Give us a brief background of yourself before starting your MFA.
My interest in the arts started at a young age. I was always trying to think creatively about various aspect of my life. I have also been very involved within my community since a young age. My family was always looking for ways to volunteer and give back. It was not until after undergrad, I realized I could incorporate my two interests. I have my Bachelor’s degree in Photography with a minor in Marketing from Olivet Nazarene University. After I graduated, I took some time off from school to work for Big Brother Big Sister as an AmeriCorps VISTA. There I found the passion for the nonprofit sector. Eventually, I found the MFA program at SeattleU. Seattle has always been one of my favorite cities . Being a photographer and having a passion for photographing nature it seemed like a perfect fit! I’m extremely thankful that I had the opportunity to further my education and photography in a growing city like Seattle.
You work at SeattleU! Tell us about working for the University and your position.
When I first moved to Seattle I knew I wanted to find a job on campus. I had applied for a few different jobs on campus and eventually found this one with Faculty Services. It was a part-time job that I could go full time during breaks. Several MFA alumni had this job before me so when my supervisor was looking to hire a new graduate student she reached out to the program. There was already a network there for me to receive an interview. Having classes in the evening in a large congested city can be frustrating trying to get from point A to point B. Working on campus is a great benefit! Working in higher education has given me communication and administrative skills that will benefit me in my future art career.
Where have you participated in your practicums? What specific projects have you been working on?
I have had an extensive practicum experience so far. I started out with Rainer Valley Radio doing Social Media for their upcoming on-air launch. I then ended up at Coyote Central doing mentorship/administrative work. All three have been very different experiences and all three are very different organizations. They have all shaped my interests and where I see myself as a future Arts Leader.
What has been the highlight of the program so far?
My highlight from the program has been being able to apply what I have learned over the past year in real life situations. Often in school, I can get caught up in deadlines and trying to keep up with readings. I often forget to take the time to process what I have learned. It’s a great feeling when you realize you are using the resources and skills that you have learned from the program in job and practicums situations. My cohort has also been a great resource during grad school. Grad school is a challenge so having a small group of people that understand what you are going through is both supportive and inspiring.
Kevin Maifeld, MFA
Arts Leadership Programs Director
Rachel Betron, MEd
Student Financial Services