jillian fournier bravo

Jillian Fournier
Technical Theatre and Stagecraft
Toledo, Ohio
Class Year:

Involvement in the arts at BGSU: Sound Designer for Middletown, 1st ASM for Drowsy Chaperone, SM for Amazons and Their Men, SM for Threepenny Opera, Member of Alpha Psi Omega, Member of MuTS (Musical Theatre Students)

Other involvement: Member of Falcon Swing Society
Most important experience(s) at BGSU:
The friends I’ve made here, becoming a Grant-in-Aide students, getting engaged.

Additional information: I am a lifetime Girl Scout, and I worked at a summer camp for 3 years. I did 4 years of speech team at an all girl school for which I am now a judge.


“Without this money, there is no way I’d still be able to afford to go to school. My family had severe financial troubles right after I graduated high school, and when I got this assistance, the worry that I’d not be able to stay here disappeared because my bill became infinitely more manageable.”



jabri johnson

Name:  Jabri Johnson
Communications with a specialization in Musical Theatre
Westlake, Ohio (a suburb of Cleveland).
Class year:

Involvement in the arts at BGSU: I've been heavily involved with the Department of Theatre and Film since my first year in the Fall of 2014. I started out by acting in the Main stage play Book of Days. Since then I've appeared in numerous Main stage and Elsewhere productions (The Drowsy Chaperone, The Penelopiad, Next Fall). I've also been heavily involved with the theatre-related student organizations. I'm a pledged member of Alpha Psi Omega, our resident theatre fraternity. I've been an officer of MuTS (Musical Theatre Students organization) for the past three years, this year serving as President. I've appeared in various MuTS cabarets and the annual Broadway Cares BG charity benefit every year since I started school here. I've recently directed two shows as part of the Elsewhere series (The Story, Scab). Since becoming a Bravo Scholar, I've worked backstage for numerous productions in the department, and I've spent semesters working in the Wolfe Center scene shop to help build the sets for various productions. I also recently appeared in a student film (Tuesday in Winter Valley).

Other activities: I don't have time for much else, but I love to listen to music in my spare time, read books and articles, listen to podcasts, drink herbal tea, and play video games. I love traveling, discovering local restaurants, and trying new food.

Awards/honors: I've received the Bravo Scholar award for the past 2 years.

Most important experience(s) at BGSU: It's a tie between performing in my first main stage show (Book of Days) and taking a directing class with Sara Chambers. Both experiences incredibly expanded my understanding of the art of theatre and made me grow immensely as an artist.

Additional information: I've traveled to London (with the help of the Bravo Scholarship) to study the British theatre scene. Last summer I got an acting internship that has helped me start working towards being a member of the actor's union (Actors Equity Association). I've also only been doing theatre since my junior year of high school, so all in all I've only been acting for a little over five years. I'm extremely grateful BGSU's Theatre department gave me the chance to seriously grow as an artist even though I started so late.


“The Bravo financial assistance means everything to me. The scholarship truly makes the difference for me to be able to afford to attend school. It helps me pay for tuition, have off-campus housing, and eat. Without it I don't know how I'd be able to finish school and still be as involved as I am with the Department of Theatre and Film.”


Francesca Leo bravo

Francesca Leo
Flute performance 
Pleasant Ridge, Michigan
Class year:  Senior (2018)

Involvement in the arts at BGSU: I am active in many different areas within the College of Musical Arts, including performing in ensembles (Early Music), participating in Promusica, serving as the CMA student representative for undergraduate curriculum and instruction council and president of the flute studio, to help determine funding for guest artists.

Other activities: Through the Center for Undergraduate Research and Scholarship (CURS), I received a research grant to study musculoskeletal health, wellness, and performance-based pain treatment and prevention in collegiate music students. I will present my findings later this spring as part of a thesis project—a step closer to the rigors of graduate school. 

Most important experience(s) at BGSU: The talented and supportive faculty members are at the core of my positive experience at BGSU.  They have opened my eyes to such things as baroque renaissance, chamber literature and contemporary music. Additionally, the international experiences I have had, flute classes in Paris and Quebec, were life-changing, in part because of the instructor, but also because I was able to explore the culture and the city during the evenings.

