The College of Arts and Architecture

Mara E. Culp

Mara Culp

Congratulations to M.M.E. student Mara Culp for her second-place award at the Penn State Graduate Exhibition (research option, arts and humanities category). The research session, occurring on Sunday, March 24, 2013 at the HUB-Robeson Center, inGraduate School logocluded more than 280 graduate students from all disciplines within the University campus system.

The Graduate Exhibition celebrates research, in all its aspects, as an essential and exciting part of graduate education at Penn State. Established in 1986, the Exhibition places special emphasis on communicating research and creative endeavors to a general audience, and offers an unusual opportunity for professional development by challenging graduate students to present their work in clear, comprehensible terms to people outside their fields.

Mara’s study, The Use of Musical Techniques to Improve Phonological Awareness, was based on her master’s research in which she gathered data from speech therapists regarding their use of musical techniques (singing, rhythm) to help students improve their speech. She reports that “the graduate exhibition was a great place to interact with scholars outside of my discipline. The caliber of research in my division was very impressive and I was pleased to be a member of such a talented group.”

 She received her Bachelor of Music Education degree in 2007 from Siena Heights University in Adrian, Michigan. Originally from Adrian, she won many awards wMara Culp with her research posterhile a student at Siena Heights, including the 2006 award for Student of the Year in the Visual & Performing Arts and Education departments as well as the 2006 Outstanding Student in Music. After graduation, she taught K-12 music at the Will Carleton Academy in Hillsdale, Michigan for five years. Mara will graduate with her master’s degree in August. She plans to start her Ph.D. in music education at Penn State in fall 2013.

D.M.A. piano student Renpeng Dong won the Graduate Exhibition performance option. The graduate saxophone quartet placed second, and Quintessential, the graduate woodwind quintet, placed third.