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Undergraduate Commencement Advisory

The University of Hartford's Undergraduate Commencement main ceremony takes place as scheduled today beginning at 10 a.m. on the campus green. Graduates should report to line up no later than 9:30 a.m. Following the main ceremony, graduates and guests will proceed to separate sites on campus for diploma presentation ceremonies with the following change from the original schedule: the Hartford Art School will hold its ceremony in Gengras Student Union cafeteria while University Studies will move to Wilde Auditorium in the Harry Jack Gray Center. Participants who did not pick up their cap and gown in advance can do so In Konover Campus Center beginning at 8 a.m. See more Commencement information here.

Aleksandra Drobik

Aleksandra Drobik

Aleksandra Drobik

MFA Candidate

Kean University
Union, NJ

B.F.A., Photography, 2011

At the end of students’ foundation year at the University of Hartford’s Hartford Art School, it’s tempting to purge your workspace of old notebooks, sketchbooks, and sundries from areas of practice you don’t plan to pursue as a major. However, Aleksandra “Ola” Drobik ’11 held onto all of hers.

As a high school art teacher at West Essex Regional School District in North Caldwell, N.J., those snippets of her college years are now the backbone of her lesson plans, and serve as the master text of her teaching philosophy.

“My experiences in my foundation classes gave me a solid base from which to develop my technical skills in drawing, painting, or photography,” says Drobik. “Now, as a teacher, I use what I learned as a student to develop my kids’ understanding of proportion, the elements of design, and the principles of art.”

Drobik recently had her students work on drawing human anatomy, starting with the skull. When searching for resources to use as examples with her class, she discovered a video of Jeremiah Patterson, associate professor and coordinator of foundations, in which he demonstrated the process of translating a skull onto paper.

 

“It was a great teaching moment, because I was able to tell them that the artist in the video was someone I learned from at art school,” she says.

Drobik incorporates anecdotes of her own art school experiences into each lesson so that students can see the wide variety of options available to students who pursue art at a university. For her, it’s less about learning techniques and more about understanding how to best observe their subject matter.

“I love that moment when they pause and say, ‘I never knew I could do this,’” she says. “That’s the most rewarding moment you can have as a teacher, and I’m understanding art in a whole new way now thanks to my experiences at the Hartford Art School.”



A note from the artist:
My time at the Hartford Art School provided me with a strong foundation and taught me many invaluable skills that I now use in my lesson plans when teaching students. The photography facility allowed me to explore multiple facets of the medium whether it was wet (B&W, color), alternative printing, digital processes, and studio lighting.  I still keep in touch and visit the photography faculty (Ellen, Bob) who continue to mentor me.  The Hartford Art School is a place where a supportive faculty helps you thrive and grow as an artist while building lasting relationships. My educational experience and relationships I have made at the Hartford Art School inspired me to become a teacher.

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