PSUs School of Fine and Performing Arts names first Kamelia Massih Outstanding Faculty and Student in the Arts

Portland State University’s (PSU) School of Fine and Performing Arts (FPA) is pleased to announce that Darrell Grant and Justin Flood are the first recipients of the Kamelia Massih Outstanding Faculty and Student Prizes in the Arts.

“Kamelia cared deeply about others and gave her time and resources cheerfully to a wide range of Portland charities,” said her brother Fariborz Maseeh. “But she loved above all else fine arts, music and dance.”

The Kamelia Massih Endowment for the Arts recognizes faculty and students in FPA who bring innovation to their discipline, demonstrate excellence in performing or fine arts, and exemplify PSUs commitment to community engagement.

“Once again this family has shown their commitment to this community by investing in education, by investing in the arts, by investing in excellence,” said Wim Wiewel, president of PSU. “That kind of investment helps us continue to draw and retain the excellence embodied by Darrell and Justin.”

Outstanding faculty: Darrell Grant, professor of jazz
“His accomplishments as a performer, recording artist, jazz educator and event organizer place him in the top rank of jazz musicians in the nation,” said Bryan Johanson, chair of the Music Department. Grant’s work as a teacher and music educator have brought him into contact with some of the brightest jazz musicians of the next generation. Recent Grammy Award-winning protégée Esperanza Spalding has openly acknowledged the pivotal role professor Grant played in her career development while a student at PSU.

Outstanding student: Justin Flood, graphic design undergraduate
“His collection of work is stellar,” said Lis Charman, acting chair of the Art Department. “He exhibits an understanding of concepts and execution of craft on par with work being produced at top MFA programs across the country.” Flood’s commitment to community engagement is evidenced by his work with communities at PSU, in surrounding Portland neighborhoods, and Indonesia. Justin is well respected by peers and is viewed as a leader by his professors.

Prizes will be presented at the FPA Hooding Ceremony on June 10, 2011, in Lincoln Hall. Dr. Fariborz Maseeh, brother of Kamelia Massih, will be on hand to confer these inaugural awards.

About Dr. Kamelia Massih
A beloved Portland optometrist, Dr. Kamelia Massih was a true American success story. Born and raised in Tehran, she came to the United States in 1978, initiated her studies in biology at Portland State University and subsequently graduated in 1981 from Oregon State University. After completing a doctorate in optometry at Pacific University, she opened her own practice at Beaverton Vision World in 1989. She later opened a second clinic in downtown Portland near the Portland State University campus. Dr. Massih passed away on March 19, 2010 after a three-year battle with cancer. Dr. Massih’s brother and PSU alumnus, Fariborz Maseeh, through the Massiah Foundation, established the endowment on behalf of his sister.

About the Massiah®Foundation
Massiah Foundation is established to make innovative, transformational or charitable contributions in areas within its expertise that can result in broad public benefit mainly in education, health, or arts/culture. For more information, please visit

About Portland State University
Portland State University (PSU) serves as a center of opportunity for over 28,000 undergraduate and graduate students. Located in Portland, Oregon, one of the nations’ most livable cities, the University’s innovative approach to education combines academic rigor in the classroom with field-based experiences through internships and classroom projects with community partners. The School of Fine and Performing Arts exemplifies Portland State’s commitment to community engagement. PSU’s motto, “Let Knowledge Serve the City,” inspires the teaching and research of an accomplished faculty whose work and students span the globe.