Doty Society Student Stories 2013-2014

Erica Wend

Erica Wend’s parents say that she has always loved to dance and move to music.

“Whenever music played, I danced,” second year dance major Erica said. “So when I was in the second grade, my parents put me in ballet classes, and I fell in love with dancing even more.”

Erica WendErica Wend

Erica, a Washington State native and only daughter, spent her summers attending dance programs including the National Choreography Intensive twice, the International Ballet School/Competition twice, Boston Ballet Summer Intensive, San Francisco Ballet Summer Intensive, Sacramento Ballet Summer Intensive and, this past summer, Hubbard Street Chicago Summer Intensive.

When it came time to deciding on a university, UT stood out because of the varied dance styles and smaller classes the dance program offers.

“Coming from a mainly ballet background, I wanted more contemporary training to become more balanced in the dance world,” Erica said. “The dance department’s faculty are so supportive and always give feedback to the dancers. I know I have already improved, and will improve more here at UT.”

With the skills she improves at UT, Erica hopes to enjoy a healthy, long dance career to spread her love of the arts.

“The arts have the ability to connect a wide range of people in a single moment,” she said. “The arts make our lives richer and inspire us to dream and push our own boundaries.”

However, there was a time when Erica wasn’t sure she’d be able to be a Longhorn.

“I fell in love with UT during my campus visit my senior year of high school. I was so excited when I receive my acceptance letter, but I didn’t think I would be able to afford to attend,” Erica said. “This scholarship helps make it possible for me to continue my education at my first choice university, The University of Texas at Austin!”

With the skills she improves at UT, Erica hopes to enjoy a healthy, long dance career to spread her love of the arts.

“The arts have the ability to connect a wide range of people in a single moment,” she said. “The arts make our lives richer and inspire us to dream and push our own boundaries.”

Stacie Hawkins

Stacie HawkinsStacie Hawkins

Stacie Hawkins, who has struggled with learning disabilities, feels most comfortable in art classrooms. As a child, art offered her a safe place to explore, learn and problem solve that was different from her other classes. She learned confidently in her art courses, encouraged by caring, dedicated teachers.

Now a senior art education major, Stacie is ready and excited to begin student teaching.

All my hard work has finally paid off, and I get to practice working alongside art teachers in their classrooms,” Stacie said. “I am very excited to see the fruits of my labor pay off.”

Stacie plans to begin teaching in her own classroom immediately after graduation and hopes to inspire her students to achieve their goals, just as her teachers helped her.

I want to continue to exercise the importance of the arts in schools and in communities around the world,” she said. “I wish to travel and teach art overseas to those less fortunate.”

With help from The Doty Society, Stacie has been able to come to UT where she has transformed from an unengaged high school student into a passionate, motivated artist.

I am so appreciative of this scholarship,” Stacie said. “It shows that my hard work and efforts through the years have not gone unrecognized.”

Hillary Richerson

Hillary RichersonHillary Richerson

For the last 17 years, junior dance major Hillary Richerson’s life has been consumed by dance, and she wouldn’t have it any other way.

At age 9, Hillary was in a pre-professional ballet-training program, and she attended the Classen School of Advanced Studies in Oklahoma City for high school. During that time, the Oklahoma City Ballet asked her to join the company.

“Dance took up most of my time from morning until night,” Hillary said.

One summer Hillary traveled to Texas to attend the American Ballet Theater Summer Intensive Program at UT. After falling in love with the campus and the city, she made plans to apply for the dance program.

A dance injury her junior year of high school dimmed Hillary’s spirit, and while on crutches, she applied at seven universities – only three for dance programs. Thankfully, once her stress fractured foot healed, she was accepted into the UT dance program. Hillary could not be happier.

“I knew UT was the right place for me my sophomore year in Dance Repertory Theatre, which is a group of about 40 people,” she said. “ Being from out of state is difficult, but knowing people are supportive and loving is so rewarding. I have a family here now. Having that community is amazing! People really genuinely want you to succeed.”

In addition to finding a supportive community, Hillary is excited for the opportunities she has through the department and college.

“For a week we were in the midst of a Mark Morris Dance Group residency,” Hillary said. “I really can’t stress how lucky we are. We had the opportunity to see the company perform, and we are performing one of his most famous pieces. And he came to teach a class!”

In November, Hillary will be performing Mark Morris’ Grand Duo during Fall for Dance.

In the future Hillary hopes to extend her repertory knowledge, get her master’s degree and use her love of helping others “find their way” while teaching dance.

“Artists have a unique way of analyzing and experiencing life and the world around them because it helps them to see the joy in little things,” Hillary said. “We have enough people that look at the world as something to fight against, and we need more people who can look at the world and appreciate it.”

Chris Whiteburch

Chris Whiteburch says it’s odd being a college student. At 33 he’s experienced life a little longer than many of his classmates. He’d been enrolled in community college previously, but it wasn’t until 2008, when his custom carpentry business crumpled, that Chris realized he needed to focus on a degree if he wanted to be creative and make a living.

Chris Whiteburch's ArtChris Whiteburch's Artwork

He started working toward a degree in Radio, Television and Film by taking classes at McLennan Community College in Waco, and during an art appreciation class decided to change his degree plan to art.

