“They’re very supportive and encouraging of whatever you want to pursue.”

stu-coffey-thomasCollege of Arts & Humanities | Art & Design

For many students, favorite aspects of college include social life, sporting events, clubs or just the connections made in four years. For senior painting major Thomas Coffey, the best part of college for him has been the department of art and design.

Coffey attributes this largely to the opportunity the department gives him to improve his craft and form lasting relationships with his professors.

“My department has been my favorite part [of college], especially the last couple of years as I’ve gotten to know my professors more and developed personal relationships with them,” he said. “That has really helped me grow a lot. They’re very supportive and encouraging of whatever you want to pursue.”

Coffey added that his teachers also help him with one of the biggest challenges of his major: time-management.

“I always have a lot of plates in the air at once,” Coffey said. “My teachers have helped me figure out how much time I should be devoting to certain kinds of projects. They balance wanting to encourage you to put more effort into things with not wanting you to overwork yourself and drive yourself crazy.”

Coffey said another challenge of the major was that unlike other majors that have a lot of book work, most of his time is spent building his gallery of work.

“It probably still takes up as much time as other, more traditional majors, but that work is in the studio working on projects rather than reading textbooks, doing assignments or writing papers,” Coffey said. “But there still is a more traditional aspect to the major in that we take art history classes and things like that.”

After graduating, Coffey hopes to become a studio artist and have a small gallery of his own.

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