Costume designer takes break from day
job to work with theater company
Shopping daily at New Yorks finest clothing stores is part of
the job for Shawn Dudley, ex-89, who dresses some of the most
prominent faces in daytime television.
Dudley, who is the costume designer for the CBS soap opera
Guiding Light, visited NMSU this spring as a guest artist for
the American Southwest Theatre Companys production of Much
Ado About Nothing. The Las Cruces native recently received a fourth
nomination for a daytime Emmy in costume design.
While national awards and big city life are exciting,
there is something attractive about the manana atti-tude
that brings him back to New Mexico, he said. Its a long
trip, but there is this incredible energy and a casual air in New Mexico.
He had fun designing for his alma mater. Oddly enough,
after spending four years at NMSU from 1985-89, Much Ado
was his first university main stage pro-duction. But Dudley says
he never lost his ties to the school. After working professionally
for more than 10 years, he still refers to Deb Brunson, the theater
departments costume designer, as his mentor.
She gets embarrassed, but there is a spirit
she instills in her classes, he said. Ill be
doing something, and wonder, Would Deb have done it this
His admiration is reciprocated. I admire the
direction he has. His success is really a testament to his talent,
Its nice to be recognized for your work, Dudley
said, referring to the Emmy nominations. But you cant
help but wonder when someone else will come along and you wont
be cool anymore.
Dudley says he wasnt always cool. When he
moved to New York, he had to work extra hard because his experience
was minimal. Other applicants were Ivy Leaguers who had
come out of graduate school with awesome portfolios. It was hard
to compete, he said.
Dudley has worked on Broadway in productions of
Phantom of the Opera, Grease and Carousel.
In Phantom, he was the star dresser for the actor portraying
the title character.
On Guiding Light, he oversees all activities
regarding costumes. From bras to jeans and even jewelry, Dudley
designs every outfit for every character.
Whether its a motorcycle shop or Saks Fifth
Avenue, I shop where the character would shop, he
said. I become that character for a few minutes.
Dudley says he enjoys the fast-paced lifestyle of
New York. There are so many people crammed into one place,
and weve all got deadlines to meet and places to be,
he said. Sometimes I cheat, though. Cheating, he explained,
means taking a cab.
Maria C. Lucero
Designer Shawn Dudley adjusts a costume, worn by NMSU student
actress Kristin Walcott, that he selected for Much Ado About Nothing.
Photo by Meghann Dallin
Author explores upbringing of eight great
When we read about the greatest presidents in the
history of the United States, we find stories about men who have
led in times of adversity and wars, but little is written about
what these men were like as children until now.
In his new book Cradle of Greatness, Donald
Ferguson, former associate dean of the NMSU College of Education,
examines the youth of eight American presidents. The presidents,
Washington, Jefferson, Jackson, Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Wilson,
Franklin Roosevelt and Truman were selected as the greatest leaders
in a survey conducted by Pennsylvania State University of 846
While many of the presidents had factors in common,
such as language-rich environments and the ability to read at
an early age, all of them shared one thing: unconditional love
from their parents, Ferguson said.
I wrote the book primarily for parents as
indicated in a slightly facetious statement on the cover: Highly
recommended for anyone intent on rearing a future president
or a responsible member of society, he said.
Ferguson said he wrote the book in a light, sometimes humorous
style, but he is dead serious about the importance
of childhood on what we become in maturity.
At the end of the day, Cradle of Greatness
pays homage to childhood and youth as much as it is a tribute
to our greatest presidents, he said.
Ferguson served as associate dean from 1967 through
1989. He is the co-author with NMSU President Emeritus Gerald
Thomas of the book In Celebration of the Teacher.
Cradle of Greatness can be purchased in hardcover
or paperback by calling 1stBooks Library at 1-888-280-7715. The
book also can be purchased online at Amazon.com
or at Barnes and Noble bookstores.
Teachers award benefits school
Mathematics is much more than arithmetic, says NMSU
instructor and doctoral student Cathy Kinzer, 76, 93,
whose efforts to help students become problem solvers instead
of memorizers has earned her a Presidential Award for Excellence
in Mathematics and Science Teaching.
For too long elementary mathematics has been
a focus on arithmetic, memorizing arbirary rules and procedures
without understanding the mathematics, Kinzer said. Math
should involve thinking, reasoning, problem solving, making conjectures,
developing strategies and offering explanations.
Kinzer, who earned bachelors and masters
degrees at NMSU, has been a teacher at Mesilla Park Elementary
School in Las Cruces for seven years.
The award, described by the National Science Foundation
as the nations highest commendation for K-12 math
and science teachers, recognizes exemplary work both in
and outside of the classroom. It includes a $7,500 NSF grant to
be used by Kinzers
school for math and science education.
She is on leave from her public school teaching
position while she pursues a doctorate and teaches elementary
math methods in NMSUs College of Education. She also works
in the universitys Preparing Tomorrows Teachers Today
program, developing the use of technology in the classroom.
We need to help children develop a strong
foundation in elementary school in geometry, informal algebra,
number and operations, data and probability, and uses of technology
in math, Kinzer said. Students need to become confident
in their abilities to make sense of mathematics and become thoughtful
Kinzer and her husband Grant Kinzer, head of the
universitys entomology, plant pathology and weed science
department, participated in a series of activities for Presidential
Award recipients in Washington, D.C., March 6-10.
Cathy Kinzer, pictured with her children Kacie, 17, left, and
Kye, 15, integrates technology and problem solving in her teaching.
Photo by Michael Kiernan
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