2012/13 MCAD Merit Scholarship Winners

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. Awards from these scholarships are added to students’ existing financial-aid packages for the next academic year.

Featured merit-scholarship winners of 2012:

Christopher Alday / Junior, Print Paper Book

Print Paper Book Merit Scholarship—$2,000

I came to MCAD for the print paper book major and my interest in an interdisciplinary practice. Receiving the merit scholarship helps me believe that I’m heading in a fruitful direction and that I can get even more accomplished here at MCAD.


Jessica Aylward / Senior, Entrepreneurial Studies

Visualization Merit Scholarship

My project was a campaign for PETA. I worked with two creatives in the advertising program to create a full campaign against horse racing. It was nice to have my projects acknowledged and to win the scholarship. I know this money will help with my loans and help to push my education further.


Emily Beron / Junior, Drawing and Painting

Drawing and Painting Merit Scholarship—$2,000

In my work, I explore the organic, whether that is in the depiction of the human figure or other elements found in the natural world. The delicate nature of ecosystems is a consistent influence on my work. Winning the merit scholarship has encouraged me to push harder for grants and other opportunities to further my body of work and to really try to get myself known in the art world.


Jill Blaeser / Senior, Entrepreneurial Studies

Senior Bachelor of Science Merit Scholarship—$6,000

I went to a liberal arts college before realizing that it wasn’t my calling. I found the bachelor of science (BSc) program at MCAD, and it was the perfect combination of creative and practical business skills. The BSc merits involve creating a fifteen-page book describing the goals, strategies, outcomes, and successes of up to three projects. I chose to compare two projects I’ve worked on: a rebranding of a yoga studio and a full magazine written and designed by a team. The drastic difference helped illustrate the breadth of education I’m getting in the BSc program.


Dylan Burns / Sophomore, Web and Multimedia Environments

Logan Interactive Media Merit Scholarship—$2,500

I didn’t know what I wanted to major in when I came to MCAD. I just knew that I liked being creative, and I wanted to find something to get good at. Winning this merit scholarship will help me afford my education, but I’m also just so honored to know that someone appreciates my work.


James Dolence / Sophomore, Graphic Design

Gaylord Benson Sophomore Merit Scholarship—$2,000

I didn’t know much about MCAD before I visited, but the facilities immediately won me over. Winning this scholarship is certainly a nice pat on the back, but more importantly it means that I’ll be able to take a class or two this summer so that I can keep making work.


McKenzie Erickson / Senior, Entrepreneurial Studies

Senior Bachelor of Science Merit Scholarship—$6,000

I submitted a printed and bound booklet that included a written report describing two projects I completed in the last year: the BI Worldwide logo redesign and my internship as a qualitative market research host for Ascendancy Research. Both experiences confirmed my passion for behavioral planning and provided a platform to develop relevant skills in research, project management, and design. It felt good to have my work recognized. This financial award will minimize my student loan debt and allow me more flexibility in my job search.


Hope Finley / Junior, Graphic Design

Graphic Design Merit Scholarship—$2,000

I felt that I would be a perfect fit at MCAD. It turned out to be true. While in school, I’m encouraged to be experimental, yet practical. I’m very grateful to have won a merit scholarship. This means that my hard work and efforts really do pay off.


Lydia Fusco / Junior, Illustration

Illustration Merit Scholarship—$2,000

I decided to come to MCAD because it was a smaller school and I liked the sense of community. Winning this scholarship, on a personal level, means so much to me. It means that my hard work here is paying off, and it’s going to help me continue to take classes here and better myself. This scholarship couldn’t have come at a better time. It’s also something that just recently made me take myself seriously both as an artist and as a person, and I know I can apply this to my education.


Deborah Garcia / Junior, Illustration

Senior Design Merit Scholarship—$6,000

Winning the merit scholarship is an incredible relief. It means that I can concentrate on finishing my senior year without worrying about signing for loans or working outside of my illustration work to make up the rest of my tuition. It also means a great deal to me for the recognition of my work. I feel honored to have been chosen.


Christopher Gasser / Junior, Sculpture

Sculpture Merit Scholarship—$2,000

I decided to come to MCAD because I really enjoyed the atmosphere of this campus and because I had heard a lot of good things about the school from my high school art teachers. On a more personal level, I always knew that I wanted to be an artist and knew that it was a field I had to pursue. Winning a merit scholarship is important to my education because it eases the burden of tuition and it shows that I’m making something out of what I’m learning at school.


