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J. Sanford Miller Family Arts Scholars, Class of 2019

Rachel Good

Rachel Good, Dance

Rachel Good began dancing, performing in recitals and tip toeing around the house, at the age of three. Through her interest in dance, she soon became very interested in theatre and film acting and began to take classes through ACT in New York. She moved to Chicago at the age of 7 and trained with Ballet Chicago and Trinity Irish Dance Company where she had many opportunities to perform in parades and shows all around the city. After moving back to New Jersey at the age of 10, Rachel joined Dream Xtreme Dance Company and began competing in ballet, jazz, musical theater, tap, modern, lyrical, contemporary, and hip hop. Since joining Perfect Pointe Performing Arts Studio's Company under the direction of Jessica Barlow and Rebecca McCormac, she traveled a variety of places competing in regional and national dance competitions like NUVO, JUMP, and NYCDA. One of Rachel's favorite memories from her dance education was always attending New York City Dance Alliance Nationals in New York City every year. Living an hour outside New York City, Rachel takes advantage of the opportunities the city provides, regularly taking classes at Broadway Dance Center, Steps on Broadway, and Peridance Capezio. Rachel's choice of college was dependent upon the availability of both a great engineering program and a challenging dance program. Since being at UVA she has been heavily involved in dance on grounds, performing in the Fall and Spring concerts, joining Virginia Dance Company, attending ACDA, and beginning to take classes for her Dance Minor, while still remaining dedicated to her engineering coursework. She is extremely excited and honored to be accepted into this amazing program. She is particularly anxious to rekindle her love and involvement in other arts like drama that have been overshadowed by a busy schedule in high school, while continuing to expand her education in dance.

Krista Hartmann

Krista Hartmann, Studio Art

Krista Hartmann has always considered herself an artist, and was invited to join her hometown’s gifted art program at an early age.  Growing up in Lynchburg, Virginia, Krista participated in many shows received several local art awards.  She first focused on realistic pencil drawings that merely exhibited her talent.  As her perfectionist mind produced these intricate renderings, however, she realized she was failing to expand her skills and limiting her expression.  She began to explore new mediums, including oil pastels and charcoal, which forced her away from her realistic past.  Her passion for art intensified as her style morphed from dull still lifes to fervent, impressionistic portraits.  At UVA, Krista has progressed from expressionism to pure abstraction and is currently interested in the combination of abstract watercolor with the delicate lines and marks created by ink pens.  Krista’s skills as an artist—specifically her self-determination, critical thinking, and creativity—assist her in her scientific research pursuits.  She hopes to double major in Studio Art and Biology and eventually explore the therapeutic qualities of art in medicine.

Corinne James

Corrinne James, Studio Art

Corrinne James grew up in Alexandria, Virginia, spending most of her time downtown in DC attending shows at The 9:30 Club, The Black Cat and U-Street music hall. Highly influenced by musicians such as the Pixies, her first design jobs focused around the DIY music scene in Alexandria and Washington DC. When she was 16, Corrinne illustrated a children's book called The Magic of Butterflies by Ruth Heinsburg, and when 17, worked one on one with painter, Marcia Dullum at The Torpedo Factory, which resulted in an end of year exhibit of the work that was created. During her senior year she was awarded a Gold Key and a Silver Key for design by the Scholastics Art and Writing competition. She now has work published in Rookie Magazine, Golden Boy Press, and Whurk Magazine. She illustrates for bands such as The Obsessives, and The Duskwhales and would like to continue working within the music industry. At UVA, she illustrates for the student radio station, WXTJ, and creates animations and videos. You can check out her work on her website,


Michelle Miles

Michelle Miles, Studio Art

Michelle Miles, a Charlottesville native, has sought to make meaning of the world through artistic discipline since youth. Her interest in the visual arts has evolved over time, from painting and sketching as a child, to photography, film, and creative writing. Currently, Miles studies cinematography under Professor of Art and filmmaker Kevin Jerome Everson. Miles met a connection of Everson's at the Los Angeles Film Festival in 2015, which she attended for the short film she co-directed, "Beatrix." The film won best short documentary, and was described by judges as a "beautifully shot portrait [that] explores individuality and the joy in finding oneself." That could serve as a way of describing Miles as well. She's finding herself at the University by participating in extracurriculars focused on the arts, and collaborating with other student artists to continuing creating and learning about art.

Anna Morgan

Anna Morgan, Studio Art

Anna Morgan, from Richmond, Virginia, grew up surrounded by arts in a family of painters, writers, dancers, and musicians. She took art classes throughout her K-12 education and participated in various workshops. For her high school senior project, Anna worked with her art teacher, Pam Sutherland, and helped her install her work in galleries outside of DC and in Richmond. Pam has been an incredible influence on Anna’s work and progression as an artist; however, her most important influence has been her mom, an incredibly talented painter and human. Anna interned with Amie Oliver at The Art Lab, and she received the Cindy Neuschwander Scholarship Fund and a Gold Key for painting in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. She is incredibly interested in details and deeply values the process of art-making. Though officially an Arts Scholar for Studio Art, Anna is enthralled by words and writes whenever she can, and she is an active member of First Year Players, where she was on props and paint teams, a member of run crew, and Assistant Head of Paint. She participated in theater all four years of high school, sang in her high school’s Glee Club, and danced on and off since she was little. Anna loves exploring movement, whether on stage as a dancer or actor, or behind an easel exploring the ways she can manipulate a pen, paintbrush, pencil, or oil stick. She cannot wait to further explore her passion for interdisciplinary arts. Ultimately, she simply wants to, and needs to, be surrounded by the arts and the diversity of people and creative expression they bring. She is so honored and excited to be a part of the Miller Arts Scholars program.

