Department of Theatre, Film, and Digital Production faculty reel in awards

Author: Sandra Baltazar Martinez
October 26, 2020

Some faculty and staff were recognized for their lifetime achievements, others for efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic.    

Six staff members recognized 

The Citizens University Committee kicked off its fall scholarship fundraiser by recognizing the contributions of six Department of Theatre, Film, and Digital Production staff members. (Photo Courtesy of Jeff Kraus)

The Citizens University Committee kicked off its fall scholarship fundraiser by recognizing the contributions of six staff members: Alan A. Call, technical director; Alif Emil Marchi, lighting and sound supervisor; Joshua Stephenson, ’17, scene shop foreman; Kerry Jones, ’84, scenic artist and properties designer; Landis M. York, costume shop manager and costume designer; and Maria Hong, costume shop assistant.

While the pandemic forced many university employees to operate remotely, essential workers remained on campus. Six theatre department employees volunteered to work with UCR’s Environmental Health and Safety unit to design and sew nearly 1,000 face coverings for those colleagues. 

“With personal protective equipment in short supply nationwide, these dedicated employees took it upon themselves to produce hundreds of masks to keep UCR police and other essential UCR staff who were required to remain on campus safe,” Citizens University Committee members wrote in an email.

The Citizens University Committee was founded by community leaders in 1948 to help bring a UC campus to Riverside. Over the decades the committee has supported the campus in many ways, including by creating the Judge John Gabbert Scholarship Fund.  

The fall kickoff also honored Riverside Mayor Rusty Bailey. 

Donate Life Hollywood Inspire Award

Robin Uriel Russin

Robin Uriel Russin, playwright and screenwriter, received the Donate Life Hollywood Inspire Award from OneLegacy, a Southern California-based organ procurement center, for co-writing “2 Hearts,” a story about a lung transplant and how it changed two families. His work was based on a true story.

“I am truly delighted to have received this recognition,” Russin said. “As a filmmaker, the challenge is always to provide something meaningful as well as entertaining. In this case, the film is based on a true story of two families who had never known one another and were united by an act of selfless organ donation that unexpectedly brought new love and hope into their lives.”

Donate Life Hollywood serves as a liaison between the organ donation community and the entertainment industry in order to tell authentic and empowering stories.  

Robin has written, produced, and directed for film, TV, and the theater, including Warner Bros.’ “On Deadly Ground”; “America’s Most Wanted” on Fox; and “Vital Signs” on ABC. His original one-hour pilot script about King David, “Beloved,” was adapted by ABC as “Of Kings and Prophets.” 

Distinguished Alumna Award

Patricia Cardoso

Patricia Cardoso, a professor of theatre, film, and digital production, received the Distinguished Alumna award from the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television. 

Cardoso received an MFA from UCLA in 1994.

“I am honored to receive the UCLA TFT Distinguished Alumna Award and thrilled to share my experiences with the students,” Cardoso said. “I knew nothing about filmmaking before I stepped into campus and didn’t speak much English, but despite this, at UCLA, I learned my craft, found my voice as a storyteller and developed lifelong friendships.”

Cardoso’s 2002 film “Real Women Have Curves” was a critical and box-office success. The film, which has become a landmark of Latino cinema, was added to the Library of Congress’ National Film Registry in 2019, making Cardoso the first Latina director to have that honor.