By: Elizabeth Omara-Otunnu
This article is part of a series featuring some of this year’s outstanding graduating students, nominated by their academic school or college or another University program in which they participated. Check for additional profiles of students in the Class of 2013 on UConn Today from now through Commencement.
Celia Poirier ’13 (SFA, CLAS) never had room in her schedule for art classes in high school. But she did put together a portfolio of drawings in her spare time, and when she took it along to National Portfolio Day, she was offered admission on the spot to UConn’s School of Fine Arts.
Since then the Honors student and dual degree candidate in fine arts and communication has spent four years honing her design skills, and has embraced the possibility of pursuing a career in the arts.
She found her niche at UConn’s Design Center. The center, which is run like a regular design studio, gives up to 20 students the opportunity to work on projects for clients both within and outside the University. Each project is managed by a small team of students, and Poirier has participated in a bunch of them.
“We manage the whole project,” she says, “including budget, timeline, coordinating with the client. It’s been one of the best experiences I’ve had because you’re working in the real world.”
“My design professors are what I’m going to miss the most, especially Edvin [Yegir, head of the Design Center],” says Poirier. “I’ve learned so much from him. He treats us like collaborators and colleagues. His advice pushes you and motivates you. I’ll never be able to thank him enough for everything.”
Although the Design Center has been Poirier’s academic home on campus, Poirier has fitted in a broad range of other experiences. A dual degree student in communication as well as fine arts, she is also an active participant in the Honors Program, worked two campus jobs, studied abroad, and did an internship in New York City.
Now working to complete her Honors thesis, Poirier also welcomes the opportunity to cap her studies at UConn with an original project. Her senior thesis is a review of a year-long design project she conducted with a non-profit syringe exchange in Willimantic, after developing a new visual identity for the program.