UToledo School of Visual and Performing Arts

Archive for October, 2013

University Bookstore features student performers

By Kevin Bucher : October 24th, 2013 (re-posted by the UT College of Communication and the Arts)

Students have the opportunity to perform at the café in the Barnes & Noble University Bookstore.

Ben Vasko, UT Music Major

Ben Vasko, a freshman studying music business, already has kicked things off, performing on most Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. He is the first student featured this year at the café.

Vasko plays alternative indie pop-rock, comparing the music he performs to bands such as Switchfoot, House of Heroes, Thirty Seconds to Mars and Anberlin, which is his favorite.

He has been writing music for five years, but he started playing percussion when he was in middle school. Learning to play a variety of instruments, including drums, guitar, bass and piano, he performs live acoustic sets at local bars and coffee shops.

Vasko said he enjoys playing at the University Bookstore because he feels more connected with the audience.

“It’s fun. It’s a nice, mellow, low-key coffee shop gig. I like that,” Vasko said. “It’s a little more personal. I am able to talk to the people I’m performing for and the tips I get there actually pay for my gas money.”

He is currently a one-man show, but is looking for members to add to his band, The Stairwell. Vasko has received some recent recognition for his music; he won best alternative rock EP in July from The Akademia Music Awards.

He has recorded and released two discs, and his music is available on Spotify, iTunes, Facebook and Twitter. He also has T-shirts and CDs for sale at his shows.

The Barnes & Noble University Bookstore is looking to add more live music performances from UT students throughout the week and also during the weekend.

All student performers are entered for a chance to win free textbooks for spring semester and receive a coupon to be used on a purchase of UT clothing. All performers also are featured on the bookstore’s Facebook page.

Current UT student musicians can contact Colleen Strayer, general manager of the University Bookstore, to discuss performing in the café at utoledo@bkstore.com.

For more information on Vasko, visit reverbnation.com/thestairwell.

Alumna Phoebe Ballard to present “MOOCs, Kooks, and Flukes” talk Oct. 8

The College of Communication and the Arts recognized and honored Phoebe Ballard as its Outstanding Emerging Alumna during 2013 Homecoming Week at the University of Toledo.

Ballard will present a lecture called “MOOCs, Kooks, and Flukes,” on Tuesday, October 8 at 1:30 p.m. in the CVA’s Haigh Auditorium. The talk is free and open to the public. She will talk about her work at the intersection of the arts, communication, and education.

Her work is helping to shape education in the digital era. She works at the University of Toledo’s Learning Ventures, where she is Sr. Instructional Designer and Coordinator for Special Projects. She is also an Adjunct Instructor in the Departments of Art and Communication at UT. She is a recipient of two degrees from the University of Toledo: a B.A. in Art and an M.Ed. in Instructional Technology.

This year, Ballard was recognized by Blackboard, the online course management company, with two awards honoring her talent in course design. She and former UT Lecturer Seder Burns were honored for their class ART 1070:901 – Fundamentals of Digital Media. It was chosen as a winner of 2013 Blackboard Catalyst Award – Exemplary Course as well as a Directors’ Choice for Courses with Distinction.

She has also been recognized with a Shining Star Award by the University of Toledo for her focus on students. This recognition is given to faculty and staff who have demonstrated above and beyond commitment to student-centeredness by making outstanding contributions to the student experience.

Ballard is also a Trustee of the Collegian Media Foundation Board, a Sustaining Member of the Toledo AIGA, and a Member of the University Women’s Commission.

For more information:

Kelly McGilvery
College of Communication and the Arts
University of Toledo