Emily Schmid

Emily Schmid, Drama

Emily Schmid has had a love of theater ever since her first role as billy goat number three in her 2nd grade musical "Three of a kind". Her roles have matured as she grew older, and after exploring theater through acting, participating in tech, and stage managing she has found her passion in playwriting. She is obsessed with stories and the various different ways people tell them. She participated in the School of the Performance Arts for the Richmond Community's New Voices for the Theater program where she got to see one of her works come to life in a staged reading. She then went on to direct her own play as part of her senior class's Spring One-Act Festival. She also served as lead writer on a devised piece that was taken to the Virginia High School League's one act competition. Emily is interested in pursuing more devised theater work and exploring the intersection between movement and stage as well as researching Theater of the Oppressed.

J. Sanford Miller Family Arts Scholars, Class of 2018

Luc Cianfarani

Luc Cianfarani, Music

Luc Cianfarani is a Music and History major from Saratoga Springs, NY.  He began playing the piano at the age of 5 and music has been an integral part of his life ever since. He decided to intensify his studies beginning in high school and hopes to find a career in music. Over the past few years he has developed a passion for early 20th century piano music and he enjoys playing the works of Prokofiev, Bartok and Rachmaninoff. At UVa, he is a student of John Mayhood and was the pianist in First Year Players' production of Godspell. He is grateful for the opportunity to be a Miller Arts Scholar and is excited to develop his skills as a performer and musician in the program. 

Alexandra D'Elia,

Alexandra D'Elia, Dance

Alexandra (Alex) D'Elia has been involved in the arts since childhood; dancing, playing the piano, acting and choreographing. She grew up competing in ballet, jazz, tap, modern, hip hop and gymnastics for Dancensations Dance Center in Alexandria, Virginia, where she is currently a dance teacher and camp manager. Alex has also trained with The Washington School of Ballet, The Kirov Academy of Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Alonzo King LINES Ballet, Virginia Residential Governor's School for Visual and Performing Arts, BalletNOVA, Strictly Rhythm Dance Center, and closely with Troy D. Brown through The Art of Technique. Alex is extremely honored to be accepted into the Miller Arts Scholars Program to continue her training in dance as well as collaborate with other artists in differing disciplines.

Wesley Diener

Wesley Diener, Music

While Wesley Diener has intensely studied theatre, violin, and piano, his true passion is singing.  In his hometown of Vienna, VA, Wesley was surrounded by instrumental endeavors when he first discovered the beauty of singing in preparation for musical theatre roles.  Since then, he has truly fallen in love with the art form, performing lead roles in musicals such as Into the Woods, Seussical, and The Wizard of Oz, collaborating with Tony award-winner Jason Robert Brown, and singing in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall multiple times.  At UVa, he studies voice with Mrs. Pamela Beasley and piano with Mr. John Mayhood.  This year, he had the privilege of performing in Ash Lawn Opera's Amahl and the Night Visitors, UVa Drama's Wonderful Town, and First Year Player's The Producers.  Additionally, he is a member of the University Singers and the Chamber Singers, the incoming Fundraising Chair of First Year Players, and a member of the Student Council Arts Committee for the 2015-2016 school year.  This summer, he will be portraying Riff in West Side Story and Micah in The Bartered Bride with the Bethesda Music Festival.  He is thrilled to further explore UVa's artistic opportunities with the Miller Art Scholars!

Vivien Fergusson

Vivien Fergusson, Dance

Vivien Fergusson has been enamored with dance, ever since she was a little girl who aspired to become the world's first ballerina fairy princess. Although she eventually understood that the realization of such a dream was improbable, the passion that founded the ambition remains to this day. Born and raised in Richmond, Virginia, Vivien was trained first by the West End Academy of Dance and later, more extensively, by Richmond Ballet throughout her childhood, during which she performed in numerous workshops and ballet productions. Although her heart belonged to ballet, she did explore other styles, such as jazz, modern, character, and hip-hop; she was enthralled by the effortless intertwining of music and dance, and found great joy in any form of the art. But after a foot injury prevented her from continuing her studies in ballet en pointe, she was forced to give up her classical training and embrace other forms of dance. She became very involved in modern/ contemporary through her school, as a member of her high school's Advanced and Senior Dance Companies. Her personal choreography was selected thrice to be featured in annual concerts. Additionally, outside of the school's explicit dance program, she was elected by her peers to choreograph and teach routines for a yearly grade-wide production called "Brunch," and was also chosen as a choreographer for the Homecoming pep squad's dance routines. Vivien is also certified as a Zumba instructor, and for a while founded a club and taught classes to students and teachers alike. Thus far, the University of Virginia has holistically expanded her knowledge of dance in inconceivable ways and has granted her opportunities she could only have dreamt of. She is extremely honored to have been selected as a Miller Arts Scholar, and looks forward to continuing her education in the art form she loves.

Kirsten Hemrich

Kirsten Hemrich, Studio Art

Kirsten Hemrich is an artist from Fairfax, Virginia. She majors in Studio Art (concentration in painting) and Poetry Writing. Outside of class, she is a student DJ and executive member of WXTJ Student Radio. Over the course of her time at UVA, she has interned with Second Street Gallery; designed flyers, logos, and album art for a local band; and run a micro-business selling her T-shirt designs, buttons, and paintings. Her work can also be seen on her blog,

Steven Johnson

Steven Johnson, Drama

Steven Johnson is a Drama Major concentrating in the areas of Lighting Design, Sound Design, and Scenic Design. Steven has been working in and learning about technical theatre since he began highschool, and continues to push himself in his studies by enrolling graduate level courses and independent studies to expand his mind and hone his skills. Steven is an employee of the UVA Department of Drama's Light Shop, and has also worked for the Virginia Film Festival, Heritage Theatre Festival, and Lyric Theatre in Oklahoma City. Steven also volunteers his time as a designer and technician with groups such as Spectrum Theatre, Live Arts, and the Department of Drama. Steven is excited to collaborate with other Miller Arts Scholars to explore and create in new areas of design and tech outside of theatre.

