2014/15 Merit Scholarship Recipients


Once successfully enrolled, MCAD students have the opportunity to compete for Merit Scholarships. Over fifty scholarships are awarded every year to BFA, BSc, and MFA students in a variety of areas. Meet some of this year's winners.

>2013/14 Winners
>2012/13 Winners

Adam Dargan / Junior / Animation

Animation Merit Scholarship—$2000

I submitted a demo reel of my animation work for this scholarship. I included pieces from my intro to animation class, including a flip book, and a piece called "Nuke-Tree," which examines the cyclical nature of man vs. nature and destruction. In addition, I included some 3D animation and current 3D modeling projects I am working on.

Aliyah Harmon / Junior / Entrepreneurial Studies

BSc Merit Scholarship
Liberal Arts Merit Award

My scholarship submission included several advertising campaigns. One included my work with a global partner in Senegal and my design of a resource center that could be built for residents in the area. My second piece outlined a branding strategy that would draw awareness and funding for the Auschwitz Birkenau Foundation.

Amruta Buge / Sophomore / Web and Multimedia Environments

Web and Multimedia Merit Scholarship—$2000

I submitted an interactive project that uses a gravity plugin and user-inputs for interaction; a web and print typographic marking-making project that explores more than a hundred Futura font-family text abbreviations; a one-minute documentary shot at a local Vietnamese flower-shop; a web-based experiment on Bollywood pop culture and GIFs; and an object (video) that was manipulated in the form of a flip-book.

Ann Macarayan / Senior / Illustration

Illustration Merit Scholarship—$2000

Both the community and the quality of work that I saw coming out of MCAD is what drew me to the school. I felt that attending MCAD would allow me to develop my skills while also being pushed by a supportive and talented group of peers.

Annalise Bue / Junior / Fine Arts Studio

MCAD Fine Arts Studio Merit Scholarship—$2000

I decided to come to MCAD to explore my ideas and interests in a more thorough, visual, in-depth manner. I had been heavily involved within the world of academia and was not feeling fulfilled. After having completed three semesters as a full-time student at MCAD, I know I have made the right decision.

Brandon Hunt / Senior / Animation

Media Arts Merit Scholarship—$6000

I submitted various animated pieces I've completed over my years at MCAD for a scholarship. I included class work as well as independent animation.

Breanna Bisek / Sophomore / Graphic Design

Foundation Studies Merit Scholarship—$2000

MCAD surrounds its students with endless resources making it the perfect place for artists to constantly grow and explore in all sorts of mediums. There is a pronounced presence of knowledge on campus, from philosophy, history, science, technology, and more, that encourages the expansion of consciousness alongside the art making process. MCAD is nurturing, inspiring, and challenging; that is why I decided to come here.

Brianna Heu / Senior / Entrepreneurial Studies

Senior BSc Merit Scholarship—$6000

I came to MCAD for the small community, connections, and hands-on experience. I transferred from a big university because I wasn't feeling that I was utilizing my skills and gaining the experience necessary to make me a standout candidate in the workforce. MCAD's BSc program blends visual communication with verbal communication and has fed me what I need to prosper as a creative with entrepreneurial spirit.

Carolyn Hernandez / Sophomore / Drawing and Painting

Foundation Studies Merit Scholarship—$2000

When deciding on a college I wanted to try something new and take myself out of my comfort zone. This, coupled with the goal to pursue a career as an artist, led me to choose MCAD as the place where I could challenge myself as an artist and surround myself in a community of people who are as devoted to creating artwork as I am.

Chase Van Weerdhuizen / Sophomore / Comic Art

Comics Roy B. Justus Art Scholarship—$2000

Winning this scholarship not only makes paying for my education a bit easier, but it's also incredibly meaningful to me. Coming from a small rural town, I never knew if my work was any good. Deciding to come to MCAD was a huge leap of faith. Winning the merit feels like I've stuck the landing, especially considering how many amazing comic art entries there were this year.

