2021 Collegiate Recognition Program Award Recipients

collegiate membership

The NAfME Collegiate Advisory Council is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2021 Professional Achievement Awards and the Chapter of Excellence Award recipients. These individuals and chapters have worked tirelessly to advance the field of music education, and we applaud their efforts. These students and chapters will be honored in a recognition event in early fall.

2021 Professional Achievement Award Recipients:

The purpose of the Professional Achievement Award is to recognize individual NAfME Collegiate members for their commitment and dedication to NAfME and music education. This recognition is given to Collegiate members who have served their chapters in an exemplary manner.

  • Kasey Julian, Oakland University, Rochester, Michigan

As Chapter President at Oakland University, Kasey Julian spearheaded several initiatives within the school and its NAfME Collegiate chapter. Kasey increased engagement in the chapter by leading a process of officer nominations, creating a committee structure to enroll new members into leadership roles, and kick-starting a fundraising campaign. To foster visibility and recruitment, she designed a forum that featured the Chair and faculty from the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance. Kasey was also instrumental in founding the chapter’s new Media Club and in organizing a workshop about teaching ensembles in the virtual classroom.

  • Matthew Rees, Slippery Rock University, Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania

Matthew Rees has emphasized welcoming new and prospective students to campus as Chapter President at Slippery Rock University (SRU). Matthew organized and facilitated the school’s “Music Major for a Day” recruitment event, wowing faculty by successfully transitioning the biannual event to a virtual format. He also organized a committee effort to write welcome notes to incoming students. As president of the Pennsylvania Collegiate Music Educators Association, Matthew organized a special event during summer of 2020 focused on racial justice. He also served his peers as a music theory tutor and as trumpet section leader for the SRU Wind Ensemble and Marching Pride, leading sectional rehearsals, teaching drill and marching fundamentals, and helping his fellow students achieve success in their academics.

  • Maggie Ward, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Illinois

Maggie Ward, Chapter President at University of Illinois, led her chapter in welcoming 26 new members this year. Maggie created a recruitment video, organized a question-and-answer session, and planned a picnic for freshman music majors. She also set up online events for new members to mingle with each other and existing members. Maggie organized a fundraiser that raised more than $600 for a local organization that provides free or reduced-priced music lessons to school-aged students with financial need. Following the cancellation of the Illinois Music Education Association annual conference, Maggie collaborated with the UI NAfME Collegiate executive board and ten other collegiate chapters in the state to host a “Beginning Music Teachers Workshop.”

  • AJ Gonzales, San José State University, San José, California

AJ Gonzales, a member of the San José State University NAfME Collegiate chapter, helped organize department-wide town halls, hosted a state-wide advocacy summit that drew in students from other California NAfME Collegiate chapters, and launched a series of panel discussions entitled “Hear Me” to amplify marginalized voices. AJ served as Chair of his chapter’s newly formed Advocacy Committee, which was launched in fall 2020 to address issues around equity and inclusion. He also serves as a peer mentor, helps run events sponsored by the chapter and CMEA, recruits students into the chapter, and presented a session at the California All-State Music Educators Conference entitled “From the Closet to the Band Room: A Future Music Educator’s Outlook on Inclusivity in the Music Room.”

  • Morgan Beaton, Nazareth College, Rochester, New York

Morgan Beaton has held numerous leadership positions as a member of NAfME Collegiate, including Chapter President at Nazareth College School of Music. As a freshman, Morgan raised $850 for a local food bank and an arts camp scholarship as part of a Tri-M chapter partnership. She was elected State Collegiate Secretary-Treasurer, and then State Web Editor, of Collegiate-NYSSMA (New York State School Music Association). In these positions, Morgan attended and took minutes at regularly occurring meetings, reviewed and edited newsletters for distribution throughout the state, maintained the state collegiate website and social media accounts, and assisted with planning the collegiate portion of the state annual conference. Morgan also participated in the Collegiate Advocacy Summit in Washington, DC, in 2019.


