It’s hard to believe that my junior year at Saint Vincent College has come to a close. It has been a while since I last posted, which goes to show just how busy I have been. This year has probably been one of my most successful so far, only because I have learned so much about myself and my fields of study: communication and graphic design.
Let’s start with the reason I am here and what is fresh in my mind: this past semester’s classes. Besides, I just finished all of my finals! I made sure to fill my course load this semester with 19 credits. Here’s a brief overview of my classes and what I learned:
- I became a forensic scientist in my Chemistry and Crime class/lab and learned many valuable life lessons about how easily evidence can be misinterpreted. All I know is that if I ever have to serve on jury duty, thanks to Dr. Bettie Davis, I’ll be more prepared in making a just decision.
- I was able to bring out my inner photographer in my Digital Photography and Post Production class. This was my third class with Mr. Joseph Materkowski, who has taught me a variety of different techniques that will always be helpful to know and understand, especially in my future career. The best part of this particular class was trying to find people who were willing to be photographed and have their picture shown to a class full of students. I think the award goes to my niece who actually let a salamander crawl on her face when I asked her to do it in order to get a funny photo:)
- I learned more about the many types of art in my Art History II class and conceptual art was my favorite to talk about. I think it is so interesting, because it makes you think, even if it doesn’t make sense or seems weird, and it challenges what art is all about. I also learned that my professor, Mr. Ben Schachter, is not only a painter, but also creates some amazing sculptures and works of art with electrical pieces. How cool is that!
- I enjoyed learning different drawing and painting techniques in my 2-D Design class. Br. Mark Floreanini taught me last semester for my Stained Glass class, and he has always been helpful and supportive of my talents. Check out this interesting and colorful self-portrait of mine that is composed of hundreds of dots of color and another drawing I created of the Saint Vincent Basilica window with a hatching technique.
- I became a public relations specialist in my Writing for Media class and composed a portfolio full of valuable writing samples related to Elk County Council on the Arts, a non-profit organization close to my home town that I worked at for two summers. These writing techniques and tools will definitely be valuable for the future, and Ms. Beth Michalec really helped me to develop my reasoning behind writing and encouraged me with kind words throughout the semester.
- Most importantly, I conquered my fear of reading in my Children’s Literature class! Since I have such a creative mind full of distracting thoughts, I have never been much of a reader. I want to give a shout out to Dr. Marybeth Spore, who really inspired me to overcome my apprehensions and, because of her support, I was able to successfully read 14 books; some in less than even two days. I would say that’s a pretty big accomplishment!
I was able to vividly remember and express my positive thoughts towards my teachers and my professors this semester because it is fresh in my mind, but I want to thank all of my wonderful teachers who have been so inspirational in my journey so far at Saint Vincent College. The best part of attending college at such a small campus is the special bond created with the professors, who truly care about and become invested in their students. I could not be happier with the progress I have made because of these amazing individuals.
Next, I’d like to mention my opportunities for work on campus. I’ve been working with Campus Ministry since my freshman year, and it is always so rewarding to get involved with the Catholic campus in such a special way. I am able to meet so many different students and invest my time into the planning and promotion of activities that bring the community together. Secondly, I work for the Marketing and Communications department, which involves many fun and exciting projects that have been the most effective in providing me with hands on experience in my fields of study. I started off in the fall knowing very little about the Adobe software and a program called MailChimp, which I use to create the School of Social Sciences, Communication and Education newsletter every month. However, with encouragement and help from Simon Stuchlik and Suzanne English, I have been able to blossom and learn so much in so little time.
One of the biggest projects I completed recently was the school outcome brochures that get sent out to prospective students. I can’t even begin to express how thankful I am to everyone who works in the Public Relations and Marketing and Communications department who have been influential in my growth as the design intern on campus. Also, back to the newsletter, I am very fortunate to be able to work with a fine group of ladies and Dr. Spore on the SSCE newsletter, where my main role is to use my design skills to turn the text and photographs into a visually appealing masterpiece for all to read and enjoy. I also can’t forget to mention a very special person, George Fetkovich, who was recently hired as the graphic designer on campus. I have the privilege of working next to George, who has played a pivotal role in teaching me the ins and outs of graphic design. Every little bit of new information counts and I am so blessed to be able to learn new things every day beyond what I gain from being in the classroom.
Now, it’s actually 1:20 a.m. and I’ve been writing this for quite some time, but I can’t seem to stop. Besides, I’m headed home in about 12 hours and, by the time you read this, I will already be home enjoying my first few weeks of summer. This brings me to my summer job. I am very pleased to announce that I will be interning with Generation Life, which is an amazing missionary organization that mainly works to spread the messages of chastity and respect for human life to high school and college students. I will have an opportunity to do some traveling and work with the organization’s communication department, starting in June. I am so excited to be able to gain experience by investing my time into a mission that I care deeply about and try to uphold through my position as vice president for the respect life club on campus.
Another person who has contributed to my growth spiritually is Fr. John-Mary Tompkins, O.S.B. who generously meets with me weekly to discuss matters of the faith. I have become a stronger person because of his advice and am able to live out my faith more fully on campus because of his continued prayers and support.
There are just so many people who have touched my life in these past three years and chances are, if I know you, then you have touched my life in some way, shape or form. Thank you to all of you who share your smiles and laughs with me and show me how blessed I am to be surrounded by people who care. Whether you are a friend, family member, teacher, mentor, boss,... you have made an impact on my life, and I thank you for sharing part of your journey with me.
Well, I could go on and on about how special Saint Vincent has been for me so far and how amazing the students and faculty are, but all good things must come to an end. I could talk to you about my crazy roommate who I grew up with since kindergarten, but I’ll save that for next time. I've got to prepare to enter my senior year of college! (YIKES!)
Oh! and on a completely random note, I tried deep fried ice-cream for the first time last week at Don Patron, a new Mexican restaurant in Latrobe. Talk about a great way to celebrate the end of a great semester!