Art + Design, Music faculty honored for research in the arts
Author: Karen O'Donnell Stein
Posted: March 31, 2020

Lisa Jarrett (School of Art + Design) and George Colligan (School of Music and Theater) have been selected to receive the second annual Dean’s Council Award for Research, Scholarship and Creativity.

The $2,000 award, funded by the College of the Arts Dean’s Council through the Dean's Fund for Opportunities and Excellence, recognizes faculty members who demonstrate significant contributions to research, scholarship and/or creative activity at the national or international level. 

“These faculty members embody the quintessential artist-scholar,” said Leroy Bynum, Dean of the College of the Arts. “Their work demonstrates the extraordinary power of scholarly creative exploration to enlighten and elevate all of humanity, to help address issues of inequity and to bring about social change. I am incredibly pleased that the Dean’s Council has honored them with this award.”

Lisa Jarrett

Lisa Jarrett is Assistant Professor of Community and Context Arts at Portland State University’s School of Art + Design, and co-founder and co-director of KSMoCA (King School Museum of Contemporary Art) and the Harriet Tubman Center for Expanded Curatorial Practice. Jarrett’s work includes multiple gallery exhibitions and community-based projects examining issues around race, equity and social justice. 

“It is clear that she has created a coherent portfolio of scholarly and creative work and her work has drawn national attention as well as critical approval,” the selection committee wrote. “As the School’s Assistant Professor of Community and Context Arts, she has played a key role in connecting our programs to the local community and also ‘to the larger world.’”

“Her approach to her work is captured especially well in the King School Museum of Contemporary Art where her scholarship and teaching together bring theory into daily practice for both the students at Martin Luther King Elementary School and our own students who work with her there. Her work links her own artistic inquiry and discovery to direct action within historically marginalized communities where she draws upon critical race theory to foster engagement and dialog.” 

George Colligan 

George Colligan is an Associate Professor and the Jazz Area Coordinator in the School of Music & Theater. Formerly a faculty member with the Juilliard Jazz Program, he has worked with acclaimed performers including Cassandra Wilson, Don Byron, Buster Williams and Ravi Coltrane. He is a recipient of a Chamber Music American/Doris Duke Foundation grant. 

In recommending him for this award, the selection committee commented, “Associate Professor Colligan is one of the finest jazz musicians alive today. He has remained creative and extraordinarily productive in an era when the recording industry has gone into serious decline. He has 33 records, including six studio recordings of his original compositions during the last three years. Although renowned as a jazz pianist, he also performs on the drums and the analog synthesizer and has encouraged his students to develop their skills on multiple instruments as well.  His work encompasses the full range of jazz tradition and has had a huge impact on the field. In short, he has put PSU on the map in the jazz world and opened up the larger world of jazz to his students. Especially notable is his ‘real world mentorship of his students,’ an intergenerational tradition that he is bringing back into jazz performance through the example he sets of performing with his students.”

The review committee also commended a third nominee, Jungmin Kwon, Assistant Professor in the School of Film, for her exceptional scholarship, recommending her for an Encouragement Award. Dr. Kwon, whose work “focuses on film, digital culture and media studies with a focus on women and on LGBTQ+ people,” as described by the selection committee, will receive a $1,000 award. 

To make a gift or discuss options for supporting PSU arts faculty and programs, contact: 

Jaymee Jacoby, Senior Director of Development, PSU Arts
503-725-3396 |
Make a gift online