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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Media arts to celebrate graduate student’s life

    Students and faculty members will gather tomorrow to remember Timothy Morris, a media arts graduate student who was struck and killed by a car last week.

    The accident, which occurred at the intersection of East Speedway Boulevard and North Third Avenue, was one of eight accidents resulting in pedestrian deaths in Tucson within the past year, said Tucson Police Department Sgt. Tim Beam, a traffic investigator.

    Morris’ sudden death has had a profound impact on students and faculty members who knew him. They will gather to celebrate his life tomorrow in Crowder Hall in the Music building, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

    A graduate of the University of Texas, Morris, 29, earned a bachelor’s degree in radio, film and television before coming to the UA to pursue a master’s degree in media arts.

    He will be awarded his degree from the UA, posthumously, on Dec. 16, according to an online biography for Morris.

    UA alumna Alyssa Fish, who took art 436A, Digital Arts Authoring, with Morris last year, said she remembers him for the simple way that he lived life.

    “”In the few weeks I worked with him and from the conversations that we had, I learned more about how to appreciate life than I did in 23 years,”” Fish said.

    “”Tim didn’t even have a microwave or a dryer,”” Fish added, “”He was so modest.””

    Fish, who graduated in May, worked on her final media arts project with Morris. She described him as a hardworking student and a devoted teacher.

    “”He was warm and friendly, and genuinely cared about the students that he taught,”” Fish said. “”He became something of a leader in our group, and there were many times that I ran into him after midnight in the (Manuel T. Pacheco Integrated Learning Center), working either on our project or another.””

    Frank McGuire, a visiting associate professor, and Lucy Petrovic, an artist-in-residence, both taught art 436A. Both said they remember Morris as hardworking and intelligent.

    “”I always saw him as someone who could be a great professor,”” McGuire said. “”He was dedicated, and he was great at collecting information and then presenting it to others.””

    Petrovic described Morris as an “”ideal student.””

    “”Tim was great,”” she said in an e-mail. “”Intelligent, creative and very willing to help others in class, he was always bringing new ideas into the classroom.””

    Al Tucci, head of the media arts department, spoke fondly of Morris in an e-mail; saying, “”Tim was a wonderful student in media arts. Unfortunately, I did not know him well, yet I miss him terribly.””

    In this incident, the driver of the car that struck Morris was at fault.

    Rudy Martinez, 52, was arrested on class 3 misdemeanor charges and cited for failure to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk.

    Martinez, who was not impaired or speeding when the accident occurred, is facing significant sanctions including restitution of up to $10,000, Beam said.

    In the few weeks I worked with him and from the conversations that we had, I learned more about how to appreciate life than I did in 23 years.
    – Alyssa Fish, alumna

    However, in 75 percent of cases involving accidents with pedestrians, the pedestrians are at fault, usually for committing infractions such as jaywalking, Beam said.

    “”People need to understand that, even if they are in a crosswalk, actions need to be taken to ensure that they are safe,”” Beam said. “”You are responsible for your own safety.””

    “”If drivers are more aware of areas where there are high volumes of pedestrians, and if pedestrians are aware of the uncertainty of a crosswalk, I am quite certain that there is enough room for everyone out there,”” Beam said.

    Petrovic said she was shocked to hear about the news of Morris’ death, adding, “”he will be sorely missed.”” Although Morris’ funeral took place Saturday in his hometown of Pflugerville, Texas, a celebration of his life will be held on campus to help console those who were touched by his life and saddened by his death.

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