Chloe Wolfe / Junior / Web and Multimedia Environments

Web and Multimedia Merit Scholarship

I submitted for a scholarship a number of screenshots from several of my virtual environments that I built in a multitude of 3D programs, along with two short films and my website. The two video pieces deal with human interaction and the connections we make with each other throughout life; both can by found on my website and on Vimeo!

Cleo Malone / Sophomore / Undeclared

Foundation Studies Merit Scholarship—$2000

It's encouraging to know that even in my first year here, with no clue where I'm headed or what major/career I'll move into later, my work is still being recognized for being something I put my whole life into. I feel more enthusiastic about the next three years here with this scholarship.

Colin Corrado / Senior / Furniture Design

Senior Fine Arts Merit Scholarship—$6000

My work is a mix of design-focused furniture/accessories and fine art. In my scholarship submission, I wanted to show my design process from research, prototyping, and development to completion. The show I put together brought sculpture, product, studio furniture, and office furniture into a combined space, showing their interaction and how my vision and craft is realized across disciplines.

Craig Schlewitz / Senior / Photography

Media Arts Merit Scholarship—$6000

Winning this scholarship means a lot. It helps financially and gives me extra motivation to continue what I'm doing.

David Johanson / Junior / Graphic Design

R. Thomas and Gaylord Benson Scholarship—$3000

During my sophomore year at MCAD I focused almost entirely on print design—specifically books. My entry featured four different books and four posters. I tried to show a nice mix between experimental and traditional work, as well as between highly conceptual work and formal experiments. I also tried to make evident the amount of fun I've had creating work at MCAD, in addition to how much I've progressed while here.

Elizabeth Aviles / Senior / Entrepreneurial Studies

Senior BSc Merit Scholarship—$6000

Winning this scholarship reassures me of my talent and aspirations to be in the program I am in. Having others notice my hard work throughout the years allows me to take a step back and appreciate my work, too. It reminds me again why I choose to surround myself with such talented artists and creative thinkers. This scholarship means less stress and less struggle for financial help during my final year at MCAD.

Ella Rowe / Junior / Filmmaking

Filmmaking Merit Scholarship—$2000

I was attracted to MCAD because of its small size and the film program in particular because its focus on film as an art form. I like how the program isn't commercially driven, and it isn't necessarily for someone who is Hollywood-bound. There is support for any path we wish to pursue as filmmakers, and there are many wonderful resources at our disposal.

Forrest Wasko / Sophomore / Photography

Foundation Studies Merit Scholarship—$2000

The photographs I submitted for a scholarship feature an exploration in obscurity from non-digital manipulation. Using things like dish soap on the lens, moving colored paper with minute-long exposures, and rushed developing of 36-year-old Kodak photo paper, I play with the medium of photography in experimental ways. The results are thrilling when they turn out—both in ways I could have hoped and in ways I could not have expected.

Hanan Rddad / Senior / Drawing and Painting

Patricia Kennedy Crump Merit Scholarship

The pieces I submitted for a scholarship are the results of my interest in my family history and weaving old family photos together with photos of my friends and myself. I am concerned with painting as an object as well as pushing unconventional ways of displaying paintings.

Isaac Ruder / Junior / Web and Multimedia Environments

Logan Interactive Media Merit Scholarship—$4000

I am honored to have received a merit scholarship; as I ride the roller coaster of experimentation to find my voice, develop an aesthetic, and improve my skills, it's comforting to know I'm on the right track. Winning a merit scholarship means less in student loans for next semester, and a little less worry about my financial standing. I'm really hoping to study off-campus next spring and this award makes the possibility way more feasible.

Jake Herrick / Senior / Illustration

Senior Design Merit Scholarship—$6000

I decided to come to MCAD because it offered an illustration program and its professors and facilities are well-regarded. I also appreciated the smaller class sizes because it allows for one-on-one time with teachers; because of that I feel this school provides me with an overall more worthwhile education.

