Emerging Scholar Awards


A small number of Emerging Scholar Awards are given to outstanding graduate students and emerging scholars who have an active research interest in the conference themes. The Award provides a strong professional development opportunity for early career academics—meeting experts in the field, interacting with colleagues from other parts of the world, and creating networks and lasting connections. Awardees are invited to attend the conference to present their work and play a critical organizational role in the conference by leading discussions, chairing parallel sessions, and providing assistance in session rooms.

Applications are open to those pursuing research degrees, post- and graduate students, as well as early career faculty.

To apply, follow the link below. You may also view further instructions by selecting our "Step-By-Step Guide."

Final Deadline: 10 March 2020

2020 Award Recipients

​Talia Gritzmacher

​Talia Gritzmacher

Texas Woman’s University, United States

Talia Gritzmacher currently attends Texas Woman’s University (TWU), where she is pursuing her MA in theatre. In the past, she attended the University of Missouri, where she received her BA in theatre with an emphasis in writing for performance in 2019, and Ozarks Technical Community College, where she received her AA in 2017. Talia is currently the assistant director of the TWU Interactive Theatre Troupe. She is the graduate research assistant of Dr. Noah Lelek, aiding in the research of effective nurse-patient communication through the use of interactive theatre. Talia hopes to obtain a doctorate, with the goal of becoming professor in theatre.

​Luis Alcala Galiano

​Luis Alcala Galiano

Universidad Santiago de Compostela, Spain

Luis Alcala Galiano is currently a doctoral student at USC in Spain. One of the two areas of his research focuses on the interaction between visual and written, specifically during 19th English century poetry. At the same time, he is exploring 19th century portraiture from a national as well as an international perspective. It is his belief that it is possible to shed light on every portrait, which not only shows the model but also hides the artist. With history of art as his main background, Luis is also passionate about foreign languages and cultures.

​Elise Kieffer

​Elise Kieffer

Florida State University, United States

Elise Lael Kieffer is a doctoral candidate in arts administration at Florida State University. She holds a master's in public administration and a graduate certificate in nonprofit management from Tennessee State University and a bachelor's of fine arts in musical theatre. After a successful career fundraising for an international nonprofit organization based in New York, NY, Elise relocated to a rural community at the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in Kentucky. There she found her true purpose, exposed to children completely lacking exposure to the arts. She founded Burkesville Academy of Fine Arts (BAFA) to assist the community in filling that artistic void. BAFA is now a thriving arts organization offering year round educational programming and performance opportunities for young people in that Appalachian community. Elise is currently working on her dissertation, researching funding inequities in the Appalachian region of the United States. Her broader research interests focus on funding inequities for small arts organizations serving specific populations and improving technical support for arts administrators within those organizations. She lives in Tallahassee with her husband and two sons.

​Chloe Chatton

​Chloe Chatton

Staffordshire University, United Kingdom

Chloe Jade Chatton is currently pursuing a PhD in art and design at Staffordshire University, after obtaining her BA (Hons) in fine art photography (Staffordshire University) and MA in design management (Northumbria University). Her research interests concern gender disparity within contemporary art, with emphasis on institutional and curatorial structures. She is also a practicing artist and explores the use of artistic language as a means of mitigation, with an expressive interest in how this is transposed through photography. Chloe currently lives with her wife, two children, and Tink (their cat) in Stoke-On-Trent, Staffordshire.

Judith Lovell

Judith Lovell

Charles Darwin University, Australia

Dr. Judith Lovell’s expertise is in the multidisciplinary and collaborative uses of research and evaluation to enhance social, environmental, cultural, and economic capabilities in Australian and international societies. Judith has an interest in realist philosophy and creative interventions as means to understand, inform and support social, educational, and economic participation. Based in Alice Springs, Australia, she leads a workforce development program for Creative Industries and coordinates local health, well being, and language research for a national research team. Utilizing the multidisciplinary Studio360, she facilitates projects that initiate problem solving and innovation through processes including public engagement and participation in the arts.

