CVPA Celebration

Student and Faculty Excellence Awards

The College of Visual and Performing Arts is happy to announce the following recipients of excellence awards. Information on each recipient will be posted to CVPA social media sites on Thursday, April 14. Follow along on Facebook and Instagram. Congrats to all awardees!

Faculty Excellence Awards

The award recognizes two College of Visual and Performing Arts faculty members whose professional accomplishments are melded with their pedagogy to positively impact the quality of students' experiences at KU. 

Dr. Julie Hovanec Headshot
Dr. Julie Hovanec

Art Education

Dr. Hovanec’s greatest joy is mentoring student teachers. In her time at Kutztown she has worked with hundreds of pre-service teachers on their journeys to becoming educators. Dr. Hovanec possesses a keen knowledge of the student teaching experience embedding meaningful reflective practices into the practicum course she leads. Students have a high regard for her teaching style-one infused with deep care for the students while also gently pushing them to be the best art educator possible. In tandem with her lead role serving our student teachers, Dr. Hovanec, as an alumnus of KU, possesses a deep commitment to Kutztown University and the Kutztown Art Education Department. She was chair of the department from 2017-2020 and guided the department through many transitions with a positive outlook and sensitivity to what is best for students, the faculty, and the department. Dr. Hovanec is always willing to take on a new course-often last minute due to schedule changes- to provide students with a quality experience in the visual arts.



Daniel Neuenschwander Headshot
Dr. Daniel Neuenshwander


As an educator and performer, Dr. Neuenschwander has always believed that a performance faculty member must be a proper model for what is expected in the profession and strive to give our students the best possible experiences utilizing our own expertise along with the available resources on hand. As such, Dr. Neuenschwander has performed in many varied musical genres by accepting performance engagements when possible. These performances have ranged from regular performances as trombonist with the Allentown Band and various regional orchestras for both live performances and recording sessions to local and national performances as a soloist and chamber musician. Through his continued performance career Dr. Neuenschwander continues to maintain and update his pedagogy to better serve both his trombone students as well as all the members of the bands at KU.



Staff Excellence Awards

The award recognizes a College of Visual and Performing Arts staff member whose work ethics, positive attitude, and professionalism impact the administrators, faculty, and students at Kutztown University on a day-to-day basis. 

Karen Stanford headshot
Karen Stanford


Karen Stanford is instrumental in fostering a community of art and understanding at KU. Her tireless work as Director of University Galleries and Community Outreach results in top notch programming and opportunities for faculty, students, sta, and the greater community to access the arts in meaningful ways. Karen is a consummate professional, staging a mind-boggling number of exhibitions between the annual Scholastics Awards and Show, visual arts Senior Exhibitions, Faculty Biennials, Installation Residencies, touring shows, and other professional exhibitions. Karen approaches each with incredibly high standards, generating positive experiences for the artists exhibiting their work as well as the community in attendance. She plays a key role in the KU Arts Society and other programs throughout campus and the Borough of Kutztown. Karen is a tremendous colleague and inspiring mentor for the interns and student workers she supervises.



ALUMNI Excellence Awards

The award recognizes alumni of the College of Visual and Performing Arts whose professional accomplishments and continued interactions with KU positively impact the quality of students’ experiences. 

Elizabeth Rega Headshot
Elizabeth Rega



Elizabeth Rega (KU ’09, BS Art Education and BFA Studio Art) is currently an elementary school art teacher for the Bethlehem Area School District. After teaching for only three years, she was nominated for Teacher of the Year in 2015. In the past two years she has designed and implemented two BASD Foundation grants resulting in a Film Festival and a Mosaic installation, organized 700 student works for a permanent installation in a local children’s hospital, created an asynchronous online learning platform for her district, served on a school committee organizing cultural engagement projects. Elizabeth achieved all of this while teaching full time and working on her Masters in Educational Leadership at Lehigh University. She is committed to her community, serving as a Board Member of Artists Equity for the Tri-County Area, volunteering for the Pottstown Regional Library Charity and participating in The Exceptional Women YW3CA Events.



Student Excellence Awards

This award recognizes one student from each of the six departments in the College of Visual and Performing Arts: Art, Art Education, Cinema, Television and Media Production, Communication Design, Communication Studies, and Music.

