Skip to main content
Dialogue Magazine

Faculty Focus

Reset Filter

Masi Asare

Masi Asare (PhD, New York University) wrote lyrics for Monsoon Wedding, the musical adaptation of Mira Nair’s film of the same name, which was performed last fall at the Abdul Aziz Nasser Theatre in Doha, Qatar. “The musical rehearsed in Mumbai, India, for several weeks and then premiered in Doha during the World Cup at the invitation of Sheikha Mayassa, produced by Qatar Creates,” Asare says. “It is truly an honor to be working with director Mira Nair and composer Vishal Bhardwaj—legends of Indian arts and culture—on this wonderful team.” As writer of half of the lyrics (including several entire songs), Asare shares credit with the musical’s original lyricist, Susan Birkenhead. Monsoon Wedding will premiere off-Broadway in New York City this spring.

Marisha Speights Atkins

Marisha Speights Atkins

Marisha Speights Atkins (PhD, University of Cincinnati) has been awarded a Leadership Fellowship in Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning to Advance Health Equity and Researcher Diversity (AIM-AHEAD), an initiative sponsored by the National Institutes of Health. Atkins says the program “has established mutually beneficial, coordinated, and trusted partnerships to enhance the participation and representation of researchers and communities currently underrepresented in the development of AI/ML models and to improve the capabilities of this emerging technology, beginning with electronic health records and extending to other diverse data to address health disparities and inequities.”

Larissa Buccholz

Larissa Buccholz

The Global Rules of Art: The Emergence and Divisions of a Cultural World Economy by Larissa Buccholz (PhD, Columbia University) was published in November by Princeton University Press. The book explores how the global contemporary arts scene’s long-marginalized cultures and creators have become more visible and powerful in recent decades.

Shana Cooper

Shana Cooper

Shana Cooper (MFA, Yale School of Drama) directed several recent productions in collaboration with Andrew Boyce (MFA, Yale School of Drama) as set designer: All’s Well That Ends Well at Chicago Shakespeare Theater in spring 2022; Ibsen’s The Lady from the Sea at Court Theatre in late winter and spring of 2022, with costume design by theatre associate professor Linda Roethke; and The Taming of the Shrew at American Players Theatre last fall, with costume design by Raquel Adorno (GC21), currently a Mancosh Postdoctoral Fellow in the School of Communication.

Cindy Gold

Cindy Gold (MFA, Alabama Shakespeare Company) was featured last fall in Steppenwolf Theatre Companys production of The Most Spectacularly Lamentable Trial of Miz Martha Washington, directed by Whitney White (GCXX). Gold additionally appeared in the Goodman Theatres 2022 production of A Christmas Carol, directed by theatre professor Jessica Thebus (GC91, GC97), choreographed by assistant theatre professor of instruction Tommy Rapley, and with set design by theatre professor Todd Rosenthal. Alumni in the cast included Andrew White (C87), William Dick (C79), Amira Danan (C19), Thom Cox (C88), Alexander Quinones (C18), and Lucky Stiff (GC19). 

Nina Kraus

Nina Kraus

Nina Kraus (PhD, Northwestern University) received the Alumnae of Northwestern University’s 2022 Alumnae Award last fall in recognition of her outstanding contributions to auditory learning and neuroscience research.

Bruce Lambert

Bruce Lambert (PhD, University of Illinois) was awarded a $1,184,520 grant from the Food and Drug Administration for the project “Assessing the Effectiveness of Text Enhancements to Prevent Drug Name Confusion Errors” in collaboration with colleagues from Northwestern Medicine, the University of Illinois Chicago, Columbia University, Hofstra University, the University of Chicago, and the Institute for Safe Medication Practices. The project aims to determine the best lettering system for drug name labels. “I have been working on the problem of drug name confusion since 1996,” he says. “Since the 2000s, the FDA has been asking drug companies to use mixed-case lettering to try to differentiate confusingly similar names on drug packages and in computerized order entry systems. But there is little evidence about whether this method of text enhancement reduces errors in the real world.” Lambert and his colleagues have been tasked with determining whether this enhancement is effective and identifying what enhancements are optimal for reducing errors.

Susan Manning

Susan Manning (PhD, Columbia University) received the American Society for Aesthetics’ 2022 Selma Jeanne Cohen Award for best publication in dance studies for her article “Cross-Viewing in Berlin and Chicago: Nelisiwe Xaba’s Fremde Tänze,” published in The Drama Review.

Bonnie Martin-Harris

Bonnie Martin-Harris (PhD, Northwestern University) won the esteemed Gold Medal Award from the Dysphagia Research Society. The Gold Medal recognizes distinguished service and/or contributions to the society over time. The award was bestowed at its annual meeting in March in San Francisco.

