- Community Snapshots
- Our Virtual Community
- Living ArtsEngine Symposium and Collaborative Creative
- Looking Forward To Next year
- Workshop Highlights
- Raspberry Pi
- Paint Along With Bob
- Year in Review: Student Reflections
- Kaitlyn Onela - Interdisciplinary Experience
- Ted Ivanac - Mentorship Inspiration
- Kitty Holder - Creative Projects
- Farewell To Ruth Marsh
End of the Year
We've finally reached the end of an incredibly difficult and strange year, and we couldn't be more proud of our community members for it.
Despite ongoing challenges, we saw great success with our end-of-the-year events and the conclusion of the collaborative creative projects our students have been working hard on throughout the year.
Though the students have done an incredible job of building a virtual community this year, we eagerly anticipate the opportunity we will have next year to begin to return to more of our typical, in-person programming.
We'd like to share some highlights and reflections from our last few months together, as well as an overall look back at our community experience as we conclude this year's program.
Our Virtual Community
With COVID complications, we had to do a lot of things online this year. Despite such limited opportunities for students to interact in-person, we got to see a wonderful community grow and develop online.
At the beginning of the year, we created a server on Discord, an online platform for messaging and creating servers where many people can communicate and share content with each other. Before the school year had even started, students had the opportunity to connect and get to know each other on a virtual platform.
Early in the year, many students also took to online gaming as a way to socialize with each other. Games like Minecraft, Among Us, Jackbox Party Games and more were great platforms for students to actively participate and spend time doing things together.
Minecraft especially was a great creative outlet for students, as it allowed them to plan and execute creative projects in a virtual environment where they could build together and show off their creations to each other. Being in a space that simulated a 3D, outdoor environment also helped to substitute for some of the lack of real-world engagement.
"My favorite way that I've been able to interact with the online community was through weekly game nights, when we've played euchre, secret hitler, and other online games. It's been a great way to get to know virtual members in a more casual setting then we are often used to." - Ries Plescher
Another tradition that many students participated in over the course of the year was “Tea Time”, an event that began among last year’s community members in the dorms. Students would gather together, make tea or other hot beverages, and sit to discuss a variety of topics and ideas in a structured but friendly and open
environment. This year, some of the students living in the dorm kept this tradition going on the lawn outside Bursely, while spacing out to prevent the spread of COVID. Students also took to hosting this event online, where they could drink tea and talk about some of these same topics over Discord video calls, so that anyone in the community could participate regardless of location.
"'Tea Time' Discord gatherings and Game Nights have been an excellent way to get to know fellow students despite being (almost) completely remote this year." - Matthew Priskorn
Living ArtsEngine Symposium and Collaborative Creative Projects
We are pleased to be able to share that this year, we once again were able to hold our end-of-the-year Symposium event for the community.
Each year, students traditionally present the Collaborative, Creative Projects they have worked on in groups throughout the winter semester, followed by an awards presentations and a final, formal wrap-up for the year. Our students did an especially wonderful job this year of overcoming new challenges in figuring out how to create these Collaborative Creative Projects together across great distances, as many groups had members living in different housing environments, some even collaborating across time zones and countries.
Through a special Zoom Webinar event, we had the opportunity to see all of these groups present the culmination of their work, which began in the fall semester rather than the winter semester this year. Congratulations to all of our students on the completion of these incredible works
Looking Forward To Next Year
After the conclusion of an unconventional Living ArtsEngine year, we're preparing to head into another one that will likely still look a bit different than years past, but will hopefully provide more opportunities for in-person interaction and community events. As we begin to anticipate what this new year will look like, we asked some of our upcoming peer mentors for their thoughts:
What are you most looking forward to about being a Peer Mentor next year?
"Helping the mentees have a great freshman year" - Zachary Bauer
"Working with mentees to help show them how connected subjects can be, community building, and helping people discover new things about themselves and others!" - Sam Russel
"Being with my fellow peer mentor friends to inspire a community of unique and
creative new students next year." - Zan Huang
For this event, Peer Mentor Dani Tutak sent students materials to make their own silicone molds of dice, and then pour resin into those molds to make their own dice. By using the process taught by Dani during this workshop, students were able to learn how to cast silicone molds of anything they want.
Raspberry Pi Workshop
Peer Mentors Ted Ivanac and Kendra Kleber teamed up to put on a workshop teaching students how to use the Raspberry Pi, a small computer-like device that allows students to write and execute their own custom programs.
Students had the opportunity to borrow a Raspberry Pi kit from Living ArtsEngine during and after the workshop, allowing them to construct their own circuits at home and control them by programming their Rasberry Pis.
Paint Along With Bob Ross Workshop
Later in the semester, Living ArtsEngine RA Shalin Berman lead students in a paint along with Bob Ross event, where participants followed a tutorial to paint the piece "A Trace of Spring". Students got to take home their own canvases, paints, and paintbrushes, and paint along at home in real-time while socializing over a Zoom call.
Year In Review: Student Memories
First year student
"Essentially, most of what I've taken away from this is just that my curiosity has increased, I think, because there are so many things out in the world that are just waiting to be explored, and you don't know until you actually go look for it"
"I was very lucky in that I got to interact with two mentors when I was a mentee who I basically styled my whole mentorship role around, Eli and John... the two of them were so involved with the community, they interacted with all the mentees, not just the ones in their group... there were so many [mentors] I could name that were always there for our community, that I tried to emulate."
Kitty Holder - First Year Student
"More recently there was this Geodesic Dome project that was really just a whim that got momentum... it was so quick to get the project picked up and happening, and everyone was really excited about it because it was cool as heck"
Living ArtsEngine’s Student Program Coordinator, Ruth Marsh is retiring this year! Ruth has played an integral role in the development of our program and has served the university for over 25 years.
To honor Ruth’s service and dedication to student success, we will be providing financial assistance to Living ArtsEngine Student Leaders in her name. Thank you so much for your consideration in celebrating such a valuable contributor to the Living ArtsEngine program.