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CCA selects Faculty Student Mentored Research Award Winners

Flying WV

The College of Creative Arts Faculty Student Mentored Research awards demonstrate the exceptional mentored research work being conducted in the arts at West Virginia University. Research in the arts can take many forms: exhibitions, performances, publications, scholarly research and more. 

The winners of the 2022 Faculty Student Mentored Research Awards are:

Undergraduate Student 1st Place

Jinxy Jenkins & Lucky Lou: The Journey from Spark to Screen
by Zoey Lim, School of Music

Faculty Mentors: Dr. Matthew Heap, Dr. Kyle Simpson
Multimedia Scoring, April 2021 - November 2021

Abstract: As a student composer who knew next to nothing about film scoring just last year, I never would have imagined that an idea of mine would end up being performed and recorded by a group of talented musicians. The idea was simple: to try to tell the story of two completely opposite characters with music in an animated short film. The title of the film was named after the main characters Jinxy Jenkins and Lucky Lou; Jinxy Jenkins was this gloomy, human-shaped bad luck magnet and Lucky Lou, a sunshine-and-rainbows kind of person who was as lucky as her name suggests. The very first draft included me using computer-generated instruments as playback, it didn’t sound too good. Later in the rewrite, I certainly felt like I was the real life embodiment of Jinxy Jenkins, except that I had a two-week deadline, technical hiccups, and writer’s block that he did not. That said, I also met my fair share of Lucky Lous who were always there to offer insights, motivate and cheer me onwards. Throughout the process, I got to score for live musicians, tinker with recording technology, conduct an ensemble, and perform/record the score with the WVU Film Score Ensemble—things that I would have never learned or experienced otherwise. Looking back, the scoring of Jinxy Jenkins wasn’t just about telling the story of two conflicting characters; it was also about the journey of a group of musicians, who overcame the hurdles and gave life to a simple idea.

Graduate Student 1st Place

Artists Sydney Laurence, Belmore Browne, and Olaus Murie and the Conservation of American Land
by Madelyn Brodie, School of Art & Design

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Rhonda Reymond
Thesis (Research Paper), Fall 2020- Spring 2022

Abstract: My research analyzes the impact of artists Sydney Laurence (1856- 1940), Belmore Browne (1880- 1954), and Olaus Murie (1889- 1963) and the contribution that their artwork had on the protection of United States public lands. I examine the conservation initiatives that were brought into effect during the early 1900s, the personal motivations of these artists to preserve the land, and the interactions between these artists and the United States government to demonstrate their involvement in land preservation. Artworks created by Laurence, Browne, and Murie are examined and evaluated for their aesthetic impact and their contribution to environmental, geographical, and biological knowledge of the habitats and wildlife that were largely unknown to the United States government. The analysis of governmental documents and legislation, the lobbying efforts of activist organizations, and government official’s reception of the artwork of Laurence, Browne, and Murie proves the impact of these artists. The paintings of Sydney Laurence and the paintings and field sketches of Belmore Browne and Olaus Murie aided in the preservation of millions of acres of land in the Northwest region of the United States.

Collaborative Award 1st Place

Environmental Music Therapy To Support Healthcare Professionals: A Response to Increased Burnout During Covid-19
by Kathryn Roe and Emily Lehr, School of Music

Faculty Mentor: Hannah Ivey-Bush
Research project, Fall 2020-present

The Collaborative Award is sponsored by the WVU Research Office. 

Abstract: Burnout can be a serious effect deriving from an intense and stressful work environment. Decreasing burnout in healthcare professionals is important as it will not only improve the quality of patient care provided but the mental and physical states of those struggling with burnout. Music therapy is a multifaceted profession that can tend to the presenting signs of burnout and its needs. In our study, music therapy was provided to the health professionals of Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown, WV. While all staff was included, a special emphasis was placed on staff providing care for covid positive patients. Music therapy services were provided by the music therapy team to staff several times a week after which they were invited to take a brief survey. The live music interventions consisted of client preferred music, relaxation music played on guitar, and lyrical content related to improving mental health. Our research methodology consisted of data collection and was compiled to examine levels of anxiety, work-related stress, and workplace happiness. Projected goals consisted of decreasing signs of intense stress and burnout of the healthcare workers at the hospital and comparing results of different timelines of the virus and vaccination status in WV. Another goal was to continue to build medical music therapy and provide valuable information on staff wellness for other programs. 

View all the Faculty Student Mentored Research projects at