Katie Raudenbush headshot
Katie Raudenbush

Katie Raudenbush is a senior in the honors program at Kutztown University working toward a BFA in Art with a concentration in Photography and a BA in Art History. She is a visual artist who works mainly in film and digital photography as well as oil and acrylic painting, portraying relationships between light and the human body, especially focusing on shadows and changes in perception. Her photographic work centers around self-portraiture and the interactions between light, both in process and product, and the body. Most recently, she received the Marguerite Bierman Foundation Mentorship grant to create work with Dan R. Talley and an Artist in Residency at the Goggleworks Center for the Arts in Reading, PA.


Carmen Popovici

Carmen Popovici stands out as a student deeply and passionately committed to the programs and opportunities at Kutztown University. As a future educator, she exhibits all the qualities of an outstanding art educator, she possesses strong interpersonal skills, an amazing work ethic and contagious enthusiasm coupled with the ability to be flexible! As a junior, Ms. Popovici is highly involved in our NAEA (National Art Education Association) Student Chapter as the current student president. Carmen consistently comes to class prepared, enthusiastic and ready to learn. She is a thoughtful colleague who demonstrates care for her classmates and a genuine ability to listen during discussions while also contributing to the spirit of dialogue vs. debate. Beyond demonstrating leadership qualities in her classes, she leads outwardly within the campus community, recently representing the Department of Art Education at the Scholastic Event, during the commencement ceremony as the student ambassador, and during prospective student visit days. She has also served as a student leader during new student orientation. Within NAEA, she also served as Treasurer, Vice President and now as President. For KUPA, she serves as President! She clearly is a leader!

Carmen Popovici Headshot
Madeline koch
DEPARTMENT OF Cinema, Television, & Media Production

Madeline Koch, an active student in CTM, has a vast skill set in media production. During her tenure at KU, Madeline has excelled in cinematography, narrative video production, documentary, audio production, and post-production. Additionally, she holds leadership roles on the KU Activities Board, Documentary Club, and Video Vixens (an inclusive space for women, LGBT and POC). Lastly, Madeline is currently interning at Lehigh Valley Phantoms as a member of their video crew. She operates camera, curates music, and works in audio production for the professional ice hockey team.


Madeline Koch headshot
Joey Strain headshot
Joey Strain

Joey Strain is known by many faculty and students in the Sharadin Arts Building. His illustration style is easily recognizable! He is also known for his 2 published illustrated books and multiple zines. He is dedicated to his passion projects, his classwork, and being an overall good person. The kind of person you want to know. Joey currently has a solo show in the Sharadin Atrium and created the poster for the Children's Literature Conference in April. He just won a regional Gold Addy award for his work done in Senior Seminar: Consumer Campaigns. His work will now move on to the district level. Over the summer he worked with Professor Ann Lemon, Emeriti, and the Amos Lemon Foundation. In April he will be participating in Moccafest and we are sure his work will continue to keep KUCD on the map for fine design and illustration. Joey was also recently featured on the KU website.

Thi Van Ahn Nguyen

Van Anh, a graduating senior, shows a strong passion for research and practices in interpersonal and health communication. Her honors thesis investigated how language barriers influenced communication between health providers and Asian immigrant patients. She was selected as a research assistant with Dr. Qian in her summer project on “health acculturation of Asian immigrants,” which received the KUBears research grant. In addition to research, Van Anh is also actively involved in health promotion on campus. She has worked at the University health center since her freshmen year. She has initiated and participated in numerous activities to raise the health awareness of students on such issues as alcohol and drug use, and breast cancer. Her work at the health center gave her first-hand experience on health communication between providers and patients and fueled her research curiosity in this area. Her leadership, research, activism, and extracurricular activities have further facilitated her growth as an intelligent, inquisitive, conscientious, moral, and generally wonderful individual. She believes in hard work, honesty, and excellence, and consistently demonstrates superiority in every endeavor.

Douglas McCaskey

Douglas Mccaskey is a senior music performance major and has fully embraced the spirit of the Center for Mallet Percussion Research. Doug has reviewed, edited, and prepared performance scores from the manuscripts of Claire Omar Musser. His work will be presented as part of his capstone project as he completes the honors program here at KU culminating in a presentation and performance of this repertoire. His work in this area not only adds to the significance of the artifacts in our collection, it also will serve as a model for future projects as we digitize and record these pieces for future preservation.

Douglas McCaskey Headshot

Thank you for joining our virtual celebration of the College of Visual & Performing Arts!