Emily Moreau '17: Research on UMassD architecture

After learning about perspective in her media techniques class, Emily Moreau '17 is pursuing an independent study of architecture.

dec 2,2016

Year: Class of 2017
Major: Illustration
Minor: Art history
Hometown: Chelmsford, MA
Leadership: Admissions Ambassador
Next steps: Graduate school for architecture

Independent study of architecture

I think the one thing that really sets UMass Dartmouth apart from other schools is the sense of community. The faculty and staff take the extra step to make sure their students can succeed as much as possible. 

My favorite professor is Bruce Maddocks. I met him when I was applying to the CVPA, and he helped me in any way he could. I have him for media techniques, and he’s always willing to help us with any problems we have. He holds extra office hours if there’s a new medium we want to learn. I recently showed interest in doing an independent study, and he’s making it an incredibly easy process for me.

In Media Techniques 3, we started working on learning perspective, and I really loved the experience. It helped me realize that I’m incredibly interested in pursuing architecture in graduate school. I’d like to do my independent study working on the technical side of illustration and learning how to create well-rendered architectural spaces.

I think it’s great that no matter your major or discipline, the professors are all willing to take on students for independent studies so that we have the opportunity to expand our knowledge in areas that might not be laid out in our general coursework.

illustration of room
For her degree project, Emily illustrated rooms from her life that she associates with specific memories and emotions.

Research on Paul Rudolph

I was surprised to find that I actually love UMass Dartmouth’s architecture. There are so many little nooks to sit in between classes with friends. My favorite spot is the library third floor study rooms. They all have great views of campus and are the ideal spot to either do quiet work on my own or work with a group of friends without bothering everyone else.

In my Art in the City course with Prof. Anna Dempsey, I had the opportunity to work on two research projects. One was smaller scale, where my partner Jacob Miller and I researched Paul Rudolph and his designs of our campus to teach to the class.

The second project was very open-ended. I decided to further my knowledge of Paul Rudolph by designing another academic building on our campus for the performing arts students as true to his style and original plans as possible.

"Students can make a difference"

Prof. Dempsey mentioned that this is the kind of project that could actually be presented to the dean of CVPA to start making a change. I never realized before this that any student can make a difference on our campus. Whether it’s through the Student Government Association or directly through your college, anyone can start the beginning of a big change.

Even though it's unlikely for something as big as a new building to get built within my last year here, there's always the Alumni Association to join where I can continue to push my efforts.

Because of this project and the prospect of helping better our campus in big ways, I have every bit of interest in joining the Alumni Association and continuing to work with faculty, staff, and administration to make our campus as good for future students as possible.

illustration of ocean

Advice for future students

I’ve learned—and I don’t think I’ll stop learning this—that in order to get somewhere, you need to put yourself out there. Meet as many people as possible. You never know when you’re going to make a connection that will set you up for a successful future.

You have to apply for every position you’re interested in and try to go to every club meeting you want to. I’m part of the figure drawing club on campus. I can go brush up on drawing skills, and they’ve offered my so many opportunities. Last spring I went to New York City with the club to visit some of the museums there.

I’ve learned from living on campus that you need to share. Because I hadn’t share a room since I was 3, I wasn’t prepared to share my space with anyone. But when I got my first roommate my sophomore year, I learned that it was really easy to share a space as long as there was mutual respect.

More information


College of Visual and Performing Arts, Admissions, Features - Leadership & Service, Features - Commencement