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Awards recognize faculty creativity

Professor of English Kass Fleisher and Professor of Art Jin Lee have been named the recipients of the Outstanding University Creative Activity Award, and Assistant Professor of Music Roy Magnuson has been named the recipient of the Creative Activity Initiative Award. The three faculty members will be recognized during Illinois State University’s Founders Day celebration on Thursday, February 15.

The Outstanding University Creative Activity Award recognizes sustained contributions to areas such as painting, sculpture, film, drama, musical composition, choreography, poetry, literature, creative nonfiction, and creative media programming.

Fleisher arrived at Illinois State in 2003, following doctoral studies at the State University of New York at Binghamton and assignments at other universities. Since she arrived, she has written five books of fiction and co-edited a creative anthology. Additionally, she has written a successfully staged play and five screenplays that are in circulation, seven anthology chapters, 24 works of creative fiction and nonfiction in literary outlets, eight essays, 20 reviews, and almost two dozen creative works in online platforms. This output is on top of her traditional scholarship on narrative theory and writing pedagogy.

Lee is a photographer whose projects center on forming a deeper relationship to places through close examination of its landscapes. She has received the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship and the Illinois Arts Council grant, and has had solo shows at the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago Cultural Center, and Sioux City Art Center. Her works are included in the permanent collection of the Art Institute of Chicago, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Madison Art Center, and Museum of Contemporary Photography. She is currently represented by Devening Projects gallery in Chicago.

The Creative Activity Initiative Award recognizes faculty members who have initiated promising creative productivity early in their academic careers in areas such as painting, sculpture, film, drama, musical composition, choreography, poetry, literature, creative nonfiction, and creative media programming.

Magnuson ’05 has composed music for orchestra, wind ensemble, concert band, chamber ensembles, vocalists, electroacoustic ensembles, and films. His works have been performed throughout the United States and Europe at universities and venues such as the World Saxophone Congress, World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles, College Band Directors National Association, and the Red Note New Music Festival. He received a bachelor’s degree in theory/composition from Illinois State University, a master’s degree in composition from Ithaca College, and a doctoral degree in music from the University of Illinois. Due to the success of his wind writing, Magnuson was asked in 2008 to contribute a chapter to the GIA Publication, Composers on Composing for Band, Volume IV. Magnuson teaches freshman and sophomore music theory and composition, and coordinates the freshman theory curriculum. He is a member of ASCAP, and his music is recorded by Albany and NAXOS.

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