2021 Chapter of Excellence Award Recipients:

The Chapter of Excellence Recognition was developed to encourage chapters to plan and execute successful chapter Music Programs, Professional Development Projects, Recruitment Techniques, Advocacy, and Service Projects. Recognition of excellent projects is conferred annually and is based on activities completed by the chapter during the last year. Chapters are evaluated on participation, commitment, creativity, impact, organization, uniqueness, and visibility.

  • Professional Development: University of Lynchburg, Lynchburg, Virginia

Lynchburg’s NAfME Collegiate chapter hosted panel discussions that included practicing educators addressing topics such as graduate school, cross-discipline teaching, program budgets, diversity in music education, and teaching music in a virtual world. The chapter also hosted several professional development workshops, including clinics on the Alexander Techniques, Orff pedagogy, steel drum, and ukulele. Students from the chapter are exceptionally engaged in the Virginia Music Educators Association (VMEA) In-Service Conference, with multiple students presenting their own sessions on topics such as culturally responsive teaching, music in Montessori schools, and interpreting choral scores through textual analysis.

  • Professional Development: Augustana College, Rock Island, Illinois; and University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Illinois

After the cancellation of the state conference, the NAfME chapters at Augustana College and University of Illinois joined forces to organize a workshop specifically designed for college students and new music educators. The two-day event, which brought in speakers from across the state and country, combined 15-minute “lightning talks” with longer presentation blocks containing simultaneous sessions on different topics. The collaboration was so successful that the two chapters created a shared calendar so that future events could be planned in coordination and students across the state can attend professional development hosted by other NAfME Collegiate chapters.

  • Professional Development: Oakland University, Rochester, Michigan

In an effort to better understand how to best advocate for and support students of color, the Oakland University NAfME Collegiate chapter initiated a “Media Club” with a focus on disparities in music education due to racial justice. The club met weekly during the summer and fall of 2020, inviting participants from across Michigan and four other states. The club utilized a variety of media sources, including television and film, books, and articles to study and present on important racial justice issues. Students also shared their favorite BBIA composers, diving deep into each composer’s biography, history of their work, and analysis of their music. These meetings inspired the students to produce a series of discussion panels featuring in-service music educators. Their discussions provided even more insight on important topics while also requiring chapter members to exercise administrative skills including scheduling, organizing, advertising, and facilitating virtual events.

  • Service: Central Michigan University, Mt. Pleasant, Michigan

The Central Michigan University (CMU) NAfME Collegiate Chapter has focused its recent service on supporting local music education programs. After holding two fundraisers, the chapter donated a combined $800 to three music programs in rural Michigan. The chapter also purchased replacement parts and supplies to restore old Orff instruments offered to the chapter because they were in disrepair. The chapter then identified a school that didn’t have Orff instruments and donated the complete and refurbished set to that school in support of its music program.

  • Service: Sunderman Conservatory of Music, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

When the pandemic forced teachers to move their instruction online, the members of Sunderman’s NAfME Collegiate chapter recognized an opportunity to support music educators transitioning to remote teaching. That’s when they launched the “Finding Music Resources” website and database to collect all the innovative strategies teachers were posting on social media and organize them into a concise and inclusive repository of quality online resources. In addition to ideas about the pedagogical, advocacy, philosophical, and administrative work of teaching music, the website also includes a “Consider” page featuring past and current projects of Sunderman’s NAfME Collegiate Chapter. Here, in-service music educators could access the chapter’s Virtual Instrument Petting Zoo and “Go Forth! A Music Education Talk Show.”

  • Service: DePaul University, Chicago, Illinois

In April 2020, the NAfME Collegiate Chapter at DePaul University began planning for a music instrument drive. After spending time in Chicago classrooms where beginning students struggled with limited resources, the students decided to establish an ongoing endeavor to support students in their area. They mapped out a plan that included raising funds to pay for instrument repair, identifying schools to work with, organizing tax receipts for people who donated instruments, and a marketing strategy to publicize the instrument drive. So far, the students have raised nearly $1,000 for instrument repairs, held an instrument drop-off event with another one planned, secured storage space for the instruments, and are finalizing donation arrangements with public and private schools in Chicago.

Learn more about the NAfME Collegiate program.