Alba García Martínez

Alba García Martínez

University of Barcelona, Spain

Alba García Martínez (Alba Refulgente) works and lives in Badalona, a residential city near Barcelona, an aspect that has influenced her artistic career. She studied fine arts at the University of Barcelona, where she completed her studies with a master's degree in artistic creation with honorable mention. She is currently pursuing a PhD on the game as an artistic medium at the same university with the FPU scholarship for young researchers and teaches several classes on sculptural processes. She has been awarded with several prizes such as the Werner Töni and the Microresidencia in the Cuauht of Azuqueca. She has permanent work at the U Arts Space of Chengdu (China) and La Doce de Boiro (A Coruña, Spain). She is curator of the winning negOCIO exhibition and winner of the III Buit Blanc at the CC Las Cigarreras de Alicante (2018).

​Tawnya Renelle

​Tawnya Renelle

University of Glasgow, United Kingdom

Tawnya Selene Renelle is a poet from Bellingham, Washington in the USA. She currently lives in Glasgow, Scotland where she is working on her DFA in creative writing at the University of Glasgow. In May 2019, she published her first collection of experimental poetry, this exquisite corpse, with Calenture Press and embarked on a three-week tour of England, Ireland, and Scotland. Tawnya focuses on hybrid and experimental forms and is currently working on a textbook to inspire, educate, and bring awareness to the genre. When she isn’t writing, she loves cooking, going to gigs, knitting, and camping in the summertime.

​Alison Turner

​Alison Turner

University of Denver, United States

Alison Turner is a PhD candidate in literary studies at the University of Denver interested in community literacy, historical fiction of the American Old West, community-engaged scholarship, and archives. Her critical work appears in Estrema: Interdisciplinary Review for the Humanities, the World Literature Today blog, and Short Fiction in Theory and Practice, and she has published creative work in Wordrunner eChapbooks, Little Patuxent Review, Meridian, and Bacopa Literary Review, among others. She has worked in community literacy spaces for nearly a decade, most recently at a women's day shelter in Denver, and she is the co-host and co-creator of the When you are homeless podcast miniseries.

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​Vincentziu Puscasu

​Vincentziu Puscasu

University of Galati, Romania

Vincentziu Puscasu is a young Romanian researcher and associate professor at "Dunarea de Jos" University of Galati. He pursues his doctoral degree (final year) at The Center of Excellence in Image Studies, University of Bucharest, working on a thesis that investigates the various curatorial instances and archetypes in Romanian contemporary art exhibitions. His main fields of expertise are art history, curatorship, and contemporary arts. Mr. Puscasu has proven himself an active curator, organizing several art exhibitions and events in his home country, starting from 2015 to present. In 2019 he was appointed as a custodian of the Romanian Pavillion ("Unfinished Conversations on the Weight of Absence" - exhibition project) at the 58th edition of La Biennale di Venezia. He also participates as a presenter at various national and international conferences, willing to contribute and accumulate knowledge from the academic debates that focus the contemporary art scene.

​Jonathan Hannon

NUI Galway, Ireland

Jonathan Hannon is a doctoral candidate at the School of Sociology and Political Science at NUI Galway. His research is multi-disciplinary, encompassing applied sociology, art and cultural history, and ethnography with a particular focus on the intersection of art and politics as a form of social deviancy. His research interests encompass a wide range of topics including social and artistic movements, cultural history, contemporary modernist Irish theatre, and the life and works of playwright Tom Murphy. Jonathan is a member of the Punk Scholars Network and the archivist of the Galway Archaeological and Historical Society.

​Emily Keenlyside

​Emily Keenlyside

Concordia University, Canada

Emily Keenlyside is a doctoral candidate in art education at Concordia University in Montreal. With a research focus on critical adult learning in art museums and galleries, her dissertation project examines educators’ work-related learning as it pertains to the paradigm shifts shaping their institutions’ discourse and practices. Most recently Emily co-coordinated education programming at Phi Foundation for Contemporary Art and currently trains guides at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. Emily has presented internationally and published in Canadian Review of Art Education, Muséologies, Studies in Art Education, and an upcoming issue of Canadian Journal for the Study of Adult Education.

