2019 Mark Mobius Cultural Art Awards
Nicole Farina and Jeffrey Langer receive $10,000 scholarships at Mepham Awards Ceremony

Dr. Mark Mobius; MEG winners Robert Maksimowicz and John Koenig; MAS winners Nicole Farina and Jeffrey Langer; and Dr. Lance Blackshaw.
Photo by Linda Ferrigno


Two graduating Mepham seniors, Nicole Farina and Jeffrey Langer, were each presented with $10,000 Mobius Arts Scholarships (MAS) at Senior Awards Night held in the Mepham auditorium on June 11, 2019. These awards, sponsored by 1954 classmate Mark Mobius, were selected by a committee of six Mepham alumni, which included three members of the Class of '54, to recognize outstanding achievements and career goals in the fields of the literary, performing, and visual arts.

Nicole Farina: As Mepham's 2018-2019 Poet Laureate, Co-Editor-in-Chief of The Buccaneer, reader of her original poetry at events such as Honor Society induction ceremonies and TEDx talks, and commencement speaker this past June, Nicole made a significant imprint on literary arts activities at Mepham. She also has had her poetry published in Creative Communication: A Celebration of Poets and American Library of Poetry Anthology. One of her English teachers described Nicole as the most remarkable student to ever sit in the 95 classes he's instructed during his 19 years of teaching. Her instructor in Advanced Placement (AP) courses in US History and Macroeconomics lauded her expository writing skills through her ability to synthesize wide bodies of information and generate impressive insights, and her ability to use information as a vehicle through which to craft well-argued essays that contain unique perspectives. Nicole's portfolio, which was part of her MAS application, featured her literary skills as an essayist, in addition to her poetry talents. This fall she will pursue literary arts studies at Harvard University, where she aspires to write for the school newspaper, The Crimson, and the literary magazine, The Advocate. Nicole's goals are to become a writer for newspapers and magazines, and to become a book author and publisher.

Jeffrey Langer: Jeffrey's references describe him variously as an exceptional oboist, and an elite, passionate, self-driven enormously gifted musician who strives for perfection. In addition to all things musical in his life, Jeffrey's academic achievements have included being named an AP Scholar and being inducted into the National, English, Spanish, French, Thespian and Tri-M Honor Societies at Mepham. He also received accolades for his willingness to mentor fellow students, engaging personality and exemplary character. His MAS application portfolio highlighted his oboe playing talents in solo, chamber music and orchestral performer settings. During his high school years he participated in: the New York Youth Symphony, which plays the most challenging orchestral repertoire and performs at Carnegie Hall; the Manhattan School of Music Precollege program for private lessons, ear training, chamber music, orchestra, and Master classes; and the prestigious Summer Boston University Tanglewood Institute oboe workshop and Young Artist's Wind Ensemble. These activities were supported, in part, by several precollege scholarships. This fall Jeffery will be attending the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre, and Dance to study oboe performance and arts administration. He stated that going forward he'd love to strike a balance among performance, teaching, chamber ensemble, musical outreach, and/or orchestra management endeavors.



Related Coverage

Dr. Mark Mobius, 2017 Mepham Who's Who Recipient

Awards Process
The application process and criteria for the 2019 awards were noted in an announcement which was made available to Mepham seniors and faculty in November of the 2018 -19 school year.

<Click to read announcement.

The MAS applications were then sent to the Selection Committee: Members of this group were '54 class members Lance Blackshaw, Bill Hall, Carol O'Keefe House plus Mepham alums Nan Dedrick ('50), Tom Durand ('83) and Laura Stein ('84).

Winners were selected by Committee member consensus, with recipients' names subsequently submitted to Mepham Assistant Principal Dr. Jennifer Carne, who has so ably assisted us throughout the Mobius Awards programs.

Selection Committee Members Needed:
Two Mobius awards programs currently exist: Mobius Arts Scholarships (MAS) and Mobius Entrepreneurial Grants (MEG), with $10,000 scholarships/grants awarded annually to two graduating Mepham seniors in each category.

This year we were fortunate to have the services of five individuals who were Mepham alums, but not classmates serving on the 2019 MAS and MEG Selection Committees. In addition to the 2019 MAS Selection Committee members noted above, alumni members of the 2019 MEG Selection Committee were ’54 classmates Al Haggerty, Bob Ferrigno, Mark Mobius plus Paul Mobius (’49) and Filip Shamis (’18). Filip was the first MEG awardee.

As time passes, and given the ages of ’54 class members, we need to recruit additional reviewers if Mobius awards are to be presented in future years.”

If you would like to participate on a Selection Committee, or know of people, most desirably from other Mepham classes, who might wish to do so, please contact Lance Blackshaw (mollance@msn.com) for MAS awards or Al Haggerty (allenhaggerty@msn.com) for MEG awards.