Annalee Jackson

Annalee Jackson, Studio Art

Annalee Jackson is from Thomasville, Georgia and has always shared a passion for the arts especially in the tactile process of printmaking. She is particularly interested in arts communication, both in art as a universal form of communication and in promoting the importance and impact of art to others. In high school, Annalee led a team of three artists to create a 12x15ft mural for a month-long exhibit, and their project was named "Best in Show" in the Youth Division. At UVA she plans to double major in Arts Administration and Studio Art with a concentration in printmaking. She participated in Virginia Arts of the Book Company letterpress intensive and continues to work on creative projects with VABC. Annalee is also an Arts Mentor and Student Docent for the Fralin Museum. She has enjoyed working with creative individuals in the university as well as Charlottesville's art community. After graduation, Annalee plans to attend graduate school to become an Educational/Arts Programming Director for a non-profit organization. It is a personal goal of hers to create interactive and more informative interdisciplinary arts experiences for everyone involved. She is excited and honored to be a part of the Arts Scholars community!

Taylor Lamb

Taylor Lamb, Drama

Taylor Lamb isn't quite sure when her love for theatre started, but it has been her passion for as long as she can remember. At four years old, she forced her family to sit through her one-woman shows that she also wrote and directed, and since then has always had a penchant for performance. Raised in Virginia Beach, Virginia, she finally got a chance to perform in a real show once she attended Kemps Landing Magnet School. KLMS was the only middle school in Virginia Beach that taught theatre as an elective, and her desire to attend was so great she wrote an unsolicited, probably unwanted one page essay in colorful font in the hopes of receiving admission. She got in and took theatre each year, receiving a variety of lead roles. She then continued her education at Salem High School's Visual and Performing Arts Academy. Through her four years there she got the chance to play wonderful roles such as Hermia in A Midsummer Night's Dream, Mother Superior in Agnes of God, and Carmen in Fame to name a few. Her junior class was also able to perform at the award winning Folger Theater, where she received the Supporting Star Award for her rendition of Benvolio in Romeo and Juliet. Since coming to Univeristy of Virginia, she has performed in the Vagina Monologues, the premiere show of Two Lips, Grounds for Discussion, and Black Monologues. It is very important to her to use art as a means for change, which is why she has participated in these shows. Her love of theatre is eternal, and she recently got a tattoo that says "Break A Leg" in her high school theatre teacher's handwriting to prove it. She plans to major in English with a minor in Drama, and continue her study of theatre long after her time at the University of Virginia ends.

Emma Lewis

Emma Lewis, Studio Art

Emma Lewis has always been passionate for art and can remember at a young age painting alongside my grandmother in her studio. Growing up in Fredericksburg, Virginia, she began drawing and painting. In high school, she took classes in three-dimensional art and black and white photography to explore different artistic mediums. During her senior year she created a compilation of mixed media works that examined the distorting effect widows and glass have on the light passing through them. Through this study she discovered an interest for lines and detailed mark making, characteristic of her current style. Emma received several art awards from her high school and placed in local art competitions. At the university, Emma is excited to take a variety of studio art classes and expose herself to new mediums. She will begin training as a student docent at the Fralin Museum of Art in the fall semester. Emma plans on double-majoring in studio art and biology and is honored to be chosen as an Arts Scholar.

Josephine Miller

Josephine Miller, Music

Josephine Miller is a music major, with a concentration in vocal performance and a double major with Speech Pathology (Curry). She have always been very influenced by and involved in the arts- her parents are wonderful musical inspirations for her. As a military brat, she has found that, no matter where she goes, the community that she feels most at home in is the music community. As a young child, some of her fondest memories are of listening to her mother play beautiful sonatas on her beloved Yamaha. From dance classes to voice lessons, her family has been extremely supportive of her passion for singing. Josephine has taken voice lessons for the past seven years (with Mary Matthews) during which she has competed in several competitions (NATs, Virginia Bland). She has had the privilege of performing an aria for Leona Mitchell. On grounds, Josephine is the Music Director of the all-female a cappella group, Hoos in Treble, as well a member of the University Singers. She also takes voice lessons with Pamela Beasley and studies piano with Barbara Moore. Josephine is excited not only to connect with other musicians, but also to learn and grow with other artists in different disciplines.

Nicholas Milkovich

Nicholas Milkovich, Studio Art

Nicholas is a Studio Art and Mechanical Engineering double major. His concentration in Studio Art is in Sculpture. Growing up in a Chicago Illinois suburb, Nicholas found a passion for art thanks to many encouraging teachers. He found that there was room for the arts in a path that contained a heavy amount of science and mathematics. He went on to patriciate in advanced placement art classes where he then began to pursue concentrations and enter art shows, even winning Best in Show for an art competition in his High School judged by professional artists. In college, he continued his growth in Sculpture by declaring his major at the end of his first semester second year. Although his work has been small scale to this point, he hopes to move on to large scale projects for the future. Nicholas is a Student Docent at the Fralin Museum of Art at UVa, planning and giving educational tours. He is the Selections Chair for the Docents which puts him in charge of recruitment and selection of new docent trainees. He is also a member of the UVa Art Mentors program which reaches out to Charlottesville elementary schools to encourage the interest in art at a young age. Each month, the mentors bring the children to a unique art event in Charlottesville such as the Virginia Film Festival and Charlottesville Ballet.

