Honors Day alumni awards announced

Clockwise from upper left: Tim Andersen, Dan and Barbara Howard, Abby Miller and Emma Nishimura.
Clockwise from upper left: Tim Andersen, Dan and Barbara Howard, Abby Miller and Emma Nishimura.

The Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts will celebrate student, faculty, staff and alumni achievement at its annual Honors Day celebration on Friday, April 22. The dinner is by invitation only.

The awards to be presented include the Hixson-Lied Faculty and Staff Awards, the Dean's Award for Academic Excellence, the Student Leadership Award, Outstanding GTA Award, F. Pace Woods Scholarships, Vreeland Awards and Porter Awards, among others. (A full listing of award recipients will be available on our website after April 22.)

The recipients of the Alumni Board's Award of Merit, Alumni Achievement Awards and Student Leadership Award will also be honored. They include:

• Alumni Achievement Award in Art:
Emma Nishimura (M.F.A. 2013)

Based in Toronto, Canada, Nishimura’s work ranges from traditional etchings, archival pigment prints, drawings and audio pieces to art installations. Using a diversity of media, her work addresses ideas of memory and loss that are rooted within family stories and inherited narratives.

Nishimura received her BA from the University of Guelph, and her MFA from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She has exhibited nationally and internationally at venues including, the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, ON; the Royal Academy of Arts, London, UK; the International Print Center New York, NY; and the Taimiao Art Gallery, Beijing, China. Emma’s work is in a number of public and private collections, such as the Royal Ontario Museum, the Art Gallery of Ontario and the Library of Congress. She has received grants from the Ontario Arts Council, and won awards from Open Studio, the International Print Center New York, Art in Print, and The Print Center.

She is the recipient of the Queen Sonja Print Award 2018. Nishimura is an Assistant Professor and the Chair of Photography, Printmaking and Publications at OCAD (Ontario College of Art and Design) University.

• Alumni Achievement Award in Music:
Tim Andersen (B.M.E. 1982)

Tim Andersen has combined a successful teaching and performing career in the Dallas/Fort Worth area over the past 38 years.

Andersen is a Yamaha Performing Artist, has performed with the five-time Grammy nominated, Dallas Winds for 33 years and has held the position of Co-Principal Trumpet since 2007. He performs, records and tours frequently with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra and has performed numerous times at the Texas Music Educators Association Convention, Texas Bandmasters Association Convention and the Midwest Band and Orchestra Convention. Andersen can be heard on more than 20 recordings with the Dallas Brass, Dallas Winds, Dallas Symphony Orchestra and Imperial Brass as well as the video game, Banner Saga.

Andersen began his 25-year public school teaching career in 1988. He has presented clinics at the Texas Music Educators Association convention and the Texas Bandmasters Association convention as well as master classes at the University of North Texas and Louisiana State University.

Andersen received his Bachelor of Music in Education degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, studying trumpet with Dennis Schneider. While attending the University of Nebraska, he won the International Trumpet Guild Student Solo Competition in 1981 and 1982. He also won the Music Teacher’s National Association National Brass Competition in 1981. Tim received his Master of Music degree in Trumpet Performance from Indiana University as well as earning the coveted Performer’s Certificate from that institution.

• Alumni Achievement Award in Theatre and Film:
Abby Miller (B.A. 2003)

Miller currently stars on the Apple TV+ original series “Home Before Dark.” Prior to this, she appeared as a series regular on “The Sinner,” where she played Officer Caitlin Sullivan opposite Bill Pullman.

Her turn as Charles Manson follower Mary Brunner on “Aquarius” came on the heels of her dynamic turn as Ellen May on the FX original series “Justified.” She also recurred as Emily Greenstreet on “The Magicians.”

Her other TV credits include “Imposters,” “Station 19,” “Snowfall,” “The Real O’Neal’s,” “The Catch,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” Law and Order SVU” and “Mad Men.” She has also appeared in numerous feature films, such as the 2010 Sundance Selection “One Too Many Mornings” and the indie feature “Congratulations,” which she co-wrote.

Miller is also known as a singer with the band “Jen and Abby,” as well as a writer and producer of her own projects. She is represented by the prestigious Principal Entertainment LA agency in Los Angeles.

• Award of Merit:
Dan and Barbara Howard

The generosity of Dan and Barbara Howard has shaped the School of Art, Art History & Design. The Howards contributed support for the school’s art gallery. The Eisentrager-Howard Gallery forms the beating heart of Richards Hall—surrounded by classrooms, offices and grad studios. The gallery has hosted student, faculty and alumni exhibitions; award ceremonies; celebrations; fundraisers; and other university events. It is where students experience the primary goal of their profession—the exhibition.

The Dan and Barbara Howard Creative Achievement Awards and Award for Best Art Historical Writing were introduced 15 years ago. These awards have been instrumental in shaping student careers. These awards have contributed to the improvement of student work in quality and character.

Furthermore, Dan’s steadfast presence in the School of Art, Art History & Design and his own practice as a painter, is a model to all practicing and aspiring artists. He is in his studio in Richards Hall every day. His own work is included in the collection of the Smithsonian, The Lowe Art Museum, and numerous public, corporate and private collections.

• Student Leadership Award:
Zack Cheek, Glenn Korff School of Music

Cheek is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in both economics and trombone performance. He is the student senator for the Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts, president of the Chess Club, and a member of the Afghan Students Association and Muslim Students Association. A passionate advocate for the arts in the area of public policy, Cheek serves as the youngest member of the Nebraska Arts Council in history.

Brannon Evans, Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film

Evans is one of the top leaders in the Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film. She performed at the 2021 Martin Luther King Day events on campus. She is president of the Carson Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee, after serving as vice president in its founding year. She is also the assistant artistic director for Theatrix, the student-run theatre company, president of Boots and Cats a capella group and a singer with the UNL Jazz Singers. She is also a college ambassador and serves on the Student Advisory Board.