“There was a lot of contemporary art going on that I wanted to be a part of,” Chris said. “It’s been a great journey.”

When Chris directed his attention to art, he set his sights on Austin and The University of Texas where he has become very involved in the art community working with Co-Lab, an artist-run nonprofit, and the art collective Ink Tank.

Nearly two years ago, Chris was asked to be a mentor with ArtHouse (now The Contemporary Austin). The student Chris worked with for eight months made a lasting impact him.

“I was really impressed with the kid,” he said. “I was involved in all parts of the art community, and it made sense to add the art education side of things. It’s a way to make a living in my field while making a difference.”

Now a senior studio art and art education major, Chris is excited to begin student teaching this spring.

“I’m ready to get into the classroom,” Chris said. “You build up to it, and then you can’t wait to get in the classroom.”

The arts weren’t present during his childhood, Chris said, and he plans to put forth a lot of effort to bring the visual arts to as many people as he can through community outreach and teaching.

“The arts help us think in ways that no other engaging activities do,” Chris said. “Yes, the subject I will teach is Art, but I’ll be doing more than that. I’ll be using art to teach people how to think. Sometimes questions that will allow us to process things that are more abstract lead to higher level thinking.”

Cecilia Martinez

Originally from Monterrey, Mexico, senior Visual Arts Studies major for Art Education Cecilia Martinez knew that to gain the best art education possible, she needed to come to Texas.

Cecilia MartinezCecilia Martinez “The arts have always influenced me in everything I do. My high school education was enhanced by my advanced art classes, which in turn also helped me complete my associate’s degree in architecture,” Cecilia said. “Now art is the major power force behind my BFA in visual art studies, and finally becoming a successful art educator.”

After graduating in May, Cecilia hopes to quickly have a classroom of her own. In the meantime, she will continue to learn the skills required to teach in the arts.

“The arts teach the science behind understanding and succeeding in all fields,” she said. “Society benefits from art as it holds the basics in organization, creativity, communication and history. Life does not exist without the arts.”

Adair Ewin

Adair EwinAdair Ewin

When Adair Ewin opened her university acceptance letter, she was thrilled to be a Longhorn. Her mother and sister had both attended UT, but it wasn’t until Adair attended a Longhorn football game that she knew UT was the place for her.

“Seeing the entire community in one place supporting each other made UT exciting to me,” she said.

After graduating from All Saints' Episcopal School in Fort Worth, where she was student body president, co-editor-in-chief of the yearbook and received varsity letters in soccer, tennis and field hockey, Adair began her college life as an art history student.

Adair quickly realized that she wanted to use her creativity to help people through art, so she changed her major to Art Education and Visual Art Studies. This spring, Adair is student teaching at Gullett Elementary and Gorzycki Middle School, and after graduation in May she hopes to teach in a middle school setting.

“There’s such an opportunity to guide adolescents through art at that age,” Adair said. “Middle school is all about identity, and I hope that I can be a positive influence on my students.”

Through art criticism in her classes, Adair has realized the vulnerability that comes with creating and discussing art, and she hopes to use that openness in her own classroom to teach life-long lessons.

“It’s important that students learn at an early age to respect other people’s opinions,” she said. “The most important thing to teach is that everyone has different viewpoints, and that’s OK. From there, you can start to think about your own opinions.”

Adair believes that her teachers and mentors in the art program at UT have prepared her for a career in art education.

“I feel so prepared for the real world,” she said. “The skills I’ve learned here, if I use them correctly and work hard enough, will really make a difference in children’s lives.”

Jesse Kinbarovsky

Between the hours of 5 p.m. and 9 p.m., graduate design student Jesse Kinbarovsky puts his schoolwork aside and focuses on his full-time job. He’s a father to his two young children and a husband. Because of The Doty Society, Jesse is able to spend valuable time with his family.

“If I didn’t have this scholarship, I’d have to be doing more client work,” he said. “Now, after 9, I’m able to stay immersed in academic work without having to refocus.”

Though Jesse has always wanted a career in the arts, and even chose to be an art major at his high school in upstate New York, Jesse is a self-described late bloomer. After receiving his bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies from Texas State, Jesse was excited to apply to UT’s design program because of its interdisciplinary nature.

For the last year, Jesse has been in the research phase of developing an application to facilitate a support system for individuals with Type 1 Diabetes. This year he will focus on its creation.

Jesse Kinbarovsky's t1d RitualizerJesse Kinbarovsky's t1d Ritualizer

Jesse’s mobile application idea evolved from of a class hybridization project. The professor asked students to select the five most influential devices in their life. For Jesse, a type 1 diabetic himself, one was the insulin pump.


Another was Mozart’s Requiem.

He drew inspiration from the isolation of the insulin pump and the collaborative creation of the Requiem, which was completed after Mozart’s death by three different composers, to create the application. Jesse hopes this app will allow individuals with type 1 diabetes to rely on a three-person social network to support each other.

For Jesse the arts, especially design, create unique expressions of individuals while allowing artists to help people.

“If you didn’t have a perspective on the arts, you wouldn’t be able to help people in the same way,” Jesse said.