Sibet Partee

Sibet Partee, Drama

Sibet Partee, an aspiring performer/podcaster/poet and a dramatic to the core, gets her hands on any project her acting chops can sink into. Born in Alexandria, Virginia, she began more seriously acting as a high schooler at St. Stephen's and St. Agnes School playing such roles as Irena Synkova (I Never Saw Another Butterfly), Sophia Zubritsky (Fools), and Winnifred (Once Upon a Mattress). She also attended the Virginia Residential Governor's School for the Arts as drama student before her senior year of high school. As she moved into college, she began taking many performance and writing classes within the drama department, studying with professors Richard Warner, Kate Burke, and Doug Grissom. She began performing on stage at UVa with Spectrum Theatre in her first year, playing Tiresias in Welcome to Thebes. Fall of 2016, Sibet played the title female role in Shakespeare on the Lawn's performance of Antony and Cleopatra. Having been enrolled in Doug Grissom's playwriting class for most of her undergraduate career and as a student of the Area Program in Poetry Writing within the English department, she is also a playwright and poet. Sibet was awarded the University Award for Projects in the Arts to write and produce a serialized fiction narrative podcast in the UK for during the summer of 2016 and the following scholastic year. Sibet has her own podcast called Come on, Bet! on which she will publish the aforementioned fiction podcast and as well as the content she experimentally produces throughout her college career. Sibet aspires to use the Fourth Year Arts Award to combine her love of the dramatic stage and the audio studio by writing, producing, directing (and perhaps performing in) a live radio drama during her final year at the University of Virginia.

Natalie Pernick

Natalie Pernick, Drama

Natalie Pernick has been dramatic for as long as she can remember, and has aspired to be an actress since her breakout role as the Hen in her second grade classroom performance – her family has learned to come to terms with it. Growing up overseas, Natalie found her place in her schools' drama departments and quickly developed a love for musical theatre. She has since performed leading roles in a number of plays and musicals, including The Producers, Xanadu, The Great Gatsby, The Little Foxes, Godspell, and Almost, Maine. Natalie has married her passion for drama to her international background at the University, pursuing a double major in Drama and Foreign Affairs. Since being at UVA, she has performed as Teenage Elin in the UVA Department of Drama show The Arctic Circle (and a recipe for Swedish pancakes), and has both performed and directed with First Year Players. Additionally, she is a member of the all-female a cappella group Hoos in Treble. She will be furthering her studies in drama while abroad in Dublin in the fall. She is thrilled to have been selected for the Miller Arts Scholars Program and is excited to see where her passions for performance and art will take her while at the University and beyond.

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Mimi Robinson, Drama

Mimi Robinson was born in Newburyport, Massachusetts, but she grew up in Manassas, Virginia with her supportive parents and younger brother. Mimi has been surrounded by art, music, and theater from a very young age, and consequently, her passions lie in an array of disciplines. She is primarily a musical theater actress, but her deep love of storytelling also manifests itself in her performances of straight plays and dramas, in her classical voice lessons with U.Va Music Department’s Pamela Beasley, and in her own creative writing projects. Mimi first explored her acting skills with Pied Piper Theater in Manassas and with the theater department at her alma mater, Highland School in Warrenton, Virginia. A few of her favorite past roles include Maria in The Sound of Music, Ursula in The Little Mermaid, and Lizzy Curry in 110 in the Shade. For the past three summers, Mimi has been a recurring seasonal actress with the Academy of Performing Arts in Orleans, Massachusetts, and with this special company she appeared as Eponine in their blockbuster productions of Les Misérables in both 2013 and 2014. This past summer she played Aldonza in Man of La Mancha at the Academy, and her portrayal was critically acclaimed around Cape Cod. Mimi won the “BroadwayWorld (Boston) Award for Best Actress in a Musical” for her performance of Aldonza, and she was recognized as a “Cape Cod Times Favorite Performance of 2015.”  At U.Va, Mimi is heavily involved with the Drama Department and has appeared in a few main stage productions, including Our Town as a member of the ensemble, and The Triumph of Love as Léontine. She’s looking forward to deepening her collaborative skills with other Miller Arts Scholars, and is thankful for the opportunity to explore her creative interests with a group of people so dedicated to artistic expression.

Parima Sahbai

Parima Sahbai, Studio Art

Born in Tehran, Iran but raised in Virginia Beach, VA, Parima's first words according to her mother were neither "Mom" nor "Dad" but "drawing". She would draw on the walls, on the floor, on herself, and on any possible surface that she could find and as she grew up her love for arts, music, and creativity grew too. Parima dedicated all of her high school years to playing the violin in her school orchestra and has a passion for classical music as well. She loves learning new languages and enjoys learning about different cultures, which often translate into her artwork. Parima plans to pursue a major in Computer Science as well as an M.S. in Commerce, with a minor in studio arts.

Julian Sanchez

Julian Sanchez, Drama

Julian Sanchez was born and raised in Centreville, VA, a suburb of Washington D.C. As a part of the award-winning theatre program at Westfield High School, Julian starred in such roles as Bobby Strong in Urinetown, Malvolio in Twelfth Night, and Moonface Martin in Anything Goes. Through the renowned CAPPIES high-school program, Julian was recognized with acting awards at the Kennedy Center both in 2012 for Best Ensemble in Musical as Jimmy in Gershwin's Crazy for You, and in 2014 for Best Featured Actor in Little Shop of Horrors. Through this same program, Julian was also honored for his theatre criticism, winning Best Rising Critic in the national capitol area chapter in 2012 (his work was published in the community outreach section of The Washington Post and in various other DC area print and web outlets). During his junior year, Julian performed in Pinter's The Hothouse, which was awarded the top prize at the Virginia Theatre Association's high school competition. For his performance as the innocent lockkeeper Lamb, Julian received an All-Star acting award when the show was taken to the final round at the Southeastern Theatre Competition in Louisville, Kentucky. That summer, he was selected to attend Virginia's Governor's School for the Arts. At the University of Virginia, Julian has already been a part of several artistic endeavors. In the fall, he starred as the title character in Shakespeare on the Lawn's production of Richard II, and in the spring, he appeared in Wonderful Town through the drama department. As a part of Charlottesville's Heritage Theatre Festival, he made his professional stage debut acting in Monty Python's Spamalot and Violet. Julian, both a College Arts Scholar and an Echols Scholar, is currently undecided in his major, but plans to pursue graduate school for theatre performance after his time at UVA.

