The National Association for Music Education (NAfME) has honored Converse University student Ethan Watkins ’24 as one of three recipients of the 2023 Shannon Kelly Kane Scholarship. Watkins, along with Lydia Kirkland of the University of Nebraska at Omaha and Sharon Tran of the University of North Georgia, received his award during the June 2023 NAfME National Leadership Assembly and Collegiate Leadership Advocacy Summit in Washington, DC.
“Ethan is a true asset to our music education program as well as the university at large, and will, no doubt, be a future leader in music education,” shared Susana M. Lalama, Converse University NAfME Collegiate chapter advisor and Director of the Petrie School of Music. Lalama nominated Watkins for the scholarship, along with Patricia S. Foy, Converse University Professor of Music Education, and recent graduate Cassandra N. Shaddock ’23, Converse University student and NAfME Collegiate chapter president.
“Ethan is one of those rare students who sees a need and is motivated to address it.”Susana M. Lalama – Director of the Petrie School of Music.
Ethan, a Music Education major, has coordinated travel arrangements for the Converse University NAfME Chapter to the South Carolina Music Educators Association conference, as well as organized educational meetings for the Converse campus chapter. After taking the Modern Band course as a sophomore, he later served as a student teacher for the class during the January 2023 term. In addition to successful community events, Ethan was heavily involved in organizing and presenting a themed School of the Arts “MET Gala” in October 2022, and he helped spearhead a Winterfest instrument petting zoo for local children in December 2022.
“Ethan is one of those rare students who sees a need and is motivated to address it,” Lalama said of his ongoing efforts for the Petrie School of Music. “Never satisfied with doing the minimum to get by, he works hard at everything he does.”
The Shannon Kelly Kane Scholarship was created by Shannon’s family and friends in coordination with NAfME to honor her exemplary life and her love of teaching music. The scholarship award is open to current NAfME Collegiate members, who have been nominated for NAfME Collegiate Professional Achievement Recognition.
“Each of these recipients has had a huge impact on their respective collegiate chapters by promoting opportunities in music education and making contributions to their communities,” said NAfME President Scott R. Sheehan. “We know the future is bright when we see how much these individuals have already made to the profession, and they’re just getting started. We wish them all well and look forward to learning about their continued success in the future.”
The National Association for Music Education (NAfME) is a collaborative community that supports music educators and advocates for equitable access to music education. Founded in 1907 and representing more than 53,000 members teaching millions of students, NAfME advances the music education profession and promotes lifelong experiences in music.