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

Arizona Arts has named the four recipients of the inaugural Inclusive Excellence Award. The recipients will be recognized with a ceremony during the SALON event at the Tornabene Theatre on Feb. 29.  

The Arizona Arts Inclusive Excellence Award recognizes meritorious efforts and impacts toward the advancement of equity, diversity, and inclusion through research, teaching, mentorship, and service. The award is given to one undergraduate student, one graduate student, one faculty member and one staff member. 

2024 Inclusive Excellence Awardees 

  • Tiffany Wang, School of Theatre, Film & Television … Undergraduate 
  • Joshua Barbre, School of Music … Graduate          
  • Elizabeth Schauer, School of Music … Faculty  
  • Tioni Collins, College of Fine Arts … Staff

Recipients of the award will receive a plaque and a $1,500 stipend.

“This award lifts up individuals at Arizona Arts whose actions, big and small, express the University’s value of inclusion,” said Amy Kraehe, associate vice president for equity in the arts. “Each stands out for the positive difference they have made on campus, in the Tucson community, and in their fields. 

“They make a difference by removing barriers to opportunity, so those who have been historically excluded can participate fully in the arts. They make a difference by cultivating spaces of belonging, where individuals feel valued and make meaningful human connections. They make a difference by building new knowledge of forgotten histories, cultural practices, and aesthetic sensibilities, to inspire learning and catalyze change in the world.”

Andy Schulz, vice president for the arts for Arizona Arts at the University of Arizona, concurs.

“Arizona Arts works to ensure that all of our students, staff and faculty can learn, work and thrive in an inclusive environment. I applaud these four individuals – Tiffany, Joshua, Betsy and Tioni – who have made equity in the arts their own personal mission.“

Tiffany Wang’s involvement and passion for the College of Fine Arts are profound. Within the college, Wang previously served as Vice President of Communications for PAMFAD and currently holds the presidency within the group. In her role as president, she spearheaded the creation of PAMFAD’s Spotlight Festival, offering students opportunities to showcase their talents in front of audiences or through submissions to showcases.

Inclusive Excellence Award winners announced ... Tiffany Wang

Wang also served as the recruiting officer for the University of Filmmakers Organization (UFO), acted as the Undergraduate Representative for the College of Fine Arts Dean’s Advisory Council, and participated as a Medici Scholar during the past summer.

“This award is an acknowledgement that my efforts in striving for inclusive excellence in the arts across campus align with the interests of the wider campus community at UA,” she said.

Wang advocates for inclusivity in filmmaking and actively promotes diversity within the clubs and roles she holds within the College of Fine Arts. Outside the CFA, she contributes to the Office of International Admissions, where she fosters diversity by developing marketing content tailored to students from diverse backgrounds.

Committed to fostering a more equitable and inclusive environment for all creative students on campus, Wang said, “I believe that everyone is born a different way but should be able to find their own belongingness in many niches and communities in our world to be able to contribute to the creation of our future in meaningful ways,” Wang said. “By shedding light on the importance of DEI, I hope that everyone can realize that the UA campus community is about collaboration and trying to uplift another…only by embracing our differences can we reach the same goals.”

Joshua Barbre is currently pursuing his PhD in musicology and has been awarded a Fulbright scholarship to France to support his research on hip-hop music and dance. As a JustArts Fellow, he organized four hip-hop events featuring local artists, attracting participation from 167 students and 12 faculty and staff members.

Inclusive Excellence Award winners announced ... Joshua Barbre

“This award means the world to me. I have been pushing for community-based learning through hip hop for years,” Barbre said. “Being recognized for some of my contributions to inclusion is a tremendous feeling, and I am forever grateful.”

His dissertation challenges the exclusive boundaries of musicology scholarship, combining musicology, ethnomusicology, hip-hop studies, sports, and gender studies to explore new forms of inclusion in dance.

Barbre’s internship at the Haskell Recording Studio has facilitated collaborations with local non-student musicians, strengthening ties between the School of Music and the Tucson community. He has also collaborated with the local hip-hop and rock scenes, enhancing awareness among local musicians of the School of Music’s offerings.

“My role on campus is the same as it was when I was a music educator at a public school,” Barbre said. “I wish to create an environment in which all genres of music are taught with the same vigor as the western canon as well as continue community outreach through street art through interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary methods. By providing outlets for students to learn and appreciate diversity through exposure, we are slowly but consistently reshaping hierarchies towards a more balanced environment.” 

Elizabeth Schauer has an innovative approach to highlighting diversity, equity, and inclusion within her teaching and practice. She has undertaken a complete redesign of the graduate choral literature curriculum, incorporating composers from diverse backgrounds including female, BIPOC, and those from various religions and cultures.

Inclusive Excellence Award winners announced ... Elizabeth Schauer

“This award is meaningful because it recognizes and amplifies the work that my students and I, together with many generous friends and professional colleagues, have contributed to creating real and lasting change in our profession,” she said. 

Schauer initiated the University Choral Studies Distinguished Speakers Series, focusing on historical and contemporary repertoire composed by historically excluded communities to foster a more inclusive and diverse course of study for students.

She established the University of Arizona DEI Choral Literature Intensive, a summer program comprising three workshops featuring lectures and reading sessions of music from ten composers from historically excluded communities.

Schauer has also been invited to author and contribute 16 articles on female composers for an upcoming publication.

Her work has a far-reaching impact, connecting students, educators, faculty, and the community at large to foster sustainable change.

“At this historical juncture in music, we have the awesome responsibility and joyful opportunity to consider a new way forward,” she said. “Instead of replicating models focused on a single tradition, we can find room to honor and study a wide range of musical traditions … to celebrate the contributions of women, of LGBTQ+ peoples, of Black, Latin American, Asian and indigenous composers. This deeply enriches our performance and research, but also allows our students to see themselves represented and valued in the classroom, on syllabi, and in the concert hall.” 

Since joining the university two and a half years ago, Tioni Collins has prioritized providing all College of Fine Arts students with the necessary resources to thrive and feel valued and respected. Her aim has been to address existing inequalities by bringing them to the administration’s attention and working on viable solutions.

Inclusive Excellence Award winners announced ... Tioni Collins

“This award serves as a reminder of the need to be intentional in promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion of all students, faculty, and staff,” she said. “Without that intention, it will not happen on its own.”

Collins co-facilitated the 2022-2023 JustArts Fellows cohort, organizing meetings, securing guest mentors, connecting students with resources, and guiding fellows in project execution. She is the sole facilitator for this year’s cohorts.

She also founded InVisibility, born out of her own college experience, as a safe space for student artists and scholars from historically marginalized communities to connect, network, support, and encourage artistic exploration and expression.

InVisibility has become part of Equity in the Arts and expanded to include SALON and Prisma, a weekly student gathering with peer-led workshops, networking, and interdisciplinary collaborations and discussions around topics affecting marginalized students.

Also, Collins serves as the central point of contact for students seeking resources and connections and was recently elected to the Dean’s Advisory Board.

“The majority of my job is doing whatever I can to ensure that people feel heard, welcome,” she said. “My goal is to work myself out of a job when the standard becomes that everyone has access to all the resources and support they need to be successful.”