SO this blog will mainly focus on my experiences being a Norther Light Ambassador and being a student at NIU! So lets get started!

There are various reasons why I chose to attend NIU. Not only was it affordable and had a great art program but the people and interactions I had seemed to be very genuine. I first had contact with NIU at a National Portfolio Day hosted at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. While I was there I spoke to several representatives from various schools but the most impactful experience came when I spoke to the representatives from NIU. They were incredibly nice, helpful, and genuine. They seemed interested in me and in return I became interested in NIU. I applied to NIU, visited the campus, and even applied for the School of Art Freshmen Tuition Scholarship, and guess what? I got it! I felt really humble and excited, I felt like the School of Art really believed in me and my artwork in order to be willing to invest so much in my education. When it came down to it I chose NIU!

This is my second year being in NLA. I chose to reapply this year for various reasons. First of all this is such a new program(this is it’s third year running!) and the title comes with such high regard I just really wanted to continue being a member. I wanted to continue being a part of the NIU community and I really enjoyed serving the School of Art and helping out at different events such as Open Houses. Last semester I also helped out with the School of art Continuing Students Scholarship. We had great applicant’s and while it was very hard work setting up all the portfolios for review I was super excited to see some of the amazing talent many of my fellow art students had. I’m talking amazing, there was someone who had paintings and drawings on pieces of dry wall that seemed to fade and bleed and some lit up, crazy right?

I’ve had some great experiences at NIU, some are resume worthy while others simply enriched me as a person and an artist. One of the best experiences I have had however is my ARTD 313 Introduction to Photography course with Kimberly Turner. I arranged to make this an in-course contract honors course. Can I just say how amazingly talented and insightful some instructors can be! Kim is one of those people. Making this course honors forced me to actually interact with a professor outside of a classroom setting, something I’m sometimes too nervous to do. It allowed me to design the honors aspect of the course and what I wanted to learn about. Each week I had an enrichment assignment. I would either research an artist, go to an art event, or do a reading . I then met up with her during her office hours for discussion. I initially thought these meetings would last 30 minutes or so, but most ran over an hour! I learned twice as much as if this class was a regular course. I grew as an artist, as a person, and as a student. I also had the great opportunity to develop a relationship with an amazing teacher, artist, and individual. (Thanks Kim!)

So there you have, my first blog post. I’m feeling kinda accomplished! I hope you guys find it worth reading!

Juan Molina


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