College of Fine Arts, School of Art, School of Dance, School of Music, School of Theatre, Film & Television

As the academic year comes to a close, we recognize and applaud the Class of 2021 for their hard work, resilience, and dedication to their craft and education. 

This year, the University of Arizona is welcoming families to campus for in-person celebrations and ceremonies. 

The College of Fine Arts commencement will take place on Sunday, May 16, at 7p in Arizona Stadium, along with the College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture and the College of Humanities. The doors open at 6p with a one-hour pre-show.

The virtual ceremony can be accessed at

In the days leading up to the ceremony will consist of in-person events to honor the graduates. 

The Red Carpet event on May 11-12 will be a chance for graduates to connect with their peers, pick up their graduation gift, enjoy music, food, dancing, and the chance for a photo op with Wilbur and Wilma in the Arts Oasis in front of the Fred Fox School of Music. 

Centennial Hall will be lit up with projections of graduate names and photos May 12-16 from 7-9p each evening. 

Each year the College of Fine Arts selects students for the honors, Outstanding Senior and Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistants from each school. Chosen by faculty nomination, these students have displayed incredible artistry, leadership, and promise for their craft and their futures. Here are comments pulled from the nomination letters.

Ilana Giardina is the 2021 Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant for the School of Dance. As a teacher, she motivates her students of all ages and levels with her musical approach in the studio and her kind demeanor. She is compassionate with the students while at the same time consistently challenging them in the studio/rehearsal environment. She has balanced her work here while maintaining a commitment to teaching both in the Tucson community and at studios nationally.

— Elizabeth George, associate professor of dance

Heather Cooper is the 2021 Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant for the Fred Fox School of Music. As a GTA, Heather mentors, coaches, observes, evaluates, and guides undergraduate music education student teachers. The success that our music student teachers will have when they enter the workforce is largely due to Heather’s teaching. Her professionalism and compassion is reflected through her one-on-one teaching and mentorship for each student. It would be a shame to leave out that Heather is doing this all while balancing full time doctoral studies and taking care of her four incredible children.

— Dr. Karin Nolan, assistant professor of music education

Danielle Jones is the 2021 Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant for the School of Art. As an instructor for her courses, Danielle has received exceptional student reviews with consistent remarks regarding her dedication, understanding, and reliability. Danielle is an exemplary colleague who consistently demonstrates her commitment to the classroom by developing new coursework, exercises, and instruction that reflect on her unfailingly optimistic character and humor. In addition to her accomplishments in the classroom, she maintains an impressive studio practice. Throughout the pandemic, Danielle has been an invariably positive presence for faculty, peers, and students.

— Stacie G. Widdifield, professor of art history

Rebekah Clark is the 2021 Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant for the School of Theatre, Film & Television. Rebekah has worked on seven Arizona Repertory Theatre productions. She has attacked each of these processes with an incredible passion to not only grow as an artist but as an artistic voice on the leadership team guiding the production. Rebekah’s process includes a dedication to visual storytelling that has been unrivaled in our graduate program. As a student, professional, and artist, Rebekah has demonstrated a love of learning, art, design, and a level of commitment that will make her successful not only in the theatre, but also in life.

— Joe C. Klug, assistant professor of scenic design

 Grace Liatti is the 2021 Outstanding Senior for the School of Art. Grace has impressed every faculty member with whom she has taken a course with her dedication to scholarship, outstanding performance in every class, firm interest in a museum career, and a deep commitment to social justice issues. Grace has held curatorial internships at UAMA and Tucson Museum of Art. She is currently conducting a Community Engagement Internship at Tucson Museum of Art. Grace is highly motivated, hard-working, and fiercely intelligent— a UA student of great integrity with deep commitments to making her community a better place.

— Dr. Stacie G. Widdifield, professor of art history

Hannah Weinmaster is the 2021 Outstanding Senior for the School of Dance. On occasion, a dancer who joins us as a freshman catches everyone’s eye. Hannah Weinmaster was such a student, and now, as a senior, she is regarded by faculty, staff, and her peers as an organizational leader and artistic force. She has performed in over 30 pieces created by faculty and by iconic choreographers and has choreographed a dozen works for UA Dance. Hannah is valued by her colleagues and recognized by the faculty and staff, as a creative force but also as a fine teacher for her engagements in a number of studios in Arizona and beyond.

— Jory Hancock, director of the School of Dance

Hannah Miller is the 2021 Outstanding Senior for the School of Theatre, Film & Television. Hannah is the rare student who can seemingly do everything absolutely well: she excels equally in both the creation and scholarly analysis of stories; she has first-rate accomplishments both in solitary intellectual pursuits and in outgoing leadership roles. Hannah is the rare student who could pursue virtually any career path she wanted and make an enormous success of it.

— Anna Cooper, assistant professor of Film & Television

Kaissy Yau is the 2021 Outstanding Senior for the College of Fine Arts and the Fred Fox School of Music. Kaissy is a stunning performer, erudite scholar, bold entrepreneur, innovative yet generous servant, and a humble leader. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, she has created recordings showcasing not only her performance prowess but her musical production acumen as a composer, arranger, engineer, and producer as well. Kaissy is also a UA Honors College student, a volunteer for the Outreach Honors Band and the New Horizons Band, and serves as president for the College of Fine Arts Ambassadors. Alongside her musical work, Kaissy’s skills were noticed by the McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship. Through her work, Ms. Yau has bridged the gap between the Eller College of Management and the CFA. I am certain she will succeed well outside our institution to make singular artistic and entrepreneurial impacts upon our profession and beyond.”

— Brian C. Luce, professor of flute performance