The College of Fine Arts will celebrate the graduating Class of 2023, including the ‘Outstanding Senior’ honorees at the Fall 2023 CFA Graduation Ceremony on Dec. 14 at Crowder Hall.
Lillie Langston will be recognized as both the School of Theatre, Film & Television and the College of Fine Arts’ Outstanding Senior.
- Alexis Campos, School of Art
- Giorgia Menetre, School of Dance
- Eli Beren, School of Music
- Lillie Langston, School of Theatre, Film, & Television
School of Art
Alexis is an Art and Visual Culture Education major, with an emphasis in Community and Museums. She has received multiple awards and scholarships for academic excellence such as the Dean’s List with distinction, the Honors Thesis Award Scholarship, and the Brown Honors Scholarship. She has been working on her honor’s thesis that focuses on curating a photography exhibition of Latinx artists in Tucson, through the Honors College. The exhibition will be at the School of Art’s Lionel Rombach gallery.
She has participated in teaching children through the Wildcat Art Program in spring 2023 and has completed internships at the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Arizona State Museum, focusing on programming for children. Campos is also committed to creating accessible art experiences in museums and the community. Alexis currently works as a gallery assistant at Decode Gallery and a teaching assistant at the Museum of Contemporary Art. She teaches lessons in English, Spanish, and bilingually in K-12 classrooms in Tucson and has taught over 450 students each semester.
All her creative and engaging art projects and curriculum development in her classes indicate her dedication to the empowerment of art in her productions, student projects, and community engagements.
— Excerpts from the nomination letter from Associate Professors Dr. Carissa DiCindio and Joseph Farbrook
“I’m thinking a lot about my future,” said Alexis. “I’m very present right now, but I’m also thinking about the way that the world is kind of my oyster right now and life can launch me in any direction. Just given all the experience I’ve had here, I feel super ready to go on to any direction that life is going to take me in…It’s very surreal and it’s exciting and I’m excited to see where this takes me and to just kind of put everything into practice and kind of get real life experience.
“I think the connections I’ve made here with both mentors and friends is something that is going to go beyond this campus and this university. I don’t think I would have been as successful or as determined to stay on this path had it not been for the connections with these peers… just having someone to talk about what you’re doing, what you’re creating, here goes a really, really long way.”
School of Dance
Giorgia’s dedication in her studies and her creativity has led her to integrate both of her passions, dance and journalism, into one platform. She is graduating with a GPA of 3.96. During her time at the university, she performed works by renowned choreographers such as George Balanchine and Jose Limon as well as being a guest artist for IMPACT Dance Company in Fort Collins, Colorado.
In addition to her dance experience, she was a freelance writer for National Park Trips, an Outside Brand, where she wrote SEO stories and features on a range of topics relating to national parks. She was also a Digital Marketing Coordinator for the College of Fine Arts, where she enhanced the College of Fine Arts brand image by managing and collaborating with other departments, a social media consultant for Double Green, promoting sustainability practices, and a social media intern for Teton Gravity Research, assisting in the digital marketing department and contributed to editorial work.
Giorgia Menetre is an exceptional student who has excelled in both the arts and journalism, showcasing her dedication, versatility, and leadership skills. Her contributions to the University of Arizona and the broader community have been invaluable.
— Excerpts from nomination letter from Associate Director and Professor Tamara Dyke-Compton
“I feel like I really took advantage of building a community not only within the Fine Arts programs, but just in the university at large,” said Giorgia. “I’m really looking forward to taking the perseverance skills and the communication skills that I have acquired during my time as a student and carrying that onto whatever the future holds for me.
“This is something that I used to tell people when I was a campus tour guide – and something I think every student should keep in mind – but really be open to all of the possibilities, get involved, seek out new experiences. Don’t put yourself in a box. Don’t go into college thinking that you know what you want to do. Stay true to yourself, explore all the possibilities that are here for you. When you become a Wildcat, you become part of a family. You really learn the power of “I am who I am” because of who we are.”
School of Music
Eli is a nontraditional student. He received his first degree from the University of Arizona in 2009 in Philosophy and he will be earning his BFA in music education. He has shown himself to be a gentle leader in classrooms in public schools and at the university. He relates to all types of students and embodies the pillars of compassionate music teaching, demonstrating trust, empathy, authentic connection, community, and inclusion.
