Meet the Class: Faculty of Fine Arts and Communications

July 13, 2021 | Arts & Culture, Campus Life
Congratulations to the creators, thinkers, innovators, hard workers, music makers and entrepreneurs who are graduating from MacEwan University's Faculty of Fine Arts and Communications.


Lara Alameddine, Bachelor of Design

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My journey at MacEwan started in 2013 when I applied to the Design Studies program. I'd just graduated from high school in Lebanon and submitted a design portfolio along with my application. The first couple of semesters were challenging, not just for learning time management, but working on the way I'd thought about design. Looking back, the portfolio I submitted is very different from the designs and work I produce now!

After graduating in 2016, I started working at NAIT as a web design intern. I used the skills and knowledge I'd acquired during my three years at MacEwan. After only one year, NAIT hired me on as a permanent web designer. I've been able to work on high-profile projects like the website redesign project. I value continuous improvement and am continually learning and advancing my skillset to stay up to date on design techniques and trends.

In 2019, I decided to come back to MacEwan and complete my Bachelor of Design degree. Working full-time and studying part-time was a huge challenge, but not one that was insurmountable. NAIT accommodated my school schedule by allowing me to shift my work schedule and I utilized my project management skills to balance my school, work and personal life. Graduating with my degree is one of my greatest achievements and I'm so proud of how far I've come.

I love the work I do and hope in the future to have the opportunity to teach these skills to others that are eager to learn, or lead my own team of user-focused digital designers.


Kessler Douglas, Bachelor of Music, Performance

Dean's Medal for Academic Excellence

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When I finished high school, I didn't really consider my options or take my future too seriously. Music has been an important outlet for me throughout my teenage years and I really got into jazz in high school, so I applied to the closest jazz-related music program to where I live, which happened to be at MacEwan. Luckily, this not-too-well-thought-out decision proved to be one of the best things I've ever done.

During my undergrad, I was able to try my hand at research. I really enjoyed doing a self-directed research project, and so I decided to apply to some graduate programs. This fall, I'm excited to be continuing my educational journey through a master's program at Carleton University.

Throughout these past four years, I figured out who I wanted to be, both personally and musically. Without the faculty and peers I've met at MacEwan and my experiences with performance, composition and research, I wouldn't be where I am today.

 


Isaac Fuhr, Bachelor of Communication Studies, Professional Communication major

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The defining moment of my university career was my first-ever class presentation. Most people hate presentations, and it's twice as bad with a group. It gets even worse when it happens in your first year.

My group had come up with an interesting topic, and we were all working hard to get it done, but come presentation day, it just wasn’t polished. I didn't feel that we were fully prepared, so standing in front of the class, I just started talking, adding in ideas and questions for the professor to discuss, and answered every query without a moment’s hesitation. I didn’t know what I was doing, but I did it, and I did it well. I never feared another moment like that again.

I will soon begin working as a communications coordinator for a local mining and reclamation company. I hope to leverage this experience for a master's degree in the future. I'd also like to do something with sustainable business. I’m also writing my novel series, The Vilified, and hope to finish the first book soon.


Nathaniel Vance Hehir, Bachelor of Design

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My parents inspire me 100 per cent. Both of them are extremely talented artists and really pushed and supported me through my five years of schooling. I couldn't have done it without them.

I have always been passionate about studying design, or more specifically, film and animation. I think it stemmed from the movies my parents introduced me to at a young age, like Raiders of the Lost Ark, Star Wars or anything to do with Batman and Superman. From there, I started to appreciate how filmmakers practice their craft and how they can achieve an emotion from a moment. That’s something I always want to achieve. In the future, I hope to pursue film further. I already have something written and done post-production — I'm just waiting for COVID to ease a bit more. Ahead of that, I would love to go to Vancouver Film School and see where that takes me.

Nathaniel Vance Hehir is also an award-winning short film director. Read more about Hehir and The Stonekiller.


Fabio Henao Caviedes, Bachelor of Music, General major

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I was already a graduate with a degree in engineering from a school in Colombia when I auditioned for MacEwan's music program. Deciding to go back to university, alter my career path, part ways with my family and pursue a future abroad felt somewhat unreal — like an alternate reality that floated parallel to my own, giving no clue on whether it will become true or not.

It wasn't until I entered the classroom for my first ear training class that all of the decisions and the motions required to get to Canada and study here became an objective reality. That class stands as my defining moment at MacEwan. Just a week before, it all seemed unlikely, and then that abstract and fundamentally different reality began to take shape.

I hope to become a film and visual media composer. Further down the road, I hope to pursue a master's degree and continue creating meaningful relationships with film directors, composers, game developers and other creative minds.


Leonie Mckenzie, Theatre Production

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I had never really thought about theatre as a job I would find myself wanting to do. Then in high school, the people I met and the connections I made pushed me toward the Theatre Production program. The courses aren't easy and they take a lot of commitment. Most of what we do in theatre is done under a time crunch, and this program has a crunch like no other. It pushed us all to new limits and showed me what a good team can accomplish when we work together and help each other learn. And I was able to make so many wonderful friends and relationships.

Because of my experience working with costumes during the program, I recently took on a position as an alteration specialist with a bridal shop and I hope to continue with this line of work.


Jackson Spring, Bachelor of Communication Studies, Journalism major

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In my third year, I wrote a paper about the harms of privately owned news organizations, and the potential benefits of cooperatively owned ones. The subject was very interesting to me going in, but over the course of the assignment, I learned more than I expected about manufacturing consent and other common behaviours of the corporate press, as well as the advantages of cooperatives. I conducted what could be, if expanded upon, actually useful research, and came to what I felt were meaningful conclusions on the topic. It felt really good to write a research paper that went beyond just fulfilling the assignment and produced something that could be useful outside of the class.

In the short term, I'm moving to Vancouver and considering taking one of a few graduate programs at the University of British Columbia. A master's degree in journalism would be an obvious choice for me, but I'm also thinking about a master's in urban planning. I love reporting on municipal politics, urban design and public transportation, and a degree in urban planning would allow me to write on those subjects with technical authority.

In the long term, I want to start a cooperative, journalist-owned newspaper. The idea behind that is when the newspaper is owned by the journalists, the business considerations are aligned with the editorial and creative considerations, as opposed to the corporate model, in which the company that owns the newspaper has interests and goals that do not necessarily reflect the best interests of the newsroom.

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Meet the Class: Faculty of Arts and Science

From genetics and social justice to psychology, law and education, the paths our Faculty of Arts and Science grads are on are sure to lead them to some interesting places.




 
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