Scott Burrell has been named director of The Mrs. H.D. Dear Sr. and Alice E. Dear School of Creative and Performing Arts at Northwestern State University. Brian Gabrial will remain as interim head of the Department of New Media, Journalism and Communication Arts and Terrie Sanders has been named as interim head of the Department of Music. The appointments have been approved by the Board of Supervisors for the University of Louisiana System.
Burrell recently coordinated a $500,000 renovation to NSU’s A.A. Fredricks Auditorium that will enhance the facility which hosts a variety of university and community events.
Before becoming Director, Burrell was the head of the NSU Theatre and Dance program for 12 years. Burrell has been a member of the theatre faculty since 1998. Under his guidance the theatre/dance program grew its enrollment by 30%, established a BFA in Dance, four faculty lines were created and over $300,000 in grant funds were awarded.
Burrell has graduated a number of successful students who have moved into all areas of professional theatre and dance. Before the pandemic, there were five NSU Theatre/Dance alum on Broadway. His educational background includes a B.A in Theatre from Catawba College and an M.F.A. in Directing from Virginia Commonwealth University.
He has served in a number of leadership roles at Northwestern including the University Registrar Search Committee Chair, Grievance Committee Chair, Vice President of the Faculty Senate, and many other committee memberships. He was also awarded the NSU Faculty Advisor of the Year in 2017. Burrell is a member of the University of Louisiana System’s Management and Leadership Institute. Institute participants include faculty and staff members from each of the System’s nine member institutions who have exhibited upper management potential and a desire for leadership development.
Burrell holds a Teacher Certification in the Michael Chekhov Acting Technique.
Gabrial served as interim department head in 2019-20. Over the past year, Students and faculty in the department were awarded a Bronze Telly Award in the Non-Broadcast Educational Institution category for a March 19 NSU-TV Newscast. Gabrial served as executive advisor for the newscast. He joined NSU’s faculty two years ago as the Erbon and Marie Wise Endowed Chair in Journalism. Gabrial serves as chair of the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee.
He was a member of the journalism faculty at Concordia University from 2004 to 2018. Gabrial was the Mitchell V. Charnley Visiting Professor of Journalism at the University of Minnesota in 2011-12.
Gabrial was a news producer at RFD-TV, KETV-TV in Omaha, Nebraska, and at KSTP-TV and KARE-TV in Minneapolis. He was also a research project manager for the Minneapolis-based National Jury Project.
He earned a bachelor’s degree at Creighton University and a master’s and doctorate at the University of Minnesota.
Gabrial was the recipient of the Hazel Dicken-Garcia Award for Distinguished Scholarship in Journalism History, presented at the Symposium on the 19th-century press, the Civil War, and Free Expression, University of Tennessee, Chattanooga. He is the author of the book “The Press and Slavery in America, 1791-1859: The Melancholy Effect of Popular Excitement” published by the University of South Carolina Press. He has published four peer reviewed journal articles, two co-authored articles and seven book chapters along with book reviews and more than two dozen professional presentations along with participating in panels at professional conferences.
Sanders has been a member of NSU’s faculty since 1992, teaching voice and vocal pedagogy. She holds degrees from Emmanuel College, Lee University and Northwestern State University. She also holds a certification with the McClosky Institute of Voice and is a Master Teacher for that organization. Sanders is a doctoral student at the University of Southern Mississippi.
Sanders is an active performer and lecturer. As a soloist, some of her Oratorio appearances include Carl Orff’s “Carmina Burana,” Handel’s “Messiah,” Poulenc’s “Gloria,” Brahms’ “German Requiem,” Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Requiem,” Haydn’s “Nelson Mass,” Bach’s “Magnificat,” Mozart’s “Requiem,” Vaughn Williams’ “Hodie,” Mendelsohn’s “Elijah” and Honegger’s “King David.” Her opera performances include Puccini’s “Gianni Schicchi” and “La Bohѐme,” Menotti’s “The Telephone” and Warren Martin’s “The True Story of Cinderella.”
Sanders has been a member of the Summer Seminar Faculty for the McClosky Institute of Voice based in Boston since 2005. She has presented at state, regional and international conferences including the International Congress of Voice Teachers (2012 and 2017) and the Southern Region Conference for the National Association of Teachers of Singing (2014). She regularly presents master classes and lectures throughout the state and region on alignment, relaxation and breathing techniques for the singer.
Sanders has served as coordinator of academic advising activities for the School of Creative and Performing Arts and the program coordinator for the BM degrees. She was chair of the Music Curriculum Committee. Sanders is the Danny and Lenn Dohmann Endowed Professor for 2020-21. She is a two-time recipient of the Donald F. Derby Endowed Professorship and was the 2017 recipient of the Joanna Magale Endowed Professorship, which funded an invitation to present at the 2017 International Congress of Voice Teachers in Stockholm, Sweden.