The course offerings in the Arts and Humanities Department have these objectives: 1) to provide students with the basic courses in Art, Music, Theatre, and Communications which are prerequisite to more advanced study in these fields; 2) to increase students appreciation and enjoyment of the arts in all their forms; 3) to provide opportunities for self-expression and artistic development.
Murray State College Faculty is united in the goal of student accomplishment
and advancement of the Arts in all their forms.
Susan Pfau Yeager (Chair) - Applied Vocal Music, Musical Theatre Ensemble, Music Appreciation, Humanities I & II, History of Musical Theatre
Susan Pfau Yeager has been performing professionally for over 20 years all over the world. She toured extensively in Europe as Christine in Phantom and in Canada as a soloist in Andrew Lloyd Weber: Music of the Night. Here, in the States, Susan has been seen in such shows as The Hunchback of Notre Dame (NY Workshop), A Little Night Music, Forbidden Broadway, 7 Brides for 7 Brothers, Du Barry was a Lady(Broadway), Hot n’ Cole, and Candide to name a few. She appeared in Tiptoes as part of the Gershwin Celebration at Carnegie Hall and in Stephen Schwartz’ Children of Eden (She is featured on the cast recording). Other recordings include Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra Yuletide Recording 2004 with Sandi Patty and Daniel Rodriguez as well as Stephen Sondheim’s The Frogs. Susan was noted in The New York Times for her performance in Gay Divorce at Carnegie Hall and for her “strong portrayal of Bathsheba” in The Eternal Road at Avery Fisher Hall. Since moving to Ardmore, Susan has been busy directing for Ardmore Little Theatre. Her directing credits include Spamalot, Young Frankenstein, 9 to 5, Bye Bye Birdie, Jekyll & Hyde, Smokey Joe’s Cafe, and Cinderella. She was the music director for Hairspray and Evita. Susan also co-directed Music Man, Into the Woods and Fiddler On the Roof at Dickson Summer Community Theatre. In April 2013, she created Noel Productions, Inc. a professional theatre company in Ardmore. Through Noel Productions, Inc., Susan produced, wrote, directed and performed in Noël: A Celebration of Christmas 2013 as well as The Life That Late I Led - A One Woman Show about her life and career in Show business. She is the owner of Susan Pfau Yeager Studios, located in the Ardmoreite Building, where she was teaching masterclasses, voice lessons and acting class before she was hired by Murray State College as the Chair of the Arts and Humanities Division. She earned her Bachelor of Music Degree at Arizona State University, and her Master of Music Degree and Artist Diploma at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music. Susan is a proud member of Actor’s Equity.
D. Alan Burris - Art, Art Appreciation, Philosophy, Humanities I & II
Alan Burris, M.Ed. with an Art Emphasis from East Central University, 25 years teaching at the college/university level. Art Appreciation, Drawing - basic and advanced, Ceramics - basic ad advanced, Watercolor and both Art for Elementary and Secondary as well as Humanities and Introduction to Philosophy. "Students will receive a background in fundamentals of both theoretical and practical studio art with an emphasis on development of personal style."
Continual, active show record (one man and group) in both local and regional juried exhibitions and juror for regional art competitions. "As a practicing artist, I offer real world experience and exposure into the vocation of art making and competition. I work to develop student familiarity with showing and potentially selling their work."
7 year AP Reader in Studio Art - High School Advance Placement. "I am one of approximately 120 'Readers' - graders of high school AP classes in Studio Art and maintain a current view of the status of art on the high school level. We evaluate approximately 45,000 portfolios of current high school AP classes annually."
Co-owner of Moondancer Studios, Ardmore, OK. "I understand and teach the business side of art as a career and advise and promote the works of our students."
NISOD (University of Texas) Award winner for Teaching Excellence. "Among my teaching awards are the NISOD Award, MSC Teacher of the Year, Oklahoma Arts Leadership and Phi Theta Kappa Paragon Award."
