Student Testimonial: University of Arizona College of Fine ArtsPosted August 10, 2022, 10:00 am by
K. Lynn Robinson - University of Arizona College of Fine Arts
Why Did You Choose To Attend The University of Arizona?
My journey to my Ph.D. has been long and windy but in the best way possible. I started at the University of North Carolina with a degree in Military History, and then 6 years later I received my Master's in Heritage Preservation. After that, I came to the University of Arizona for my Ph.D. in Art & Visual Culture Education. All are very different but I believe in many ways each degree talks to the next, and art education was the way to make those degrees more public-facing and have an impact beyond the academic world which has been extremely important to me.
I really wanted an education in the art ed field that was different than what the majority of schools could provide. The University of Arizona approaches art education with a social justice lens and really engages students in critical thinking and solution-making that is culturally relevant for the diverse student groups we hope to teach.
What Did You Hope To Get Out of This Program, and Did You Achieve It?
It’s refreshing to move away from the traditional and toward something new that students in the art education program get to co-create. We are all a part of the future of art education and we can feel it through our lessons and our community engagement. I feel like my own personal research is thriving because of this style of teaching and it inspires the ways I might teach my own students.
Did You Have To Prepare for This Program in Any Way?
I don’t think there is any way to prepare for the unknown. I had a general idea of what art education was but I was immediately confronted with something different in my first classes. My advisor let me know that it wasn’t a bad idea to come into the program without an art education foundation because it allowed me a fresh mind to make new knowledge through the program.
What Was a Typical Day Like at the University of Arizona?
A typical day at the University is a bunch of running around. I wake up pretty early for the gym to get my mind going and then it's a mad dash to meetings, teaching my undergrad courses, my own classes, and adding to my research. A lot busier than undergrad but with the same goals in mind— a career!
What was the Most Memorable Moment of Your Time at the University of Arizona?
This may sound corny, but walking across campus the first time was memorable. It was in the middle of the height of the pandemic and most people were still away from campus, but being able to experience how grand and absolutely gorgeous the University of Arizona campus blew me away. I won't say it beats attending the Carolina-Duke game for three years in a row at the Dean Dome, but it really is high up on the list.
What Advice do you Have for Teens Looking for the Right College?
There really is no “right” choice. Go for what feels good— where you feel like you will grow the most and be able to connect with others. I’ve found, in all of my schoolings, in all the places I have been, that making sincere relationships with others has been the key to my successes big and small. College is about networking as much as it is about your discipline. Lean into your program and lean into the campus community. Get involved rather than isolate yourself (easier said than done in the middle of a continually evolving global health crisis). The college you feel like you can do all of that is the college for you.
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