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The NAMM Foundation Announces Scholarship Recipients Across Four Programs

The NAMM Foundation is pleased to announce the recipients of its 2023 scholarship award programs. The awards, made possible by the generosity of NAMM members and donors, provide funds to emerging industry leaders, college students and faculty to participate in The 2023 NAMM Show, April 13-15, in Anaheim, California.

At the show, recipients will experience the opportunity to engage in continued advancement and professional development and students and faculty will be introduced to industry careers and networking opportunities only found at The NAMM Show.

“The NAMM Foundation awards outlined here represent the collective impact of NAMM members and support for The NAMM Show,” said Mary Luehrsen, executive director of The NAMM Foundation. “Bringing these talented individuals to The NAMM Show is our way of moving the industry forward and inviting new and diverse perspectives to be a part of the music, pro audio, and event technology industries.”

Bernice Ash Award

The Bernice Ash Award was established in 2021 to honor the remarkable life and legacy of Bernice Ash. As a music retail visionary, Bernice spearheaded the expansion of the Sam Ash family-owned music stores, broadening inventory for the chain across multiple new categories. The award offers a grant for use in continued college-level or trade-related studies, a travel stipend to attend The NAMM Show, and a one-year mentorship through the NAMM Young Professionals group. This year’s recipient is Leanne Chu of Gator Cases.

Women of NAMM (WoN) NAMM Show Award

The Women of NAMM Fund seeks to support women with goals to connect, support, and grow as professionals and leaders, and contribute to the development of the music products industry. The award offers a one-time stipend to support attendance and participation at The NAMM Show, along with year-round mentoring opportunities and connections with female industry leaders.

This year, six individuals were awarded the WON scholarship. They include Alexandra Amaral (Earthquaker Devices); Sondra Blanchard (HB Woodsongs); Dee Halacsy (Music and Arts); Jennifer Mayes (Yamaha Corporation of America); Kendra Peterson (Ward-Brodt Music); and Beth Smith (The Music Shoppe).

Other awards include the President’s Innovation Award and The NAMM Foundation-College Music Society Fellows.

The President’s Innovation Award honors college students who demonstrate excellence in the field of music. Winners have proven dedication to pursuing a career in music, including in the areas of music performance, music education, media, sound engineering/audio, event technology, production, administration, management and/or marketing, along with product creation and innovation. This year, the award will recognize and welcome 59 student recipients from 19 states, Canada, and the United Arab Emirates.

The 2023 President’s Innovation Award was given to the following recipients: Kaitlin Absent (University of Louisiana at Lafayette); Stephanie Acosta (Berklee College Of Music); Sean Andres (Carnegie Mellon University); Stephen Bell (University of South Carolina); Mimi Beringer (Drake University); Savannah Billeter (Southern Utah University); Christopher Brown (University of Arkansas); Terreze Brown (Indiana State University); Corleone Burton (University of South Carolina); Joshua Cantwell (Indiana State University); Frank Cervantes (California State University Northridge)

Nick Diesso (University of South Carolina); Aidan Donovan (University of South Carolina); Kailey Filben (University of North Texas); Kenya Fluker (New York University); Jill Fowler (University of South Carolina- Columbia); Benjamin Freedman (George Mason University);  Megan Gallagher (University of South Carolina); Shenwei Geng (University of Missouri-Kansas City); Payton Gogo (Prairie View A&M University); Allen Goyne (Fresno City College); Emma-Grace Gwynette (Bethel University); Elizabeth Groos (University of Indianapolis); Devon Jones (Radford University); Andrew Kagerer (University of Montana); Grace Lianna (Western University); Kaelan Lucas-Marinelli (Stephen F. Austin State University).

Allegra Luna (Georgia Southern University); Cayleb Martinez (Southern Utah University); Rafael Martinez (Prairie View A&M University); Allison McElravy (Indiana State University); Joshua McLane (University of South Carolina); David Meade (University of South Carolina); Catherine Michetti (SUNY Purchase College); Hannah Miller (Samford University); James Milvid (University of South Carolina); Bibiana Miskolciova (University of Indianapolis); Ember Moat (Southern Utah University); Fady Moawad (Sharjah Performing Arts Academy);  Zachary Moore (Stephen F. Austin State University); Isabella Nelson (University of the Pacific);  Wesley Oliver (Western Illinois University)

Nigel Ouzts (University of South Carolina);  Angelica Palmore (Millersville University);  Ruben Portillo (Bienen School of Music at Northwestern University); Aaliyah Ragland (Riverside City College); Joseph Ross (Western Illinois University); Damian Ruun (University of South Carolina); Samuel Slape (Stephen F. Austin State University);  Bryson Stakley (University of South Carolina); Nathan Stansbury (Stephen F. Austin University); An Tran (George Mason University); Brian Verduzco (Riverside City College);  Brian Wang (Brown University);  Breanna Ward (Indiana State University); Alex Williams (Radford University);  Amanda Williams (Anderson University); Yildiz Yilmaz (Berklee College Of Music);  and Wilfredo Zuniga (George Mason University).

The NAMM Foundation-College Music Society Fellows Program supports college music faculty who exhibit commitment and aptitude for developing curricula related to business leadership and innovation in music, pro-audio, and event technology. This financial award helps faculty offset the cost of travel to The NAMM Show. Fellows are invited to participate in professional development sessions, networking events and receptions, and special events and concerts.

This year, the program will recognize and welcome 17 recipients to The NAMM Show:  Ariel Alexander (Saddleback College); Kathleen Bell (Sharjah Performing Arts Academy); Andrew Cote (Merrimack College); Byron Delto (Glendale College); Chris Dobbs (IUPUI); Martim Galvao (California State University, San Bernardino); Chenny Gan (Wesleyan College);  Dan Hodges (University of Colorado Denver); Lucy Lewis (California State University, San Bernardino);  Aaron Prillaman (Davidson-Davie Community College);  Sungmin Shin (University of Buffalo); Tamika Sterrs-Howard (Georgia State University);  Mark Vaughn (Grayson College); George Wheeler (Rio Hondo College); Reba Wissner (Columbus State University); Jiayue Cecilia Wu (University of Colorado Denver); and Kevin Zhang (California State University, San Bernardino).                                    

The 2023 NAMM Show returns April 13-15 in Southern California at the Anaheim Convention Center. Professionals from across the crossroads of the music products, pro audio, and entertainment technology industry will convene for in-depth professional development and networking opportunities and experience the latest innovations in music. Registration is now open at

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