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February 09, 2016

Donna Brink Fox honored with Lifetime Achievement Award

Donna Fox
Donna Brink Fox

Donna Brink Fox, senior associate dean of academic affairs at the Eastman School of Music, will receive this year’s Susan B. Anthony Lifetime Achievement Award for her work as a champion of music education. The award will be given on Saturday, February 6, at the Susan B. Anthony Legacy Brunch, which celebrates Anthony’s campaigns for equal rights and to win women admission to the University in 1900.

“The Rochester community, University, and Eastman School of Music have all benefitted tremendously from Professor Fox’s contributions as a musician, scholar, educator, and administrator,” says Catherine Cerulli, director of the University’s Susan B. Anthony Center. “Her work in early childhood music education has helped transform the lives of students and families in our region and beyond.”

Shortly after arriving at Eastman in 1984, Fox designed an early childhood music program for the Eastman Community Music School. The program, which Fox continues to direct, is currently in its 31st year and uses techniques and goals that have been replicated by programs across the country.
“She ventured out into somewhat uncharted waters with this initiative, but her enthusiasm and obvious expertise prompted our full support,” says Vincent Lenti, professor of piano and Eastman School historian.

Student Awards

Eight undergraduate students will receive awards and scholarships at this year’s event.

Susan B. Anthony Scholarship

Natalie Fuentes Natalie Fuentes of Ontario, California, a junior majoring in American Sign Language and brain and cognitive sciences


Caprecia Singleton Caprecia Singleton of Wichita, Kansas, a junior majoring in health, behavior, and society as well as human development


Sue S. Stewart Leadership and Community Service Award

Angela Remus Angela Remus of Des Plaines, Illinois, a senior majoring in international relations and Spanish


Dean Ruth A. Merrill Award

Crystal ColonCrystal Colon of Rochester, a junior majoring in English


Susan B. Anthony Prize

Bonnie NortzBonnie Nortz of Fairport, New York, a student in the University’s Take Five program studying math and linguistics


Jane R. Plitt Award

Sarah VogelSarah Vogel of Bloomfield, New Jersey, a senior majoring in psychology and French


Fannie Bigelow Prize

Shenice Morris Shenice Morris of Hartford, Connecticut, a senior majoring in health, behavior, and society as well as Spanish


Sequoia KempSequoia Kemp of DeWitt, New York, a senior majoring in health, behavior, and society

Fox’s interest in childhood music education began while she was working on her master’s degree in music at Ohio University and became familiar with a nearby children’s center. Later, while working on her doctorate at Ohio State University, she began to study how children’s interactions with their parents affected their vocal patterns.

“I’ve always been interested in the way music impacted people and how it made a difference in people’s lives. I want music to mean something to people,” says Fox. “So when I came to Rochester, I wanted to give parents ideas on how to incorporate music into everyday activities like traveling in the car or preparing for bedtime.”

As a member of the faculty at Eastman, Fox has taught undergraduate and graduate classes in music education, served as the doctoral academic advisor in music education, and advised the research projects of doctoral and master’s students, including 26 dissertations. In 1992, she founded the summer Orff Schulwerk Teacher Education course, a program she continues to direct. In 1998, she was named the Eisenhart Professor of Music Education, becoming Eastman’s first endowed professor.

In her latest role as senior associate dean of academic and student affairs, Fox is responsible for faculty affairs, including promotion and tenure reviews, annual activity reports, and hiring of part-time faculty. She also supervises the student program areas of student life, academic affairs, and residential life. She served several terms on the Faculty Senate and recently cochaired the Middle States reaccreditation process for the University.

Fox is the 15th woman to receive the Susan B. Anthony Lifetime Achievement Award. Prior recipients include Linda Chaudron, senior associate dean for diversity at the School of Medicine and Dentistry; the late Nora Bredes, former New York legislator and past director of the Susan B. Anthony Center; and the late Esther Conwell ’45, winner of the 2010 National Medal of Science and research professor of chemistry.

“I am tremendously honored by this recognition and to be associated with Susan B. Anthony’s legacy here at the University,” says Fox, who became acquainted with the center when her daughter Beth studied at Eastman. In 2000, Beth was awarded the center’s Fannie Bigelow Prize for her work in the University’s Safe Zone Campaign. The Bigelow Prize is one of six awards presented to students at the center’s annual event.

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