CNAfME receives Chapter of Excellence Award

Lauren Milburn, treasurer, and Alex Lyons, secretary of CNAfME with the Chapter of Excellence Award

The Department of Music’s National Association for Music Education (NAfME) Collegiate Chapter won a Chapter of Excellence Award for professional development at the Virginia Music Educators Association (VMEA) Professional Development Conference in November.

Two student duets also received the honor of performing during a student recital at the same conference. Jasmine McCormick and Lauren Milburn presented a flute duet, and Kareem Elrefai and Dominick Havens performed a tuba duet.

Jennifer McDonel, faculty adviser and assistant professor of music education, submitted the application for the award and then VMEA Collegiate voted on which collegiate NAfME chapters from the state would receive the different awards.

The Chapter of Excellence Award for Professional Development recognizes collegiate chapters who strive to provide professional development to advance music education. This award was given based on the merits of music education students, who attended the 5th International Conference on Music Learning Theory (MLT) and then shared their experiences to the local NAfME chapter, as well as at the Scholar-Citizen Initiative (SCI) Fall Symposium 2015.

The Gordon Institute for Music Learning (GIML), a music education network focused on music learning and instruction, hosted the MLT conference. The six students who attended were Rachel Colby, Kareem Elrefai, Jasmine McCormick, Lauren Milburn, James Nugent and Zach Wood.

Additionally, four other students, Lauren Faller, Charlotte Hargest, Jesse Lykins, and Alex Lyons, co-presented a session with McDonel and Radford University alumnus Eric Young at the conference.

To attend the GIML sponsored conference, they wrote grants, which were funded by Radford University SCI, the Office of Undergraduate Research and Scholarship (OURS) and the Department of Music.

“At the conference they attended sessions relevant to their own areas of music learning, and had opportunity to construct both personal and shared meaning about music education practice,” McDonel said. “They then were set to the task of making connections between their music education courses, conference sessions, and their civic engagement in the music education community they have entered.”

Collaboratively the students developed a presentation about their experiences at the MLT conference, which they presented in October at Radford University during a collegiate NAfME meeting for all music education students. Also this same month on campus, they shared the presentation at the fall SCI symposium.

The university’s chapter of CNAfME was formerly known as Music Educators National Conference (MENC). It has existed since 1994 and provides two to three workshops per semester for music education students and the general community on topics related to music education.

The organization also advocates for music education. An example of this is that two music education students, Jasmine McCormick and Lauren Milburn, were selected to represent the university at Advocacy Day in February 2016 in Richmond.

McDonel also noted the hard work of junior Kayla Short, who is the president of the university’s chapter.

“She successfully navigated Club Programming Committee’s funding, getting a completely new checking account and names turned over, hotel rooms reserved, car pools organized, and booth times manned so that friendly faces were at the booth greeting people throughout the conference,” McDonel said. “She is a top-notch president, and I am very grateful for her organizational skills and dedication to the chapter. It truly is flourishing under her presidency.”


Dec 9, 2015