Celebrating excellence in our community

September 28 2022

The College of Fine Arts is thrilled to announce the 2022 Faculty and Staff Excellence Award winners. 

Two faculty members are chosen each year to receive the College of Fine Arts Faculty Excellence Awards. These awards recognize outstanding distinction in one of two areas: Teaching and Research. Criteria leading to a nomination may include innovative pedagogy, exemplary contributions to the educational process inside and outside the classroom, integration of student involvement with research opportunities, or excellence in creative or scholarly research. 

Additionally each year, CFA recognizes the superior performance of its staff members.  Staff members must show exceptional ability in terms of service excellence and commitment to the College of Fine Arts.  

2022 CFA Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award IMG 4988
Miriam Albert-Sobrino
Department of Film & Media Arts 

Miriam Albert-Sobrino is a storyteller from Galicia, Spain who, since 2011, navigates the fluid world of Film and Media Arts from the United States. As a filmmaker she is interested in telling stories of characters —traditionally women— trapped in transformative spaces. Her films, which she makes with her twin sister Sonia, often fall within the horror genre and are infused by surrealism, magical realism and their experience as female cinematographers in the male-dominated film industry.

One nominator had this to say about Miriam’s unique qualifications for receiving the CFA Faculty Excellence in Teaching:

"During the last two years where the prospect of making films has seemed dubious at best, Miriam has not only adapted her teaching of concepts to these new conditions, but done so in a way where students still have a great deal of creative freedom. Rather than teach filmmaking in a way that is restrictive within the context of the pandemic, she has shown students that students can adapt and work in a safe environment while still having agency as young filmmakers. Through teaching proper COVID Compliance guidelines, Miriam has worked to make the Film & Media Arts Department a safe place while also empowering students to make films. Additionally, alongside her sister Sonia, has compiled a considerable stockpile of educational presentations, files, video demonstrations – many of which are not required for their classes and exist solely for the benefit of their students."


2022 CFA Faculty Excellence in Research AwardIMG 4991
Dr. Elizabeth Craft
School of Music

Dr. Elizabeth Titrington Craft is an Assistant Professor in the School of Music at the University of Utah. Her research crosses disciplinary boundaries to explore how music conveys sociopolitical values and constructs national identity, focusing especially on musical theater from the early twentieth century through the present. Since coming to the U in 2016, Dr. Craft has created an impressive body of scholarship by combining research methods that are not often deployed in tandem, notably archival studies and interviews. The blending of historical sources and ethnographic approaches that informs her research is highly innovative and productive. Her recent publications examine the politics and reception of the musical Hamilton (in the journal American Music), and the musicals of Lin-Manuel Miranda (in The Routledge Companion to the Contemporary Musical). Her work also appears in the journal Studies in Musical Theatre and the volumes The Critical Companion to the American Stage Musical and Crosscurrents: American and European Music in Interaction, 1900–2000. Her book on the Broadway musicals and cultural impact of the composer, playwright, actor, director, and producer George M. Cohan is forthcoming with Oxford University Press.

One nominator had this to say about Dr. Craft’s unique qualifications for receiving the CFA Faculty Excellence in Research:

"Elizabeth’s interdisciplinary research spans not only music and musical theatre, but also ethnomusicology, American studies, ethnic studies, theater, and dance. Elizabeth first book, Yankee Doodle Dandy: George M. Cohan and the Broadway Stage explores the rhetoric of national identity to analyze ideas of what it means to be American within the context of the Broadway musical. Moreover, her talks on Miranda and Cohan have been published and presented at numerous national and international conferences, including those held by the American Musicological Society and the Society for American Music. Her work also makes a significant contribution to current academic scholarship in the fields of cultural studies, gender studies, transnationalism, musical theater criticism, and American studies."


2022 CFA Staff Excellence Award andrewgrace
Andrew Grace 
Academic Advisor

Andrew Grace has been on the CFA's Academic Advising team since 2016. Of his advising philosophy, he writes: "As an Academic Advisor, I work to help students see how the pieces of their education fit together. After a decade of teaching as a classroom instructor, I became an Academic Advisor because I want to help students more holistically. I believe it’s vital that students pursue the education and goals they find meaningful, and I know this can require more than a little creative thinking, planning, and troubleshooting." 

One of the nominations said the following: "He consistently brings intelligence, insight, and thoughtful questions to the table, as well as a willingness to consider alternative courses of action. He is solution-oriented, and seems to genuinely enjoy the process of getting there. Andrew is always a sincere pleasure to work with. In short, he is both unflappable and affable. He clearly is respected among his peers on the advising team. I always know that if Andrew has been invited to a meeting, that it's going to be a productive one."