With the onset of UC’s 2012-13 academic year, CCM welcomes six new faculty members and one new full-time staff member this fall. Please join us in welcoming these individuals to the CCM family!

Learn more about each new appointment below.


Thomas J. Carto
Associate Professor and Division Head, OMDA

Education: BM, Ohio Wesleyan University; MM and DM (Composition), Indiana University

Biography: Thomas Carto joins CCM as an Associate Professor and head of the Division of Opera, Drama, Musical Theatre, Arts Administration and Theatre Design and Production (OMDA). Carto’s professional background contains a unique combination of academic and arts administration, including 23 years of direct field experience (both public and private) with orchestras, producing organizations and performing arts centers.

Most recently, Carto was President and CEO of Overture Center for the Arts, a $205 million state-of-the-art performing arts center in Madison, Wis. He also served as President of the Renaissance Performing Arts Association in Mansfield, Ohio and was VP of Development for the Pacific Symphony Orchestra in Orange County, Calif. His teaching experience includes Indiana University Jacobs School of Music and Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware, Ohio.

Carto has several professional affiliations including the Association of Performing Arts Presenters, International Association of Assembly Managers and the League of Historic American Theaters.


Mark Halpin
Visiting Associate Professor of Theatre Design and Production

Education: BFA, Northern Kentucky University; MFA, University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Biography: Mark Halpin once again joins the faculty of CCM, serving as a Visiting Associate Professor in the OMDA division. He has been a part of the CCM faculty during numerous terms since 2003, and has designed over 35 CCM productions, including The Wild PartyDon Giovanni andNoises Off. Other local design venues include Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and Cincinnati Opera. Nationally, he has worked with the Williamstown Theatre Festival, Stages St. Louis, the Human Race Theatre, Honolulu Theatre for Youth, Universal Studios Florida and theme parks and cruise ships around the world.


John Hebbeler
Visiting Assistant Professor of Electronic Media

Education: BFA (Electronic Media), University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music; MS (Music Technology), Indiana-Purdue University at Indianapolis (IUPUI) School of Engineering and Technology

Biography: This fall, John Hebbeler becomes Visiting Assistant Professor in CCM’s Division of Electronic Media. He has an MS in Music Technology from the Purdue School of Engineering and Technology, Department of Music and Arts Technology at Indiana-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI). During his graduate studies, he created interactive trans-media compositions that integrate iPhone and Wii remote technology into live audio and visual performances. His recent work includes the development of computer-based applications for iPhone, iPod and iPad mobile media devices that use Open Sound Control programming and accelerometer technology to fuse aspects of composition, production and performance.

Over the past decade, Hebbeler worked on sound, video and web productions for clients that include the World Association of Symphonic Bands, the International Tuba and Euphonium Association, The United States Jazz Ambassadors, the BBC, Cincinnati Opera and more.

Hebbeler graduated from CCM’s Division of Electronic Media in 2001 and served as the technical production manager for the division from 2002 to 2012. He also served as an adjunct instructor, teaching studio television production, digital audio production and virtual studio production.

Hebbeler will teach Integrated Media Production, Studio TV Production, Digital Video and Digital Audio.

He is also a professional musician and enjoys playing, composing and recording in his free time. His original compositions have been distributed by Spotify, iTunes (US, Japan), Amazon, Rhapsody, eMusic, Zune, Tradebit and Last.fm.


Sydney Schnurr
Assistant Professor of Arts Administration

Education: BA (American Studies), Michigan State University; MA (Arts Administration), University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music

Biography: Sydney Schnurr comes to CCM as an experienced non-profit fundraising professional, having held the positions of Development Director at the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company and (most recently) Associate Development Director at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park. She has also worked in the Estate Planning Department of the Cleveland law firm of McDonald Hopkins. For the past three years, she taught Funding and Grants in CCM’s Arts Administration program. This year, she joins the Arts Administration faculty as an assistant professor.

Schnurr is a member of the board of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and serves on the WE Leadership Planning Committee of the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber. She is a proud graduate of WE Lead (Class 3) and a member of 100 Wise Women. Schnurr and her husband, Russ, have three daughters and live in Mount Adams.


Hagit Limor Sunberg
Assistant Professor of Electronic Media

Education: BS (Journalism), Northwestern University Medill School of Journalism; MS (Journalism), Northwestern University Medill School of Journalism

Biography: Hagit Limor joins CCM’s Division of Electronic Media after an extensive career in broadcast journalism and as national president of the Society of Professional Journalists. She teaches media writing, ethics and journalism, taking students from the classroom and newsroom into the studio for taped productions.

Limor has served as an anchor, general assignment reporter and investigative reporter at network-affiliated stations in five markets, including WTVT in Tampa and most recently WCPO-TV in Cincinnati, where she continues to contribute as an investigative reporter. She has covered news stories throughout the United States, Central America, Europe and Asia, including the devastating March 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

Limor’s abilities as a writer and reporter have garnered her dozens of national, state and local awards for investigative, documentary, general assignment and feature reporting. She has won ten Emmy Awards, three national Sigma Delta Chi Awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, a National Headliner Award, national finalist for the Investigative Reporters and Editors Association, and other national awards from the Association of Health Care Journalists and the Society of Environmental Journalists, plus more than 100 state Associated Press, state SPJ and local SPJ awards.

Additionally, Limor is very active for the cause of journalism on a national level. She has served as president of the national Society of Professional Journalists, representing 8,000 journalists across the United States, after holding several other national and local offices, including president of the Greater Cincinnati Professional SPJ chapter. She currently serves as national chair of the Society’s Legal Defense Fund and chairs the Online Voting Committee. Limor also sits on the board of the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation, which promotes excellence and ethics in journalism through educational programs and grants for journalism-related projects.

Beyond journalism, Limor volunteers throughout the tri-state area, and was honored by the Bethesda Foundation for her local service. She also emcees, speaks and hosts events for various community organizations.


Lakshmi Tirumala
Assistant Professor of Electronic Media

Education: BA (Business Management), Gandhi Institute of Technology and Management (India); MA (Mass Communications, Film and Broadcast Technology), Bangalore (India) University; MA (Mass Communications), Texas Tech University

Biography: Lakshmi Tirumala comes to CCM as an assistant professor in the Electronic Media division. He is an experienced videographer, editor (Avid and Final Cut Pro), After-Effects artist, photographer and also a new media technology researcher. Most recently (2011 –12) he taught communications classes at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio.

Tirumala earned his BA in Business Management, majoring in International Business at the Gandhi Institute of Technology and Management (GITAM) in India. He holds two masters degrees: the first is an MA in Mass Communications with a major in Film and Broadcast Technology from Bangalore University in India, and the second MA in Mass Communications was earned at Texas Tech in Lubbock. He is completing his PhD in the College of Mass Communications at Texas Tech. Since 2008, he has given presentations at a number of refereed conferences on topics including media effects and new media technology. He has worked with the department of biology at Texas Tech on a National Science Foundation grant to film and edit learning modules on the topics of Malaysian Bat species and bio diversity. He has also worked on several short films while at Texas Tech.



Kathryn Zajac
Admissions Officer

Education: BM (Voice) University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music; MM (Voice), University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music

Biography: Kathryn Zajac returns to her alma mater in the role of CCM Admissions Officer. A former student worker and Graduate Assistant with the Admissions Office, Zajac will assist in the college’s recruitment efforts and hold administrative
responsibilities with the Admissions Office.

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