Newest Collier Woods Scholarship Recipients Announced

February 6, 2024

The Collier Robert Woods, Jr. Scholarship, named to honor designer and technician Collier Robert Woods, Jr., who passed away in 2020, supports Black and African American students with interests in lighting design and/or theatre production, technology, and associated theatrical fields. 

Woods was a veteran lighting designer and stage technician with extensive lighting design credits in opera, ballet, modern dance, music and theatre.

This year's recipients are Reg Sutphen and Lauren Dixon.

Reg Sutphen
Reg Sutphen

Reg Sutphen is a multidisciplinary theatre student currently in their junior year at the State University of New York at Plattsburgh. They are absolutely ecstatic about the Collier Woods scholarship! As a nonbinary artist with ADHD, they are constantly striving to become the representation they never saw growing up. They are always eager to learn and ready to tackle anything that comes their way. Reg recently worked as the assistant stage manager for Plattsburgh's mainstage production Dragons Love Tacos and worked as a sound board operator for the Theatre Department's annual Ringing Down the Curtain event. Reg has also worked as a Stage Technician for the Event Management Office for the past two years, where they work setting up and running events around campus. They plan on learning more about sound design and microphones in their future studies, as well as learning more about lighting, directing, and acting. They pride themselves on being a leader within their community and try their hardest to inspire others to reach for the stars.

"I am eternally grateful to be receiving this award! Big thank you to Ms. Anjali Austin for sponsoring this award and helping BIPOC artists thrive. Thanks so much to my advisor, Erika Guay, for helping me with this opportunity. And thank you to my grandparents for putting me through college!"

Lauren Kennedi
Lauren Kennedi Ozie Dixon

Lauren Kennedi Ozie Dixon is an MFA 2 Lighting Designer at the California Institute of the Arts. She graduated from Spelman College, with an independent major: Innovative Design for Production and Live Events, with a concentration in Lighting Design and a minor in education. Born in Atlanta GA and raised in Southern Mississippi, Lauren has honed her production and lighting skills by working a myriad of events since her sophomore year of high school. From theater to corporate events to live television Lauren has immersed herself in a full understanding of the way the lighting departments impact the Entertainment Industry. Lauren is a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and an advocate for serving her community. Lauren also has a minor in education and believes Theater education is instrumental in the development of adolescent students. It is a goal of Lauren's to “Light the Way'' for aspiring Black Women Designers everywhere and help diversify the production design sector of the entertainment industry. Making people of color feel seen while being properly lit is instrumental to Lauren's purpose work in the industry.

"I am thankful to be selected as a Collier Woods Scholarship Recipient for it allows me to pursue my goals of "Lighting The Way" to a better, more inclusive industry!"