UT College of Fine Arts welcomes diverse cohort of new faculty members


Wednesday, October 12, 2022
Photo mosaic of new 13 new faculty headshots

The College of Fine Arts at The University of Texas at Austin has appointed 13 new career faculty members across four academic departments for 2022-2023. This cohort of new faculty members represents a diverse array of cultural and scholarly backgrounds and expands research and creative practice opportunities across the college.


Tasheka Arceneaux-Sutton, Associate Professor in the Department of Design

Arceneaux’s is the principal at Blacvoice Design, a studio specializing in branding, electronic media, identity, illustration, print, and publication design, for educational institutions, non-profit organizations, and small businesses. Her research focuses on discovering Black people omitted from the graphic design history canon, and she joins the college from North Carolina State University.


David Arevalo, Assistant Professor in the Department Theatre and Dance

Arevalo is a costume maker, designer and visual artist. A graduate of the UT Department of Theatre and Dance, he joins the college from Northwestern University, where he recently completed his M.F.A. He’s worked as a draper/tailor at the Santa Fe Opera, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Fulton Theatre and Merrimack Repertory Theatre, among others, and his work has been featured in American Theatre magazine and in the book, Unbuttoned: The Art and Artists of Theatrical Costume Design


Andrew Augustin, Assistant Professor of Practice in the Department of Arts and Entertainment Technologies

Augustin is an award-winning 2D illustrator, game designer and the founder of Notion Games. His gaming portfolio includes designing the characters for The Sims 3 Pets video game, and he created his own line of video games, including Super Ubie Island 1 and Super Ubie Island 2, Up Up Ubie REMIX, Sheep Herder Nay and Team Notion. He’s currently working with Microsoft to bring Super Ubie Island to Xbox. Augustin was listed in Innovators of Gaming and Esports vol 1 (2022), Forbes Magazine's 30 Under 30 class of 2015 and has been published in various magazines, including Pure Nintendo, Nintendo Force, Black Enterprise, Hollywood Reporter, Screen Rant and Advanced Photoshop magazine


Jacqueline “Jacky” Avila, Associate Professor in the Butler School of Music

Avila is a musicologist who specializes in film music studies, sound studies and the intersections of identity, tradition and modernity in the musical cultures and new media of Mexico, Latin America and the Latinx community in the United States. She joins the college from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Her book, Cinesonidos: Film Music and National Identity in Mexico’s Época de Oro was published in 2019 by Oxford University Press’ Music and Media Series.


J.D. Burnett, Assistant Professor and Director of Choral Activities in the Butler School of Music

Burnett is a conductor, singer and educator, and he serves as the artistic director of the Orpheus Chamber Singers. As a professional choral singer, Burnett has performed and recorded with the Stillwater Chamber Singers, Cantare Houston, Fuma Sacra, Robert Shaw Festival Singers, Choir of Trinity Church Wall Street, Oregon Bach Festival Chorus, Santa Fe Desert Chorale and Conspirare. He joins the college from the University of Georgia.


Michael Ray Charles, Professor in the Department of Design and Department of African and African Diaspora Studies

Charles is a contemporary American painter whose work explores historic African American stereotypes from the Antebellum South, appropriating images from advertising and pop culture to expose the underlying racism prevalent in contemporary culture. His work, (Forever Free) Ideas, Languages and Conversations, was commissioned by Landmarks in 2015 and is on view in the Gordon-White Building. He joins the college from the University of Houston.


Ondine Chavoya, Professor in the Department of Art and Art History

Chavoya is an art historian with a focus on Chicanx avant-garde art and performance, and he is a leading figure in the field of Latinx art history and visual culture. Chavoya is the author of numerous publications on Chicanx art, including experimental video and performance. His award-winning curatorial projects include Asco: Elite of the Obscure, A Retrospective, 1972–1987, the first museum retrospective to present the wide-ranging work of the performance and conceptual art group Asco with Rita Gonzalez, and Axis Mundo: Queer Networks in Chicano L.A. He joins the college from Williams College.