Murray State College offers a solid foundation in the visual arts for both lecture and studio classes. Students will receive a background significant enough to apply their knowledge whether from an Associates' Degree perspective or as a foundation for going on to a Bachelor's Degree program and beyond.
Lisa Coulter - Theatre, Speech, Humanities I
Professor Lisa Coulter comes to Murray State College from her home state of Kansas. She graduated from Kansas State University with her Master’s Degree in Speech and Theatre and has post graduate hours from there as well. Her Bachelor’s Degree is from Fort Hays State University in Elementary Education, and she also attended and graduated with an Associate of Arts Degree from Colby Community College. Lisa has been a faculty member of Murray State since 1991 teaching many classes including Composition I and II, Speech, Introduction to Theatre, Acting, Creative Dramatics, and Humanities. She was department chair of the Language and Fine Arts Departments for 7 years of her tenure. Lisa has directed every play Murray has produced since 1991 for a total of almost 50 plays. She believes it is important to do a wide variety of plays and musicals so that a student can get a taste of different genres; therefore, she produces comedies, dramas, children’s plays, and musicals. The department has put on plays such as “Treasure Island”, “Doll’s House”, “Once Upon a Mattress”, “The Crucible”, “Proposals”, “Aladdin”, “Little Shop of Horrors”, and many more. Lisa is the sponsor of Characters’ Club and Delta Psi Omega (the national drama fraternity) on campus. The club and department have hosted haunted houses and dinner theatres and gone on several club trips over the years. Lisa’s husband, Charles (Chuck) teaches adjunct for Murray in Humanities and the stage crafting classes as well as working full-time for INCA. He and his stage crafting classes build the sets for the productions, and once built a ship in Fletcher Auditorium for “Treasure Island”. Chuck and Lisa have two teenage boys, Christopher and Michael. Chris is a freshman at East Central studying music and Michael is a sophomore in high school in Tishomingo. In her spare time, Lisa enjoys traveling, backpacking and canoeing, kayaking, gardening and canning.
Adjunct Faculty Members
A.Beshears was born and raised in Oklahoma. He graduated from Southeastern Oklahoma State University in Durant, OK with a Bachelor of Arts in English Education. He then pursued and obtained a Master of Arts degree in English Literature from Mercy College in Dobbs Ferry, NY. While pursuing his degrees he taught numerous English courses at the college level. He currently works full-time as a high school English teacher. Aside from teaching, he enjoys writing, taking in basketball games, and spending time with friends and family.
L. Fred Collins - Speech, Oral Interpretation
Noel Collins - Stagecraft, Acting I & II, Intro to Theatre
Ginger Cothran - Communications, Humanities
Dr. Danise Gallaway - Fundamentals of Music, Theory I & II, Piano, Accompanist: Applied Vocal Music, Musical Theatre Ensemble
Dr. Danise Gallaway holds degrees in piano performance and pedagogy from Eastern New Mexico University and the University of Oklahoma. She has extensive experience teaching piano to students of all ages in her independent studio and in group settings in private and public schools, colleges, and universities. Her students consistently earn awards and top honors at festivals and competitions. Dr. Gallaway is also a collaborative pianist in various vocal and instrumental departments in the area. She is committed to mentoring aspiring musicians, helping them to develop essential skills to become successful performers and teachers.
Dr. Gallaway has had articles published in Keyboard Companion and American Music Teacher and has presented papers and workshops at several conferences including the Hawaii International Conference on Arts and Humanities, National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy, College Music Society, and at state conference for the Oklahoma Music Teachers Association, Pennsylvania Music Teachers Association, Professional Music Teachers of New Mexico, and the Texas Music Teachers Association. Her research interests include teaching techniques for special-needs students, four-hand piano teaching literature, and historical aspects of piano pedagogy.
Dr. Gallaway holds affiliations with Music Teachers National Association and the Oklahoma Music Teachers Association, College Music Society, National Piano Foundation, as well as memberships in Phi Kappa Lambda and Phi Kappa Phi honor societies. Additionally, in 2008, Dr. Gallaway received the Gail Boyd deStwolinski Award from the University of Oklahoma for outstanding promise for exceptional achievement in the profession of music research and education.
