Dr. Gustafson completed his Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Arts from Ohio University in 2011, focusing on the role that music plays in shaping social identities and the theatricality of musical performance. In 2009, his article, "Creativity Amid the Crash: Opera in the U.S. During the Great Depression" was published in OPERA America Magazine, and he has delivered papers on a variety of topics, including the theatricality of marching bands and nineteenth-century American concert singing.
He completed his M.M. in Music Composition at the Chicago College of Performing Arts, and his compositions have been performed and recorded by choral groups and soloists throughout the United States. In 2012, two song cycles, Morning Commute and Sarai's Dilemma, were selected for commercial recording by the Vox 3 Collective in Chicago, IL; members of the Collective awarded Sarai's Dilemma Best New Composition of the 2011-2012 season. Dr. Gustafson is also active as a professional musician and music director. As a baritone, he has sung professionally with numerous choirs, including the Bach Week Festival Chorus in Evanston, IL and as a soloist for the Springfield Choral Society in Springfield, IL. As a music director and guitarist, Gustafson has worked with regional theater companies throughout the Midwest, including the Bailiwick Theater and the Jedlicka Performing Arts Center, both in Chicago, IL.