Linehan Summer Research Award Information

Notes about Linehan Artist Scholars Summer Research and Study Award Activities

Each year a select group of Artist Scholars receive Linehan support to do in-depth professional study, anywhere in the world. Scholars can receive up to $4000. Here’s a short overview of various research and study projects:


Delaney Debinski – Theatre ’21 took the Summer research award overseas to study stunt performance in England. She attended the British Live Action Stunt Training (BLAST) with the British Action Academy. This was a three day, 30 hour intensive course consisting of all things stunts- from basics in falling to free-falling from three stories above the ground onto a crash pad. The course was physically and emotionally draining, but Delaney learned so much about the safety protocols and specific coordinated movements required to deliver a believable stunt. Her favorite part of the course was learning to jump from a moving motorbike as if she had been hit by a car (she learned this with a bike, ramp, crash pads, many stacked cardboard boxes and a lot of body pads). Though Delaney has decided not to pursue stunt performance as a career, she is incredibly grateful for the opportunity to learn this creative form of performance art abroad.


Louis Witt – Vocal Music Performance ’20 “I was able to attend the National Music Festival in historic Chestertown on Maryland’s Eastern Shore this past summer. Not only did the festival enhance my own skills as a musician, but I helped to return the favor by representing the first group of Voice Apprentices the festival has hosted. The National Music Festival has put on student orchestral concerts across the community of Chestertown, Maryland for the past ten years, but only in this most recent year has it held a program for undergraduate and graduate vocalists. I was one of those lucky thirteen who got to experience the coaching of Mr. Adrian Rosas and Mrs. Celine Mogielnicki, both alumni of the Julliard School. The majority of the other Voice Apprentices ended up being graduate-level students from across the United States; while this was intimidating at first, I ended up making friends and getting a lot of professional-level practice. I collaborated with pianists, received feedback at masterclasses, and sang in several concerts over the course of two weeks. I performed solo repertoire, from opera to art song, and added to the numbers of a local choir in a performance of Beethoven’s Mass in C major. I got the most out of my time in Chestertown during my one-on-one lessons with Adrian, who helped me become more aware of my voice as an instrument.

Louis standing sixth stage left


Katie Blake – Music Composition ’21 “The Fresh Inc. Festival, University of Wisconsin-Parkside, Kenosha Wisconsin, was an amazing experience and opportunity for me. I composed a new piece for a chamber ensemble under the guidance of the faculty composers, and also collaborated with instrumentalist peers to prepare for the premiere. I participated in several workshops to aid the creative mind and build  entrepreneurial skills to build a career in music. I learned a lot on the business side of contemporary music dealing with collaboration, outreach, ‘making it’, and furthering myself as a composer. The composers I met with helped me think about what I can do to make my works feel more complete, and they offered a lot of ideas to consider. I made good connections with a few and plan to collaborate with them at some point in the future. My flute, viola, harp trio composition was premiered at the Constellation Chicago, and we had a nice turnout of people. The violist from the ensemble that played my piece plans to play it again with another flute/viola/harp ensemble in a few months. He thought it was well put together and really enjoyed playing it. The festival was an amazing two weeks for me.


Gita Ladd (Christian’s mentor) third from right and Christian second from right.

Christian Hartman – Music Performance ’20 “With a 2019 Summer Research and Study Award, I was able to attend the Endless Mountain Music Festival in Mansfield, Pennsylvania. Mansfield is a very small, rural town in north central Pennsylvania, near the Allegheny Mountains. The campus I stayed in was quite literally in the mountains, and it allowed for a glorious view from my window every morning. At this three-week festival, I was part of a 70-piece orchestra comprised of professional musicians from all over the United States and abroad. We performed two completely different concerts per week, and the music was nothing short of demanding. Most of my days beyond the orchestra rehearsals were spent practicing music that I had to be able to perform well in five days. Our Friday night concerts were always at Mansfield University, and our Saturday concerts were at the Corning Museum of Glass in New York. I gained an incredible amount of knowledge not only from my teacher, Gita Ladd (who is also my teacher here at UMBC), but also from the Maestro, Stephen Gunzenhauser, who is the soon-to-be conductor emeritus of the Lancaster Symphony Orchestra and is the fifth-most recorded conductor in America. His insight on the music we performed was invaluable and he really guided all of us along to create moving interpretations of the music.
My fellow student performers and I were also tasked with performing solo and chamber music on the side, mainly throughout the community. We put together educational concerts that were performed at local libraries, as well as providing music for a brunch at a local hotel. I can definitely say that I learned a lot from being with and playing together with my fellow students.
In short, I would definitely say that the experience I had this summer was amazing and I am grateful for the opportunity to have performed at this festival, as it really has informed me about what I want to do with my future as a professional musician.
Thank you to Mr. and Mrs. Linehan from the bottom of my heart for supporting my endeavors as a musician, performer, and artist.