Hilary Greenstein / Sophomore, Drawing and Painting

Patricia B. Saunders Merit Scholarship—$3,000

I came to MCAD for the Pre-College Summer Session painting course when I was in high school and had a really great experience. I was impressed by not only the amazing teachers but also the amazing community, where everyone is really passionate about art. It’s just so motivating and inspiring, and it instantly struck me as a community I wanted to be a part of. This scholarship is a huge honor that will definitely motivate me in this final push for the end of the semester.


Morgan Hilber / Junior, Animation

Animation Merit Scholarship—$2,000

I wanted to show my skills in as many areas as possible, and so I submitted a demo reel consisting of a variety of work including traditional hand-drawn animation, 3D animation, 3D modeling/texturing, and stop-motion. Winning a merit scholarship gives me something to be proud of and tells me I’m doing something right. It’s a good reinforcer. Plus, I get to save my parents some money, and that makes me feel good.


Jesse Hintze / Senior, Web and Multimedia Environments

Web and Multimedia Merit Scholarship—$2,000

I decided to come here because I wanted to further develop my web programming skills, and I found other passions while I was here. I’m grateful that I received the merit scholarship—it inspires me to work harder.


Jonah Huang / Senior, Animation

Logan Interactive Animation Merit Scholarship—$2,500

There is a wealth of creativity and knowledge at MCAD, along with a tight sense of community. I came here because I was inspired by the originality of the art—there is sort of a quirky attitude towards storytelling here that I admire. This scholarship gives me the confidence and pressure required to push my work to higher levels. I’m constantly learning, and I’d like to think that I’m also improving. Winning a merit scholarship gives me the confidence that I’m on the right path.


Brandon Hunt / Freshman, Animation

Foundation Studies Merit Scholarship—$2,000

I went to MCAD’s Pre-College Summer Session during the summer before my senior year of high school, and I knew at that time I wanted to come to MCAD.


Nikki Ivanovsky-Schow / Freshman, Undeclared

Foundation Studies Merit Scholarship—$2,000

I decided on MCAD because I wanted a school with a rigorous program that was in Minnesota so that I could be close to home and still get the education I wanted. Winning this merit scholarship means that I’m doing something right. I feel very successful with my work right now.


Ping Ji / Graduate Student

MFA Award—$2,000

I chose to attend MCAD because of the reputation of the school and the work of its students and alumni. This scholarship helps me feel more confident in my work and encourages me to keep exploring in the frame and method that I work with.


Gracemarie Keaton / Senior, Photography

Senior Media Merit Scholarship—$6,000

My work’s content lives in and investigates the intersection of the real and the artificial. It also evaluates the genuine acts, the gesture, the assigned meanings, and the inherent truths of cultural signs that form the climate we inhabit. Winning a merit scholarship gives me more financial freedom to create my work.


Kayla Kern / Junior, Graphic Design

Graphic Design Merit Scholarship—$2,000

I was initially attracted to MCAD because of all the possibilities it has to offer. It is a creative place that encourages the growth of new ideas. I wanted to be somewhere that pushed me to think in ways that I never had before, creating things I never would have done. Winning this scholarship makes me even more eager and want to constantly strive to improve on my work.


Kelsey King / Junior, Illustration

Liberal Arts Merit Scholarship—$2,000

I submitted a series of short poems that were each a story of the creation of the universe, stories that I invented to reflect other people’s views on this topic and how widely they can differ, yet at the same time all be essentially the same. It’s really inspiring to me to keep writing instead of just focusing on my illustration work, which can be consuming at times. It’s great to be recognized for more than just my studio work, but liberal arts as well.


Rachel Knoll / Senior, Web and Multimedia Environments

Senior Media Merit Scholarship—$6,000

I find reality to be extremely provocative. I create work based on what is exciting for me at the moment. My ideas don’t always translate into words, not to say that logic isn’t present, but sometimes there is a certain reasonableness that is foreign to it. Winning a merit scholarship is a nice acknowledgment from faculty.


John Kotz / Senior, Comic Art

Roy B. Justus Comic Art Scholarship—$2,000

The pieces I submitted reflect the capabilities of my craft and my understanding of the use of storytelling concepts within the medium. The more freedom I have from loans, the better. This scholarship is going to help me out a lot next semester.


Jenessa Kundinger / Junior, Illustration

Illustration Merit Scholarship—$2,000

I submitted a variety of work, showing the different applications of my technique and style, including traditional and digital illustrations, product design, and children’s book illustration. Winning this merit scholarship gives me reassurance that what I’m doing is successful and appealing to people who have not seen my work before. It also means I can spend more time focusing on my work and my internship, and it lightens my financial load, as well as my family’s.


