Fulbright Scholars, “Good Morning America” Experts and a New “Balance Chair”: Corcoran Professors, Staff and Alumni Achievements in 2024

July 3, 2024

Sarah Coloma’s “Balance Chair”

“Balance Chair” by Sarah Coloma, Interaction Design MA ’23

Whether documenting protests for TIME, reporting from the red carpet at the Kennedy Center, or winning prestigious Fulbright awards, this spring our students, faculty and alumni have jumped into new and exciting opportunities in the art world. From publicly recognized large-scale sustainability projects to brand new inventions like the Balance Chair, the Corcoran community continues to channel their creative practices to forge a brighter future. This year, our students, faculty, and alumni were widely celebrated for their creativity and skill, and given the chance to further their artistic pursuits.

Read more about our faculty, staff and alumni accomplishments in 2024, and then be sure to check out our student stories as well.

Faculty and Staff Accomplishments

Douglas Boyce’s Latest Album Applauded by Gramophone
Music professor Douglas Boyce was featured in an segment by the music magazine Gramophone titled Sounds of America, which commended A Book of Songs, Scriptorium, and Ars poetica, three of the works from his latest album The Bird is an Alphabet. Read the review.

Originators of Modern Rap visit Music Class at the Corcoran
Master Gee of the Sugarhill Gang, the group behind the first hit rap song, “Rapper’s Delight,” visits Hip Hop History & Culture (CMUS 2110) taught by Ron Brown (AKA DJ RBI) and Loren Kajikawa. Last year, Bronx-based Grand Wizard Theodore—the DJ that invented scratching—visited via Zoom. DJ RBI and Kajikawa co-teach the course, Kajikawa from behind the podium and RBI from behind a pair of turntables: two different but complementary perspectives on music and history.

Alex Donahue receives 2023 GOOD DESIGN Award
Interior Architecture professor Alex Donahue won the 2023 GOOD DESIGN award for his Gradient watch, constructed of seven stacked layers, gaining richness in shades they descend. In December of 2023, Donahue also published a paper in the Interdisciplinary Journal of Signage and Wayfinding: Visual Mixed Messaging: The Role of Signage in Public and Private Governance of New York City Interior Privately Owned Public Spaces. Donahue explores the question: Do private owners’ signs communicate in a manner that narrows the definition of “public”?

Bird Song Over Black Water


Matt Eich Receives VMFA Fellowship, Featured in The Atlantic, and Publishes Latest Monograph
Assistant Professor of Photojournalism Matt Eich has been selected for a 2024-2025 Professional Visual Arts Fellowship from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts for his ongoing series, Bird Song Over Black Water. This is the second time he has received the VMFA Fellowship; the first was for his 2017 series I Love You, I'm Leaving.

The Atlantic recently published "God's Doctors," a project that Eich produced last year with funding from The Magnum Foundation's Health Equity Grant. Through his photography, Eich presents the reality of religious groups that have dedicated their efforts to assisting those struggling with healthcare in rural Virginia.

In June, Eich published his latest monograph, The Invisible Yoke, Volume IV: We, the Free. We, the Free is the final volume of Eich’s four-part series that studies the weight of collective memory in the shaping of American identity.

Photo from Bird Song Over Black Water

Andrea Kim Neighbors Celebrated for her Contributions to the Public
In April, Andrea Kim Neighbors, Head of Education at the Smithsonian’s Asian Pacific American Center and a part-time professor in GW’s museum studies program, received the Smithsonian's Education Achievement Award. This award recognizes her contributions to the Smithsonian, educational organizations, educators, K-12 students, community scholars, and the public throughout eight years.

Aasawari Kulkarni on Transcriptions
Assistant Professor of Graphic Design Aasawari Kulkarni spoke about her students’ experience in Transcriptions, a collaboration between the Free Minds Book Club and GW’s Nashman Center as a community engagement project. The project consisted of a showing and reading of poems written by poets from Free Minds Book Club and typographically interpreted by students in Graphic Design's "Typography II" class.

"Through the Free Minds Book Club collaboration, my students not only worked with real content, but also had the unique opportunity to interact with the authors of the content and learn about the lived experiences that inspired the words. Students' exceptional level of engagement and commitment was evidence that they were aware of the impact their work would have on someone at a personal level"  - Professor Aasawari Kulkarni

Alma Laprida’s Music Highlighted in DCist
Artist Alma Laprida, who teaches Music workshops at the Corcoran, was mentioned in an article by DCist about musicians to check out in 2024. Read more.

Sidney Monroe Williams Selected as Fulbright Scholar, Publishes Review on 3Views
Assistant professor of Theatre and Dance Sidney Monroe Williams has been selected as a Fulbright Scholar for the 2024-25 academic year. The Fulbright Scholar Program provides opportunities for faculty and administrators to teach, conduct research, and pursue professional projects across the world. With the help of this award, Professor Monroe plans to embark on a project that connects Colombia’s history and present, with contributions from Afro-Colombian artists; they also seek to explore the intersections within Afro-Colombian and African-American resilience as is reflected in their respective cultures and ritualistic performances. In February Williams published a review of Woolly Mammoth’s The Sensation Sea Mink-ettes with 3Views, an online journal dedicated to reviewing and discussing art. Read Professor Williams’ “Slippin’ on Sea Mink-ettes here.

Bibiana Obler's Contributions to Woven Histories and Expressionists
Associate Professor of Art History Bibiana Obler’s essay "Not Your Grandmother's Labor" is in the catalogue for Woven Histories: Textiles and Modern Abstraction, which explores the inseparable histories of modernist abstraction and twentieth-century textiles, published in conjunction with the National Gallery of Art's exhibition. Prof. Obler also recently participated in a walk through and 'gallery conversation' of the show with its curator, Lynne Cooke. In addition, Prof. Obler has an essay, "The Imperious Brush: Interrogating Expressionist Relations," published in the catalog, Expressionists: Kandinsky, Munter and the Blue Rider which accompanies the Tate's exhibition.

Have You Met… Babette Pendleton? Pendleton on Working at GW
Corcoran’s very own Babette Pendleton, former exhibition and programming associate and now program manager for the school’s partnership with the National Gallery, was interviewed by GW Today in February, for a feature covering her role at the Corcoran, her favorite parts of GW, and some of her personal likes and interests. Watch here.

Dumi Right Speaks to Voice of America
Music Professor Dumi Right was interviewed by Voice of America (watch here, starting at 20:25). Right also runs Corcoran's hip hop ensemble. Schuyler Van Tassel, a music senior, is also interning at VOA and worked on the show.In January, Right was also nominated in the 36th Annual Washington Area Music Awards, in the category of Best Hip Hop Song for "Life Is What You Make It" that features him alongside hip hop luminaries Chubb Rock, YZ, and Chuck D.

Jamille Wallick

Jamille Wallick Exhibits Latest Work at VisArts
Jamille Wallick (M.F.A., Studio Arts ’21), who teaches Media, Photography, and Fine Arts courses at the Corcoran School, is presenting her exhibition “until the truth is disclosed” at VisArts in Rockville, MD, which uses structural framing to reflect our systematic role in western society.

Photo by Dillon Meyer.


Mary Coughlin Speaks to “Good Morning America”
In June, Mary Coughlin, associate professor of museum studies, spoke to ABC’s “Good Morning America” about recent vandalism to Stonehenge by climate activists. Coughlin provided insight on the potentially lasting damage stricken on the 5,000-year-old stones, and the possibility of restoring the historic site. Watch the segment here.

In Memoriam: Andrew Hudson
With sorrow, we bid farewell to Andrew Hudson, a scholar, art critic, painter and instructor. For 34 years, he taught art history, writing and Buddhism at the Corcoran College of Art and Design, and as an art critic, he covered the Washington Color School, chronicling and shaping the art scene in The Washington Post. Read more about his remarkable life here.

Alumni Stories

Sarah Coloma

Sarah Coloma’s “Balance Chair” Mentioned on NPR and TED Radio Hour Podcast
Congratulations to alumna Sarah Coloma (Interaction Design M.A. ’23), whose thesis was recently mentioned on NPR and the TED Radio Hour’s Body Electric podcast. Sarah’s thesis was centered around The Balance Chair, a creation that automatically pushes you out of your seat and allows time for a break from working. Listen to the podcast and learn more about The Balance Chair here!

Nakeya Brown


Nakeya Brown’s Work Published in Aperture
Nakeya Brown (Fine Arts M.F.A. ’17) has work is featured in Aperture (Issue #253, Winter 2023, "Desire"). Aperture is a New York-based nonprofit publisher that focuses on exploring photography worldwide. Brown’s Desire piece “presents a wide-ranging look at how photographs are expressions and conduits of our wants, needs, and wishes.”

Larry Cook Awarded Gordon Parks Fellowship
Larry Cook, (Fine Arts M.F.A. ’13), received a Gordon Parks 2024 Fellowship in Art. The Gordon Parks Foundation seeks to support artistic and educational initiatives that promote the legacy and vision of Gordon Parks, a highly recognized photographer. Cook’s works explore pose and hand-painted backdrops through the use of collage, manipulation, and staged photography.

Aselin Flowers on Managing ArtReach GW
Alumna Aselin Flowers (Fine Arts, B.F.A. ’12) was featured in an article by GW Today that highlighted her years as director of ArtReach GW and described her motivations and hopes for the organization. Read more.

Wendy Galietta and Nick Kirkpatrick Receive Innovative Award
Wendy Galietta (B.F.A. Photojournalism '06) and Nick Kirkpatrick (B.F.A. Photojournalism '10) were awarded the 2023 Innovative Award from the National Press Foundation.

Jeff Huntington to Design New Mural in Ocean City
Jeff Huntington aka Jahru, (Fine Arts B.F.A. '95), was chosen to create a mural in Ocean City. Huntington was selected was selected from over sixty artists to complete the artwork at the Ocean Bowl Skate Park at the Downtown Recreation Complex later this year.

Olga Jaramillo


Olga Jaramillo Receives Butterfly Grant for Immigration-Focused Project
Alumna Olga Jaramillo (News Media Photojournalism M.A. ’21) has been awarded the Women’s Photojournalists of Washington’s Butterfly Grant, for her project “Dos Mundos” (“Two Worlds”), which narrates the hardships of four mothers from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, as they immigrate to the United States.

Works from Olga Jaramillo’s “Dos Mundos.”

Eric Lee Receives New York Times Fellowship
Alumnus Eric Lee (New Media Photojournalism M.A. ’20) has been awarded a New York Times Fellowship, a one-year work program aimed at cultivating the next generation of journalists. As a fellow, he will be covering politics from 2024-2025. Lee’s work focuses on themes of identity and community and has been featured in publications by The Atlantic, Bloomberg News, New York Magazine, NPR, Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and others.

Kathryn Prinkey’s Debut at Salisbury University
Congratulations to Kathryn Prinkey (Museum Studies M.A. '23), now Curator of Exhibits & Engagement at the Nabb Research Center at Salisbury University, whose first exhibition From Patch to Plate: The Sweet Journey of Delmarva Strawberries,” opened Thursday, February 1, 2024.

Chris Combs


Chris Combs Spotlighted on The American Scholar
Chris Combs (Photojournalism B.F.A. '06, from the Corcoran College of Art & Design) was the focus of an article by The American Scholar, which discusses his journey and ideals creating multimedia installations that critique the ways in which big corporations use the public’s digital data. Read the full article here.

Chris Combs’ “The Next Big Thing.” Photo from The American Scholar.