Jamie Thomas / Senior / Fine Arts Studio; Art History Minor

Fine Arts Studio Merit Scholarship—$2000

Winning this scholarship is very helpful to me as I am completing my final semester of my education. I will have more funds to channel into my Senior / project, enabling me to concentrate on making my last semester the best it can be.

Joseph Loeffler / Senior / Photography

Photography Merit Scholarship—$2000

Winning a Merit Scholarship, or more accurately just preparing for the competition, forces you to edit your work in a healthy way. It also creates a momentum to submit for other competitions, grants, and shows.


Leigh Luna / Junior / Comic Art

Comics Roy B. Justus Art Scholarship—$2000

Winning this scholarship is awesome! This is my second year in a row receiving the Roy B. Justice award for comic art. It's very touching to know that the improvement in my work is not going unnoticed. The financial stability included in winning a merit is obviously a great addition as well.

Lisa Kill / Junior / Print Paper Book

Dean Wilson Art-of-Making Merit Scholarship—$2000

My scholarship submission comprised three series of prints and a series of sculptures. I created these works in lithography, screen print, mixed medium, and kozo fiber. Each series explored a different theme amongst the beauty and struggle that lies between life and death.

Logan Myers / Junior / Graphic Design

Senior Design Merit Scholarship—$6000

Winning this scholarship helps me afford school and validates the progress I have made here so far.

Luisa RiveraIllustration MFA

Master of Fine Arts in Visual Studies Merit Award—$2000

I presented a selection of the illustrations that I have produced in the MFA program under the guidance of my mentor, Allen Brewer. This body of work was presented chronologically and divided into three stages. The first explored the idea of uprooting, for which I studied the history of immigrants in the Twin Cities. The second focused on editorial projects that I created with limitations given by my mentor. The third focused on exploration, where I experimented with new materials and new ways of composing my images.

Marie Ketring / Junior / Filmmaking

Filmmaking Merit Scholarship—$2000

I decided to come to MCAD because of the facilities and the equipment offered. To have the right equipment is one of the most important aspects of learning film. It wasn't until I started school here that I found the amazing instructors are just as if not even more important.

Mi Rae Lee / Sophomore / Furniture Design

Dean Wilson Art-of-Making Merit Scholarship

The pieces I submitted for a scholarship included: "Bojagi Stool," made with red oak and Bojagi, a traditional Korean fabric; "Bench," made with red oak and olive green yarn; "Origami Lamp," made with red oak, magnet, metal sheets, and acrylic; and "Moving System Shelves," made with bent birch, steel, and acrylic.

Mirandy Lardinois / Senior / Drawing and Painting

Christian Hans Nielsen Material Scholarship—$500

Winning a merit scholarship not only assists me with the financial costs of attending MCAD and creating artwork, but also fulfills a need for validation; it helps me to understand if my work is operating successfully to an audience. Attaining this achievement will help propel me forward into new ideas and support future artistic endeavors.

Nicholas Van Gorp / Senior / Furniture Design

Dean Wilson Art-of-Making Merit Scholarship—$2000

Winning this scholarship is a reassurance of all my hard work. MCAD is a very rigorous program and these Merit opportunities are great for us to display our work outside of the classes we are in. It also helps out tremendously with financing the following year.

Nikki Ivanovsky-Schow / Senior / Drawing and Painting

Drawing/Painting Merit Scholarship—$2000

Winning a Merit Scholarship means that I am able to spend more time with my community and creating artwork instead of working a part-time job during the school year and throughout the summer. I am honored to be awarded this scholarship and be able to focus on my studies and giving back to my school.

Patricia Alvarado / Senior / Fine Arts Studio

Kinji Akagawa Merit Scholarship—$2000

Winning a merit scholarship is special to me for a lot of reasons. I was a photography major for three years before I decided to switch to fine art studio and pursue a more "intermedia" practice, so winning the Kinji Akagawa Merit Scholarship in particular, a scholarship given to an artist who displays a critical studies/cross disciplinary practice is truly a blessing and a definite validation of my decision.