DiMitri Higginbotham, Assistant Professor of Practice in the Department of Design

Higginbotham is an educator and human-centered design specialist with a background in music education and M.A. in Design and Innovation from Southern Methodist University. He joins the college from Good Shepherd Episcopal School in Dallas, where he helped to incorporate maker education and design thinking into the school’s curriculum and facilitated design thinking sprints for the school’s board, faculty and staff as they re-imagined collaborative spaces on campus. In his previous role as a senior teaching lab manager and program manager for the Caruth Institute for Engineering Education at Southern Methodist University, he managed a mobile maker space, helped develop curriculum for the Lyle School Summer Engineering Camps and facilitated professional development opportunities around maker education and design thinking for teachers and school administrators.


Raquel Monroe, Professor in the Department of Theatre and Dance and Associate Dean of Graduate Education and Academic Affairs in the College of Fine Arts

Monroe is an interdisciplinary performance scholar, artist, administrator and mother whose research interests include Black social dance, queer black feminisms, popular culture and the efficacy of collaboration to create social change. Monroe is a performer with Propelled Animals collective, and she recently received the 2022 Mid-Career Award, which recognizes leadership of mid-career scholars in the development of the dance studies field, from the Dance Studies Association. She joins the college from her most recent role at Columbia College Chicago, where she served as the co-director of diversity, equity and inclusion and a professor of dance.


Diego Rivera, Associate Professor and Director of Jazz Studies in the Butler School of Music

Rivera is a musician, composer, arranger and educator, known for his muscular tone and unique blend of straight-ahead jazz fused with music inspired by his Latino background and heritage. In addition to touring with his own ensemble, Rivera has also toured both nationally and internationally with Grammy Award-winning vocalist Kurt Elling, JUNO Award-winning Canadian Jazz Vocalist Sophie Milman and The Rodney Whitaker Quintet. He is a member of the The Ulysses Owens Jr. Big Band, the Jazz Orchestra @ The Dr. Phillips Center, The Gathering Orchestra and the SEIKO Summer Jazz Faculty. He’s performed with The Jazz @ Lincoln Center Orchestra, Wynton Marsalis, Ellis Marsalis, Christian McBride, Wycliffe Gordon, PRISM Saxophone Quartet, the Gerald Wilson Big Band and the Lincoln Center Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra. He joins the college from Michigan State University.


Vic Rodriguez Tang, Assistant Professor of Practice in the Department of Design

Rodriguez Tang is a Peruvian-Chinese designer and art director originally from Lima, Perú. Their current research focuses on queer design history and the effects of gendering design elements throughout the years, such as typefaces and colors, within the design and advertising industry. They served in the department as a lecturer last year, and join the college in a career-track role after completing an M.F.A. from Vermont College of Fine Arts last spring.


Ivan Trevino, Assistant Professor of Practice in the Butler School of Music

Trevino is a percussionist and composer whose works have been performed on five continents in more than 25 countries. He’s won multiple awards in the Percussive Arts Society’s International Composition Contest and was recently the featured composer and performer on NPR’s Performance Today. Trevino's newly commissioned works include an etude book for The Juilliard School and a wind symphony piece for The Eastman Wind Ensemble. He's been serving as a lecturer in the Butler School and joins the college in this new career-track role this fall.


Byron Wilson, Associate Professor of Practice in the Department of Design

Wilson is the CEO & founder of Empty Set, a design consultancy for leading health care organizations and R&D labs. He brings broad and deep multidisciplinary experience from both academic and professional project work within the scope of technology-based research and development through the creation of value from a strategic design perspective. He was the first design hire by Southern California Permanente Medical Group, where he contributed to regional and national efforts as the senior manager of innovation in Southern California. He joins the college from the ArtCenter College of Design.

Jacqueline Avila and Ondine Chavoya were hired as part of the college’s Expanding Approaches to American Arts hiring initiative, a program created to recruit senior, tenured faculty members whose research focuses on under-represented and interdisciplinary areas of scholarship and creative practice. The college expects to add additional faculty members to this Expanding Approaches cohort in the coming months.

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New Faculty Q&A: David Arevalo

New Faculty Q&A: Jaqueline Avila

New Faculty Q&A: Raquel Monroe

New Faculty Q&A: Ivan Trevino

New Faculty Q&A: Diego Rivera


Faculty Research School of Design and Creative Technologies Theatre and Dance Art and Art History College of Fine Arts Music

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