Noteworthy Accomplishments

COLUMBUS, Ga. - Brenda May Ito, a professor of theatre at Columbus State University, has been named a 2009-2010 Georgia Arts in Education Leader by the Woodruff Arts Center of Atlanta. May, the artistic director and program manager for CSU’s Theatre for Youth program, was selected for having “championed and demonstrated the ability of the arts to impact positively the lives and learning of young people.” She produces shows that tour schools throughout Georgia. Last year, her shows visited 69 schools, reaching 48,000 students. In May’s program, theatre students also participate in several community outreach activities, including story readings to children, fire prevention puppet shows and charity benefit performances. The Woodruff Arts Center will contribute $2,500 in May’s honor to CSU’s Theatre for Youth Program. For more information about CSU theatre programs, go to

Associate Professor and percussionist Paul Vaillancourt recently toured the Midwest as part of the duo STRIKE with pianist Jeffery Meyer. The concerts supported the release of their debut CD, Convergence on Luminescence Records. The duo has been invited to perform at the Beijing Modern Music Festival and give master classes at the famed Central Conservatory of Music in May. In a separate, recent release, Vaillancourt is conductor of Eric Moe’s acclaimed Strange Exclaiming Music on the Naxos label. The CSU Percussion Ensemble also contributed to the CD, described in Fanfare magazine (Jan./Feb. 2010) as “...all unpredictable, all very engaging... The performers are splendid, the sound uniformly fine.” Moe, a recent composer in residence with CSU’s McCullers Center for Writers and Musicians, collaborated extensively with Vaillancourt and CSU student percussionists during his stay.

Associate Professor of Chemistry Anil Banerjee has been appointed to serve a three-year term on the American Chemical Society’s Long Range Planning Committee. Banerjee, who joined the CSU faculty in 2005, will be part of a body that monitors internal and external trends and develops plans that will allow the national organization to evolve and adapt to changes in technology, in science, and in the needs and expectations of organization members.

Students Dynasty Battest, Caitlyn Brock, Jessica Barron and Adrienne Marr participated in the 15th annual Georgia Student Leadership Forum Jan. 22-24 in Atlanta. Senior Director for Student Life and Development Kimberly Mullen selected the CSU group to join over 60 student leaders from colleges and universities in Georgia for the forum. Activities ranged from a service learning project to dining at the Governor’s Mansion, where the students met and spoke with former Governor and First Lady Joe Frank and Elizabeth Harris, Chief Governing Officer Jim Lynch, Chick-Fil-A’s Senior Director of Real Estate John Lynch and others. For the service project, the students assembled refurbished medical supplies at Medshare in Atlanta for shipment to Haiti.

The photography of Assistant Professor of Art Rylan Steele appears in the table of contents for the Feb. 15, 2010 issue of Newsweek. The photo, of a recently vacated office, comes from a body of work examining interior spaces. It depicts the remnants of people’s interactions in work environments. To see more of Steele’s work, visit

Assistant Professor of Art Elizabeth Roberts McFalls has been selected as an artist for the XXVI LaGrange National Biennial. Under way, the exhibit hosts works by 118 artists from 39 states and runs through April 17. For more information. go to

Bassoonist Bogdan Dumitriu won the 2010 LaGrange Symphony Young Artist Competition with his performance of Ciranda das Sete Notas by Heitor Villa-Lobos. Dumitriu, a student of Ron Wirt, will perform as soloist with the LaGrange orchestra as part of its 2010-2011 concert season.