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Gillian Parker '21
Summa Cum Laude
BA Studio Art, BA Art History and Criticism
Minor in Digital Arts


Where are you originally from?
I am originally from Huntington, CT, but did K-12 in New Lenox, Illinois. 

How did you hear about Stony Brook University?
My partner is a SBU alumni (1995). 

Why Stony Brook?
I chose SBU because of its stellar reputation and value. 

On her major:
I double major in Studio Arts (concentration in sculpture) and Art History & Criticism. I minor in Digital Arts. Studio Arts was chosen for passion, Art History & Criticism was chosen for intellectual edification, and Digital Arts was chosen for curiosity. 

Favorite classes:
One of my favorite classes was ARS326 Video Arts: Narrative Forms with Carter Johnson. It ignited a new direction for my artistic pursuits, which coincided nicely with the pandemic and my loss of access to the sculpture studios. Thanks to Carter, I was able to produce a video for the Reckoning Student Show, which is featured in both the URECA and Sunwood shows as well.  That project was made for another of my favorite courses, which was with Nobuho Nagasawa, and taught me some of the most marketable skills in my time at Stony Brook. Nobi invests so much of herself into her students, and I am grateful for that. 

Interests and accomplishments:
I’m definitely considered a non-traditional student as a substantially older twin mom to six year olds. I am also a marathon runner, 12x World Record Skydiver, traveler to more than 20 countries, and lived in the Hawaiian Islands for seven years.  

Plans for post-graduation:
Following graduation from SBU I will pursue my independent art practice in addition to applying for public art projects. 

Advice for future Seawolves?
I recommend that future Seawolves (especially non-traditional students) find ways to get involved and find their niche. BUT it is okay if they don’t though, too. Not every student is in a position to be as involved as they would like, but it doesn’t mean that they won’t be able to find their “people” regardless. Trust the journey. 

Parting thoughts: 
It was extremely challenging to find the needed support to balance raising small children while attending SBU full-time —at first in-person, then transitioning to full-time remote. I appreciate every success that much more, because they were the result of more grit than I could have anticipated was needed.