December 11, 2017  

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Southern Miss Dance Student Awarded Scholarship from National Museum of Women in the Arts

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Gabriela Salazar

Gabriela Salazar, a University of Southern Mississippi dance major from Mobile, Ala. was recently awarded a scholarship from the Mississippi State Committee of the National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA). The Committee annually awards a $500 scholarship to young women studying the arts, and this year, future dance educator Salazar is the only dance recipient from the scholarship in the state of Mississippi.

The NMWA, located in Washington, D.C., is the only museum dedicated to celebrating the achievements of women in the visual, performing and literary arts by housing, exhibiting, preserving and researching art by women. Each year, the museum awards scholarships to individuals in the performing arts who demonstrate high talent and abilities, as well as a respectable grade point average. Nominations are made by a committee of teachers from colleges and universities in the state, with committee members from the museum selecting the winner.

This year’s banquet was held at the Mississippi Governor's Mansion for students who performed and received recognition.

“I am very thankful for receiving this scholarship. Any contribution to my education is a great help, and it makes me feel good that others believe and are invested in my development as an artist and future educator,” Salazar said. “I became a dance major because dance has always been at the center of my life. In high school, I was part of an excellent dance program which gave me so much artistic freedom and confidence that it just felt wrong not to continue my dance education.”

One of the committee members who nominated Salazar is Southern Miss dance professor Stacy Reischman Fletcher.

“I am always happy when I can celebrate the good work of one of our majors,” Fletcher said. “I’ve worked with Gabriela and she is absolutely deserving. It’s a point of pride when I look at how well students have done in not only my classes, but in all of their classes.”

Salazar plans to teach in a public high school after she completes her degree, preferably near her hometown.

“My life goal is to make a difference in at least one person’s life through dance education. I advise other dance majors or incoming dance students to really invest yourself in your work,” Salazar said. “Make your dancing, art, and learning relevant to your own life and a reflection of what you are. This way, your effort will always be worthwhile and you will have a better overall experience.”

For information about the USM Department of Dance, visit www.usm.edu/dance.