Texas Tech University

Texas Tech Names Interim Dean for Visual & Performing Arts

Amanda Castro-Crist

June 9, 2020

Genevieve Durham DeCesaro will lead the J.T. & Margaret Talkington College of Visual & Performing Arts beginning Sept. 1.

Texas Tech University Provost Michael Galyean announced on Thursday (June 4) the appointment of Vice Provost of Academic Affairs Genevieve Durham DeCesaro, M.F.A., as interim dean of the J.T. & Margaret Talkington College of Visual & Performing Arts (TCVPA). She will begin in her new role Sept. 1.

"Given her stellar service as vice provost for academic affairs and the confidence in her leadership that was evident in comments provided during the selection process, I have no doubt that Genevieve will do an outstanding job in this position," Galyean said.

Durham DeCesaro will serve as interim dean until a permanent dean is hired. A group of college employees that includes tenured faculty and department chairpersons selects interim deans from nominations. The university will initiate a nomination process later this summer to find a potential candidate to serve as interim vice provost for academic affairs while Durham DeCesaro serves as interim TCVPA dean.

TCVPA offers a diverse array of programs and courses in art, music, theater and dance. The college seeks to prepare students who will be leaders in the profession by employing the highest standards in performance, teaching, research, and artistic and creative vision. The college includes the School of Art, School of Music, School of Theatre & Dance and the Fine Arts Doctoral Program.

About Genevieve Durham DeCesaro, M.F.A.

Genevieve Durham DeCesaro
Genevieve Durham DeCesaro

Durham DeCesaro, also a professor of dance, joined the Office of the Provost as vice provost for academic affairs in 2014. Prior to this, she served as head of dance and associate chair of TCVPA's School of Theatre & Dance. Her choreography has been commissioned and performed widely, with notable presentations at Virginia Tech, Ballet Lubbock, Spelman College, the COCO Dance Festival in Trinidad, and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.

Her current projects foreground perceptions of the human condition as understood and expressed through movement and include the book "Ordinary Wars: Doing Transdisciplinary Research" with her research partner Elizabeth Sharp, director of Women's & Gender Studies, and the multidisciplinary production "Remember This? A Pathway Toward Global Social Engagement with Dementia and Related Diseases." The latter, created in collaboration with voice and speech assistant professor Rachel Hirshorn-Johnston and associate professor of experimental psychology Tyler Davis, was featured at the 2019 Alzheimer's Association International Conference and is slated for presentation at the 2020 conferences of the Association for Theatre in Higher Education and the American Psychological Association.

Her recognitions at Texas Tech include the Alumni Association's New Faculty Award, the President's Excellence in Teaching Award, selection as an Integrated Scholar, membership in the Teaching Academy and the President's Academic Achievement Award. She is a visiting evaluator for the National Association of Schools of Dance, served as director of the South-Central Region of the American College Dance Association from 2012 through 2018 and was recently elected that organization's vice president for regional planning.

She is a former chair of the Texas Commission on the Arts Grant Review Panel, has served on the Ballet Lubbock and Louise Hopkins Underwood Center for the Arts advisory boards and continues to choreograph and perform professionally with Lubbock's Flatlands Dance Theatre.

Durham DeCesaro earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts in theatre at Southwestern University at Georgetown and a master's degree and Master of Fine Arts degree in dance, both at Texas Woman's University. She replaces Noel Zahler, who served as dean since September 2017.