1. Tell me about your fellowship project. What are you doing? How does it relate to Dr. Ellis's work?
For my freshman fellows work, I aid professor Ellis in collecting information for his PowerPoints and website that he uses in his AD 365 class. Professor Ellis gives me a list of artists and designers to research, and I find important works by each person that have to do with the category I'm working in, such as nature, spectacle/decorative, or absurdity, to name a few. I put together information on the works, such as title, date, and materials used, and add these to both the PowerPoint and the website. I also add the biography of each artist/designer to their respective pages. Well known names such as Frank Lloyd Wright take
15-20 minutes to put all the information on the presentation and website, while less recognized names like Bruno Martinazzi can take over an hour to complete. Professor Ellis and I work together on these projects so that he can have the content ready for when his class reaches each specific category. Potentially, my work will shift to different aspects of design, but for now the main focus is to aid professor Ellis in collecting the material for his class.
2. What value has this experience brought to you so far?
My work has already been useful to me because I am able to easily recognize and identify the significance of an artist or work that was just, a few weeks prior, completely unknown to me. Several of the artists, designers, or works that I've come across in my freshman fellows work have shown up in my "Ideas in Art History" and "Modern Art:
European Sources" classes. This work has helped me to identify the period or 'aesthetic' (for lack of a better word) of pieces more easily than if I had never worked with professor Ellis. Being a Graphic Communications major, I was not really exposed to methods/media such as woodworking or ceramics, but now I have a much better knowledge of more than just graphics. It's also extremely great to be introduced to graphic designers who make work that reinforces my own love for design.
3. Why did you choose NMU?
When I was first looking at colleges, I wanted to go to a state that didn't touch my home state of Illinois. I researched universities with graphic design programs, and when I was looking at colleges in Michigan, I came across NMU. The graphic design program looked great, the size of the university was just what I was looking for, and the location of the school was better than any other school I'd seen thus far. I visited the university and remember thinking how beautiful NMU and Marquette in general were, and how nice the graphic design facilities were. I was awarded the Harden scholarship in the fall of my senior year, and after that, the pull to NMU was too strong to resist. I love the people and the environment here, as well as all the opportunities that have been made available to me through NMU.
4. What are you looking forward to for the rest of your freshman year?
The rest of your undergrad? Plans for the future?
For the rest of this year, I want to continually get more involved in areas that interest me, particularly ones that were not available to me in high school. So far, I have been able to balance my workload well, and I hope this continues. For the rest of undergrad, I'm hoping to learn more in the subjects of photography, web design, and coding so that I can be well-rounded in those aspects of the design field. I would like to have applied and been accepted to a design internship within the next few years, maybe study abroad or at least take a trip out of the US, and hopefully have a job lined up by the time I graduate. In the future, I would love to someday be an Art Director at a design firm or follow the nagging but tempting feeling in the back of my mind that maybe I could teach this someday, too.
Read about previous freshman fellows and their research projects: