College of Fine Arts

The College of Fine Arts has recognized eight undergraduate and graduate students across the four CFA schools for their talent and success as Creative Achievement Award honors. 

The Creative Achievement Awards are honors graduate and undergraduate students from the College’s four schools, who have demonstrated expectational scholarship, creativity, innovation, and passion for the arts.

Winners are celebrated each year amongst friends, family, and students and staff at the annual CFA Achievement Awards Convocation. This year’s ceremony will be held on Friday, Oct. 7 at 3p at Stevie Eller Dance Theatre. The outdoor reception, which coincides with Family Week, will include an address from the Dean Andy Schulz, performances from our Arizona Arts community, light refreshments, and much more.

This year’s award winners include Emily Kray and Quinn Standley (School of Art), Arianna Aquino and Sasha Reist (School of Dance), Diana Peralta and Mallory Mahoney (Fred Fox School of Music), and Tatiana Hernandez and Lindsay McDonald (School of Theatre, Film & Television).

School of Art

Emily Kray
Graduate | Art

Emily Kray, affectionately known as Troctopus, is a visual artist working primarily with watercolor and book arts to investigate the complexities and fallacies of memory by manipulating our attachment to nostalgic and familiar forms. In 2020, he received a BFA from the University of Nevada, Reno, and then began his MFA at the University of Arizona. He has participated in group shows nationally since 2016 and has had solo shows across Nevada and in Arizona. Since then, Kray continues to make art with a focus on community involvement and nostalgic comfort with a goal to graduate in the spring of 2023.

“Emily’s craftsmanship and presentation speaks for itself. It is innovative and profound and it’s this type of artistic excellence that has led them to win awards.” — School of Art Assistant Professor Alejandro Macias

Quinn Standley
Undergraduate | Studio Art with a Photography, Video, and Imaging emphasis

Quinn Standley has earned the CFA Dean’s List of Highest Academic Distinction each semester and has displayed traits of leadership and dedication to his peers and professors. He currently holds a cumulative GPA of 3.951 and has been awarded with the Andrew W. Eddowes Memorial Photography Scholarship for the 2022-2023 academic year. He combines imaging technologies to create introspective projects. Major themes of his work include scientific imagery, philosophical reflection, sentience, reality, and mental illness. More recently, he is interested in finding ways to display his artwork in ways that challenge typical photography conventions

“In his complex and poignant artistic practice, Quinn produces sophisticated photography, video and installation work that completely exceeds expectations at the undergraduate level.” — School of Art Assistant Professor Marcos Serafim

School of Dance

Arianna Aquino
Graduate | College Teaching and Dance

Arianna Aquino is an emerging dancer, teacher, and choreographer who shares her passion for equity and inclusion through her mentoring and her art. Aquino has been working on scholarly research on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Curriculum Development for Unification in Dance Education at National Dance Education Organization and Dance Studies Association, nationally and internationally. She is developing her skills amongst the 2022-2023 Inclusive Leadership Institute cohort at the University of Arizona. She serves as the Director of the TRIO SSS STEM program and the Assistant Director of the Arizona Science, Engineering, & Math Scholars Program for First-Time Pathways. She is also a founding member of the JustArts Fellowship.

“The body of Arianna’s work is admirable, and I am proud to say Arianna Aquino is my student.” Tamara Dyke-Compton, School of Dance director of graduate studies

Sasha Reist
Undergraduate | Film and Television, Dance, and Chinese Language

Sasha Reist is a senior who is a student of not one, but two schools in the College of Fine Arts. In addition to studying Chinese Language, Sasha is pursuing a BA in Film and Television and a BFA in Dance. Sasha has displayed tremendous ambition and progress in and out of her courses at the University. In the summer of 2021, she attended Earl Mosley’s Institute of the Arts dance intensive with support from the CFA Medici Circle donors. At the School of Dance, Sasha has exhibited her versatility in many shows, performing ballet, modern, and jazz styles. In the Film and Television program, Reist’s work on her short documentary “Changement,” earned her a Rocky Mountain Emmy nomination by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. As a choreographer, Sasha is on the rise and gained experience choreographing a piece for the Jamaica Dance Festival in New York in the summer of 2022.

