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Megan Scott

Editor, Knox Magazine

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The Office of Nikki Whitaker Malley '98

Office of Nicole Whittacker Malley '98

Nikki Whitaker Malley graduated from Knox in 1998, returning to her alma mater to teach in 2003 after receiving her master's in musicology from Washington University in St. Louis. In addition to teaching, Malley directs the Knox Jazz Ensemble (KJE) and one of the College's nine jazz combos, as well as the Knox-Rootabaga Jazz Festival.

Her office on the second floor of the Ford Center for Fine Arts is open throughout the day and often filled with music students and other members of the department. Welcome to her office.

1. West African instruments that Malley uses in her Music of the African Diaspora class.

2. Voltron, the official Knox Jazz Ensemble (KJE) mascot. Ronny Cristobal '99 brought the original Voltron to an inspirational speech before a KJE concert in 1997, using it as a prop to explain how Volton's limbs all represent different sections of the band -- separately, each is an awesome super-hero, but together, they combine to make something even greater. "We have Voltron on stage with us at all our concerts because he is, of course, our mascot," Malley says.

3. A can of rootabagas first brought in by Dave Hoffman, associate in applied music, a few years ago as a nod to the Knox-Rootabaga Jazz Festival.

4. Posters of past Knox-Rootabaga Jazz Festivals, stretching back to 2005.

5. A doll playing the xylophone, given to Malley, who plays the vibraphone, by her favorite aunt.

6. A painting by alumnus John Viser '00, who was an art history major and a drummer for the KJE and Cherry Street Combo.

7. Malley's auctioneering school diploma from World Wide College of Auctioneering in Mason City, Iowa. She attended the college in the summer 2010 as part of her research into the musical and improvisatory aspects of auctioneering. Her research culminated in her dissertation and Ph.D. from the University of Iowa in 2012.

8. A poster from KJE's trip to Spain in December 2008.Various instruments borrowed by current students over the summer and returned at the start of the academic year.

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Printed on Thursday, October 18, 2018