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AIAR Current Student Profiles

Click on the AIAR Student's name to learn more about them: 

Keyania Campbell

Research Interests/Topics: Intangible cultural heritage, sonic art installations using augmented and virtual reality. 

Arts Background: Musician 

Minor Area: Information

Keyania draws inspiration from hip-hop music. She tries to embody the characteristics of the genre in her work: storytelling, skill and reverence. 

Personal Links: 


Benjamen Douglas

Research Interests/Topics: History of white supremacy in the American cultural sector, the legacy of white supremancy in the management of cultural institutions, ways public funders can effectively use policy and grantmaking toward dismantling white supremacy. Other interests as a scholar and practitioner include racial equity, arts management, cultural policy, capacity building, organizational effectiveness, nonprofit management, and talent investment. 

Arts Background: Arts management - music, theater, literary arts and visual arts. 

Personal Links:


Johnathan Frew

Research Interests/Topics: Drum and Bugle Corps in the United States and how young performers can find valuabel opportunities for self-expression in the activity. More broadly, I am interested in the United States Marching Band transitions, Youth Performing Arts and their organizations, and gender expression through performance. 

Arts Background: B.A. in Folklore & Ethnomusicology and African American & Diaspora Studies from Indiana University - Bloomington. Has performed as a saxophonist for 10+ years through school bands and independent gig performances. 

I believe my work with Drum Corps will have meaningful implications for understanding the experiences of young artists through their musical performances. By better understanding all of the opportunities for self-expression and exploration that performance can offer young artists, music educators and program organizers can contruct their curriculum and programming to better foster an environment that promotes growth for young artists.


Lindsey McHugh

Research Interests/Topics: Music education, musical theatre, vocal performance, blindness advocacy, arts administration, directing/conducting

Arts Background: Music (voice and piano), arranging and directing music for church and thatre. 

I envision changing the way music is taught in schools and in private settings so that it's more inclusive of those with disabilities. Instead of the needs of the many outweighing the needs of the few, the needs of the few can greatly develop the skills of the many. Ideally this is accomplished through encouragement of musical independence and interdependence. I would also like to facilitate change in the way those with visual impairments are perceived by those without, by means of the arts.


Maria del Mar Navarro

Research Interests/Topics: Returned to work on PhD after teaching Visual Communication in academia for 10 years. Research interests focus on information graphics, pictoral statistics, and pictoral numeracy. 

Minor: Art & Visual Culture Education

Sydney Streightiff

Research Interests/Topics: Creating arts programming centered around health and wellness, military dependents and neurodivergent individuals. 

Arts Background: Performance - Oboe and English Horn

Personal Links:

I will create social change by collaborating with communities to evaluate their needs and create programming to serve them. I hope to take what I've learned in music performance and Applied Intercultural Arts Research and uplift overlooked communities through sustainable arts programming.


Rebecca Thompson

Research Interests/Topics: Wellness, arts-based research, addiction, health and the arts

Arts Background: MFA sculpture - large scale public arts, national work, universities, corporations and private collections

Minor Area: Journalism 

Personal Links: 

My research seeks to contribute to the evidence that participating in a desireable form of nature-based art practice enhances health and wellness especially as it relates to recovery from addiction.


Zhiyu (Gabby) Wen

Research Interests/Topics: Combining music and virutal reality to create an immersive environment for older adults with dementia, to reduce their emotional and behavioral disturbances to improve their quality of life. 

Minor: Neuropsychology 

Arts Background: Majored in vocal performing during undergraduate studies at South China Normal University then swtiched focus to music and dementia for master's degree at Hong Kong Baptist University.

The AIAR program provides abundant opportunities that enable me to explore my research from multidimensional aspects. Its diversity and flexibility are most appealing to me.


Tracy Howe

Research Interests/Topics: Social movements, cultural organizing, eschatologies and Utopian/Dystopian vision in social movements, spiritualities of social movements. 

Arts Background: Music, songwriting, production, liturgical writing 

Personal Links:

I ultimately hope to document some aspect of contemporary social movements in a way that honors those working within it helps to build resilience and community in order to sustain it.


Jing Xia

Minor: Health Behavior/Promotion


Yunjia Yang

Research Interests/Topics: Dance as an intervention for disease prevention and health promotion among older adults

Arts Background: Dance

Minor: Public Health

As a non-pharmaceutical intervention, dance benefits people's physical, mental, cognitive and social health. Dance can be a supplement to existing medical systems in terms of disease prevention and health promotion.