Elizabeth George, a School of Dance associate professor, and undergraduate advisor, “looks forward to seeing what the future holds for such a bright, committed and hard-working young woman truly deserving of the Creative Achievement Award.”

Fred Fox School of Music

Diana Peralta
Graduate | Musical Arts

Diana Peralta is a graduate student pursuing a Ph.D. in Musical Arts at the Fred Fox School of Music, after earning a master’s degree in voice performance at the University of Arizona. Peralta is a mezzo-soprano who exemplifies being a top student through her dedication to teaching and performing. This past year she traveled to Bodrum, Turkey, to perform alongside an orchestra as Carmen in the opera of the same name by Bizet. A month later, she performed at the Jerusalem Lyric Opera Studio, which resulted in an invitation to perform as Carmen once again in the Summer of 2023. This year, Peralta will debut with the Arizona Opera at the Operatunity Project. Diana’s mentors and colleagues are extremely proud having a student represent the school both nationally and internationally.

“Her talent for performing and passion for teaching is a great example of the quality of students that we have at the Fred Fox School of Music and she has well represented the school on the international stage.” — José Luis Puerta, assistant professor of music

Mallory Mahoney
Undergraduate | Music Education and Performance: Bassoon Emphasis

Mahoney is a passionate and self-motivated student who has proven to her professors that she is on the path towards being a successful performer and impactful educator. She has performed in the Arizona Wind Ensemble Arizona Symphony Orchestra and has served as the section leader of the low brass section of Arizona Pride. Her innate talent is best highlighted by the fact that she was a semifinalist at the 2021 Fred Fox School of Music President’s Competition. She also received a scholarship to attend the Glickman-Popkin Bassoon Camp over the summer to further hone her skills. Along with performing with wind quintets and attending master classes, Mahoney completed a capstone project that involved the planning of a studio benefit concert, subsequently expanding her leadership and entrepreneurship skills.

Assistant Professor of Bassoon Marissa Olegario nominated Mallory for the award because she “continuously proves to be an asset to the Fred Fox School of Music with her camaraderie, enthusiastic spirit, and devotion to improve.” 

School of Theatre, Film, & Television

Lindsay McDonald
Graduate | Theatre Arts

Lindsay McDonald is a graduate student in her third year of the MFA Costume Design program. She has displayed her exceptional attention to detail and ability to adapt through her work as a costume designer, assistant designer, craftsperson, and wardrobe supervisor. Some of the shows Lindsay has designed costumes for include Heathers at Arizona Theatre Company’s Summer On Stage, Three Sisters and A Simple Herstory at Arizona Repertory Theatre, and this year’s production of Legally Blonde: The Musical. She has designed costumes for theaters across several states. Most notably, Lindsay was a part of the construction team for the Salt Lake City Olympics, where she designed costumes and puppets for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies.

Richard Tuckett, associate professor at the School of Theatre, Film & Television, highlights Lindsay’s “sensitivity to the nuances of character and her understanding of dramatic style [which] are some of her greatest strengths” in his nomination letter.

Tatiana Hernandez
Undergraduate | Film and Television, Theatre Arts

Tatiana Hernandez is a creative and collaborative student who excels in the Film and Television program and the Theatre Arts program. She has shown her ability to succeed in different areas through various film projects, In “Once Upon a Time,” a collaborative piece made with classmate Zack Richardson, Hernandez utilized her directing and writing skills to create a comedic film. At I Dream in Widescreen 2022, she was honored with the Adobe Award for Excellence in Sound Design for her work on four of the featured films. In the Theatre Arts program, Tatiana has shined as a performer in the New Directions Festival and the Next Performance Collective. Tatiana is a first-generation college student who holds a 4.0 in both programs.

“Tatiana is deserving of an award that recognizes her ability to create both fun and socially relevant stories across the disciplines of film and theatre.” – Yuri Makino, Associate Director of the Film & Television program

2021 Creative Achievement Award winners