Chelsea LaPorta / Junior, Furniture Design

Furniture Design Merit Scholarship

The pieces that I submitted were examples of my progression in learning the craft of metal and wood, as well as the progression of learning my own aesthetic. Winning this merit scholarship means that I won’t have to work as many hours to earn extra money for art supplies, which is awesome.


Sofie Matzen / Sophomore, Furniture Design

Liberal Arts Merit Scholarship—$2,000

I was initially planning on pursuing illustration, as MCAD has a very strong design program. I also liked the versatility and variety of the courses and majors offered. I’m very happy I came here, as the foundations program led me to discover other disciplines that are of interest to me. Winning this scholarship was a confidence boost that will encourage me to more avidly pursue cross-disciplinary work.


Meagan Moffitt-Finnegan / Sophomore, Sculpture

Sculpture Merit Scholarship—$2,000

I decided to come to MCAD because I was really impressed with the 3D shop and the sculpture program. Winning this scholarship gave me a boost of confidence that I’m on the right path of pursuing my dream of becoming an artist.


Audrey Moxley / Junior, Photography

West Photo Merit Scholarship—$2,000

I transferred to MCAD from a large art school because I wanted to be at a smaller school with more personal relationships with other students, professors, and faculty, which I’ve definitely found at MCAD. Winning this scholarship means so much to my education. More than anything, it’s extremely encouraging to me as a student and an artist. It’s always a great feeling to have your hard work recognized by others.


Melinda Nguyen / Sophomore, Fine Arts Studio

Fine Arts Studio Merit Scholarship—$2,000

I submitted work that performs across mediums, such as photography as sculpture, and vice versa. Some of it was work done in classes, and some of it was made impromptu. Receiving this merit scholarship means I will be able to expand my material choices and implement ideas that may have been beyond reach.


Katina Petsoulis / Junior, Filmmaking

Film Merit Scholarship—$2,000

MCAD offered me a chance to connect with an artist community. I fell in love with the building and the processes that I saw artists working in here. This merit scholarship means I have some extra funds to make my senior thesis film. I may even be able to shoot on 16mm.


Ben Proell / Junior, Graphic Design

Senior Design Merit Scholarship—$6,000

Winning this scholarship was a huge boost. The pieces I submitted included a Metro Transit branding system, a mock campaign for the National Audubon Society, and an identity system for the Museum of Non-Visible Art. I knew I was making some interesting work, and it was just reassuring to have the support of the faculty.


Jay Rasgorshek / Junior, Comic Art

Comic Merit Scholarship—$2,000

I decided to come to MCAD because of the comic art program. And when I was going through portfolio reviews with a few different schools, MCAD felt right. They also gave me the most money to go. Besides impacting my tuition, this scholarship has given me the confidence to keep on fighting the good fight.


Courtney Reints / Junior, Photography

West Photo Merit Scholarship—$2,000

Winning this merit scholarship means support in continuing my art education. It feels great to be recognized for my work and to be awarded a scholarship that helps me further achieve my goals.


Nina Rivera / Sophomore, Web and Multimedia Environments

Web and Multimedia Merit Scholarship—$2,000

Winning this scholarship was a surprise, an honor, and an inspiration for me to keep making work and for me to be able to continue my education here at MCAD.


Jonathan Rodriguez / Sophomore, Entrepreneurial Studies

Visualization Merit Scholarship—$2,000

Winning a scholarship means that I can give more of my attention to my coursework and stay engaged with my colleagues and instructors. It means that I have more freedom to pursue opportunities as they arise. I will always have work—clients, job offers, and the like—but I will have only one incredibly valuable MCAD career. Merits help me to make the most of it.


Olivia Rodriguez / Junior, Furniture Design

Furniture Design Merit Scholarship—$2,000

I’ve been finding myself as a designer, and I feel that my merit show really reflected that. Most of the work were stools I designed and made, some were experiments, and one was a hanging lamp. Winning this merit scholarship means a lot. I have had to take out loans to be here, and to knock some of that debt off is really helpful.


Megan Russell / Junior, Drawing and Painting

Patricia Kennedy Crump Merit Scholarship—$1,450

I knew I wanted to study art, and I knew that I wanted to attend an art school. The summer before my senior year of high school, I went to MCAD’s Pre-College Summer Session. I really enjoyed my experience, so I decided to apply to MCAD. Winning this merit scholarship reaffirms that the skills and techniques I’ve developed have helped me to advance my work. It gives me the confidence to further explore the subjects in these series. It also relieves financial worry so that I may focus more on my creative practice.


