Congratulations to the Spring 2022 CLAS Graduate Honor Nominees by the Department of Art
The College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences hosts the CLAS Graduate Honoree Reception every semester for students who have been selected by their departments for this distinction. In the Department of Art, faculty and staff have the opportunity to nominate a graduating student whose exceptional academic achievements, leadership qualities, and service contributions to MSU Denver and their communities are notable. After the confidential nomination process faculty and staff vote for one student to receive the CLAS honor.
While each department is allowed only one Honoree, the Department of Art wishes to acknowledge all students nominated for this award. This Spring, faculty and staff nominated Emma Zimmerman and Noelle Betkowski who are both exceptional students and individuals. Read about these students here, whose inspirational stories and high academic achievements embody MSU Denver’s values and mission.
Emma Zimmerman, BFA in Art, CLAS Graduate Honoree
As a BFA student in Art, Emma Zimmerman embodies exceptional academic achievement, leadership qualities in and out of the classroom, and a commitment to service that she demonstrates through her involvement in MSU Denver’s artistic and greater campus communities. Faculty nominating Emma commented on her exceptional work ethic, particularly the way she engages in every class meeting where she leads by example. In the words of Professor Yunjin Woo, “Emma unflinchingly demonstrates vulnerable self-reflection and interrogations as both an artist and a student… she has always come to my classes prepared to be vulnerable and challenge herself and others in the pursuit of learning. When provided with challenging questions and critical responses to her studio practice, she has been incredibly gracious and receptive and comes back with stronger work as a result.” Emma’s leadership in the Department is exemplified in her participation in the Senior Experience course, where during install week she was at the gallery every day and helped with nearly every aspect of the show. Ms. Zimmerman also demonstrates significant leadership experience in the broader MSU Denver community and beyond. A passionate advocate for equity and cultivating community, Ms. Zimmerman is an active leader on MSU Denver’s campus as a Fellow for the Gender Institute for Teaching and Advocacy Public Feminism Lab, in which she manages multiple outreach projects and serves as liaison between students and numerous campus departments. Ms. Zimmerman is also a founding student member of MSU Denver’s Restorative Justice Coalition. Professor Carlos Frésquez reflected on his experience working with Ms. Zimmerman in creating a community mural for Curious Theater. In this capacity, Ms. Zimmerman took effort to ensure that the project was reflective of the organization and its community’s preferences, values, and experiences. Emma’s outstanding integrity and her commitment to others embodies the highest values of the Department of Art and the College of Letters, Arts and Sciences.
Noelle Betkowski, BFA in Communication Design, CLAS Graduate Honor Nominee
Noelle Betkowski was nominated by faculty in the department for her outstanding academic achievement since transferring to MSU Denver in 2018. Having earned a 3.82 cumulative G.P.A., her academic success is obvious. Among her many other accomplishments, Noelle was most recently Art Director for Metrosphere Magazine, working closely with the Creative Director, Editor-in-Chief, and creative team, including designers and photographers, to convey the vision for both issues of the 40th volume through design. Editor-in-Chief Julia Nguyen wrote, “With an eye for detail and a willingness to experiment, Noelle has helped elevate Metrosphere both in terms of content and design. She has acted as a leader in guiding discussions when evaluating submissions and feedback sessions of spreads.” Noelle’s passion for excellence in design extends to other leadership roles, having assisted in rebuilding the Future Leaders of Design (FLoD) student club since the pandemic. With other officers, she worked to generate new ideas for the future of the club, helped to plan club activities and designed graphics for events. Having held every officer position, including as President, she has actively recruited new members to ensure the health of the organization going forward. Beyond these leadership positions, Noelle has been an exemplary student in the BFA in Communication Design program where she is consistently focused and attentive to others, and she truly supports a participatory framework for education. She is intellectually curious, as witnessed in class discussions and forums where Noelle’s voice often illuminates the discussion with thoughtful inquiries and meaningful interactions between herself and others in the class. Noelle’s stellar academic performance and her leadership and service to others makes her an outstanding member of the Department of Art, and we couldn’t be prouder of this excellent graduate!