The 39th annual Creativity Awards recognize nine Salem State University students in the class of 2020 for outstanding achievements in their respective disciplines. The distinguished recipients studied dance, music, theatre, creative writing and art + design at Salem State. Each winner was nominated by faculty members in the College of Arts and Sciences. Learn more about each award winner below.
Cameron Decas | Dance
Cameron Decas is a graduating senior at Salem State University studying dance and exercise science. He has been a member of the Salem Dance Ensemble and Repertory Dance Theatre throughout his time at Salem State. A Presidential Arts scholar, Cameron performed at the American College Dance Association Conference in 2017, 2018 and 2019. He received a Summer Artistic Development Grant in 2019 that supported the development of his new solo, "Astral Projection," with choreography by Jenna Pollack. He had the privilege of being cast in residencies at Salem State, working with Bill Evans, Nateli Ruiz, Hollis Bartlett, and Jeannette Neil. Cameron has performed with the New Bedford Symphony as well as at The Dance Complex and the Salem Arts Festival in 2018 and 2019. After graduating, Cameron plans to pursue his master’s degree in occupational therapy.
Taleah E. Gilliard | Dance
Taleah E. Gilliard will graduate from Salem State with a bachelor of arts degree in dance with a minor in African American Studies. While at Salem State, she has performed with the Salem Dance Ensemble and has served as lead choreographer for student group Urban Arts Theater and dance club The Spirit Squad. Taleah plans to attend Alvin Ailey’s1-year Independent Study Program in 2020-2021, with a goal of joining the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater Company. Dance has been the guiding force of Taleah’s life since the age of two, and her lifetime goal is to perform and tour internationally.
Richard B. Moore, Jr. | Music
Richard B. Moore, Jr. will graduate with a bachelor of arts degree in music with a minor in educational studies and a certificate in music technology. He is the recipient of the Leonard Bernstein Musicianship Award (2016) and has been a Presidential Arts Scholar at Salem State since 2017. Moore received an Artistic Development Grant for his work in audio engineering during the summer of 2019. At this time, he was able to expand his knowledge of recording and audio by working in studios outside of Salem. Moore’s research for his senior capstone focused on music technology in education. After graduation, Moore hopes to pursue his love of audio engineering, management and teaching.
Adam Silvia | Music
Adam Silvia graduates from Salem State with a bachelor of arts in music with a minor in educational studies. During his time at Salem State, Silvia has performed for a variety of ensembles including the University Band, Jazz Band, Percussion Ensemble, Summer Orchestra, and Saxophone Quartet. He has been a Presidential Arts Scholar since 2016. In 2018 Adam received a Summer Artistic Development Grant, which he used to attend Boston University’s Tanglewood Institute saxophone workshop, where he studied with some of the most famous saxophonists in the world, including Kenneth Radnofsky, Jennifer Bill, and Jeremy Brown. After graduation, Adam plans to spend a year performing and teaching and then pursue a master's degree in saxophone performance.
Demi DiCarlo | Theatre
Demi DiCarlo is a senior pursuing her BFA in theatre performance with a minor in Spanish. She will be graduating this May with a cumulative GPA of 3.975. During her time at Salem State, she has been an active member of the Student Theatre Ensemble. She is a member of the Salem State chapter of Phi Sigma Iota, the International Foreign Language Honor Society as well as a recipient of the Presidential Arts Scholarship (2019) and the Charlotte Ettinger Scholarship (2018). Most recently, Demi participated in the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, where she won First Place in the Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship, the VASTA Award for Vocal Excellence, the KCACTF Award for Achievement in Lighting Design, and a one-week internship with the Stagecraft Institute of Las Vegas. As she prepares for life after graduation, Demi is practicing her auditioning skills (especially self-taping for video auditions) for when theaters can reopen after the pandemic has passed.
Mary Sapp | Theatre
Mary Sapp graduates this spring with a BFA degree in theatre performance. While at Salem State, she has performed in four theatre department productions, three Student Theatre Ensemble productions and one student thesis project. She has been nominated twice for the Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship Award (through the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival), and received The Irene Ryan and Kingsley Colton Scholarship in 2019. Outside of Salem State, Mary has been involved with Intramersive Media LLC as a writer and actor as well as acting with local theatre company, The Bard Brigade. Her plans post-graduate are to settle into life after college, get involved with local theatre companies, and start looking into graduate studies.
Brooke Delp | Creative Writing
Brooke Delp is a writer, lifelong student and mother to two lovely daughters. She began attending Salem State University in 2010 and will graduate (at last!) in May 2020. She is an English major with a concentration in creative writing and a minor in geology. While at Salem State Brooke served on the poetry board for Soudings East literary magazine and has worked on the online magazine Red Skies. In spring 2020, she represented Salem State at the Boston Intercollegiate Poetry Festival. Brooke is the winner of the English department’s spring 2020 Undergraduate Nonfiction Contest. Brooke hopes to pursue a career in screenwriting, though poetry will always be her first love.
Angelica Schlieff | Creative Writing
Angelica Schlieff is the recipient of various awards during her time at Salem State. She won second place in the Claire Keyes Poetry Prize three years in a row. She was one of 12 undergraduate poets selected from across the commonwealth to participate in the Salem Poetry Seminar (June 2019). Angelica was Salem State’s representative at the 2019 Greater Boston Intercollegiate Poetry Festival. She has read her poetry at various open mics as well as the Salem State Writers Series. Angelica was on the poetry editorial board for the 2020 issue of Salem State’s literary magazine Soundings East. Angelica plans to continue her education by attending an intensive program in Professional Midwifery. She dreams of opening her own homebirth Midwifery practice and to continue creating as a poet and writer.
Morgan Petitpas | Art + Design
Morgan Petitpas is a sculptural artist primarily working in assemblage. Her work explores themes such as sensuality, rebirth, and the unconscious mind through a filter of whimsical mystery. Petitpas believes there is beauty in bizarre, common, and discarded objects and it is her job to extract it. The use of preexisting objects and images allows her work to form gradually and unexpectedly through strings of connections. In addition to the 2020 Creativity Award in art + design, Petitpas is the recipient of the Winfisky Art Award. She presented a solo honors exhibition in Salem State’s Winfisky Gallery in fall 2019.