Planned section, please describe the Actions to be implemented in the next reporting year.

Commitment One – Maximize Student Success

Unit Objectives and Metrics

Unit Objective Status (mark one)

Grow enrollment by 5% in programs targeted toward working professionals.

Annual percent increase in student enrollment in programs targeted toward working professionals

Enrollment rates

Objective status: Full Implementation


Actions Taken and Metric Results


The MFA in Art with a concentration in ceramics was approved for hybrid, off-site delivery in the 2017-2018 academic year. Targeted at K-12 art teachers in the Piedmont area, the program will offer a combination of off-site instruction at the North Carolina Pottery Center, online, and face-to-face on campus delivery of MFA ceramics instruction. There is currently 1 student enrolled. The other art program targeted towards working professionals is the MAED. There are currently 14 students enrolled and last year in 2017-2018 there were 7 enrolled. This is 100% increase. There are also 2 individuals in the CFAC who are enrolled as licensure only, lateral entry, and add-on licensure through the College of Education’s alternative licensure program.


The online BS in Communication, the MA in Communication and the graduate Health Communication certificate are all aimed at working professionals. As of Spring 2018 which is our baseline, 204 students were enrolled in the BS program and 43 were enrolled in graduate programs. As of Spring 2019, we had 176 enrolled and 44 were enrolled in graduate programs.


The MM in Music Education is aimed at working professionals. As of spring 2018, we had 15 enrolled and as of Spring 2019 we had 8 enrolled. This is about a 47% decline.


As an aggregate, we had 245 students in spring 2019 and 312 in Spring 2018 for a decline of 21%.


Actions Planned for 2019-2020



We will actively recruit for the MFA in Art, Ceramics hybrid delivery. Existing networks of art educators established through CEU courses offered at the North Carolina Pottery Center will be utilized to target marketing materials and messaging.

We will actively recruit for Arts graduate programs at the NC Art Association Conference in Fall 2019.


Through online advertising, we will reach out to more working individuals for enrollment in our programs.


Through on-line advertising and strategic marketing, the School of Music is committed to improving the recruitment of students in the online MM in Music Education. It is anticipated that with the Legislature passing differential pay for teachers holding Master’s degrees, demand for the program will increase significantly.


Unit Objectives and Metrics

Increase the five-year graduation rate in our Arts programs by 10%.

Graduation rates as reported by individual Arts programs

Objective status: Launching


Actions Taken and Metric Results

  • The faculty reworked the arts curriculum in the SOAD, SOM, and SOTD to align with the 120-hour mandate.
  • The five-year graduation rate for students that entered in fall 2012 (and graduated May 2017) is as follows: SOAD, 61.7%; SOM, 68.1%; and SOTD, 64.8%. This is baseline data.
  • The five-year graduation rate for students that entered in fall 2013 (and graduated May 2018) is as follows: SOAD, 55.3%; SOM, 66.1%; and the SOTD, 72.1%.
  • In the aggregate, we have had a slight decline in 5-year graduation rates.


Actions Planned for 2019-2020

In fall 2019, the three schools will begin delivering their new 120-hour curriculum. We anticipate that in 4 years we will see a significant increase in 5-year graduation rates.


Unit Objectives and Metrics

Increase the numbers of students participating in international arts and communication programs by 5% and the number of faculty involved in international activities by 10%.

Number of students involved in international experiences.

Number of faculty internationally-oriented research publications, publications with international collaborators, and/or presentations at international conferences, workshops or seminars, or creative activities. 

Objective status: Full implementation


Actions Taken and Metric Results

  • In the 2017-2018 academic year, 73 students participated in short-term study abroad programs and 108 students participated in Italy Intensives. We are using these numbers as baseline data.
  • In 2018-2019, 41 ECU students participated in short-term study abroad programs, 4 international students came to ECU to study, and 81 students participated in Italy Intensives. Thus, we have had a 38% decline in short-term study abroad participants as well as a 25% decline in students participating in Italy Intensives. However, it is important to note that this year we were strategic in how we offered study abroad programs and we have a new rotation system in place that is designed to maximize enrollment and alternate the number of programs in certain locations and Schools. Italy Intensives are run through the Office of Global Affairs.
  • In 2017-2018, CFAC had a total of 111 scholarly activities that were international in scope (83 creative works, 25 presentations and 3 proceedings and 15 faculty led study abroad programs and/or taught internationally.
  • In 2018-2019, CFAC had a total of 94 scholarly activities that were international in scope (76 creative works and 18 presentations) and 16 faculty led study abroad programs and/or taught internationally.


