Emerson "Doc" Arends Award - Directing for Scene and Stage

Emerson "Doc" Arends.At San José State from 1945-48, Doc Arends was a speech and drama major and member of the Spartan Knights and the San José Players. In 1948 he became the President of Associated Students, the student governing body.

In the summer of that same year, he marrried his college sweetheart, Betty Jeanne Patnoe who was editor of the "La Torre," the SJSU college yearbook. Together, Doc and Betty were one of the most popular couples on campus. After graduation, he maintained close ties with the University, becoming President of the Spartan Foundation, President of the Alumni Association, and a member of the University’s advisory board. In 1976, Doc Arends earned SJSU’s highest honor, the Tower Award.

“To me there’s a difference between being a graduate and an alumnus. A graduate is a person who went to a school, got his diploma, cut his ties and left. An alumnus is one who becomes caught up emotionally in his institution and stays that way.” ~Emerson Arends

The Emerson “Doc” Arends Award was established in 1996 by the Theatre Arts Department for recognition of the best directors on “stage and television” and later changed to recognize the best stage and screen directors.


Qualities representing Doc himself: leadership, energy, skill, and the “can do” spirit of the true entrepreneur.

Past Recipients

Screen Director

2015 Shannon Bringham
2014 Liam Goulding
2013 Darren Rae
2012 Daniel Maggio
2011 Nesthree Di Leon
2010 Jeremy Inman
2009 James Jeffrey
2008 Cynthia Gil
2007 Marc Tran
2006 Greg Bradley
2005 Payman Abdollahi
2004 Paul Encinas
2003 Sean Becker
2002 Luane Beck
2001 Eli Pahati
2000 Matt Barber
1999 Mike Sabia
1998 Michael Minadeo

Stage Director 

2015 Krista Skorupski
2014 Ashley Davis
2013 Ashley Davis
 2012 Erica Schwehr
 2011 Jacqui Montellato
2010 Amy Lizardo Ryan
2009 Kikau Alvaro
2008 Josh Jack Carl
2007 Not Awarded
2006 Not Awarded
2005 Elizabeth Thies
2004 Gwen Templeton
2003 Jason Salazar
2002 Alison Moon
2001 Not Awarded
2000 Marc Pinate
1999 Thomas Nores
1998 Anne Burk
1997 Kristen Tweten
1996 Bryan Reed
1996 Duncan Graham
1996 Codie Fitch