He is a member of the Symphonic Choir and a student teacher at Flowing Wells High School. His positivity and gratitude are contagious to his colleagues and to his professors. His desire to teach music grows out of his empathy for others and the desire to bring love, joy, and healing to a world badly in need of all three.
Eli has his own music studio and teaches private music lessons in guitar, drums, piano, and bass. He also has been learning to repair and construct instruments with the goal of being able to manufacture his own sustainable, low-cost instruments for students. Outside of the classroom, he has headlined for the Tucson Folk Festival, recorded and published four albums, and performed at various Tucson events and organizations.
He is one of those rare students, and future educator, who has a spark of enthusiasm for life that is contagious, and he makes all feel welcome to make music and learn together.
— Excerpts from the nomination letters from professors Dr. Karin Nolan and Elizabeth Schauer
“I’m really trying to enjoy myself. You know, it’s been a time of transition, being a student teacher and being a student at the university… I’ve had great professors, great pals, and great experiences singing in ensembles, concerts, and just generally speaking.
“Probably patience and compassion, and a willingness to being open into new experiences. Those would be the three things I would emphasize. The more deep breaths you can take and the more willing you are to be open with the world and the experiences that you have, the more I think you’ll reap from your education… I’m so grateful for the experience of being at the university. This’ll be my second degree from the U of A, so I’ve been here before and the professors that I’ve met and have taught me and the friends that I’ve made are lifelong.”
School of Theatre, Film & Television
College of Fine Arts
Lillie lives by three qualities, guts, desire, and belief. As a musical theatre major, her commitment to her education, her career, and her community has been clear, she’s all in. She has made the Dean’s List with a 4.0 GPA every year. She is also a three-time Medici Scholar, a four-time Arizona Excellence Scholarship recipient, and a Barzilai and Haldeman Award recipient. She played Elle in Arizona Repertory Theatre’s Legally Blonde. Her nominator, Kevin Black said her performance was “legendary in Tucson’s show-going community.” She is also currently rehearsing for her role as Isabel in Arizona’s Theatre Company’s production of Scrooge.
Outside of the classroom, Lillie has a passion for community service. She was a fundraising volunteer for the JED Foundation and for Wight Horse. She was an Arizona Arts volunteer for the UA Vaccine POD. Additionally, Lillie was a teaching artist for the Saguaro City Musical Theatre, where she contributed to the group’s mission in providing inclusive, tuition free theatre training to students ages seven to 17.
Lillie is a trailblazing guide: through her service work, her ambassadorship, her mentoring of fellows and youth, in her work ethic and her brilliant creativity, she brings joy and confidence and a sense of what’s possible to those around her.
— Excerpts from her nomination letter from Professor of Practice Kevin Black
“I’m planning to move to New York City after school, and so it’s a very exciting time because there’s going to be new things on the horizon, but I’ve also created a wonderful family here and it’s going to be a little bittersweet, but mostly exciting. I think the hope is most of us will be in New York or in L.A and I think that’s what special about the U of A too is that the alumni program is so tight.
“It’s going to be okay, and it will go by in the blink of an eye. So, take in every moment that you can. Be kind to everyone that you meet, make friends with every person on campus. Try to make friends in any club, any group. Put yourself out there as much as you can. That’s how you’re going to get the most out of your time at U of A. Also, to me specifically as a freshman coming in, I would tell myself you’re enough and what you bring to the table is enough.”
- 2023 Fall … Outstanding Seniors
- 2023 Spring … Lisitte Ann Mora, CFA OS
- 2023 Spring … Outstanding Seniors, GTA
- 2022 Fall … Amanda Lipp, CFA OS
- 2022 Fall … Outstanding Seniors
- 2022 Spring … Katie Baird, CFA OS
- 2022 Spring … Outstanding Seniors, GTA
- 2021 Fall … Andrea Damiani, CFA OS
- 2021 Spring … Kaissy Yau, CFA OS
- 2021 Spring … Outstanding Seniors, GTA
- 2020 Fall … Deborah Ruiz, CFA OS
- 2020 Spring … Delphine Chang, CFA OS
- 2019 Fall … Amanda Coote, CFA OS