Home > Alumni, Awards, Composition > Ilari Kaila (Ph.D. 2010) Wins the 2011 Thayer Fellowship in the Arts and Patricia Kerr Ross Awards

Ilari Kaila (Ph.D. 2010) Wins the 2011 Thayer Fellowship in the Arts and Patricia Kerr Ross Awards

May 13, 2011

Albany – The State University of New York recently honored two students for exemplary achievement in the arts with the presentation of this year’s Thayer Fellowship in the Arts and Patricia Kerr Ross Awards.

“The Thayer Fellowship and Patricia K. Ross Award allow us to provide some of our most creative arts students with financial assistance as they embark on their individual creative journeys,” said SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher. “Congratulations to both of these talented SUNY students for winning such prestigious and competitive awards.”

Each year, a Thayer Fellowship in the amount of $7,000 is awarded to one student, or shared among several students, who demonstrate outstanding achievement and high professional potential in the arts. The Patricia Kerr Ross Award, for $1,000 goes to o a student, or shared among several students, who have demonstrated excellence, originality, and promise. Both awards are intended as a bridge between SUNY study in the arts and entry into a professional career in the arts.

This year, two winners were chosen to share both the Thayer Fellowship in the Arts and Patricia Kerr Ross Award:

  • Ilari Kaila, Ph.D., in music and music composition, Stony Brook University
  • Jenna Josepher, BFA in graphic design, Purchase College

Artistic Director and SUNY Potsdam Distinguished Service Professor of Art Joseph Hildreth said, “The winners of the competition totally impressed the review panel with their excellence. They presented work consistent with that of experienced professionals. SUNY should take enormous pride in the education of students at this high level of accomplishment.”

About the Thayer Fellowship

The Thayer Fellowship was established in 1985-86 by the late Walter N. Thayer, Chairman of Whitney Communications, New York City, in honor of his wife, Jeanne C. Thayer, who was a SUNY trustee from 1974 to 1984 and an active supporter of the arts. The Thayers wanted to assist SUNY’s most talented young artists at the most difficult period of time for a young professional, when the struggle to make a living can overwhelm even the most dedicated individual. The fellowship helps the artist take advantage of important opportunities.

About the Patricia Kerr Ross Award

Patricia Kerr Ross dedicated 30 years of service to SUNY, where she began in 1969 as Assistant to the University Dean in the University-wide Program in the Arts. Ross directed the University-wide Programs in the Arts from 1971-91, and over the years, was also a board and committee member, panelist and speaker for a variety of arts-related organizations in New York State. She was a founding board member of the Gallery Association of New York State in 1973 and the Association of SUNY Arts Presenters in 1982. Following her death in 1999, Ross’ $30,000 bequest created the Patricia Kerr Ross Award to benefit graduates in the arts by enhancing the outreach of the Thayer Fellowship program.

Nearly 100 applications for the awards are received each year. The applications are evaluated by a Jury Panel of experts in the various arts disciplines. The finalists are then interviewed in person by the Jury Panel, and their work is reviewed during performances, readings, screenings, and exhibitions. At the end of this process, the jury panel determines the winners.

Categories: Alumni, Awards, Composition
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