UNCSA graduates reflect on training, share future plans

A Ukrainian filmmaker's unconventional path to the silver screen, a contemporary dancer choreographing her own success through interdisciplinary work and two Stage Properties graduate students blending tradition and innovation are among the hundreds of UNCSA High School and University graduates set to be honored Saturday, May 18.

These Fighting Pickles have accomplished a lot during their time at UNCSA — using their training to sharpen their crafts and set their careers in motion. Read more about each student’s journey below.

Dance 2024 graduate Claire Schiffer

Beyond the dance studio: How Claire Schiffer choreographs success
School of dance

Dance graduate Claire Schiffer has done it all. Through exploration and risk-taking, she dove into dance, collaboration and leadership. Now she’s on the precipice of launching her career and feels prepared to enter the dance industry; the future is just waiting to be choreographed.


Design and Production 2024 graduates  Becky Hicks and Henry Beard

UNCSA M.F.A. graduates blend tradition and innovation in Stage Properties
School of design and production

During their time in the graduate Stage Properties concentration, both Henry Beard and Becky Hicks explored how traditional methods can meet modern innovation. Beard's focus on blacksmithing for props artisans and Hicks' on exploring conservation and restoration techniques are rooted in real-world challenges encountered during productions.


2024 School of Drama graduate Aphrodite Armstrong

Rising star: The inspiring journey of Drama graduate Aphrodite Armstrong
School of drama

With notable accomplishments early in her career such as a South by Southwest (SXSW) Special Jury Recognition for Outstanding Performance award and a supporting role in a recent film, Armstrong is poised to take the entertainment industry by storm after graduation.


2024 School of Filmmaking graduate Dimitri Dikhel

Filmmaking grad Dimitri Dikhel's unconventional path to the silver screen
School of filmmaking

When School of Filmmaking graduate student Dimitri Dikhel immigrated to Germany from Ukraine as a child, film played a pivotal role in his life. Movies taught him how to speak German and he fell in love with the universality of cinema. After studying medicine and teaching, he found his path in Creative Producing at UNCSA.


2024 School of Music graduate Gavin Hardy

Slam dunks to symphonies: Gavin Hardy’s path to musical stardom
School of music
Gavin Hardy was Clemmons Middle School’s star basketball player. But he’s always maintained a second passion: classical music. He’s now graduating from UNCSA’s High School Music program as one of the top emerging talents in double bass.

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UNCSA graduate celebrating

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