Jamie Elise Howe, a senior majoring in music education, has received the Student Laureate Award for 2004 from the Lincoln Academy of Illinois.
Howe has maintained a nearly perfect grade point average during her four undergraduate years.
The Student Laureate Award recognizes outstanding seniors from each of the four-year degree-granting institutions of higher learning in Illinois. Student Laureates are honored for excellence in curricular and extracurricular activities.
The Student Laureate Medallion is given each year, along with a $150 honorarium and a certificate of achievement to each winner. This year, 51 students were honored in a ceremony in the Hall of Representatives, Old State Capitol, in Springfield.
Peter Webster, John Beattie Professor and associate dean of academic affairs for the School of Music, and Maud Hickey, assistant professor of music education and technology, nominated Howe for the award because of her two-year internship in Northwestern’s “Partnerships Through the Arts” (PTA) program which is part of the University’s music education program.
As a PTA intern, Howe worked with both artists and Chicago Public School teachers to create interesting lessons for students. She arranged for Northwestern’s Purple Haze, a student-run a cappella group with which she sings and was co-music director for two years, to perform at a Chicago Public School for an audience of 400 children aged 10 through 14, and she also led a workshop for selected students after the performance.
Howe, a voice student and an accomplished pianist, was one of the leaders who revived the formerly small and inactive Music Educators National Conference (MENC) student chapter and transformed it into a vibrant student community for all students who are interested in teaching and learning.
The organization they founded is now called the Music Learning Community (MLC) and encompasses the student chapters of MENC, American String Teachers Association (ASTA) and American Choral Directors Association (ACDA). It is open to all students at the University and is not specific to music majors. MLC’s mission is to establish a community of musicians who are dedicated to sharing and enhancing music making, and who strive for continuous learning and educating in the classroom and community. The new organization received an award last year for greatest growth among collegiate chapters and is now under new leadership.
In addition to student teaching this year, Howe was selected to work as an intern with Voices of the Academy, a select chorus of 50 of the finest high school singers in the Chicago area, founded in 2004 by director and Northwestern Voice Professor Bruce Hall.
Howe, of McLean, Va., plans to seek a position at a public school or arts organization or as a church music director following her June 2005 graduation. She plans to eventually earn a master’s degree.