Allison K. Latina
Major: Graphic Design
Minor: Art History
Hometown: Chelmsford, MA
"It's the most rewarding feeling to realize that hard work pays off in the end."
This past semester, I took the Art History Seminar course to complete my minor. I gained real-world experience by creating an exhibition with the class, through researching, writing, curating, and most of all teamwork.
We spent the semester working on various tasks that all came together in the end to create a beautiful exhibit about the UMass Dartmouth Campus in the contexts of the time in which it was built. We learned about the architect Paul Rudolph, modernism, and the culture of the 1960s itself. It was like nothing I've ever done in a class before and will definitely help me in my future endeavors.
I love the concrete. Something about this unique architecture always amazed me. Even from my first visit, I liked the idea that UMass Dartmouth was its own community contained within Ring Road. Each academic building has its own personality that is shaped by the students and faculty who spend the bulk of their time there. There are protected caves to relax in and open structures to socialize in. And I think everyone can agree that you can see some of the best sunsets over Dell Pond that reflect light off the concrete buildings.
My favorite part about going to college has been the spontaneous intelligent conversations that I've had with other students—whether it's sitting on the quad between classes, eating at Res, or standing in my roommate's doorway to "tell her something quick." It fascinates me to learn someone else's opinion, whether I agree with them or not. I've learned that hearing a different perspective can help you to better understand yourself and what is most important to you. So much can be learned outside the classroom here.
My greatest challenge has been learning how to balance each semester. From work, classes, social life, family and friends back home, and about a million other things that come—each semester starts a new routine that seems so overwhelming the first few weeks.
And then somehow after those all-nighters, cups of coffee, meeting after meeting, exams, projects, friendships made and broken, you make it to that last final project, submit your final paper, and look back at all the success of the semester. It's the most rewarding feeling to realize that hard work pays off in the end.
I would like to thank the CVPA faculty for their dedication and enthusiasm to the program. I would especially like to thank my design professor Jan Fairbairn for pushing me far past my limits as well as my Art History professor Anna Dempsey. And to Viera Levitt, the Gallery Director, for teaching me so much through my internship in just one semester.
I would like to thank Tim Greene for always being there for me, and the friends who have kept me sane.
To the family that got me here in the first place, my siblings for being the first ones that taught me how to handle criticism. I would especially like to thank my parents for supporting my decision to major in Art and then continuing to support me throughout the past four years.