Graduate Scholar Recipients

Margaret Louise Dobson Laura Odegaard
Sozita Goudouna Pierre Leichner
Natalia Grincheva Patrick Waldo
Cara Hagan Ellwood Wiggins
Daniela Gisela Limpert

Graduate Scholar Winners

Margaret Louise Dobson
Prior to entering the doctoral program in the Faculty of Education at McGill University, Margaret Dobson was for many years a teacher and educational leader in Quebec and Ontario schools. Invited by the Oxford Round Table to participate in "Designing Leadership Practices for the Future of Public Education" in 2004, she is now an honorary member of this prestigious international association. She has published in the peer-reviewed journal, LEARNing Landscapes as well as in the forthcoming anthology, The Heart of Wisdom: Life Writing as Empathetic Inquiry. She is interested in getting to the heart of the educational matter by looking at the role of thinking that is distinct from, and goes beyond, knowing. She sees Poetry and the Arts as having a vital part to play in the reinvigoration of the postmodern educational experience.

Sozita Goudouna
Sozita Goudouna is the artistic director of Out of the Box Intermedia and associate editor for Intellect Publishers, the Contemporary Literature Department of Routledge, and Common Ground Publishing. She has also worked as a director, assistant director and art curator in London, in association with The Place London, The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, the Institute of Contemporary Art, and in Athens in association with the Byzantine Museum, the Benaki Museum and other galleries. Sozita’s research interests focus upon interdisciplinarity across the arts, and she has submitted a PhD at Royal Holloway, University of London, entitled ‘Mediated Breath: the Intersection of Critical Discourses in the Visual Arts and the Theatre.’ She has studied Philosophy and Theatre Studies in London (1999), and she has an MA in Directing from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) and Kings College University of London (2000). She has contributed to journals and conferences on subjects like education, theatre and the visual arts for Documenta: Kassel, Tate Modern, Venice & Sydney Biennale, IFTR, PSi, Tapra, and the Prague Quadrennial.

Natalia Grincheva
Natalia would like to pursue a career in cultural diplomacy by contributing strong academic, organizational, and interpersonal skills for the success of arts exchange programs and projects across borders.

Through her professional experience she has earned a reputation of an enthusiastic and energetic international art projects coordinator experienced in completing cross-cultural programs among organizations from Russia, Europe and the USA. She was involved in organizing numerous groundbreaking international arts events (Photography Exhibition in Besancon, France in 2002, Art workshops in Slough, England 2004), promoting cultural projects (Preservation and Enhancement of Cultural Heritage project in Russia in 2006), and establishing collaborative relations among artists and organization in the USA, France, England, Italy and Russia. After finishing her MA in Arts Management in Washington DC, USA she coordinated the Future Leaders of Eurasia Fellowship Program for the Eurasia Foundation, which brought participants from four different countries for an exclusive experience in the capital of the USA.

Currently, she is working on her Doctoral Project across cultural diplomacy, social media and new museology. Her research focuses on the use of social media in museums’ international outreach and diplomatic activities. Her project explores the changing nature of contemporary society revolutionized by the advance of new digital technologies and how these changes are reflected in the international activities of major cultural institutions, such as museums.

Cara Hagan
Cara Hagan is a dance artist who seeks to break the boundaries of traditional concert dance through multi-media performance works, film, collaboration with artists of varied genres, and community engaged art endeavors. Since graduating from the UNC School of the Arts in 2005, Cara has had the pleasure of sharing art on stage, on screen, and in educational settings across the United States. Recent awards for her work include the NC Dance Alliance Fellowship Award, Best Short Film at the 2010 Indie Grits Film Festival, Best Dance For Camera Award at the 2010 Foursite Film Festival, and a 2010 Regional Artists Project Grant from the Forsyth County Arts Council. Cara is Artistic Director of 87 Dance Productions, a dance and film company she established in 2007 and is a new faculty member at High Point University. Cara is currently pursuing her MFA in Interdisciplinary Art at Goddard College.

Daniela Gisela Limpert
Daniela Gisela received her degree as a Graduate Business Economist in Intercultural Communication & Tourism Development from the University of Applied Sciences Munich. After several years working in tourism industry and with international consultancy companies, she was accepted to the Master of Arts program at TU Kaiserslautern in 2008. Art always played a vital role in her life and her artistic background is of great value to understand the symbolic impact of images and to analyze visual effects in her current focus of studies at the University of Sydney, College of Arts/Rozelle, Australia an objective way. Under the supervision of Indigenous Artists and Lecturers she researches on the Politics of perception, reception, and readings in Contemporary Australian Aboriginal Art in contexts, in which cross-cultural exchange occurs. It is Aboriginal Art´s many layered stories beyond the visual pretty picture and its constant engagement with both its many cultures and their embedding in a cross-cultural dialogue that fascinates her. The achievements for the thesis on Indigenous Art are related to her future goal: to support cross-cultural art projects which aim to initiate an interdisciplinary conversation regarding the politics of conceptual space in relation to the equality of Contemporary Indigenous Arts.

Laura Odegaard
Laura Odegaard is a dual masters candidate at Carnegie Mellon University Heinz College of Public Policy and Management Masters of Arts Management program and the University of Bologna School of Economics Innovation and Organization of Culture and the Arts program. She received her bachelor’s in Theatre and Geology at the University of Mary Washington in Virginia. She recently worked as a research and social media assistant for the Center for Arts Management and Technology, and a Development Assistant at the Mattress Factory Contemporary Art Museum in Pittsburgh. Prior to pursuing her masters, she worked at an arts education organization in Charlotte, NC and was a board member for The Contemporaries of the McColl Center for Visual Art.

Pierre Leichner
Over the past 8 years Peter has been transitioning from a thirty-year career as an academic psychiatrist to that of an artist. He obtained a BFA in Vancouver from Emily Carr University and a MFA at Concordia University in Montreal. Most of his work addresses biological, psychological, social/cultural, political and spiritual issues simultaneously, leading him to use multi-sensoriality in many of his projects. His recent projects Pommier Renversé, The Root Laboratory Project and Jardin Biologique # 8, Potager de Résistance have put him in a collaborative dependency with living matter ( Since 2005, he has had 8 solo shows, participated in 25 group shows and presented in 3 art conferences. He is presently working on an altered book’s project: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) Re-Revised that draws on his previous experiences and knowledge as a psychiatrist and an artist, questioning the political and economic issues that are associated with psychiatric diagnosis and treatment.

Patrick Waldo
Patrick Waldo is a dual masters candidate at Carnegie Mellon University Heinz College of Public Policy and Management Masters of Arts Management program and the University of Bologna School of Economics Innovation and Organization of Culture and the Arts program. He received his bachelor’s in Art History at Grinnell College in Iowa. He has worked at the National Gallery in Prague as a lecturer and presented his research at the Czech and Slovak Museum in Cedar Rapids, IA on Alfons Mucha and Czech identity. Prior to pursuing his masters he lived in Italy for two years teaching English.

Ellwood Wiggins
Ellwood Wiggins is a doctoral candidate in the German department at Yale University. He has a BA from St. John’s college in Annapolis, MD, where he got into the addictive habit of reading and talking about great art and books. Despite years of graduate study (an MA in Eastern Classics from St. John’s College, Santa Fe, and an MA in German from Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore) he still hasn’t managed to kick the habit, and is now busy reading and discussing books in the German department at Yale. He is working on a dissertation on dramatic recognition from Homer to Heiner Mueller. His interests center around the intersections of literary and visual arts, especially theatre and performance.