Student Honorees

The Creative Arts Department is proud to salute our 2015 outstanding students!  Our outstanding seniors were honored at the College of Arts and Sciences Senior Honors Banquet for their superlative academic performance.  We presented our named awards at Stetson’s Undergraduate Awards and Recognition Ceremony the day before commencement.

Pictured above:  Drew Neitzey, Ian McNabb, Joe Palermo, Stephanie Wattigny, Eliza Colmes, Kaleigh Jacobson, Tara Hawkins.


  • Tara Hawkins – Studio Art
  • Ian McNabb – Digital Arts
  • Amanda Thomas – Digital Arts
  • Keisha Blair – Humanities
  • Ellen Smittle – Theatre Arts
  • Drew Neitzey – Theatre Arts


Ann Hall West Purchase Award

Stetson art graduate Ann West Hall ’02 was not only an artist, but a patron of the arts.  When Ann passed away in June 2008, she left a generous endowment to benefit students during their art experience at the University.  Part of the endowment was specifically designated for the purchase of student artwork from the annual Senior Thesis Exhibition, to be incorporated into the University’s significant permanent art collection.

Recipient: Kaleigh Jacobson

Ed Hamill Award to Outstanding Art Senior

In late 1979, Edwin N. Hamill, a significant donor of artwork to Stetson University, desired to establish an annual scholarship-based award to be presented to an outstanding senior art major.

Recipient: Eliza Colmes

Karen Haas Award

This award was established in 1997 in memory of Karen Haas, a Stetson student, to honor students for originality and creativity in the humanities. The criteria for the award state that the award is intended “to honor students of unusual creativity.  The award will recognize students within the Humanities Division who demonstrate exceptional creativity in their assigned coursework, achieving new meaning by thoughtful, original work that challenges, in a fully responsible way, the restrictions of conventional patterns.”

Recipient:  Joe Palermo

Philip Anthony Memorial Award

Stetson art student Philip Anthony graduated in 2006.  Following his untimely death in the spring of 2011, Philip’s family and friends wanted to establish something in his memory since his experience at Stetson had meant so much to him.  They decided an award in his name would be fitting, and donations came in towards that end.

Recipients:  Tara Hawkins (senior exhibition 2015) & Erin McCollum (senior exhibition 2015)

James Campbell Wright Award for Excellence in Technical Theatre

James Campbell Wright Award for Excellence in Technical Theatre in recognition of a Theatre Arts major or minor who has demonstrated excellence in work behind the scenes. This award is given in honor of Dr. James Wright, who served as a Stetson faculty member and for 39 years, from 1965 until his retirement in 2004. Dr. Wright earned the reputation of a congenial and devoted teacher, and also as a guiding force in Stover Theatre productions for over a third of its history.

Recipients:  Ellen Smittle & Stephanie Wattigny

Marjorie Forster Gilbert Award for Outstanding Student Performer

Marjorie Forster Gilbert Award for Outstanding Student Performer recognizes a theatre or communication studies major who has demonstrated excellence as an actor or director in theatre production. Mrs. Marjorie Gilbert was a professor at Stetson from 1969 until her retirement in 1989.   She was dedicated to drawing the best from her students, both in the classroom and on the stage, and her immense contribution to our department over the years is commemorated with this award.

Recipients:  Roxanna Ghamgosarnia & Drew Neitzey


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