Isabelle Tabet SS 2016Isabelle Tabet – Theatre ’18 “During my summer internship at the Theatre at Monmouth in Monmouth, Maine, I have made many invaluable professional contacts and learned so much about the business of theatrical costumes outside of the academic setting. This company combines all of the things I love best about theatre, and after my experience this summer, I will hopefully return here for many summers to come. I have tackled period costumes, blood special effects, wig styling, insanely fast quick changes, and 60 hour weeks, and I feel like a much better artist for it. This internship was truly the best first professional step I could have possibly taken, and I am forever thankful to the Linehans for making this possible.”




Maia Schecter SS 2016Maia Schechter – Dance ’18  “Everything is going so well here. The program is almost complete and I feel like I have grown so much since my start. Currently I am rehearsing for the Broadway Dance Center showcase and taking class. I have now completed 4 mock auditions which have served as preparation for future auditions. Before each mock, we are expected to print our head shot and resume and research the choreographer and casting agent that will be present at each mock. We have had agents from Bloc Talent Agency, Clear Talent Agency, MSA, and Lucille DiCampli Artist Representation and choreographers like Warren Carlyle, Rachelle Rak, Joanna Numata and dancers from Parsons Dance. In each mock we are given feedback and I have been lucky enough to have been offered an agent from Lucille DiCampli’s Agency. In addition to the mocks, I have been lucky enough to become close with dancer and choreographer Phil Orsano. I hope to continue my training with him after the program.”


Sarah Miller SS 2016Sarah Miller – Visual Arts ’18 is documenting a traditional Afro-Brazilian festival in the small Brazilian town of Regência, one of the many areas devastated by the largest mining dam spill in global history. She spent a month documenting the impacted areas with a recent UMBC alum (Andres Camacho) and is now in post- production mode, transcribing interviews and editing images. In November, Andres and Sarah will present the project at a workshop at Georgetown University. While that project is in post- production, Sarah will be in Rio de Janeiro  collaborating with a team of researchers from the US, England, and Brazil. This is the first year of a four year project to research the affordable housing complexes being constructed in the center of Rio (most of the city’s poor is otherwise marginalized much like many cities).


Ariana Seidman SS 2016Ariana Seidman – Music ’17 is currently studying in the Opera Studio at College Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinatti. A typical day for begins with movement class at 9 am.Then we go to Italian Language class for 2 hours. After that we get a lunch break and then have a master class. The rest of the day is filled with some combination of private lessons or coachings and scene rehearsals. “I will be performing in an Aria recital tomorrow and on the 30th we have a scenes performance. I’ve attached a picture of me singing in a master class”


Justyna Kurbiel 2016Justyna Kurbiel – Visual Arts ’18 took an online animation class on Animation Mentor. It is a 6 week course where a small group of students become comfortable with Autodesk Maya’s interface, attend live Q&A sessions, and complete animation assignments using Animation Mentor’s rigs. “My professor, Jack Parry, was very supportive and encouraging. I now have a greater understanding of professional quality 3D animation and I feel more comfortable taking on my own project that I will use to apply to Pixar and Dreamworks internship programs.”

Stephen Johnson – Music ’18

In June 2016 Stephen was at the New York University participating in a film scoring workshop that the university holds in partnership with ASCAP. Stephen created and recorded his own score to film scenes under the guidance of accomplished film composers.

-Stephen Johnson Dialogue
-Stephen Johnson Music



Emily Eaglin – Visual Arts ’17


Emily Eaglin pic SS

Emily created Marylandia, a new sketch comedy web series that stands on the shoulders of recent greats like Key & Peele, Saturday Night Live, and (of course) its namesake, Portlandia. The goal? To create a satire with relevancy & bring light to local issues such as the Baltimore Uprising, national issues such as casting & stereotypes in the industry, and global issues such as gender rights. We have a mission of promoting education, representing the underrepresented, and bringing each episode full circle by financially giving back to local charitable causes that have to do with the episode’s theme. Our Second Episode:

Emily Eaglin pic 2 SS


Grace Davenport – Theatre Design ’16

Grace Davenport SS 2015Grace took two courses in a summer program at the University of Stirling. “I’m having a lot of fun and learning a lot about the properties of light (in my photography class) and the properties of art (in my psychology of art class). For instance, did you know people read their surroundings right to left, because that’s the way they were taught to read words? And a few centuries ago, theatre artists used a series of mirrors and light in order to create a kind of early hologram to depict ghosts on stage?” Grace also visited London and went to a performance at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre.


SarahSchmitz 18

Sarah Schmitz – Dance ’17 in Italy. “This week I’ve been taking some Gaga, which is new for me. It’s very different from what I’m used to, but I think it’s probably beneficial for me. I’ve also been taking a breath and movement class which is very interesting and incorporates singing and movement, some ballet and jazz technique, and theater dance.”