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Presidential Excellence

The faculty of the College of Fine Arts and Communication excel as Teachers, Scholars, Artists, and Leaders. The university’s Presidential Excellence Awards recognize and reward superior accomplishments in Teaching, Scholarly/Creative Activity, and Service.


Kaysie Seitz Brown

Kaysie Seitz Brown

Assistant Professor, Theatre and Dance

Presidential Excellence Award  | Teaching

Before returning to her home state of Texas, Kaysie resided in New York City where she studied with Dance Education Laboratory and danced, choreographed, and taught with organizations including LEAP, Young Audiences New York, and Notes in Motion. At Texas State, she has served as the director of the arts education outreach program Creation in Motion, a multi-faceted program which includes Creation in Motion Touring Ensemble for Young Audiences or CIM TEYA, an ensemble of dance majors who create and perform interactive works for youth.

michael Ippolito

Michael Ippolito

Assistant Professor, Music

Presidential Excellence Award  | Scholarly and Creative

Praised by the New York Times for his “polished orchestration” that “glitters, from big-shoulders brass to eerily floating strings,” Michael Ippolito’s music has been performed by leading musicians in venues around the world. Drawing on a rich musical background of classical and folk music, and taking inspiration from visual art, literature and other art forms, he has forged a distinctive musical voice in a body of work spanning orchestral, chamber, and vocal music. 


Rebekah Fox

Rebekah Fox

Associate Professor, Communication Studies

Presidential Excellence Award  | Service

Rebekah’s research focuses on organizational rhetoric and resilience among firefighters and nurses, as well as the rhetoric of environmental and political issues specifically related to the First Amendment. She is the chair of the advisory board for the Communication Research Center (C3), and has served on numerous departmental, college, and university committees. She also serves as a member of the Capital Area Fire Adapted Communities Coalition and works as a technical specialist in communication for the United States Forest Service.