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Concord Student Accepted at UCLA

Concord Student Accepted at UCLA

Athens, W.Va. - Kahlil Joseph, a student at Concord College who is majoring in Communication Arts with an emphasis in theater and broadcasting was notified recently that he was accepted as one of fewer than 10 students in the prestigious Master in Fine Arts in Acting program at the University of California-Los Angeles. Upon completion of the program, Joseph will receive the highest degree possible, a Master in Fine Arts in Acting, a “terminal” degree in this field.

Joseph competed against thousands of students—and an interview pool of 900 students—on Tuesday, February 11 at an interview site in Chicago, Illinois.

Students were called in groups of 10 to present a monologue of “classical and contrasting pieces.” After the group presentation, UCLA re-interviewed Mr. Joseph.

Professor Mel Shapiro who heads up the acting program at UCLA notified Mr. Joseph. Shapiro is a Tony-award-winning professor at the University. He directed the Broadway production of Two Gentlemen of Verona earlier in his career. He is a well-known acting teacher who wrote An Actor Performs, the textbook used by Concord College’s theater arts department.

Joseph was notified March 10 via a phone call from Professor Shapiro, with a scholarship offer from the University. Joseph said he was “speechless!”

“I muttered a ‘YES,’ and then belted out screams of joy after hanging up the phone,” stated Joseph. “This is definitely an opportunity of a lifetime. I am thrilled at the quality of training that I will be receiving. The entire faculty consists of ‘working professionals’ who enjoy teaching, which is amazing. The training will be ‘the best.’ Graduating students will get to perform in ‘showcases’ for top directors in the industry.

“My goal is to become a ‘working’ actor. When I am successful, I would like to establish a scholarship for acting students at Concord College.

“Dr. Gambill, associate professor of communication arts, was instrumental in helping me with graduate school auditions, and I am extremely grateful to him for his help,” Joseph said.

“This will give Kahlil a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity—and, I want to visit him in California,” chuckled Michael Curry, vice president for admissions & financial aid.

“When we get bogged down in the daily grind of dealing with budgets and the negatives that can sometimes happen in a workplace … seeing a student like Kahlil bursting forth and succeeding reaffirms everything that brought me to this job. We are literally touching lives and changing lives here at Concord.”

“Michael kept me at Concord … something I’ll never forget,” Joseph said.

“This is a ‘first’ for Concord College,” stated Ron Burgher, professor of communication arts at the College. “UCLA is one of the top two or three institutions in the nation. Kahlil is one of our outstanding students and has done remarkable work here at the College.”

Joseph will graduate May 17, 2003, and will be performing as the “emcee” in Cabaret, his last official performance at Concord. The film version of the musical starred Liza Minelli, with Joel Gray as the emcee.

The musical is slated for April 24 through April 26.

For information on Cabaret, contact the Concord College Box Office, 1-304-384-5101, or


Photo: Kahlil Joseph

Concord College Notes: Persons with disabilities should contact Rick Dillon, 1-304-384-5276 or Alice Dillon, 1-304-384-5177, if special accommodations are required for this event.