Koret Scholars Award Recipients

October 21, 2020
Farrah McAdam and Marie Ramirez Downing headshots

We are excited to announce that Dance Faculty, Farrah McAdam and Acting Faculty, Marie Ramirez Downing have been selected as Koret Scholar Award recipients for their upcoming research and creative work. Their projects will support four dance students and four acting students in their research of vocal and embodied scholarship!

Farrah McAdam: "Code em Revisited: Reimagining Realities through Embodied Exploration" with Kai Enciso Givhan, Jasmine Lee, Eros Mene and Marissa Salinas 
My previously performed research, titled “code em” (2018), examined the systems in which humans create and move through, and humanity through joy, loss, and all the in-between. It featured an all BIPOC collaborative cast, and original text and sound to provide artistic context with the audience. The dancers in the previous cast used prompts and choreography to research themes such as code-switching, identity politics, and systems of oppression through words that contain the prefix em-: including embody, emit, emotion, embolden, emblaze, embrace, empathy, empower, emulate, etc. 

With this group of students, we will use the work of “code em” as our common base to explore how these concepts show up in these students’ experiences. Three of these four students are 1st generation college students, all of them are students of color. All four of them are constantly reimagining what it means to be hyphenated Americans who are navigating academia in an art major that is too often seen as “easy”. In communities of color especially, it is culturally seen as a major that is unnecessary, that does not provide any financial opportunity or societal legitimacy. Yet, they have pursued fields they are passionate about, and continued to overachieve by double majoring in other fields (English, Business, Biology) with full intention to continue on to graduate school after their time at Sonoma State.  In this research, these students will be able to take the time and resources to not only process but reimagine what their contributions to society can entail from individual, cultural, and academic perspectives. We will increase the visibility of creative work and performance research in academia.


Marie Ramirez Downing: "Performing Accents and Dialects in the Theatre: Authenticity, Representation, and Inclusion" with Jose Deleon, Marisabel FloresReilly Milton and Phi Tran

The theatre is a place to produce plays about the diverse people who populate this world.  The International Dialects of English Archive (IDEA) website was created by fellow voice and  speech colleague Paul Meir as a repository for real people to contribute their accents and dialects for theatrical study. It is used by professional actors, students, directors, and voice and dialect  coaches when producing plays that require accuracy and authenticity when telling stories of  various regions around the globe. We seek true representation of Mexican and Chicano voices  from the northern, central, and southern areas of California. The current database for Mexico and  California needs to be updated and expanded. As Associate Editor for those regions, we plan to  collect new accents and dialects that represent and include every unique detail about our subjects  and give them a platform to tell their stories through a written and recorded transcription process and eventual performance by our SSU students.