October 2016 Class Notes

Susie Garifi, 1998, B.A. Performing Arts holds an M.A. in Dance Education from New York University and a B.A. with a major in Dance from Colorado State University. She has studied with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, and traveled nationally and internationally, discovering many great dance opportunities and people from around the world. Susie is currently employed as a dance instructor at both Front Range Community College and Mountain Dance where she is also the assistant director. She has also been an active member of IMPACT Dance Company for over seven years, and is a certified Power Yoga instructor. Susie very much enjoys sharing her knowledge and passion for dance and yoga with the community, and in her free time, she loves having fun with her husband Rhys and their four-year-old daughter Violet!

Mary Overton, 2009 B.A. Performing Arts, B.A. Languages, Literature and Cultures, 2011 M.A. Languages, Literature and Cultures is a Colorado native who grew up in Littleton, Colo. She is currently a Spanish teacher at Skinner Middle School, in Denver, Colo., and a member of Life/Art Dance Ensemble.  Mary is passionate about both dance and Spanish, and this passion has afforded her many opportunities.  She formerly attended Colorado State University and has Bachelor’s Degrees in Spanish, Dance, and Liberal Arts, and a Master’s degree in Spanish Languages, Literatures, and Cultures.  As a CSU student, Mary had the privilege of working with various teachers and choreographers including Carol Roderick, Chung-Fu Chang, Jane Slusarski-Harris, Judy Bejarano, Katie Elliot, and Jacques Heim, among others. She was also a member of CSU's Tour Dance Company. Since moving to Denver, Mary has enjoyed working with Jessica Riggs, director of Life/Art Dance Ensemble, and the other incredible company members. She feels lucky to have the opportunity to continue dancing and performing.  Mary loves languages, traveling, and experiencing other cultures. She has traveled to more than a dozen countries and studied in both Quito, Ecuador, and Granada, Spain.  This summer she will be working with the Education Coordinator at the San Juan National Historic Site in Puerto Rico.  When she is not teaching or dancing, Mary also enjoys spending time in the mountains skiing, camping, and mountain biking with her husband, Dennis.


Samuel Hood, 2013 B.A. Music After having the honor of studying with Dr. Michelle Stanley at CSU, I was inspired to continue my flute education in graduate school. I moved to Lincoln Nebraska to pursue my MM in flute performance at UNL where I studied with Dr. John Bailey. While in Lincoln, I was hired as an adjunct instructor at Union College where I taught flute and woodwind techniques to the undergraduate music education majors. Since graduating from UNL in 2015, I have moved to Lubbock Texas to work on my DMA in flute performance under flute professor Dr. Lisa Garner Santa. I have been given the opportunity to be a teaching assistant for the TTU flute studio. My duties have included assisting in Dr. Garner Santa's Yoga and the Creative Arts class, teaching lessons for non-major flute student, coaching undergraduate chamber ensembles, and assisting with the TTU flute choir who will be performing at this upcoming TMEA convention in San Antonio. Next semester I will be traveling to London for a week with the TTU flute studio to study with flutist Paul Edmund Davies. In May I will be touring with the TTU Symphony Orchestra to New York. I am forever grateful for the education I received at CSU!


Megan O’Connor, 2014 B.M. Music Education Since graduating from CSU I have worked as a music teacher at Elizabeth High School here in Colorado. I teach high school band, marching band, orchestra and piano. During my three years at Elizabeth I have enjoyed directing two musicals, creating three marching band shows, traveling around the state, and attending multiple festivals with each of my ensembles. When I am not teaching I enjoy attending sporting events such as Denver Broncos and Colorado Rockies games, enjoying the beautiful outdoors, and playing with my darling rescue kitten, Simba.

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