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By Anita Nejat ‘16

Photo courtesy of J. Darius Greene

Chloe Isaac ‘17, communication and studio art major, exemplifies how the arts and humanities encourage students to think creatively and critically in achieving their goals. She talked to a fellow Terp about the benefits of being a double major in ARHU, her experiences on this campus and her future aspirations.

Q: What interested you in studying communication and studio art?

A: I was interested in communication because I was really interested in new media, social media and mass communications. I saw that UMD offered a breadth of communication courses focusing on those topics, so I was engaged in the communication major. With studio art, I have a concentration in graphic design. These majors allow me to combine my visual and creative work with theories and techniques I learn in communication; this helps me create a story through a visual sphere. It’s combining two things I really love.

Q: How would you describe your experience at UMD as a communication and studio art major?

A: I’ve had so many opportunities given to me through my experience in these majors, including the chance to visit NPR's studio in Washington D.C. and work on an assignment for a class sponsored by the State Department. Being a part of ARHU, I’ve met so many great staff and faculty, who care about my performance and success after college. Some of the great faculty I've met are Kalyani Chadha, director of my scholars program; Steven Jones, 3-D Foundations and Sculpture professor in the art department; and Taras Matla, The Art Gallery's arts administration manager. They can really see me grow as an artist, which is very exciting. In communication, I’ve also been able to learn from some of my favorite professors, such as Nick Joyce, professor of intercultural communication, as well as graduate students and faculty members in the communication department.

Q: What parts of your degree will serve you in the future? What are your future aspirations?

A: In communication, I’m learning about intercultural communication and the way that different people communicate with one another and the barriers they develop naturally. I think this will be very beneficial to whatever career I end up having because I love working with people and hearing different peoples’ stories; I would love to be able to understand them better. I’m getting the most hands-on experience in graphic design right now. We’re establishing a brand that we’ve created ourselves. We're learning to prepare our portfolios for the next step in our careers, which entails making original content like logos, menus and other print materials, all with our own points of view. If I end up going into the graphic design realm or obtaining a visually-based career, I have all the tools and skills that I need to succeed. These skills include problem solving, creative thinking, brainstorming as well as design tools like how to use Adobe Creative Suite.

Q: What other ways are you involved on campus?

A: Since last year, I’ve been an experience leader for UMD’s Alternative Breaks (AB) program. We train our participants, so they are prepared for the service they are about to take on. Once we are there, we lead them with discussions and reflections, creating the experience for them. I've been on two alternative experiences, so far. My freshman year, I was a participant on the trip to Harlan, Kentucky, which focused on Appalachian communities' identities and empowerment. Last year, I co-led the experience to Baltimore, which focused on affordable housing. Both of my experiences with AB have completely changed my life in that I can see the impact behind everything I do. The AB community has also empowered me to have important, but often tough conversations about social justice on this campus. This year, I'll be leading an experience to Atlanta, which will focus on food security. Beyond the AB program, I am also an ARHU ambassador and College Park Scholar in Media, Self and Society. I am also the coordinator for social media and outreach at The Art Gallery located in the Art-Sociology Building and an event manager at the Memorial Chapel.

Q: I heard you picked up Angela Davis from the Marriott before her lecture. How was that?

A: It was really fun. I was super nervous, but I also don’t know what I was expecting from a famous person. She is one of the most down to earth and easy-going people. Being able to chat with her before the lecture was amazing. It was also nice to hear about what she is doing and her work over the years. We talked about how my interests are similar to the ones she had at my age, and she encouraged me to continue fighting for what I believe in. She is an inspirational woman.

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