October 2018 Alumni and Friends Newsletter
The College of Art and Architecture has been hard at work, and we’re happy to report that our due diligence is paying off. Over the past year, we’ve worked to enhance recruitment and retention, become fiscally sustainable and weave ourselves more tightly into the fabric of the university.
This fall, we were one of two colleges to see an increase in enrollment, and though numbers aren’t official until reported to the State Board, we’re happy to share that university-wide, we experienced the largest gain. We also saw an increase in retention, and we balanced our budget to achieve a zero-dollar deficit. These are all tremendous successes that serve our mission to educate the next generation of designers and contribute to Idaho’s vitality as the fastest growing state in the nation.
High School Design Day, which attracts students from across the northwest to explore design-related majors during a half-day workshop, saw an increase in enrollment from 19 to 32. Similarly, Summer Design Days nearly doubled, from 16 to 30 participants. The Moscow-Pullman Daily News covered the event, focusing on the challenges students undertook to stretch their creative thinking.
The article highlights Rula Awwad-Rafferty’s interior design workshop, in which students learned how the re-use of materials can inspire creativity and sustainability. Students used coffee accoutrements — cups, stirrers and sleeves — to create impressive prototypes of chairs. In Dave Gottwald’s art and design workshop, students used design software to create album posters. Budding architects explored how to design sustainably while building a city edge along a water body in Phil Mead’s workshop. And in Jean-Marc Gauthier’s virtual technology and design course, students stitched together 360 virtual tours of campus. In our 2017 Visioning Report, we committed ourselves to forging relationships with other colleges to become more integrated into the university community. Standing by this promise, we included Apparel, Textiles and Design from the Margaret Ritchie School of Family and Consumer Sciences in this year’s Design Day. They were instrumental in attracting a larger base of students.
Through our inaugural Career Networking Event earlier this month, we also collaborated with the larger university community — the Alumni Association, Career Services and Vandals Uncorked Wine Club — to give our students the mentorship they crave in becoming successful designers. The result was 173 industry professionals, students, faculty members, staff and alumni in attendance. It was a fantastic turnout that we hope communicates to students how much we care about their continued education and success after college.
This past summer, our BootCamp and Boise 1+2 programs also flourished. Student Yanira Saldana, who took advantage of both programs, was featured on the homepage of the university’s website. As a first-generation college student from a low-income neighborhood in Boise, Yanira grew up helping her mom clean other people’s homes. Now she wants to revive her neighborhood to address our nation’s growing affordable housing crisis. Students like Yanira, who overcome adversity and stand for opportunity, give me hope for the future of our college and the creative economy.
I hope you will also be inspired by our successes, and continue to support our students and programs in the coming year. Thank you, and please stay in touch.
Shauna Corry, Ph.D.
College of Art and Architecture