March 13, 2017

Wayne State's College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts Celebrates 38th Arts Achievement Awards March 25

WHAT: Outstanding alumni and advocates of Wayne State University’s College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts will be honored for their activism in the arts and communication, and for achievements in their respective fields during CFPCA’S 38th Arts Achievement Awards.

WHO: WSU alumni, students and interested parties — the event is free and open to the public. RSVP by March 21.

2017 nominees include:

Don Gonyea – Career Achievement Award in the Field of Communication
Susan Rossen – Career Achievement Award in the Field of Art and Art History
Charlotte Merkerson – Career Achievement Award in the Field of Music
Dr. Phillip Moss – Career Achievement Award in the Field of Theatre
William “Bill” Prady – CFPCA Arts Advocacy Award

WHEN: Saturday, March 25, 2017 from 3 to 5 p.m. 

WHERE: Student Center Ballroom, 5221 Gullen Mall, Detroit, MI 48202

MEDIA OPPORTUNITIES: Media representatives planning to cover the Arts Achievement Awards should contact Da'Stanza Murphy at 313-577-5448 or


Don Gonyea (Career Achievement Award in the Field of Communication) is an NPR national political correspondent based in Washington, D.C. He spends much of his time traveling throughout the United States covering campaigns, elections and the political climate. Gonyea got his start at NPR reporting from Detroit on labor unions and the automobile industry. Gonyea also reported on the development of alternative fuel and hybrid-powered automobiles, Dr. Jack Kevorkian's assisted-suicide crusade, and the 1999 closing of Detroit's Tiger Stadium. A native of Monroe, Michigan, Gonyea is an honors graduate of Michigan State University.


Susan F. Rossen (Career Achievement Award in the Field of Art and Art History) is an educator, curator and the first publisher at the Detroit Institute of Arts. In 1971, she earned a master's degree in art history at Wayne State University. Rossen then directed the Publications Department of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she shepherded over 200 publications into print, a number of which garnered awards for content, design and production. Rossen has been active in the field of museum publishing, organizing national and international conferences as well as teaching, writing and lecturing about the role of publishing in museums.

Charlotte Merkerson (Career Achievement Award in the Field of Music) is a violinist born in Detroit. In 1964, Charlotte was awarded a scholarship to study violin with Mischa Mischakoff, concertmaster of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. It was not until her time at Wayne State that she believed she had a vocation to be a violinist. Merkerson’s first professional engagement was with the Phoenix Symphony in 1978. In 1979, she returned to Detroit, and shortly after became concertmaster at the Michigan Opera Theatre. Some of her most memorable performances with the Michigan Opera Theatre include the Three Tenors’ performance in  Tiger Stadium and five performances as concertmaster with Luciano Pavarotti, one of which was the opening for the Detroit Opera House. 

Dr. Phillip W. Moss (Career Achievement Award in the Theatre) is chair of the creative and performing arts department at University Liggett School, where he oversees curriculum and staff development in drama, music and visual arts in a program that spans pre-K through 12th grades. His instructional duties include courses in acting, directing, scenic design, film, animation and software tools. Moss is a member of the Educational Theatre Association/International Thespian Society, National Arts Educational Association, Americans for the Arts, Michigan Youth Arts Association, and the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

William (Bill) Prady (CFPCA Arts Advocacy Award) is the four-time Emmy-nominated executive producer of The Big Bang Theory, which he co-created in 2007. Prady got his start working at Jim Henson Productions in 1983.  Following his work with Henson, Prady wrote for a number of television comedy and drama series. His first produced episode of series television was an episode of Married... With Children in 1991; his first staff-writing job was on the HBO series Dream On in 1995. In 1997, he joined the writing staff of Dharma & Greg, rising to executive producer and taking over as show runner in 2001. He is a graduate of the Cranbrook School in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, and attended Wayne State University in Detroit.


Da’Stanza Murphy
Phone: 313-577-5448

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