Additional information: I did a minor in entrepreneurship, which has been a lot of work, but taught me so much about business that I didn't get from other programs. I had to build a website, research careers and study copyrights.


The Bravo music talent award, as well as other scholarships and awards, have given me the opportunity not have any student loans, which is something I am really fortunate for. I am so thankful to have been able to pursue opportunities such as music festivals, competitions, and flute classes in Paris and Quebec.



Carlie Merlo bravo

Name: Carlie Merlo
Major: Film Production, with a planned minor in Production Management
Hometown: Columbiana, Ohio
Class year: Senior (2018)
Involvement in the arts at BGSU: I am extremely involved in the campus’ film community. As part of my Bravo Award, I work in the Film Equipment Lab. I am an officer of the University Film Organization. Through this organization and our partner organization, BG Reel, I help arrange and host the 48 Hour Film Festivals that happen twice a semester on campus, the annual Film & Media Festival, and the 1-Minute Film Festivals that take place each year. BG Reel and UFO also hold weekly meetings to bring the film community together to expand our knowledge beyond our classes. I help host and run these meetings each week. I am involved in the theatre department, and have been a crew member on several university shows in both the Eva Marie Saint and Donnell theatres in the Wolfe Center. I am a regular participant in the annual Ray Browne Film Festival, and helped facilitate some of the events at the 2017 ArtsX.

Other activities: I am the current treasurer of the University Film Organization, a member of Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, the Honors Learning Community, and Mortar Board National College Senior Honor Society.
Awards/honors: In addition to being a Grant-In-Aid recipient, I am also an Honors student, received the Award of High Distinction, and was a finalist in the Television Academy Foundation’s Internship Program in the spring 2017. I also have won three awards during film festivals where I have screened.
Most important experience(s) at BGSU: Through my work Film Equipment Lab (as part of the Bravo award), I have developed my skills and knowledge about film equipment, and also had a hand in fostering the hands-on learning and networking that happens through the Film Lab. I have been able to help countless students with using equipment and studio space, and it has meant so much to me to be in a position where I can teach and mentor other students. Additionally, with the support of the tremendous film faculty, I developed a planned minor in Production Management. My most-important off-campus experience that came about when a professor put me in contact with a BGSU alumnus who allowed me to work as an intern on a feature film. I was able to network with industry professionals and practice my craft in a non-school environment.  And one of my most important experiences at BGSU was participating in the 48 Hour Film Festivals hosted by BG Reel and UFO. The first time I participated as a sophomore, opened the door to the incredible BGSU film community and changed the course of my life.


Additional information: I came to BGSU unsure of myself and my future, but I will leave knowing that film is what I want to do with my life, and that I will be successful in this industry. I’m sort of the odd one out in my family. My mom is a nurse, my dad is an anesthetist, my brother is an engineer, and my sister is in school for pre-med. So, I sometimes feel out of place, being the only member of my family to pursue a career in the arts. Luckily, my family has been very supportive of my choices.


“Receiving the financial assistance of the Bravo Scholars (by working in the Film Equipment Lab) has given me the ability to worry less about things like paying for school, and keeping food in the house. However, the biggest reward goes beyond the financial assistance. Working in the Film Equipment Lab has put me in the heart of the film program at BGSU. It is a place where students network with one another, learn from one another and really get the most out of their education. Being a part of the teaching and community-building that happens in the lab has been the greatest reward as a Bravo Scholar.”


Kimberly Tumblin bravo


Name: Kimberly Tumblin
Two-Dimensional Art, focused in painting
Coshocton, Ohio
Class year:
Junior (2019)

Involvement in the arts at BGSU: Member of 2DAA (Two Dimensional Artists Association and a former resident in the Arts Village Learning Community.

Awards/honors: Received School of Art Bravo Talent Awards in 2016-17 and 2017-18, and earned an honorable mention in the Digital Arts category in the 2017 Undergraduate Art Show.

Most important experience(s) at BGSU: The most important experiences have been the opportunities made available to me through being involved with 2DAA. We have formed a strong community of peers and gain experience through planning events, interacting with visiting artists, and visiting museums.

Additional information: I grew up on a dairy farm and one of my hobbies is spinning yarn.


“I am grateful to have received the talent award because it motivates me to continue aiming for success.”