Braelyn Schenk

Braelyn Schenk, Dance

Braelyn Schenk; dancer, singer/songwriter, actor and the many other titles, activities and passions, loves and joys that make her human, have been cultivated in and around her since she was very young. Braelyn began dancing in her hometown of Cleveland, OH at the age of 3. Her ballet slippers and pink tutu soon became the expected wardrobe when attending speech and drama lessons. From the dance studio, to the drama classroom, to the family kitchen, where she most often tested her newest vocal and musical experiments, Braelyn and art became inseparable. Schooled at home through to her early high school years, her parents were able to help Braelyn pursue her passion for the performing arts and for the community it cultivates by taking full advantage of Cleveland's renowned orchestra, theatre district, and countless artist collectives. The city of Cleveland and all that it offers, became one of her expansive classrooms. When Braelyn moved to Charlottesville in 2011, she attended public high school for the first time where her customized education, her passion for art and early training paid off. Braelyn's high school drama teacher was an impressive catalyst as she sought to use theatre to further her students, the school and greater community of Charlottesville.  In this, Braelyn saw the merging of all she held dear; excellent artistry, community building, and social uplift. By involving herself in every level of her high school's theatre department, Braelyn gained more experience in acting, singing, dancing, choreographing and community building. These activities, passions, loves and joys have only been magnified by her first year at UVA as she continues to sing, dance and act for the greater good of her community.

Gabrielle Struckell

Gabrielle Struckell, Dance

Gabrielle (Gabby) Struckell began dancing at a young age in her hometown of Dallas, TX. She studied at KJ Dance and joined the company at this studio in 2006. Under the direction of Kristy Blakeslee she attended many dance conventions and competitions, regionally and nationally. Gabby has traveled to New York and Los Angeles expanding her dance education at NYCDA Nationals and learning from various instructors at the Edge Studio. In the summers of 2013 and 2014, she put on a dance camp in Belfast, Northern Ireland for segregated youth living in the inner city communities. After this experience, she has been interested in how dance can bring people of different cultures and backgrounds together and hopes to pursue this interest further at UVA. While on the pre med track, Gabby enjoys balancing her math and science classes with her arts classes. She is planning on minoring in dance, having performed in the Fall 2014 Experimental Dance Concert and the Spring 2015 Dance concert. One of her favorite experiences first year was attending the American College Dance Association conference at Towson University with other members of the dance program at UVA. Gabby is very excited to be apart of this amazing program while learning about different opportunities to pursue the arts here at the University of Virginia.

Micah Watson

Micah Watson, Drama

A second-year from Wichita, Kansas, Micah’s passion for performance began at young age. Some of her earliest and most meaningful experiences in the arts began in church through Liturgical Praise Dance as a performer and choreographer. Now a member of the Church of God in Christ’s national selective Send Judah First and Brides of Christ dance teams, those experiences have proved to lay the foundation for her creative endeavors. At Wichita Collegiate School, Micah began acting in lead roles in all of her school plays and musicals in middle school and continued to do so through high school. She was also president and founder of her high school’s improv club. Her love for theater expanded and deepened after participating in the 24-Hour Play Project at the William Inge Center for the Arts, once as an actor and three times as a playwright. As a result, she continued writing plays, some of which were produced by her high school’s drama department. At the University of Virginia, Micah was the Production Assistant for UVA Drama’s Every Tongue Confess, a cast member of Spectrum Theater’s sketch comedy show, Voices of the Class, and a cast member of First Year Players’ Godspell. She is also a member of the Black Expression Awareness and Thought Society (B.E.A.T.S.), The Virginia Players Lab Series Committee, and OneWay Christian Fellowship. Micah intends to major in African-American Studies and Drama with the goal of bringing the complexities and authenticities of Black stories to light, both at UVA as an Arts Scholar and professionally on the creative side of the film and television industries.

Yuchen Zie

Yuchen Xie, Studio Art

Growing up in a family that treasures Chinese traditional music and arts, Yuchen studied Chinese art and began to play the Guzheng (Chinese Zither) at a very young age.   Her first memory of drawing is holding a huge brush and doodling Chinese watercolor on a piece of paper. She was so short at that time that she had to stand on a pile of bricks to get her head over the drawing table. It was after she started taking a drawing class at UVa that she finally decide to choose art as her life-long pursuit. She performed the Guzheng with a Chinese traditional musical band at Old Cabel Hall last semester. The success of this concert makes her even more passionate about bringing different music and arts to this community while exploring deeper into drawing.

J. Sanford Miller Family Arts Scholars, Class of 2017

Elena Anderson

Elena Anderson, Drama

Elena Anderson has been an avid participator in the arts her entire life. She started with piano lessons at 8 years old, which she continued for 10 years. She started voice lessons at 13 and has continued then off and on ever since. However, it wasn't until she was 14 that she discovered theater. Though she had always been an avid musical theater fan, she had never been given the opportunity to pursue that interest until she was cast in a community production of Fiddler on the Roof in 2008. From then on, she has been constantly involved with theater and music, participating in her high school choir and drama club as well as community theater. At UVA, she is involved in the Drama Department, Shakespeare on the Lawn, First Year Players and HoosITS (the only musical theater a cappella group on grounds). She is a drama and history double major, with a minor in Spanish.