Megan Roberts

Megan Roberts (PhD, Vanderbilt University) received two grants last fall totaling over $1.3 million. The first, from the Institute of Education Sciences, will fund her project “Reducing Time to Autism Diagnosis for Toddlers Enrolled in Early Intervention.” The second, from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, will fund “Optimizing Outcomes through Sequencing Parent-Mediated Interventions for Young Children with Autism.” The latter seeks to heighten the effectiveness of future research and intervention practices by connecting autistic adults and caregivers of autistic people with early-childhood autism researchers and speech-language pathologists in an effort to address gaps in early intervention for autism patients.

Dassia Posner

Three Loves for Three Oranges: Gozzi, Meyerhold, Prokofiev, cowritten by Dassia Posner (PhD, Tufts University), was the runner-up for the Theatre and Performance Research Association’s 2022 TaPRA Research Prize for Editing (Essay Collections and Special Issues) and received honorable mention for the Association for Theatre in Higher Education’s 2022 Excellence in Editing Award. Last fall, Posner appeared as a guest expert in puppetry history for “Back with You Again: Celebrating 75 Years of Kukla, Fran, Ollie, and Chicago Children’s TV,” an event sponsored by Chicago’s Newberry Library.

Michelle Shumate

Michelle Shumate (PhD, University of Southern California) was awarded a $362,637 grant from the Army Research Office to design better referral networks for veterans, military families, and transitioning service members. "The goal of the research is to introduce and validate a system-derived measure of the quality of client outcomes,” Shumate says. "Ultimately, this project’s north star is to recommend the right provider for veterans and their families based on a track record of improving similar clients’ well-being."

Shayna Silverstein

Shayna Silverstein (PhD, University of Chicago) won the Marcia Herndon Award from the Society for Ethnomusicology’s Gender and Sexualities Taskforce section for her article “The ‘Barbaric’ Dabke: Masculinity, Dance, and Autocracy in Contemporary Syrian Cultural Production.” Published in 2021 in the Journal for Middle Eastern Women’s Studies, it was one of the periodical’s “five most-read articles” that year.

Jacob Smith

"Alan Bates ’78," the first published videographic essay by Jacob Smith (PhD, Indiana University), appeared in the online journal [in]Transition: Journal of Videographic Film & Moving Image Studies.

David Tolchinsky

David Tolchinsky

The film Cassandra by David Tolchinsky (MFA, University of Southern California), featuring the voice talents of radio/television/film professor and chair Thomas Bradshaw, was awarded best international short at the Austin International Art Festival. Tolchinsky’s feature script Apollo’s Curse—in active development with Institutional Quality Productions and the Line Film Company—was named the year’s best unproduced script by the Santa Barbara Film Awards. Additionally, Tolchinsky and producer Madison Jones were awarded grants by Northwestern’s Undergraduate Research Office to hire two undergraduate assistants for their upcoming production of Orpa, an adaptation of the Orpheus myth. Tolchinsky is the director of the Pritzker Pucker Studio Lab for the Promotion of Mental Health via the Cinematic Arts, and his mentorship of student Danielle Llevada (C22) won him the SURG Fletcher Prize; Llevada also won a prize for her project. In addition, Tolchinsky was invited by Psychology Today to start the blog Screenology: Pondering Mental Health and Media.

Cristal Chanelle Truscott

Cristal Chanelle Truscott

Cristal Chanelle Truscott (PhD, New York University) has been named a 2022–2025 Social Practice Artist-in-Residence at Washington’s Kennedy Center. Founder of the touring ensemble Progress Theatre and creator and director of SoulWork Studio, Truscott is a culture worker, scholar, educator, playwright, and director. “My social practice residency at the Kennedy Center manifests through two main efforts across the three years of the residency,” she says. “The first is to provide accessible arts education and training that is both inclusive and culturally specific through a series of SoulWork Summer Intensives that will be offered every year. The second is by creating artistic work built through intergenerational and intercultural collaboration and community engagement. This includes Precious, an annual youth-driven Juneteenth performance, and, in the third year, a sharing of my Plantation Remix project that I’ll be building with the local DC community throughout my residency.” Truscott is the creator of SoulWork, a generative method for making performance, training artists, engaging communities, and framing analytical research that is rooted in generations-old African American cultural practices, theories, and performance traditions.

Nathan Walter

Nathan Walter (PhD, University of Southern California) received an award from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (via the University of Chicago) to perform initial research for his project “Chicago Center for Diabetes Translation Research: Just a Spoonful of Sugar Helps the Messages Go Down—Improving Prediabetes Awareness and Risk Communication among Hispanic/Latino Adults.” Founder and co-director of Northwestern’s Center of Media Psychology and Social Influence, Walter aims to determine the core values of his study’s population and then use those values to communicate with them about diabetes and prediabetes risks. "We want people to feel self-affirmed,” he says. “In-your-face campaigns don’t really work all the time, but our research shows that you can induce the feeling of self-affirmation if you show people characters and models they identify with."

Marco Williams

Murders that Matter, a documentary by Marco Williams (MFA, UCLA), was acquired by “POV” on PBS and will make its national broadcast premiere this summer. The film follows Movita Johnson-Harrell, a Black Muslim mother, over five years as she moves from being a victim of trauma to a vocal critic of gun violence.