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Theatre department announces scholarship recipients

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

LAWRENCE – The University of Kansas Department of Theatre awarded scholarships totaling $144,000 to 52 students at its end-of-the-year banquet.

“The long history of alumni and friends who have come through our doors has created a rich and unique legacy for the Department of Theatre,” said Mechele Leon, associate professor and department chair. “The annual Stage Supper is the event where those dozens of donors are honored, and our students receive the gift of our long and rich history."

The department has more than three dozen named scholarships and awards given out each year. Students apply for the various scholarships and some of the awards available. The recipients are recommended by the faculty scholarship committee and then approved by the department committee, consisting of all faculty and two staff representatives.  

"Being the first recipient of the Jon T. Eicholtz and Barbara Eden Scholarship is an unbelievable honor. Knowing my professors support and believe in me so much that they chose me for this scholarship makes me feel like I can achieve anything,” said Jaclyn Nischbach, junior theatre student from Wildwood, Missouri. “I am so blessed with the opportunities I am given at KU, by the training and encouragement in the theatre department, and by the generosity of Jon T. Eicholtz and Barbara Eden."

Scholarship and award recipients are as follows:


  • April Richardson, Andover, Dixon Scholarship in Theatre
  • Abigail Smith, Altamont, Margaret Bushong and Suzanne Calvin Scholarship
  • Brody Horn, Columbus, John David Lentz Scholarship
  • Cale Morrow, Dodge City, New Theatre Guild Scholarship, Richard Carrothers and Dennis Hennessy Theatre Scholarship
  • Michael Wysong, Larned, Dixon Scholarship in Theatre
  • Lynn Deboeck, Lawrence, Patricia Joyce Ellis Scholarship, Ambrose Saricks Family Scholarship, Margaret Bushong and Suzanne Calvin Scholarship
  • Lily Lancaster, Lawrence, Friends of the Theatre Scholarship, Loren Kennedy Traineeship
  • Kevin Siess, Lawrence, New Theatre Guild Scholarship, Don Knotts Scholarship
  • Bianca Jimenez, Leavenworth, Adah Clarke Hagan Scholarship, Loren Kennedy Scholarship, Margaret Bushong and Suzanne Calvin Scholarship, Patricia Joyce Ellis Scholarship
  • Amanda Boyle, Lenexa, Ambrose Saricks Family Scholarship
  • Abigail Hadel, Lenexa, Loren Kennedy Traineeship, Patricia Joyce Ellis Scholarship
  • Andrea Soper, Lenexa, David E. Blackwell Scholarship, Juanita Strait Scholarship
  • Diadra Smith, Manhattan, Bernadette Robinson Scholarship, Loren Kennedy Traineeship, Robin Huggins Scholarship, Theatre Scholarship
  • Mary Boyles, Mankato, Julie Damron-Dittmer Scholarship
  • Aden Lindholm, McPherson, Richard Kelton Memorial Scholarship
  • Elaina Smith, Olathe, Tom and Shirley Rea Memorial Award
  • Thomas Tong, Olathe, Claire Reinhold Scholarship, Loren Kennedy Scholarship, Loren Kennedy Traineeship
  • Gabriel Alaniz, Overland Park, David E. Blackwell Scholarship, Loren Kennedy Traineeship, Andrew and Lilly Tsubaki Award
  • James Petersen, Overland Park, Patricia Joyce Ellis Scholarship
  • Isabella Hampton, Overland Park, New Theatre Guild General Scholarship
  • Hailey Lapin, Overland Park, Laura Louise Pryor Award, Kuhlke Humanitarian Award
  • Jami Bessey, Paola, Clarence Seaver Scholarship, Stephanie Ann Smith Memorial Scholarship
  • Brian Buntin, Paola, Gerhard Zuther Dramatic Scriptwriting Award
  • Katherine Smeltzer, Prairie Village, Claire Reinhold Scholarship
  • Tim Wilkinson, Shawnee, Jack B. Wright Award
  • Brianna Woods, Stilwell, Allen Crafton Scholarship
  • Krista Jarboe, Walnut, Loren Kennedy Traineeship, Patricia Joyce Ellis Scholarship, Sally Six Hersh Scholarship


  • Joshua Greene, Albany, Charles Buddy Rogers Scholarship
  • William Lea, Albany, Alexis and Craig Stevens Scholarship
  • Elissa Bowen, Kansas City, New Theatre Guild Scholarship
  • Casey McNamara, Kansas City, Adah Clarke Hagen Scholarship
  • Nannan Gu, St. Louis, Margaret Bushong and Suzanne Calvin Scholarship
  • Julia Ubert, Sedalia, Kilty Kane Award
  • Jaclyn Nischbach, Wildwood, Jon T. Eicholtz and Barbara Eden Acting Scholarship

Other states and countries

  • Logan Duck, Mabelvale, Arkansas, Loren Kennedy Scholarship; Savannah Edgar, Loren Kennedy Scholarship
  • Rebecca Damron, Buford, Georgia, Charles Buddy Rogers Scholarship, Clarence Seaver Scholarship
  • Alice Hofgren, Scarborough, Maine, Susan Tisdell Niven Scholarship
  • Joseph Lilek, Bethesda, Maryland, Kari Wahlgren Scholarship
  • Jeanne Tiehen, Ralston, Nebraska, Alexis and Craig Stevens Scholarship, Ethel Hinds Burch Teaching Award in Theatre
  • Kelly Simons, Albuquerque, New Mexico, Stephanie Ann Smith Memorial Scholarship
  • Emily Schwerdtfeger, Columbus, Ohio, Dixon Scholarship in Theatre
  • Zachary Sudbury, Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, Alexis and Craig Stevens Scholarship
  • Megan Lethbridge, Dallas, David E. Blackwell Scholarship, Loren Kennedy Traineeship, Glenn Bickle Award
  • Alison Christy, Houston, Patricia Joyce Ellis Scholarship, Joseph R. Roach Dissertation Award
  • Scott Knowles, St. George, Utah, Charles Buddy Rogers Scholarship
  • Daniel Devlin, Fairfax, Virginia, New Theatre Guild General Scholarship
  • Rachel Blackburn, Richmond, Virginia, Claire Reinhold Scholarship
  • Pamela Rodriguez-Montero, San Jose, Costa Rica, Brian Ten Eyck Davis Award, Ethel Hinds Burch Teaching Award in Theatre, Patricia Joyce Ellis Scholarship
  • Rana Esfandiary, Tehran, Iran, Patricia Joyce Ellis Scholarship

The Department of Theatre is one of four departments in the School of the Arts. As part of the KU College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the School of the Arts offers fresh possibilities for collaboration between the arts and the humanities, sciences, social sciences, international and interdisciplinary studies.