For Brian Havey, music is more like a “lifestyle or religion” than an academic pursuit that will lead to a job.
“The last thing I want is for music to feel like a job,” Havey said. His love and passion for music is what has distinguished the pianist as the 2009 Wolfson Scholar, which is awarded to the outstanding graduating senior.
The award is presented each year in memory of Cal State Northridge’s first vice president, Leo Wolfson. Not only must the student have an exceptional academic record, but he or she must have made significant contributions to CSUN or to the community through co-curricular and extra-curricular activities.
Havey, a Northridge resident and music major in the Jazz Studies program, is a highly developed composer with a 4.0 GPA. He has contributed several extended compositions for the Jazz A Band’s last student CD, “Rain Song.”
The 24-year-old credits homeschooling with helping him develop “self-discipline” at an early age. His early passions included drawing and chess. He discovered music at 14, studying on his own for two years before beginning classical piano lessons. He earned an associate of arts degree in music at Antelope Valley College and transferred to CSUN. Although neither of his parents are musicians, Havey said his mother and late father supported and encouraged his love of music.
“I started learning music by ear, which has actually helped me out a lot now that I’m playing jazz,” Havey noted. He said his mother enrolled him in a parks and recreation music program and later he took private piano lessons. He has been accepted into a music master’s program at the California Institute for the Arts. He said he would like to eventually earn a doctorate and become a professor and teach jazz.
Other convocation presentations will include the 2009 Nathan O. Freedman Memorial Award for Outstanding Graduate Student to:
• Melissa Baughn of Northridge, a geography major and prolific researcher with an overall 4.0 GPA. Awarded CSUN’s first student Fulbright Fellowship, as well as the California Pre-Doctoral Fellowhip, Baughn has worked as a U.S. cultural ambassador to Indonesia, teaching English at a public high school in West Java and implementing Fulbright programs.
She has served as an intern at Harvard University’s Islam in the West Program. She traveled to Paris and worked with professors, wrote grants, analyzed data and managed research assistants. The internship turned into a research assistantship where she helped develop the Web site www.euro-islam.info. She has been promoted to Webmaster. She has served as a teaching associate in CSUN’s Geography Department and a weather lab instructor. Her thesis provides a postmodern interpretation of tourism production in Tijuana, discussing the dimensions of American culture that created and continue to support vice tourism south of the border. She has been selected as the 2009 U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholar and will spend the upcoming summer studying Turkish at the Georgetown McGhee Center for Eastern Mediterranean Studies in Alanya, Turkey. When she returns, she plans to pursue her doctorate.
Association of Retired Faculty Memorial Awards will be presented to:
• Music composition major David Dominique of Los Angeles, who achieved a 4.0 GPA in addition to composing and performing orchestral and electro-acoustic chamber music. Dominique has presented musicological research at CSUN’s Annual Research Symposium and also won a departmental award allowing his string quartet to be recorded by the highly regarded Nimbus Ensemble.
• Marine biology major Jennifer Granneman of Northridge, who has earned a 4.0 GPA in pursuit of her graduate degree, while conducting studies in fish ecology. Certified by the American Association of Underwater Scientists, Granneman has worked as a National Science Foundation REU (Research Experience for Undergraduates) scholar in Alaska, and participated in a CSU Long Beach program where students and faculty live at a marine lab on Catalina Island for 15 weeks.
• Adapted physical activity major Yoshimasa Ozaki of Northridge, who has attained a 3.64 GPA working at the Center of Achievement in student staff and as clinical supervisor. Demonstrating academic intelligence in adapted therapeutic exercise, Ozaki won 1st place in the 13th Annual Student Research & Creative Works Symposium, presenting preliminary research study. He also has taken a leadership role among graduate teaching associates. His research will assist in developing exercise treatment for people who have suffered strokes.
• English literature major Cesar Soto of Sylmar, who has maintained a 3.85 GPA. He is conducting an independent study course of his own design on the Godwin-Shelley literary circle and working as a teaching associate. Soto has served as vice president for the Iota Chi chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, the international English Honors society, and has presented at various literary conferences including two international peer reviewed academic conferences.