Luís Müller Posca

Luís Müller Posca

University of Brasilia and Federal University of Roraima, Brazil

Luís Müller Posca is PhD student in visual arts at the University of Brasilia – UNB, and he has a master's degree in arts from the Federal University of Uberlândia - UFU and a degree in visual arts (Brazil). Luís is an assistant permanent professor in the Visual Arts Department at the Federal University of Roraima – UFRR (Brazil), working on the fronts of sculpture, three-dimensionality, art teaching, and creativity. As an artist, he is currently conducting research in three-dimensional language. He has experience in visual arts and arts education. He brings to University the experience gained from almost ten years of acting in Art Teaching in all segments of Public Basic Education. Currently, Luís develops research in the line of image, visualities, and urbanities, specifically about the urban imaginary in the city of Boa Vista - Roraima (Brazil) after the Venezuelan migratory flow. He has also developed works on art teaching, teacher training, and the use of technologies for inclusion in the visual arts.

​Chantal Hassard

University of Amsterdam, Netherlands

Chantal Hassard is a Canadian artist and filmmaker based in the Netherlands currently pursuing a master's degree of artistic research at the University of Amsterdam. Her work interrogates the relationship between an artwork, the artist, and it’s viewer, which is interpreted in parallel with law, governance, and the body politic, often taking the form of participatory paintings. Recent engagement with the Amsterdam Squatter’s Movement at the International Institute of Social History has revealed paintbombs as archived activist objects which continue to perform gestures of social resistance alongside the movement today.

​Neelam Singh

​Neelam Singh

University of the South Pacific, Fiji

Neelam Singh has been a lecturer in education at the School of Education, Fiji National University in Fiji for 7 years. Her qualifications include a master’s degree in education, a postgraduate diploma in education, a bachelor's of education-primary, and a diploma in youth in development work from the University of the South Pacific, Fiji. Neelam is also currently a full time PhD student in pacific studies in Fiji. She has been awarded the Pacific Scholarship for Excellence in Research and Innovation to complete her PhD.

Originally from Lautoka, Fiji, Neelam has nineteen years of teaching experience including primary and tertiary teaching. She has presented her research at local and international conferences. Her research and teaching interests include art education, indigenous art education, traditional and cultural knowledge, and teacher education. Neelam has research publications, and she also takes keen interest in poetry writing and has several online publications of her poems. She launched her first collection of poetry in 2019. As a budding researcher/scholar, Neelam hopes to encourage those around her that it is never too late to achieve one’s dreams.

Trina Harlow

Trina Harlow

Kansas State University, United States

Dr. Trina Harlow, an assistant professor and coordinator of the art education program at Kansas State University, has served as an arts teacher for 27 years. She is involved with the International Folk Art Alliance in New Mexico, president-elect of the NAEA Public Policy and Arts Administration Group, and serves on the NAEA Professional Learning through Research appointed group. She recently edited Journey to Refuge: Exploring Refugees, Understanding Trauma, and Best Practices for Newcomers and Schools and co-directed a landmark documentary film, Refuge in the Heartland, both advocating for art’s position in educational settings for recent immigrant students. She is a state, national, and international speaker and is a tireless international advocate for art education.

Hannah Entwisle Chapuisat

Hannah Entwisle Chapuisat

University of the Arts London, United Kingdom

Hannah Entwisle Chapuisat is a doctoral candidate at the University of the Arts London, Chelsea College of Arts, and co-founder of DISPLACEMENT: Uncertain Journeys. Her research aims to propose potential strategies for artists seeking to contribute to intergovernmental efforts to protect disaster displaced people. Hannah holds a BA in peace and global studies from Earlham College, a JD in law from the University of Toronto, and an MA in critical curatorial cybermedia studies from the Geneva University of Art and Design. She also continues to work with the United Nations and NGOs on issues related to humanitarian affairs and displaced persons.

In Their Words

It was my second time chairing a Common Ground Conference and it was great to get a new experience while also improving my skills and learning more about conferences."

Tatjana Portnova, 2017 Awardee

I found it incredibly enriching being able to hear from so many different scholars and experts about their research and passions in the field. It was enlightening and rewarding to be present as part of the conference.

2017 Awardee

I really appreciate having the possibility to chat with and hear all these wonderful people. This is not a vertical dynamic, we all were treated the same and that made possible for us students to talk with amazing academics and to have their comments on our work."

Silvia Agreda, 2014 Awardee