Describe UMass Dartmouth in one word.
When did you know UMassD was the right choice for you?
June 12, 2018, at freshman orientation, where I met my best friend.
What drew you to your major?
Freshman year of highschool, since I went to a vocational high school, I explored visual design and my teacher told me that he saw something in me when it came to design and that I should take the shop. I took his advice and joined. Sadly, he passed away my sophomore year of high school, so I swore to myself that I will become the best designer that he always believed I could be.
What’s your favorite thing about UMassD?
My favorite thing about UMass Dartmouth is the people, especially my friends. They made me into the person I am today and they have helped me throughout extremely tough times. They are my safe space.
What was your favorite class at UMassD?
My favorite class was Experimental Process because it expanded on what I can do as an artist. Professor Michelle Bowers, who taught the class, is also my favorite professor as well. She pushes every one of her students to be the best they can and she supports every decision.
What advice would you give to younger UMassD students?
Don’t hold back and or be afraid to speak up, make memories.
What real-world experience have you gained over the last four years?
The BFA Exhibition, was the hardest I'd worked on any assignment in my 22 years of living. All the late nights, all the money spent, and the critiques, for one show. It’s all worth it in the end, walking through the exhibition space seeing people interact with your space, taking photographs, and taking your business card. It’s a different feeling than someone complimenting your work. You get a sense of accomplishment that pushes you to want to create more work. This has prepared me for real-life situations helping me grow as an artist and to be able to expand on what I can do as a graphic designer. Thanks to UMassD I now consider myself as a socially engaged artist.
Visit Michaela's personal website, Instagram: @Arrudas_Art, and BFA gallery page. To read about other graduating Corsairs' stories, visit umassd.edu/commencement/spotlights. For all things Commencement, visit umassd.edu/commencement.