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Three graduate students in Fine Arts win Kate Neal Kinley Fellowships

Melissa Mitchell, Arts Editor
(217) 333-5491;


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Three graduate students in the fine arts, including two from the University of Illinois, have won the 69th annual Kate Neal Kinley Memorial Fellowship competition.

They each will receive $7,000 to help defray the cost of advanced study in their fields in the United States or abroad.

Three other graduate students, all from the UI, were named alternate winners. They each will receive $1,000.

The fellowship program, established in 1931 by former UI President David Kinley in memory of his wife, is administered by the university's College of Fine and Applied Arts.

The Kate Neal Kinley Memorial Fellowship is partially funded by the John Robert Gregg Fund at Community Funds Inc. in New York.

The competition is open to graduates of the UI College of Fine and Applied Arts and of similar institutions whose major studies have been in art, music or architecture.

This year, 80 people applied -- 37 in art and design, 32 in music and 11 in architecture.

This year's primary winners:

Michael Herrman. Herrman received his bachelor of architecture degree from Cornell University in 1997. He plans to use the fellowship to pursue a graduate degree in architecture at Princeton University. He will research the manner in which cultural identity influences the creation and design of architecture through specific comparisons of Spanish and Japanese courtyard architecture.

Mei-Fang Lin. Mei-Fang received a master of music degree at the UI in 1999 and is pursuing her doctorate at the UI in composition. She intends to use the fellowship to further her composing career by traveling to events where she can seek exposure for her work and interact with other composers.

Marlen Vavrikova, Ostrava. Vavrikova received a master of music degree from the Eastman School of Music in 1998 and is a doctoral candidate in oboe performance at the UI. She plans to use the fellowship to continue her studies with Nancy Ambrose King, a professor of oboe at the UI.

This year's alternate winners:

Laura Avella. Avella received a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Richmond (Virginia) in 1992 and is a doctoral candidate in art history at the UI. She plans to use her fellowship to travel to Italy to research Giusto Utens' 16th century topographical depictions of the Medici estates.

Carolyn Kuan. Kuan received her bachelor of arts in music from Smith College in 1999 and is a master's candidate in orchestral conducting at the UI. She plans to use the fellowship to support her final year of studies and to travel to competitions, workshops and auditions.

Orion Wertz. Wertz received his bachelor of fine arts degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 1997 and will receive his master of fine arts degree from the UI May 14. He intends to use his fellowship to support the continuation of his painting and to pay for travel to New York and to Chicago to view art.