Jennifer Sheely / Freshman, Undeclared

Foundation Studies Merit Scholarship—$2,000

I decided to go to MCAD because I was drawn to the sense of community and how there were such close relationships between the students and the faculty. Winning the merit scholarship enables me to further my education and it gives me confidence in my work.


Zoe Shulman / Junior, Drawing and Painting

Drawing and Painting Merit Scholarship—$2,000

Aesthetically, my work explores painting, live art, and performance. My primary interest is abstracting landscapes, as these spaces are immediate to my experience. The breadth of my work includes deconstructed landscapes, multiples, time-based abstraction, and bodily movements within spaces. This scholarship provides an overall feeling of accomplishment and acknowledgement of the fact that I’ve grown and considerably progressed in my journey as an artist.


Caitlin Sidey / Senior, Entrepreneurial Studies

Visualization Merit Scholarship

I came to MCAD knowing that I wanted to be in a creative environment, but I knew nothing about planning, research, or strategy. Over the past three years, I’ve learned so much about myself as a creative, planner, and strategist. The bachelor of science program has helped me to find my passion in the world. And winning this merit scholarship was an honor to me because I know that students who are passionate and work hard receive the award, and it’s great to know that I’m one of those students.


Linnea Stephan / Junior, Photography

West Photo Merit Scholarship—$2,000

My photographs for merits were created around three main ideas: femininity, cinematic moments in the everyday, and the philosophy of beauty. The work is connected by the way that these three display a certain power in the person photographed. Winning this merit scholarship is exciting because it encourages my hopes of successfully continuing to make photographic work and having some financial support to do so.


Austin Swearengin / Junior, Fine Arts Studio

Fine Art Merit Scholarship—$6,000

Through my work, I examine phenomena in art, advertising, and architecture as a metaphorical interpretation of post–Cold War colonialism, cultural appropriation, and the transference of knowledge. Winning this scholarship means I can keep pursuing my education. Finances are tight, and this scholarship makes tuition more affordable and also allows me to put more money towards making work.


Shelia Wagner / Senior, Drawing and Painting

Senior Fine Art Merit Scholarship—$6,000

I went to the University of Minnesota for a year to study architecture, and I found myself to be increasingly interested in the more open-ended nature, physically and mentally, or art and image making. MCAD seemed like the next step for me to fully commit to a career as an artist. Winning this scholarship means that I will be less dependent on loans and have more financial freedom to pursue new projects.


Kyle Werstein / Sophomore, Advertising

Advertising Merit Scholarship—$2,000

I came to MCAD for its job placement record, excellent student-to-teacher ratio, and the quality of the undergraduate work. Without significant scholarship aid, an education at MCAD would be completely out of reach without taking out substantial private loans. Winning this merit scholarship gets me one step closer to finishing my degree without compromising my finances. It definitely makes things easier.


Allison Wightman / Junior, Print Paper Book

Print Paper Book Merit Scholarship—$2,000

I transferred to MCAD to challenge myself as an artist. We all work extremely hard at this school. A lot of the time, I’m mentally, physically, and emotionally exhausted—but I’m learning so much every day, and I’ve never been happier. Winning this merit scholarship means a lot. I’m very grateful that my hard work is recognized. It means a lot that our school finds so many different ways to support us.


Heather Williams / Junior, Comic Art

Will Eisner Sequential Art Scholarship—$1,000

I decided to come to MCAD because of the extensive comic art program. The work I submitted for merits are comics with stories with hints of fantasy and sometimes horror.  They span multiple mediums such as acrylic, gouache, and digital. It’s an honor to have been recognized by the merits committee, and this scholarship will help me focus more on my studies.


Michael Wolfe / Junior, Animation

Animation Merit Scholarship—$2,000

I like how versatile MCAD is and how it allows us to be well balanced artists that are proficient in multiple, different mediums and styles. Winning this merit scholarship will allow me to buy more equipment that will help me to make my art better and easier.


Peng Wu / Graduate Student, Master of Fine Arts

MFA Award

I focus on storytelling in an interdisciplinary way. I submitted hand-bound books, video installations, a bubble, and two wood sculptures. I decided to come to MCAD because it has a good ranking in U.S. News & World Report, and they offered me a scholarship so that I can afford the education.