Eight Arts & Architecture alumni to return to campus to receive awards on Nov. 1

October 22, 2019

The College of Arts and Architecture at Penn State will honor eight alumni during its annual Alumni Awards Ceremony at 4:15 p.m. Friday, Nov. 1, in the Palmer Lipcon Auditorium, Palmer Museum of Art on the University Park campus. The Arts and Architecture Alumni Awards were established more than 30 years ago with the purpose of recognizing the career achievements of Penn State alumni in the arts and design disciplines. The Nov. 1 ceremony is open to the public.

This year’s awardees include Heather Darcy Bhandari, 1999 master of fine arts, art, independent curator and programming director of Art World Conference; Colleen Bonniol, 1987 bachelor of arts in theater, owner, CEO and executive for MODE Studios; Craig Byers, 1985 bachelor of arts in graphic design, design director in Gensler’s Brand Experience Studio; Michael T. Pinto, 1993 bachelor in architecture, design principal at NAC Architecture; Keli Rylance, 1996 doctorate in art history, head librarian at St. Louis Art Museum; Michael Schutz, 2002 bachelor of music, music and bachelor of science in computer science, associate professor of music cognition/percussion at McMaster University; and Bob Earl, 1986 bachelor of science in landscape architecture; and Don Hoover, 1980 bachelor of science in landscape architecture, cofounders of OCULUS Urban Design Landscape Architecture.

While on campus, the returning alumni connect with students and faculty and often deliver lectures. Read more about their accomplishments below.

Heather Darcy Bhandari

Bhandari is an independent curator; a co-founder of the project-based curatorial team and podcast, The Remix; an adjunct lecturer at Brown University; and the programming director of Art World Conference (AWC), a new business and financial literacy conference for visual artists that debuted in New York City in April 2019. She is also the author of the bookART/WORK, published by Simon and Schuster.

Colleen Bonniol

Bonniol is the owner, CEO, and executive for MODE Studios, a Seattle-based company specializing in media and interactive design. MODE has rendered top-tier applications that span the global architectural, entertainment, and marketing industries. They are a turnkey solution provider for immersive architectural installations, live events, broadcast, experiential marketing, and interactive experiences.

Craig Byers

Byers is the design director in Gensler’s Brand Experience Studio, based in New York. With power, meaning, and a holistic view, Craig leads brand creation and activation projects across all categories of business. He has acquired more than 25 years of experience in business and creative problem-solving, gained through working with diverse industries.

Bob Earl and Don Hoover

Long-time collaborators Earl and Hoover are the co-founders of OCULUS Urban Design Landscape Architecture. Earl and Hoover co-founded OCULUS in 1993 in Washington D.C., where Hoover oversees the design, management, and implementation of a wide range of design and planning projects. Earl is now the sole director of studios in Sydney and Melbourne, with a close affiliation and collaboration with the OCULUS Washington D.C. studio working on specific projects and competitions.

Michael T. Pinto

Pinto has defined his 25-year career through practice driven by social purpose. His architecture focuses on disadvantaged communities, at-risk youth, educational systems, urban food systems, and our environment as an imperative service to society. As design principal at NAC Architecture in Los Angeles, Pinto leads design from a position that places strong emphasis on community engagement, and he has guided teams to more than 30 design awards in his career.

Keli Rylance

Rylance is the head librarian at the Saint Louis Art Museum. An archivist and art historian, she started her career teaching art history at Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota, and the University of Wisconsin-Stout in Menomonie, Wisconsin. A postdoctoral fellowship at the Newberry Library kindled a desire to expand her research to include printing/book history and to pursue advanced training in archives/special collections management.

Michael Schutz

Schutz is currently associate professor of music cognition/percussion at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, where he conducts the percussion ensemble and teaches courses on music perception and cognition. He recently received the title of University Scholar in recognition of his innovative work bridging music performance and music perception. Prior to McMaster, Schultz spent five years as director of percussion studies at Longwood University, taught percussion at Virginia Commonwealth University, and performed frequently with the Roanoke Symphony, Opera on the James, Oratorio Society of Virginia, and the Lynchburg Symphony.


Last Updated October 22, 2019