Office of Communications and Marketing
Tollison, director of the graduate communications program, was recognized at the 2022 Undergraduate Commencement ceremony on May 22.
Every year, Merrimack VPA students showcase their work in popular end-of-the-year exhibits and performances at the Rogers Center for the Arts. With this year’s coronavirus pandemic, students turned to virtual formats to share their Senior Capstone Projects and perform in a Voice Studio recital.
Nancy Wynn, associate professor of graphic design and chair of the department of visual and performing arts, provided students with guidance on their Senior Capstone Projects.
“The Senior Capstone Project is important for students,” Wynn said. “It provides a professional launch to their future employment as artists, performers and designers.”
Seniors kicked off their Capstone Projects this fall with a writing-intensive course where they participated in research and explored their passions. They designed and produced their projects in the spring and shared them on the College’s website with embedded audio tracks, videos, photo galleries and more.
Cristi Catt, lecturer in voice, made sure her VPA students still had their moment to shine, despite social distancing and Merrimack’s transition to remote learning. She organized a virtual Voice Studio recital via YouTube and used Zoom, a video conferencing technology, to continue voice lessons in preparation for the show.
Catt said while her students continued to progress in their virtual sessions, they still ran into challenges with the new technologies. They had to devise new ways to make singing and instrumental accompaniment work on Zoom. And they had to move their recital online, requiring students to use home technology, like GarageBand, to record their performances.
“When our students began the semester, they had no idea that by the end they would be producers and music techies, as well as performers,” Catt said. “The end result is a beautiful concert showcasing the interests and talents of this wonderful group of students.”
Despite a unique learning situation this spring, Wynn and Catt said their VPA students stayed highly motivated while away from campus.
“We couldn’t be more proud of each and every one of our students,” Wynn said.