Lawrence Scholars in Arts and Entertainment hosts first event

Sam Flood

(Alfred Guo)

The newly founded Lawrence Scholars in Arts and Entertainment held their first event on Saturday, Oct. 16. The event was a three-hour-long summit with three former LU alums, who all hold careers in the arts: Mark Green ’90, Laura Caviani ’84 and Steve Edwards ’85.
Joseph Brooks, director of alumni and constituency engagement, said, “It’s not often that students can get the inside scoop on running a television channel like National Geographic or writing music for a Hollywood movie. Students [.] have the opportunity to network with these alumni [.] to prepare Lawrence students for competitive career positions.”
The event began with each of the speakers describing their career paths. Green is now the senior vice president of operations and planning for the National Geographic Channel; Caviani is a jazz pianist, composer and university lecturer; Edwards is a film composer in Los Angeles.
The summit then broke into three groups, who separated into different rooms to have a more detailed conversation about each of the alums’ specific areas of expertise before gathering together again at the end for final questions.
The event was well attended, according to Brian Pertl, dean of the Conservatory of Music. Pertl estimated that 40 to 50 students were in attendance, and noted, “I saw a trend that was different from previous Lawrence Scholar events – like the Lawrence Scholars in Business – in that the majority of the people who were there were freshmen.”
Said Pertl, “It was kind of cool to see so many already thinking, ‘what are our opportunities out there after Lawrence?'”
Lawrence Scholars in Arts and Entertainment was founded this summer through the leadership of a faculty and alumni committee comprised of Brooks, Pertl, Assistant Professors of Art John Shimon and Julie Lindemann, Professor of Theatre Arts and J. Thomas and Julie Esch Hurvis Professor of Theatre and Drama Timothy X. Troy, Helen Lofquist Zimmermann, Sophia Chung ’13, Associate Director of Annual Giving Ben Campbell and Director of Career Counseling Kathy Heinzen.
The purpose of the program is, according to Pertl, to “allow students to start thinking about innovative and entrepreneurial approaches to their future long before they graduate, so they don’t walk out the door and think, ‘Now what am I going to do?'”
Following the model of the successful Lawrence Scholars in Business, LSAE will bring in alumni for similar lecture-based events throughout the year, will hold an arts immersion weekend in January and have a field trip to Chicago in the spring.
Both Brooks and Pertl mentioned that they hope this program will eventually lead to the possibility of internship placements for Lawrence students with participating artists and possibly a scholarship much like that offered by the Lawrence Scholars in Business.