Catherine Beall

Catherine Beall, Studio Art

Catherine Beall has been surrounded by art for her entire life. She has experienced both the eccentric neighborhood art prevalent in her hometown of Del Ray, Alexandria, Virginia and the monumental architecture and classic art pieces just minutes away in Washington, D.C. Catherine immersed herself in the arts from a young age, participating in ceramics, photography, drawing, painting, mixed media, and street art courses at Burgundy Farm Country Day School before involving herself in the Arts program at T.C. Williams High School from freshman to senior year. During the spring of 2012, Catherine had the opportunity to create an independent Raku ceramics project later displayed at Alexandria’s Torpedo Factory Art Gallery, and one of her self-portraits was recognized by Virginia’s 45th district congressional art competition. As part of T.C. Williams’ Art Honors Society, Catherine contributed multiple pieces to its student gallery showing at Del Ray Artisans in June 2013 and worked with her peers to compose the layout of the gallery. She interned at the National Geographic Society in June 2013 and supported efforts to catalog hundreds of archived photographs. In 2014, Catherine completed a Marketing internship at Pippin Hill Farm and Vineyards, and recently undertook a photography project in Death Valley, California. Catherine is majoring in Commerce and hopes to pursue a second major in Arts Administration, concentrating in studio art and marketing. Her work can be found here:

Jackson Casady

Jackson Casady, Studio Art

Jackson Casady is a California native from Manhattan Beach and one of three triplet boys. Before coming to UVA to pursue a liberal arts education, Jackson was admitted to the Rhode Island School of Design and UCLA's Department of Art. At UVA, Jackson is a docent at the Fralin Museum of Art, a scenic painter for UVA's drama department, a cartoonist for the Cavalier Daily, a member of the Chi Phi Fraternity, and an outfielder on the Club Baseball team. Several of Jackson's paintings have been exhibited in Riley Arts Gallery in downtown Manhattan Beach, CA. His work also can be seen on his website, When he is not in the studio, Jackson enjoys watching films and writing screenplays. He is majoring in Marketing, Management and Arts Administration in both the McIntire School of Commerce and the College of Arts and Sciences, with the intention of finding a career that combines his passions for both art and business.

Wendi Chen

Wendi Chen, Studio Art

Wendi Chen comes from Norfolk, Virginia (Beijing , China orginally) and has been drawing ever since she can remember. She is deeply honored to have been chosen as an Arts Scholar. She began drawing ever since she could hold a pencil and over the course of her education in studio art, she has worked in nearly all the mediums though pencil and paper will always remain her favorites. Her art style's greatest influences now are comic books and video game concept art. Her art, though realistic in it's style, is rooted in science-fiction and fantasy as its overall themes. She has competed and placed in several local art competitions and won her high school's Bell Award, awarded to the graduating senior girl who has made the most achievements in the creative arts. Her favorite comic book characters are John Constantine, Spider Jerusalem, and Deadpool. She is planning on double-majoring in biology and studio art.

Anne Codd

Anne Codd, Studio Art

Anne Codd has felt a passion for art ever since her first experiences with of crayons and sidewalk chalk. Thanks to the support and encouragement of her family and teachers, art rapidly became a fundamental and much-loved part of Anne’s life. A graduate of The Mary Louis Academy in New York City, New York, Anne has always found herself inspired by the city’s love for all expressions of art. While Art class has always been her favorite time of the day, Anne’s participation in her high school’s Art Major program encouraged her to seriously develop her artistic style and ability. Over the course of her exposure to art, Anne’s works have ranged from restaurant menus etched with familiar sketches to tattered drawing pads filled with portraits to national competition entries and award winning pieces. Anne is thankful for the opportunity to have expressed her love for art across different scales and stages. Her love for art grew from experiences as a child, was shaped by the excellent direction of her instructors in high school, and has been sharpened by her university level art experience.  Anne plans to continue her artistic development at the University of Virginia as an Art major, bolstered by exposure to new forms of art and ever evolving means of expression. Excited and honored to be an Arts Scholar, Anne cannot wait for the development and opportunity to be found within her next few years at the University of Virginia.

Alexandra Chriscoe

Alexandra Chriscoe, Studio Art

Alex Chriscoe is a third year from Richmond, Virginia. Her passion for art began in her senior year of high school. After taking a required fundamentals of art class, she discovered her love of art making and, with the help of her teacher, began working on improving her skills. As she began her first year at UVA, it was clear to her that she should continue to expand her practice and she took her first drawing class. It didn't take long for her to realize that she wanted to seriously pursue art in her life. Double majoring in government and printmaking, she tries to incorporate her passion for the environment and conservation in her art. She recently participated in an Environmental Arts Activism team headed by professor Dean Dass. She is honored to have been chosen as an arts scholar and is looking forward to collaborating on projects with her fellow scholars.

