Shawn Deiger, sound production coordinator for the College of Fine Arts and Humanities, is the Employee of the Month for January. Since coming to the campus in 1998, Shawn has become an integral part of the college and the university. Each year, he coordinates sound reinforcement and creates recordings of concerts, recitals and special events, including everything from weekly departmental recitals to Kearney Area Symphony Orchestra concerts. With more than 60 musical events to oversee each year, he is constantly supervising student assistants, setting up sound systems and producing high-quality musical recordings (from mixing and editing to producing finished CD's and order fulfillment). Shawn's recordings are always available to the general public, and they are also frequently used by students and the department for applications to graduate music programs, entry into various music competitions, student recruitment and departmental promotions.
In addition to his duties in the music department, Shawn also serves as the sound designer for four theatre productions each year. As part of the theatre program's design team, he brings a wealth of talent and creativity to each production, and is always able to share his ideas in a true collaboration with the production director(s) and other designers. His professional background in sound design and familiarity with the various aspects of technical theatre add tremendously to the quality of the theatre productions at UNK and provide students in the program with a professional perspective in all areas of theatrical production. Shawn's ability to maintain a wonderful rapport with students and his willingness to share his experiences, make him a great source of inspiration and encouragement for those pursuing a career in technical theatre.
In the fall of 2003, when budget cuts resulted in the loss of the theatre technical director position, the duties of the technical designer were reassigned to other faculty, staff and students in the program. As part of this reorganization, Shawn was asked to assume responsibility for the lighting area (everything except for design) for the Department of Music & Performing Arts. Shawn very willingly accepted his new responsibilities, in addition to his duties as the sound production coordinator, and immediately put his experience to use to dramatically improve the lighting situation in the Fine Arts Building. He has greatly enhanced the safety and efficiency of the theatre electrics area by repairing, recycling, restoring, rebuilding, rewiring and reorganizing lighting instruments, cables, dimmer systems and much more. Through Shawn's diligent efforts, the fine arts lighting inventory has grown significantly over the past year. Shawn's concern for safety led to a joint project with Facilities to remove asbestos cables from the performance lighting instruments used in the Fine Arts Building. Over the summer, Shawn completed this project by installing new cables on almost the entire inventory of lighting instruments.
Outside the Fine Arts Building, Shawn is responsible for coordinating sound (from setup to tear-down and everything in between) for a number of large-scale campus events--including commencement ceremonies, guest speakers such as President Clinton, Board of Regents meetings and more. It is not unusual to find Shawn skillfully juggling multiple events. This remarkable skill is particularly evident during commencement weeks when Shawn typically coordinates sound for up to 10 different events in various campus locations over a two-day period. Through it all, Shawn somehow manages to keep a calm and professional attitude.
In the Kearney community, Shawn frequently assists the Kearney Area Arts Council as a sound technician for the summer Concerts in the Park series, and lends an experienced hand to the Tri-City Arena when crews are needed for concerts and other large productions. He also served as the sound coordinator/technician for the Kearney Performing Arts Center's benefit performance featuring Leslie Easterbrook and John Dennis Johnston.
Overall, Shawn Deiger is an accomplished technical professional who is willing to undertake about any project his skills are needed for--both on and off-campus.
Thank you to the sponsors of the Employee of the Month: Chartwells, Shear Madness, Athletic Department, Theatre Department, and the Antelope Bookstore.