Patty Rodriguez / Sophomore / Illustration

Foundation Studies Merit Scholarship—$2000

The pieces I submitted for a scholarship all explored a specific process, such as sight-size drawing, cylindrical form construction, color theory, or exploration of a new medium. The most conceptual piece by far in this portfolio is my film Grief, which explores the process of grieving interspersed with moments of anger, joy, and isolation.

Peter Dronen / Junior / Animation

Animation Merit Scholarship—$2000

I submitted an animated short entitled "Just for the Halibut," which was animated digitally, frame-by-frame, with effects added in after. The plot revolves around an islander attempting to recover his fish from a thieving dolphin. I made this piece outside of class specifically for this competition. It was a grueling two week process, and this short is the culmination.

Riley Burrus / Senior / Illustration

Illustration Merit Scholarship—$2000

Winning this award means so much to me. I doubt that any of us at MCAD feel that we're wasting our time, but winning a scholarship gives me validation that all my hard work is appreciated and seen as valuable. It was so great to get the chance to hang a show and have the school see my work, and winning a merit was just icing on the cake.

Rosemary Valero-O'Connell / Junior / Comic Art

Will Eisner Sequential Art Scholarship—$2000

MCAD had been my dream school ever since first visiting the Minneapolis Institute of Arts when I was fifteen, just so I had an excuse to be on campus. It offered programs that I could find almost nowhere else, and everything from the size to the location felt perfect to me.

Sara Suppan / Junior / Drawing and Painting

Drawing/Painting Merit Scholarship—$2000

When looking for schools, I was immediately impressed by MCAD's facilities, and I was attracted to its intimate size. Knowing there were only a few hundred students to be work with, I could safely assume that professors would be readily able to have one-on-one time with us. This has proven to be both true and boundlessly helpful. I have never once regretted choosing MCAD over my other options. The school has turned out to be a perfect fit.

Sarah Evenson / Junior / Print Paper Book

Dean Wilson Art-of-Making Merit Scholarship—$2000

I came to MCAD because I wanted a place with great facilities and a strong sense of artistic community. MCAD is the sweet spot of size and quality—small enough for me to remain an individual to the administration without getting lost in a sea of people but big enough to have world class teachers and equipment.

Savanna Ruedy / Senior / Photography

Photography Merit Scholarship—$2000

I submitted a mix of photography and graphic design work for a scholarship. The work varied but had a similar style throughout. I am interested in color, form, and abstracting. I love mixing my fashion work with design work. I do a lot of portraits and still lifes. I am always changing but keeping the same flare. A lot of my work turns into mini books and zines. I also love to make web work using moving imagery.

Shanice Jackson-Ellison / Junior / Sculpture

Dean Wilson Art-of-Making Merit Scholarship—$2000

I chose to come here because I was interested in studying art as a way to support myself and MCAD seemed like the school to really make me work for it. I didn't want to go to a school that would just hand me the diploma—I wanted a school that would only give it to me when I earned it. Initially I enrolled wanting to study illustration, but I've found that sculpture really is where I want to study.

Stephen Lurvey / Sophomore / Graphic Design

Graphic Design Merit Scholarship—$2000

I tried to submit a wide variety of media for a Merit Scholarship. I included interactive design, book design, digital prints, and screenprinting to show a range of skills and knowledge.

Taylor Mund / Senior / Drawing and Painting

Senior Fine Arts Merit Scholarship—$6000

This body of work was developed with encouragement from Susanne Jakob, the curator at Kunstverein Neuhausen in Germany, where I interned last summer. The work is influenced by modern and contemporary architecture and made from found materials (scrap wood, cardboard, plastic, sheet metal). My aim was to bring together elements of painting and sculpture into one cohesive work of art.

Yinkong Vue / Junior / Animation

Logan Animation Merit Scholarship—$4000

Winning this merit means very much to me. It will help me continue my education and let me continue doing what I love. Personally, it gives me validation in what I do and gives me hope and confidence in my work. Receiving this scholarship motivates me to keep pursuing this dream and to work even harder.