Elyssa Fonicello

Elyssa Fonicello, Dance

Elyssa Fonicello began dancing in high school after a back injury caused her to quit gymnastics, which she had been doing competitively from a young age. She quickly discovered that she had a passion for dance and became a member of the Wake Forest-Rolesville High School dance company. Under the direction of Sherri Newhouse, she had many opportunities to choreograph and perform in her hometown of Wake Forest, North Carolina. Elyssa also danced competitively as a member of the company at Dance Dynamics Inc. and attended various dance conventions with the studio. Through Dance Dynamics, she participated in a program called Miracles in Motion, which provides free dance classes to children with special needs to allow them to experience the joy of dance. She found the program incredibly rewarding and hopes to find a way to do something similar at UVa . In the summer before her senior year, Elyssa had the honor of attending the North Carolina Governor's School as a dance student. This five week residential program allowed her to grow in many ways as a dancer and person. Elyssa is planning to minor in dance and will perform in the program’s Fall 2013 Experimental Dance Concert. She is extremely honored to be an Arts Scholar and is looking forward to being involved in the dance and art communities during her time at the University of Virginia.

Michael Giovinco

Michael Giovinco, Drama

Michael Giovinco has spent a large portion in his life working with what some might call "unconventional art forms." Having been raised amongst clowns in New Jersey, Mike has had the pleasure of stilt walking, juggling, balloon twisting operating puppets and creating magic in walk around and parade environments. It was not until later that the stage became part of his vocabulary. Throughout his education, Mike has immersed himself in courses and workshops that would expose him to as much of the theatrical craft as possible. Mike's love for the cirque arts has grown since his youth and roots in lighting, movement, writing, and directing have begun to take hold. Now he would consider himself first and foremost a movement artist, a title that manages to encompass his passion for what the human body can do within its surroundings. While at the University of Virginia, Michael has also realized his passion for teaching and has taken a path to provide more educational opportunities in the arts at UVA through the Miller Arts Scholars, Virginia Players, the Department of Drama, Drama Arts Board and the Virginia Circus Club. With every opportunity that he faces, Mike hopes to better his ability to tell a story and to create an energetic, safe and didactic working environment.

Kylie Grow

Kylie Grow, Studio Art

Kylie Grow grew up in a town on the outskirts of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania constantly surrounded by artwork and creative minds. Her father and professional ceramicist, Brian Grow, inspired her throughout her childhood to pursue the arts and to take them seriously. Kylie found her artistic niche at her first high school in an introductory darkroom photography class and she carried this passion with her to her second high school in Falls Church, Virginia where she studied as an International Baccalaureate art student for two years. In school she expanded her media base, working in intaglio printmaking, multi-media sculpture, painting and practicing film photography in her darkroom at home. She graduated JEB Stuart High School with the IB Diploma and the departmental awards in Studio Art and Language. Outside of the classroom, some of her major artistic accolades include the Dan Parris Cluster III Superintendent’s award and Gold Key for her photograph “Rivers” and Gold Key for her photography portfolio at the Scholastic Art and Writing Competition. Kylie was also selected as an Emerging Artist for the 2013 Celebrate! Fairfax Summer Fair. Kylie’s photographs have been published in various art and literary magazines including Vademecum, in which she was selected to be a featured photographer. Kylie looks forward to continuing to practice journalistic film photography during her third trip to Las Delicias, El Salvador this May and is ecstatic to be eligible to participate in the Arts Scholars Program next semester.

Steven Jenny

Steven Jenny, Music

Steven Jenny was born and raised in Waynesboro, Virginia. He began playing guitar at the age of eight, beginning with the acoustic guitar and adding the electric guitar a year later. His early guitar playing and compositions were heavily influenced by an obsession with the Beatles that he has held with him throughout his life. He formed his first band in fifth grade with a fellow classmate, and the two had their first concert at the end of the year. In middle school, Steven expanded his instrumental repertoire picking up the bass guitar, drum set, trumpet, and piano. In high school, he continued to have performances with his band, now expanded to a quartet, and became more involved with composition and production. In his senior year, Steven wrote several small pieces for the marching band; he wrote the drum cadence and a marching band adaptation of several Katy Perry songs. The same year, Steven was selected for all-state choir. When the Waynesboro High School concert choir was selected to perform at Carnegie Hall, Steven was selected as to sing as part of a trio part in the performance. For the concert choir, Steven composed a musical adaptation of Edgar Allen Poe's "Spirits of the Dead," which the group performed at their Spring show. At UVa, Steven double majoring in Music and Computer Engineering and is involved in O Records outside of class. With O Records he has produced several songs for the annual mixtape and performs with a group stimulated by O Records. He hopes to find a career either in the music industry or involving the design of musical technology.

Inez Lieber

Inez Lieber, Studio Art

Inez Lieber has been involved in the arts since childhood; she sang, danced, acted, played the piano, and eventually began practicing studio art as she progressed throughout her schooling in Fredericksburg, Virginia. She later discovered an affinity for drawing life, more specifically portraits and figures. She was chosen as a scholar for studio art, and while she plans to pursue a minor in said field, she also hopes to continue developing her skills in all areas of her artistic interest — especially in musical composition. She hopes to major in Commerce, and pursue a career that combines her artistic talents with business. She was an Arts Advocate for the University in her first year, and now serves on the Executive board for the Miller Arts Scholars. Inez will continue to expand her involvement in the Arts Community, and is incredibly grateful for the opportunities that the program has awarded her.

Kingston Liu

Kingston Liu, Dance

Yilin "Kingston" Liu has been dancing since age 14, when he first saw the old-school funkstylers popping to the beat in a dance battle in Beijing, China. After years of self-teaching, struggling, and experimenting, he has finally developed his own style as a Hip Hop freestyler, with the help of his friends and mentors such as METU, Master Harvey, Lady-T, and Kim Brooks Mata. Currently he is running the Mighty Dance Workshop series, dancing in AKAdeMiX dance crew and D.B. dance crew (Beijing), and doing videography for the Hip Hop dance community and occasionally for events like Dance Concert or Jazz Ensemble Concert in the University of Virginia. Even though he does not pursue a dance minor, he knows deeply in his heart that this passion will stay with him for his life, and he will continue to grow and dance for the people around him. Temporary website:

Aspen Miller

Aspen Miller, Drama

Aspen Miller began his study of theatre at the age of six years old in his hometown of Charlottesville, Virginia. Starting with weekly improv classes and semesterly school plays, he grew to love the stage. His work continued with the local community theater, Live Arts, where he learned what it means to create and collaborate. While attending Charlottesville High School, Aspen found his true passion for directing. For his directing debut, he collaborated on a One Act, Sci-Fi musical which he brought to Virginia Theatre Association's One Act Competition. "From Earth" won Best Student Written Show, Best Director, Best Tech, and multiple best performance awards. Since then he has focused on film, dabbling in comedy, noir, horror, drama, and "Mocumentary". He plans on continuing his work in film as a Drama Major at UVA and he is both honored and excited to be part of the Arts Scholar Program. Currently, he is writing a screen play dedicated to the healing process behind loss and suicide. Filming will begin in June. 

Julia Rauen

Julia Rauen, Music

Julia Rauen was born and raised in Alexandria, Virginia and is a recent graduate of Georgetown Visitation Preparatory School. Although she has worked extensively in piano, voice, classical dance, and costume design, Julia’s primary art form is flute performance. She was first chair flutist for both her school’s orchestra and Georgetown University’s Wind Ensemble. Throughout high school, she also enjoyed playing in the Washington Philharmonic Youth Orchestra and the Alexandria Community Band. She has had the privilege of studying with renowned flutists Paula Robison and Nancy Stagnitta at the Interlochen Center for the Arts summer camp, as well as with Toshio Takahashi at the Suzuki Flute Institute. She plays piccolo in the Cavalier Marching Band and is very excited to explore other musical opportunities around grounds her first year.

Genna Semmes

Ginna Semmes, Dance

Virginia Douglass Semmes began her passion for dance at a young age, enrolling in ballet, jazz and tap classes all around her hometown of Alexandria, VA. In 2002, until 2009, Ginna studied at Ballet NOVA, formerly Arlington Center for Dance, in Arlington, Va. She joined the pre-professional program in classical ballet under the artistic direction of Nancie Woods, and supplemented her Royal Academy of Dance education with additional studies in classical jazz, tap, and modern. Performances included annual Nutcracker productions, spring programs, and community service projects. From 2006-2008 Ginna attended Ballet and Jazz Summer Intensives at Maryland Youth Ballet in Silver Spring, MD and The Rock School for Dance Education in Philadelphia, PA. In 2009, Ginna was named a Distinguished Dance Scholar under the Royal Academy of Dance exam and received the Distinguished Award under the Royal Academy of Dance Scholarship. From then on, Ginna attended the Kirov Academy of Ballet Summer Intensive in 2009 and 2010. In 2010 Ginna switched her dance focus and became a Conservatory member of CityDance Ensemble in Bethesda, MD under the direction of Lorraine Spiegler. There she studied the styles of Modern, Jazz, Contemporary Ballet, Hip Hop. The Conservatory company had regular performances at Strathmore Hall in Bethesda, Md., Wolftrap, The Air and Space Museum, National Cathedral, and numerous embassies. The Conservatory additionally partnered with the Moscow Ballet Nutcracker every winter. In 2012, Ginna attended the CityDance Project Summer Intensive in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, with the Conservatory acting as “US Ambassadors” in dance partnership with Deborah Colker and numerous other Brazilian dance companies. Ginna is planning to minor in dance and takes Ballet and the Art of Dance as classes in her fall curriculum. She plans on having dance with her for her entire life and is thrilled that she can continue her passion through the Arts Scholar Program at the University of Virginia!

Lucy Trieshmann

Lucy Trieshmann, Music

Lucy Trieshmann, a Newport News native and Hampton Roads Academy graduate, has played the tuba for over seven years. She was the principle tubist and low brass section leader in her high school’s concert band, but also enjoyed cheering on sports teams with the pep band. Now, she is a member of UVA’s Wind Ensemble and the Cavalier Marching Band. Outside of the music world, Lucy loves to read, watch documentaries, and participate in outdoor activities. She plans to study Cultural Anthropology and Spanish during her time at UVA. This semester, she will also volunteer through Madison House at a Spanish immersion daycare in Charlottesville to further pursue her passion for Spanish. As an Arts Scholar, she hopes to utilize all the resources available in order to enrich UVA’s arts community and improve her own skills.

Maddie Withrow

Maddie Withrow, Studio Art

Maddie Withrow developed an interest in art at an early age in her hometown of Richmond, Virginia. During her time at Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School, Maddie refined her skills through both art and photography classes and was able to showcase her works at both individual and group exhibitions. Her main focuses include photography, videography, and mixed media, with a minimalistic aesthetic that is often accompanied by the human form as subject matter. Her pieces are left up to the interpretation of the viewer, as they are often ambiguous in some manner, though the ideas of human progression and actions are prevalent themes she explores. Besides art, Maddie is interested in studying media studies, and enjoys reading, music, and volunteering.

Susan Xie

Susan Xie, Studio Art

Fortunate to grow up as the granddaughter of a Chinese watercolorist and develop under the instruction of encouraging grade-school art teachers, Susan lives with a desire to create. She came to UVa with a background in drawing, painting, and various collaborative projects, such as a mural for her public high school in Acton, Massachusetts and installation art at Massachusetts Art All-States. Her curiosity has since led her to explore film photography in Italy, scenic painting, and the digital landscape among various other liberal arts subjects that have informed her art. Visit for examples of her work. Susan enjoys giving tours at the Fralin Museum of Art and waking up for sunrises. She expects to graduate in 2017 with a Bachelor of Science in Commerce and a minor in Studio Art.