Actions Planned for 2019-2020

  • We will continue to support and strengthen the existing programs in Poland, Italy, UK and the UAE. We will explore the opportunities offered by new MOUs with institutions in Korea, China, and Taipei.
  • The SOC, along with some of our other Schools, are working with several international institutions to increase collaboration on research including, Shimane University in Kyoto, Japan, Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland, Krosno State College in Krosno, Poland, Edith Cowan University in Perth, Australia, and University of Switzerland in Lugano, Switzerland.
  • The SOAD and the SOTD are planning trips to Poland for Summer 2020. The SOC has two study abroad trips being planned – one to Japan and a return study abroad trip to Switzerland (Lugano) and Italy. The SOTD has a trip planned to Shimane University. The SOM is planning a return trip to Taiwan.

Commitment Two – Serve the Public

Unit Objectives and Metrics

Identify existing engaged scholarship strengths in the CFAC that can grow the capacity for engaged scholarship.

Increase the amount of funds targeted to support faculty participating in engaged scholarship.

Increase scholarly products around engagement by 5%.

Objective status: Launching


Actions Taken and Metric Results


In 2018-2019, the SOAD spent $10,424 on faculty attending conferences where the focus was on engaged scholarship. They also had 5 scholarly products produced by faculty including a book chapter by Robbie Quinn, and presentations at conferences by Borim Song. Cat Normoyle started EOSA in Spring 2019.


Rebecca Dumlao has been a leader in the area of engaged scholarship at ECU and in the engagement and outreach community. She has published, A Guide to Collaborative Communication for Service-Learning and Community Engagement Partners, byStylus Publishing.  Additionally, Rebecca was an Engaged Faculty Scholar for UNC Campus Compact. The SOC spent about $4,000 on faculty attending conferences for engaged scholarship. Other faculty members have been active in EOSA, built service learning into their courses, and served on campus committees related to Service Learning and Engagement.


Professor Patch Clark is a leader among our faculty who consistently provide service learning opportunities for our students within our community and region. With many of her classes in Theatre for Youth and Theatre Education, she devises teaching and learning strategies that integrate meaningful community service with rich instruction. Theatre for Youth perform at sundry off-campus venues, as well as, Storybook’s “mini-tours” throughout local school districts. 


Actions Planned for 2019-2020

  • Faculty in the SOAD, SOC and SOTD will participate in engagement conferences and fund allocation for engaged scholarship will be explored through the individual schools.
  • In the SOAD, Cat Normoyle began EOSA in Spring 2019 and Jim Tisnado began and continues work with smART Kinston to develop a production ceramics studio and wood-fire kiln.


Commitment Three – Lead Regional Transformation

Unit Objectives and Metrics

Increase annual research expenditures to $500,000.00 with $400,000.00 from external sources as reported to NSH HERD survey by FY 2021-2022.

Total Awards

Faculty Scholarship (refereed publications, books, creative activities, etc.)

Objective status: Planning


Actions Taken and Metric Results

  • In anticipation of setting aside funding for our newly established research ORGS, we calculated the total research expenditures in the academic year 2017/2018 in CFAC as $74,003. In the 2018/2019 academic year we spent $79,168.
  • Patch Clark (SOTD) and Carol Goodwillie, from the Department of Biology received the Outreach Materials & Education (BLOOME) Award from the American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB) in the amount of $14,534 for the project, Bringing Plants to Life through Theatre Arts.
  • Mary Tucker-McLaughlin (SOC) is a team member on three proposals under review at the NSF. One proposal has been given the go ahead for the next round. Two are still under review.
  • For the 2019 fiscal year, CFAC has $23,900 in awards in Ramses with the prior year at $36,500.


Actions Planned for 2019-2020

In the current fiscal climate, it is our expectation that most faculty resources will need to be directed towards the classroom. Therefore, we anticipate a decline in research productivity.


Unit Objectives and Metrics

Increase the number of students engaged in innovative experiences through the curriculum.

Increase design-oriented courses/curricula that are centered on innovation.

Objective status: Planning


Actions Taken and Metric Results

In the SOAD, Gerald Weckesser, graduate student Kayla Clark, and Wayne Godwin continue to work on a 12 credit-hour Design Thinking certificate. This certificate builds upon the success of the new Honors College curriculum in which Godwin and Weckesser are engaged but be deployed for the entire University. The team is currently working on course descriptions, syllabi, and curriculum design.

Actions Planned for 2019-2020

The Design Thinking team anticipates bringing forward a curriculum proposal in the upcoming academic year.

Unit Objectives and Metrics

Increase fundraising totals to meet the $18 million by 2022.

Fundraising totals

Objective status: Full implementation


Actions Taken and Metric Results

Giving for this academic year is at $845,374. This year we are over a third of the way to our 18 million campaign goal with total campaign giving listed at $6,437,451.


Actions Planned for 2019-2020

  • Our CFAC Development Officer will continue to cultivate our Friends groups and manage annual giving. Our Development Officer and Director of SOC have begun establishing an Advisory Board for the SOC. The Director of the SOTD has made significant inroads with alumni in California and New York.
  • We will actively work with the various advancement officers to identify opportunities for planned giving from our active donor list.