Alvernia Students

Jul 9

be a better _______

In the ongoing adventures I’m taking part in, the most looming quest I just started involves grad school.

I’ve changed my mind multiple times over the past year, in terms of what and where I want to study after my time is done here at Alvernia.

A few months ago I sat down with a professor here at Alvernia to talk about graduate school and she gave me some of the best advice I’ve gotten over the past few years.

She told me not to think about what lies at the end of grad school, be it the lure of a job or a promising career.  Go to grad school just because you want to study more of something you love. Go to grad school because you have one passion or desire you need to embrace or have one burning question you need to answer. Go to grad school because you want to be a better doer of whatever it is that you do.

That advice still sticks with me. I keep looking at schools and telling myself not to think of the opportunities I’ll have after I graduate with an MFA or PhD or whatever, but to think of the opportunities I’ll have while I’m studying and learning more about what I’m passionate about.

So, to all you ambitious students out there thinking about grad school:

Don’t do it just because you’ll get a job with more prestige or more money or because you think it’s the easy way out or the right continuing step in your education.

Do it because you want to be a better you and a better doer of whatever it is that you do.


Focusing on what you love to do

It’s now officially been one month that I’ve had my studio over at the GoggleWorks.

The time has flown by and I’ve learned a bit about myself as an artist.

I’ve been trying to do about a painting per week (you can check out all my finished pieces here).

From this I’ve started to really develop a sense of what I love to paint and what I don’t.

In the grand scheme of things, it seems like everything works that way.  We all have things we love to do and things we don’t.  What I’ve learned through this is that even in the things we don’t love to do, we can grow and come to better know ourselves.

Sure, I love to paint people, figures, & faces, but I love the challenge of landscapes or the sheer joy of abstract painting as well (and the best is when you combine everything!).

So, to sum it all up,  know what you love and challenge yourself with things you know will make you a better person. We learn so much when we don’t stick to just the things we know and love.


Instagram Summer Photo Contest!!!!!!!

Having a great time at your summer job? Learning a lot at your summer internship? Traveling somewhere you’ve never been? We want to see! Show us how YOU #getrealAU this summer on Instagram. 

It’s simple! Submit a photo of yourself at your summer job, internship, hobby or travel spot on Instagram using #getrealAU. 

A weekly winner will be selected on Mondays and featured on Alvernia University social media channels and will receive an Alvernia t-shirt. 

The grand prize winner will be selected on Tuesday, August 5th and will receive an Alvernia University swag bag filled with Alvernia goodies!

We have had an overwhelming amount of entries in our first week of the contest. We wanted to share some of them with all of you. Don’t forget to join in the fun by using #getrealAU.

Jun 6


Go draw!

It doesn’t matter if you’re as good as Vincent Van Gogh and Albrecht Dürer or you can barely manage a stick figure. Go draw!

Draw on your meeting notes!

Draw on your air sickness bag!

Draw things that don’t make sense or make you laugh!

Happy World Drawing Day!

Go celebrate!!


Empty spaces & painted faces

A few weeks ago I dropped this little note on a post:

So, to everyone (the grand audience of all you out there reading the fantastic AU student blog!) I now share what my grand plan is for this summer and the coming year.

5 weeks ago yesterday I met my parents for lunch at the GoggleWorks (for any of you who don’t know what that is, read here). I questioned why we met for lunch at an art center cafe and not a restaurant, but hey, my parents haven’t always made sense (and man, do I love that).

They said, after lunch, we were gonna roll upstairs and meet somebody. I figured Pops knew some person with a studio, and they just wanted me to meet him/her.

We cruise upstairs and meet with the gallery director and she starts showing us an empty artist’s studio. I caught on quickly, but still had no definite idea what was going on.

Fast forward to today and I’m just about settled in to that same studio (after an application was handed in, after I was juried in to the studio, and after three paintings have already been completed).

Move in was relatively easy, as I didn’t have too much to move, just a cabinet, some previous artwork, and a small couch and chair.

I made sure to take time that first day to paint. My whole reason for being there is to paint, so I wanted to start on day one.

So, here’s “Moving Man.” a 14” x 18” acrylic & ink on canvas.

Much more artwork to come, as I’ll be spending 20+ hours a week in my studio creating. Should be a great year. I’m not sure where I’m headed after graduation next May, but I’m sure I’ll be doing something creative.

If you’re ever over at the GoggleWorks, make sure to swing by studio #317, as I’ll probably be there.

Make sure to check out my always growing online portfolio.

And most importantly…

keep it real and never take yourself too seriously, Internet.


Two Alvernia sophomores, Kyle Covington and Monica Echeverriare, are taking part in a highly anticipated pilot program to study and travel in the People’s Republic of China this May.

The group of ambassadors arrived this week, and have already visited the Great Wall (first photo) and the Summer Palace with their group. They also went to Tiananmen (second photo), Mao’s Mausoleum and the Forbidden City.

The scholars heard a lecture on the attempt to save hutongs - a type of architecture found in northeast China - and did a walking tour of the area.

Congrats to all of the Alvernia students inducted into academic honor societies this year!
Were you one of them? » Find and share your personal story!

Congrats to all of the Alvernia students inducted into academic honor societies this year!

Were you one of them? » Find and share your personal story!

So… what happens when Summer arrives?

Panic time, everyone!
Summer is near!
Grab your internships!
Assume crash positions!
Oxygen masks will deploy when you’ve been passed out on the couch for 5 hours because the only job you could get was third shift baking bread at the Panera near your house.

All kidding aside, Summer is a great time to really experience what the world will be like outside of school.

A chance to explore. dream. create.      (all that cliche stuff)

… but more importantly, to spread your wings and grow away from home.

It’s easy to just get a job right near home, but don’t be afraid if that perfect internship comes up and it’s a great experience and a little bit of a commute.

This is the first summer where most of my friends will be out and away in different cities all over the country for internships. While it saddens me that we all won’t be home and up to our usual shenanigans, I’m so proud of them. They’re all succeeding in their fields and have great opportunities this summer. (I have my own project brewing, but more on that at a later date)

It’s been great to be friends for so long and to see these kids I’ve known since those awkward junior high years now getting management jobs at fancy hotels, internships at top law firms, and graduating a year early and starting grad school in the Fall.

So whether you’ve just finished Freshman year or are looking towards Senior year in the fall (as I am), don’t be afraid to push yourself a bit out of your comfort zone this Summer.

It’s in those moments we really discover what we want to do, and what kind of person we will become.


Eat, Stay, Buy Locally: Treading Lightly on the Road


Setting up personal guidelines for travel can help travelers support the places they visit. In being cognizant of policies and the resources readily available on ethical travel, we can promote environmental sustainability and community development.

Spring Fling 2014 with Rodney Atkins was a blast!
»See more photos on #tagboard

Spring Fling 2014 with Rodney Atkins was a blast!

»See more photos on #tagboard