Carolyn A. Loftus, a junior Illustration major from Lincoln University, Pennsylvania, is vice president of PCA&D's Student Council, which shares ideas about how to enhance the student experience and coordinates the activities of PCA&D's many student-run organizations. She attended Avon Grove Charter School in Chester County and was Cyber schooled and love the activities that happen at PCA&D, as well as her membership in society of illustrators.
Here are some of Cali's thoughts:
As you were searching and comparing colleges, what attracted you to PCA&D?
CL: I liked how small it was, the one-on-one with the professors was very appealing. I felt that I would get the most “real world” experiences from PCA&D in terms of how the assignments were treated at times and the fact that I had to find my own apartment. I also found it to be the most affordable and it was a good distance from home. Close enough that I could be there for my family, but far enough that I got my independence.
What do you love about Lancaster city?
CL: I like how small it is, cities scared me for the longest time. They’re busy, loud and there’s a lot of people in such small spaces. I still feel uneasy in a city, but I feel Lancaster has been a good starting point for me to help with that fear. I also like how everything I need is only a 15-minute drive at most, and I get to watch the city grow. Since moving to Lancaster, I’ve watched two new shopping centers built and the opportunity it brings.
What do you love to show someone who is visiting PCA&D?
CL: That really depends on what their interested in. I would show them the spaces in the school that correlate with their interests and the work from the students that are in the majors they seem interested in. For example, someone who is interested in digital media, I would show them the Cintique lab and some of the student’s demo reels and short films.
What are you looking forward to most this school year?
CL: Getting a mentorship. I’m mostly excited because I’ll be contacting artists that I have admired for years.
What does being a Student Leader mean to you?
CL: I feel it gives me the opportunity to be a part in my college on a bigger level. I get to help plan events that make people happy and have fun. I could just come to class, do homework, rinse and repeat, but I feel this gives me variety and a new respect for everything that has been planned in the past. It has also given me the opportunity to meet new people and expand my horizons. The leadership skills I am gaining from this are priceless to me, and I feel that the people I am leading with are helping me greatly at improving as a person. I want to be President of Student Council my senior year, and I want to inspire the underclassman to step outside their comfort zones and try something new. I want to visit the school years after I have graduated and see the student council prospering and doing new things every year. I want to graduate knowing that the spirit of the school will only grow.
What non-classroom activity/event/whatever from your years at PCA&D will you always remember?
CL: The Halloween party and the Drag Gala. Each year they get more fun, crazy, and well, memorable!
How have your professors inspired you?
CL: Their encouragement with my work and pushing my pieces farther than I thought they could go. Their willingness to help and their informative descriptions of what the working world is like, be it now or in recent years.
When were you inspired by another student?
CL: When I saw them pushing themselves to achieve their dreams, celebrating when something turned out great and taking it hard when things didn’t go as planned. Regardless they never spent too long on what was already done and continued to aspire to be better than yesterday.
What words of wisdom would you share with a prospective student?
CL: Regardless of where you go, you will face adversity. And it’s in those moments of defeat that you truly learn who you are and what you want to do. If you can walk through a fire with a smile and at the end of it all say “It was worth it!” or “I want to do that again!”, then you have found your place.
Do you have a motto/favorite quote?
CL: You’ve come this far, who’s to say you can’t go further.
PCA&D students get involved with activities, clubs, Student Council, trips to major east-coast art centers, and more. Every major at Pennsylvania College of Art & Design is connected with a professional organization that students join and students also participate in department-sponsored events.