An Insider's Look at our Arts Administration Students


Moneeb Iqbal, Annual Giving Officer

Graduating year: 2018

Hometown: Woodbridge, VA

Bachelor's Degree: B.M. in Viola Performance

Master's Degree: Arts Administration

Share with us your most memorable moment here at UA.

I had a project with Ms. Claudia Coleman in Fundraising and Resource Management where we had to fundraise money for a non-profit of our choosing. That project was my first practical experience in the Development and Fundraising field. I learned so much about myself because I was forced to be creative, methodical, persistent, and self-starting in my approach. I attribute a lot of where I am to Ms. Coleman and that project. I'd highly recommend this to anyone interested in pursuing a career in Fundraising.

What is your role in the Cleveland Orchestra?

I was just hired by The Cleveland Orchestra in early October as an Annual Giving Officer. My job is mostly about donor acquisition and bringing in/back new or lapsing donors. My interest in fundraising really developed at the University of Akron through my internships and projects with Tuesday Musical, Aspen Music Festival, and Cleveland Orchestra.

If you could tell future Arts Administration students one helpful piece of information about internships, what would your best tip be? 

One of my favorite inspirational quotes is from the last scene in Pursuit of Happiness where Will Smith tells his son, "People can't do somethin' themselves, they wanna tell you that you can't do it. If you want somethin', go get it. Period." If you want to succeed in this field you have to be creative, persistent, likable, reliable, and tough. There is a lot of work and that will never end. But really, there is no limit to what you can achieve. If you want something bad enough, you'll go out there and get it.  If you give things that matter 110% of what you have - then people will start to notice. Also, just smile! A little positive energy can go a long, long way. I suppose I try to live my whole life like that.  I'd like to think it's working out.


What music have you recently listened to?

I've been listening to a lot of instrumental music by Explosions in the Sky and This Will Destroy You. I know - those are pretty dramatic names for instrumental bands. I've been on a real kick with them because it's fairly dramatic music. The music itself is pretty inspirational and energetic but at the same time, it really gets me focused and pumped for the tasks ahead. It makes great weight-lifting music too.


Rachel M. Murar, Theatre Coordinator 

Bachelors Degrees (from Cleveland State University):

Bachelor of Arts (Theatre - Directing)

Bachelor of Education (Special Education Mild/Moderate)

Master's Degree (from The University of Akron): 

Arts Administration 

Hometown: Twinsburg, OH

What is your most recent theatre project?

I am currently working on a performance for Solon Center for the Arts. I work with 2nd and 3rd graders to write and direct a performance based on a popular children's text. This fall, we are doing Stone Soup. In March of 2018, I will be directing A Midsummer Night's Dream at Aurora Community Theater. I am very excited for that project because I have a love for everything to do with Shakespeare. The theater has never done a Shakespearian play before, and I am looking forward to bringing its magic and wonder to the community. 

How has your overall experience as a Graduate Assistant at UA been? 

I have served many roles as a graduate assistant. First, as a Teaching Assistant (TA) and now as the Theatre Coordinator. I loved being a TA because I like to work with undergraduates. It was fun to see people who did not really have an interest in theater turn around by the end. I miss working directly with them, but I like the challenges that being the Theatre Coordinator brings. 

Where do you see yourself after graduation? 

I would like to be an Education Coordinator. I love producing fun and creative education programs. I did one program for the Cleveland Aquarium this summer, and it was a rewarding process. I think I would like to continue to stretch my abilities and see the different areas that I can create programs for in the future. 

Explain your role as a Theatre Coordinator: 

As Theatre Coordinator, I assist in coordinating events for the UA Theatre Program. I create marketing content in order to promote attendance for events. I am enjoying this year because I like bouncing ideas around with the office staff and I believe we are creating a strong plan for the future of the program. 

3 things you can't live without: 

  1. Friends and Family 
  2. Led Zeppelin Music 
  3. Indians Baseball






University of Akron Arts Administration - Julius Lyles

Julius Lyles, Visual Artist, Curator, and Arts Administrator

As a graduate student, share your overall experience at The University of Akron.

My UA experience is a complete joy! Faculty, staff and the student body have been extremely courteous and accommodating towards completing my educational efforts.

Julius, why did you choose to study Arts Administration at UA?

After doing an intense internet search, I found UA’s program. I had previously studied as an undergraduate at Cleveland State University in non-profit management, but found the need for an education focused on arts administration, and at the professional level found in graduate school. I chose Arts Administration at UA because I believe the program will provide me with the professional training and background to launch my own non-profit arts organization.

Has the Arts Administration program influenced your career path and professional skills?

I truly have a better insight into the non-profit arts arena. I know for a fact, UA has better equipped me with expert knowledge in the arts administration field.

As an artist and arts administrator, describe your professional work.

Over the past six years, including my time as a graduate student at UA, I have focused all of my curatorial and solo exhibitions around a general theme of social visual media with detail towards racial identity, social and institutionalized inequality, individual and organized racism, and political dysfunction.

To learn more about Julius’ work and projects, visit the following website.

Visit Julius' Website

University of Akron Arts Administration Hannah Shoopman

From Intern to Development Associate

Hannah Shoopman

Arts Administration student, Hannah Shoopman, has been promoted to the position of Development Associate for the Summit Choral Society, just after four months as an intern. To further her career in development, she will also continue work with the Eastern Music Festival in North Carolina as Assistant to the Executive Director and Development Director. 

Curating International Artist Exhibits

Shannon Goede

International artists Kristine Kenmochi and Katia Kush's performance art exhibit was curated by Arts Administration student Shannon Goede at the Myers School of Arts Emily Davis Gallery. The impact of performance art captures the audience through video and mixed media which draws them in to experience a dynamic art form.

See News Article

A Leader in Dance Education & Arts Administration

Lauren Sprowls, Graduate Assistant

As a second year Arts Administration student, Lauren Sprowls hold the graduate assistantship of Arts Office Manager. Through valuable connections made in Arts Administration Program, she also works as an arts administrator at Ballet in the City.    

Prior to her graduate studies, Lauren earned her B.A. in Dance with a Business Cognate from the UA Dance Program. Among her many charitable works, to benefit the Akron Children's Hospital, she has performed in Dancing With The Kids.

What makes Lauren a success in the Arts Administration Program is her passion to build upon her dance background professional skill in arts management, education, and development.  

Teaching everything from hip hop to ballet classes over the past five years, her work extends to the Dianna Durkin Dance Studio, St. Sebastian Academy of Culture and Arts, and Firestone High School. Additionally, she has taught dance for IDEA House, an organization committed to the development of individuals with autism.

Lauren Sprowls

University of Akron Arts Administration Kat Wentz

Kat Wentz, Akron Art Prize Assistant

Kat Wentz shares on "UA to Z Radio" her Arts Administration education prepared her to work as the 2015 Akron Art Prize Assistant.