- Art Appreciation
Amy Gantt has been teaching at Murray State College since the summer 2006 semester. She earned a BFA at the University of North Texas and MFA at Texas Woman's University. Her other job is working for the Chickasaw Nation. She has been with the Chickasaw Nation for 11 years. Amy is also an adjunct instructor at Southeastern Oklahoma State University.
Dr. Yoon Kim - Humanities
Yoon Sik Kim was born in South Korea and served as an officer in the Republic of Korea Air Force for five years before he came to America. He earned his Master’s degree from the University of Oklahoma and his Ph. D. from Oklahoma State University, specializing in Ezra Pound and Modern Poetry. Having taught for more than 30 years at the college level, he now teaches full-time while sharpening the blade of his word-smithing. His debut collection of poetry, Broken Mirrors, was published by New York Quarterly Books in November 2012. His poetry has been published in many literary journals including: Green Mountain Review, Chants, Midland Review, Pleaides, Black Bough, Voices International, Rhino, and mostly The New York Quarterly. Married to an Okie, he homesteads in the outback of Oklahoma, where he lives with his wife, children, horses, and honeybees on a farm. Click here to read 3 of Dr. Kim's poems and an interview by The Toronto Quarterly
Art Appreciation, Drawing I & II, Design I & II, Painting
Tanya Lowrance was born in the heart of Oklahoma with a passion for art. As a young child her mother provided her with drawing tablets and colored pencils instead of coloring books since Tanya did not care to “color inside the lines.” Her talent for art was encouraged and developed under her high school art teacher and mentor, Paul Walsh, and university professor Bob Sieg, who encouraged her to be true to herself as an artist. She has chosen to follow their path of mentoring others as she teaches art at the college level. She also enjoys her time at the adult education level teaching photography.
Tanya works with a variety of media - acrylics, oils, water color, graphite, photography, and various printmaking methods. She frequently combines materials to create movement, energy and texture to her work. Tanya believes each art piece “should convey a story or feeling in such a way that the viewer becomes emotionally and or spiritually involved with the piece.” She has long admired Edward Hopper’s work because of the “journey” he portrays.
Much of Tanya’s work reflects simple rural Oklahoma scenes and landscapes. She has also developed an affinity for WWII planes. A part of her artwork has been inspired by her three grandchildren who have challenged her to see the world as they do. Tanya believes that Picasso said it best - “It takes a long time to become young.”
Music Appreciation, Humanities, History of Jazz, Beginning Drumset
Walton McMurry received a Master of Music degree in Jazz Studies - Performance from The University of Central Oklahoma and a Bachelor of Music degree in Percussion Performance from Southeastern Oklahoma State University. He has performed with many artists including Gil Goldstein, Donny McCaslin, Kenny Garrett, Marvin Stamm, Michael Dease, Sharel Cassity and Kathy Cousins, to name a few. Walton performed on a two week tour in China with a vocal Jazz combo while at SOSU(2007), was a selected member of the OSSAA Oklahoma Intercollegiate Honor Band (2009), the drummer for the University of Central Oklahoma Jazz Ensemble I (winner of the 35th Annual Downbeat Magazine Student Awards - Large Jazz Ensemble, 2012), and worked as a musician/drummer aboard ship for Holland America Cruise Lines in Alaska, where he performed nightly with the show band and for weekly guest entertainers. In addition to being an Adjunct Professor here at Murray State College, Walton teaches private lessons, is an active session/recording artist and songwriter, and performs roughly 100+ shows a year regionally with Country/Americana artists Matt Caldwell, Jeff Hobbs, and Aaron Newman. He has shared festival stages with country artists such as Easton Corbin, Gloriana, Chris Cagle, The Oakridge Boys, Mark Chesnutt, Confederate Railroad and Jack Ingram, to name a few. Walton attends First United Methodist Church in Ardmore, Oklahoma, where he resides with his wife and two children.
Ceramics I & II