The Pennsylvania State University

School of Visual Arts

Congratulations to the 2017 Graduating Class

PSU SoVA Graduation SP2017

Penn State’s recent weekend of graduation celebrations saw many SoVA students blooming alongside spring as they stepped into a new phase in their artful lives.

This year’s College of Arts and Architecture commencement speaker was SoVA’s Helen Maser. Helen graduated with bachelor of fine arts degrees in drawing and painting and sculpture and a minor in art history. She recently had a solo exhibit, “He Called Me Sexy Baby But My Name is Helen,” at the HUB-Robeson Galleries. She served as exhibition coordinator for SoVA and as a curatorial intern for the Woskob Family Gallery, where her responsibilities included facilitating a collaborative environment between students and the gallery. She also served as president of the SoVA Student Council. Next, Helen will intern at the Takt Artist Residency in Berlin, Germany.

With her amazing charm, grace and eloquence, Helen greeted her fellow graduates, delivering a message about the importance of vulnerability and generosity as they move into this new chapter in their lives. Maser called on her peers to “create an inclusive community that fosters generosity for all.”

“After all, generosity is not just a benevolent mark, but also a strategic mark that cuts through difference and division,” she said. “The more you give to others, the more resonant your mark will be.”

Helen reflected on her time at Penn State fondly, crediting her faculty and peers. “This community of people allowed me to critically evaluate my own personal history in a way that can be shared with others. The help from my closest friends and allies enabled me to access my most difficult history and use it as a tool for positive change through creative practice.”

“You are equipped to make choices that will shape yours and others' lives for the better,” said Dean Korner in her address to the audience. “Live your life in such a way that people cannot help but listen to you speak no matter where your career path may take you. “

 We’re listening, class of 2017, and we celebrate you!  Welcome to the SoVA alumni family of more than 7,000 strong.

Click here to view the image gallery.

SoVA’s spring 2017 graduating students include (categorized by degree program):
Kristina Avanzato Kayla Lynn Amendola Laura Beyerle Matina Liana Aliseo
Jacqueline Friedman Zican Feng Chloe Ross Mahon Kaitlin Isabelle Barker
Andrew John Heo Sarra Hochberg Samantha Bachman Julia Capriotti
Samara Kitnick Miranda Holmes Melissa Sara Sirken Erin Marie Foertsch
Sarah Elizabeth Niezgoda Zoe Alexandra Marcin Kayla Christine Tompkins Yingzi Huang
Caroline Jane O'Brien Helen Maser   Lindsey Suemi Huh
Michael James O'Halloran Katelyn Mariko McCormick   Gretchen Alexis Killmon
Brendan Douglas Rogers Kelsey Jo Vanhorn   Sara Calista Leach
William Bernard Waldron III     Marisa Rose Logue
      Chloe Ross Mahon
      Margaret Elizabeth Muench
      Marjorie Coderre Provost
      Andika Rodriguez
      Kayla Christine Tompkins