Julie Smith ’14 has always had a penchant for photography. She has dreamt of it, seen it up-close in magazines, and marveled at the best photographers. But, she has only seen it from afar, through someone else’s eyes. Until one day, last spring, when she had the confidence to reveal her images to the world in a solo exhibition at the School of Design. And, in that moment, when she opened the doors to critics, she was pleasantly surprised.

Taking chances

“Graphic design has introduced me to a new side of photography with digital editing that has given me the ability to learn so many different skills and techniques,” said Smith. “When I first began taking photos, I only used myself as a model and was embarrassed to ask anyone else for help. Now, I enjoy pushing the limits and I am much more confident in taking risks.”

Chosen for Getty Images

In a photo shoot last summer, back in Smith’s hometown of Richmond, Rhode Island, she enlisted her family and friends as her subjects. Taking photos at her house, on the beach, and in the woods made for a lot of early mornings and late evenings.

Her hard work paid off, however, in the fall 2012 when she was approached by Getty Images, a stock photo agency in partnership with Flickr. In particular, three of her images from her photo sets were chosen: Off to Neverland, Horizon, and How Do You Know.

Practice makes perfect

Soon after Getty Images; Smith entered the Photographer’s Forum College Photo Contest and was selected as a finalist among 16,000 entries for her photo called Irony. Smith originally entered this contest with the motivation of simply completing a class project.

“When I entered, I had no intention of winning anything,” stated Smith. “Learning that I was chosen as a finalist has given me the reassurance I need to continue making art. It’s what I love doing and can’t wait to see what’s next.”

As a game art and animation student, Dan Cherkassky ’14 is constantly exploring the science of motion. In his classes, he studies interactive graphics development, taking his visuals to the next level in crafting the look, feel, movement, and production of digital artwork.

Summer innovation program

Last summer, Cherkassky was an intern for the Massachusetts Digital Games Institute’s (Mass DiGI) Summer Innovation Program for game developers looking to break into the industry. During this time, he had the chance to create video game prototypes alongside industry leaders, mentors, and fellow interns. This real-life experience of working in a production studio has connected Cherkassky with digital games professionals.

Specializing in the classroom

Gearing up for senior year, Cherkassky is ready to showcase his technical talents through specializing in character modeling. He finds that his small classes allow him to collaborate with faculty in ways that would be impossible at larger universities. During one of his projects at Mount Ida, Cherkassky remembers conceptualizing a robot model where he experimented with new skills that had never been applied in his artwork before.

“The School of Design’s game art and animation program is the right fit for me because of the personalized attention and focused curriculum,” said Cherkassky. “Students here are learning what it takes to become artists since their studies combine traditional design with an in-depth training on 2D and 3D graphics.”

Learn more about game art and animation

If you are interested in finding out more about the Game Art and Animation program, please contact Eric Hunn, Program Director, at ehunn@mountida.edu.

Lauren Metzler ’14 began junior year eager to experience her biology major. She never thought, however, that her internship would end up being located just miles from campus in Mount Ida’s hometown in the City of Newton. During the fall 2012, Metzler spent her semester interning at the Newton Public Health and Human Services Department.

Career services opens possibilities

“From Career Services weekly job listings, I first learned of this internship opportunity,” recalls Metzler. “I chose the position because it related to biology in a not-so-average way. For instance, I worked in both health and environmental science, learning about everything from assisting nurses in clinics to inspecting potential hydrogen (pH) levels of water for the effects on the human body.”

Getting to know Newton

Metzler’s favorite part of the internship was traveling to local flu clinics and meeting the people of Newton, such as students at Newton South High School. In gaining biology skills, Metzler believes this experience has opened her eyes to a variety of career paths. As a result of her career-focused education, Metzler knows what direction she wants to go in post-graduation.

“I am interested in either biology research or medical studies,” she said. “At this point in time, I know that I am absolutely going to pursue graduate school to further my biology education. I am very excited to see what the future holds and the doors that will open because of this internship.”

Learn about biology at Mount Ida

Mount Ida’s biology major allows students to obtain a science degree supported by professional courses in a range of interdisciplinary fields, including veterinary technology and forensic science. If you are interested in learning more, please contact [name], Program Director, at [email].