Student Reflections

We are so lucky to be part of a thriving arts community thanks to our wonderful arts partners across campus and the talented students who take part in the arts. We are incredibly grateful to this community for their partnership, their vision, and their creativity.

As part of our celebration of the arts and focus on reflections this week, we collected student reflections on their impressions and favorite memories of the arts organizations and departments that they’re involved in. Read more below to see what the students have to say!

Be sure to check back each day during Arts Everywhere week as we reveal more student reflections!

Jacqueline Gu

  • Major
    • English and Quantitative Biology
  • Describe the English and Comparative Literature Department in 3 words
    • Dynamic, engaging, eye-opening
  • What’s your favorite part about being in the ECL Department? 
    • My favorite part about being in the ECL department is having the opportunity to deeply analyze and critically challenge social structures through decoding the ways language constructs them. The experience of unraveling the underlying assumptions, context, and implications words can produce is especially rewarding. Also, being in the ECL department has given me the opportunity to meet so many wonderful, kind, and brilliant faculty members, staff, and peers, who continually inspire me every day!
  • Best memory with the ECL Department?
    • One of my favorite memories is learning how to embroider in ENGL 116 (History of Writing), which I have attached a picture of my end product.
    • Jacqueline’s embroidery!

Josh Massey

  • Major
    • American Studies/English and Comparative Literature
  • Describe the Ackland Art Museum in 3 words
    • Universes of art
  • What’s your favorite part of working with the Ackland?
    • I can’t pick just one. I really am in awe at how much working at the Ackland has enabled me to develop my communication skills, especially regarding writing about and talking about art. My other favorite part is (naturally) showing different people from various publics the wonders of the museum, ideally allowing them to see not only art, but the world around them, in different ways.
  • Best memory with the Ackland?
    • Before the pandemic, the Ackland Student Guides had weekly meetings where we would explore different parts of the collection and learn how to teach people about art through object-based tours. After the pandemic hit, I wasn’t able to go to the Ackland for almost a year – a long time considering I went every single Friday! A few weeks ago, I had the privilege to visit the museum again. I brought my best friend with me, and I gave them a tour of the collection, showing them the extraordinary objects on display at the museum. It felt so good to be reunited with the collection, and it was very gratifying to show somebody with an appreciation of art the things I loved most about the museum.

Sarah Frisbie

  •  Major
    • I’m an art history BFA (which is basically a full art history major and a full studio art major) doubled with global studies.
  • Describe the Department of Art & Art History in 3 words
    •  If I could describe the art and art history department in three words, I would say supportive, passionate, and innovative.
  • What’s your favorite part of being in the Department of Art & Art History?
    • The Department of Art and Art History has always mirrored my enthusiasm for art history and art and has been full of mentors ready to help me take my ideas to the next level. Professors are absolute experts in their subject areas and are always eager to talk about the subject matter after class, envision future research pathways or painting projects, and offer constructive feedback on my work. (Check out her portfolio here I have had the opportunity through the Department of Art and Art History to explore new media, develop new methods of promoting student art, pursue independent research, curate exhibitions and have my own work exhibited, and apply for fellowship and scholarship opportunities.
  • Best memory with the Department of Art & Art History?
    • One of my favorite memories was in my Sculpture I class last spring with Chloé Rager. My last project before the pandemic was a performative meal–a kind of open-table Communion–that I served to my classmates, entitled Abundance. It was a simple but powerful experience, and it couldn’t have happened without the guidance of my professor.
A photo of Sarah’s art piece “Abundance”

Saskia Staimpel

  • Major:
    • African, African American Diaspora Studies and Global Studies, focused on International Politics and Latin America.
  • Describe the Sonja Haynes Stone Center in 3 words
    • Engaging, culturally rich
  • What’s your favorite part of working with the Stone Center?
    • My favorite part about being involved in the Stone Center is knowing that the people I work with share my passion for illuminating Black history and culture. I enjoy seeing that done in various ways through the Center’s programs and am glad to be in a position where I get some insight into how they are successfully put together.
  • Best memory with the Stone Center?
    • My best memory with the Stone Center is seeing its unfinished basement for the first time with fellow members of the Stone Center Space Initiative (SCSI). Our initiative had been virtually collaborating on a purpose for the space, once funds are raised to construct it, before we got to see it together for the first time. Surveying the space and its potential as a group and with Dr. Jordan made me see the work as so much more real and exciting.
Saskia with Moriah and Sterling – two members of the Stone Center Space Initiative- in the basement of the Stone Center.

Aubree Dixon

  •  Major
    • Dramatic Art
  • Describe the Department of Dramatic Art in 3 words
    • Dedicated, innovative, community
  • What’s your favorite part of being in the Department of Dramatic Art?
    • My favorite part of being in the dramatic art department is that we all strive to make the department better. We collaborate and work together to bring the change we want to see to the department.
  • Best memory with the Department of Dramatic Art?
    • My best memories (because I can’t choose just one) with the department would have to be working with my friends on any of the productions I have been in! It’s been amazing to see us all grow as artists over the years!
Photo taken by Huth Photos

Kim Le

  •  Major
    • Nursing Major and Asian Studies Minor
  • Describe Carolina Performing Arts in 3 words
    • Eventful, patient, and welcoming.
  • What’s your favorite part of working with CPA?
    • My favorite part about my job was that I was able to connect with so many upperclassmen who worked alongside me every day in the box office at Memorial Hall. By the end of my training, I had a family outside of my academics at UNC. Going along with that, I always had an admiration for arts but would not pursue it professionally. By working at Carolina Performing Arts, I was able to get a glance at how everything works behind the scenes.
  • Best memory with CPA?
    • My favorite memory within Carolina Performing Arts was working during the holiday times in December and seeing all the decorations for the Nutcracker. If you have never been or seen the inside of Memorial Hall, it is truly a sight to see especially during December! The week leading up to the show, there were so many parents and children interested and we even had pre-show events for them. With the holiday spirit, another favorite moment was doing a gift exchange amongst the Box Office staff at CPA.
Memorial hall during the holiday season.

Joe Figliolo

  • Major
    • Music Education major with a minor in Conflict Management
  • Describe the Department of Music in 3 words
    • Welcoming, Supportive, and Enjoyable
  • What’s your favorite part of being in the Department of Music?
    • My favorite part about being in the music department at UNC is having the opportunity to work and perform with many different groups and learning more about music with my peers as well as the department faculty/staff. Since starting as a first-year music education major at UNC, I have been able to take music classes, perform with many different music ensembles, and join different organizations that have introduced me to other musicians. I think that by participating in all of these music department opportunities, I have been able to grow as a person, musician, and future educator.
  • Best memory with the Department of Music?
    • My favorite memory in the music department is getting to perform at the Military Bowl Game in Annapolis, MD and staying in D.C with the Marching Tar Heels in 2020. We were able to march in a parade before the game and perform during the game as well as during halftime. It was one of the coolest experiences of my life and is one of the biggest crowds I’ve ever performed in front of.
Figliolo with fellow band members

Sergio Mauritz Ang

  •  Major
    •  MFA in Acting
  • Describe PlayMakers Repertory Company in 3 words
    • Artisans, Challenging, Transformational.
  • What’s your favorite part of working with PlayMakers?
    • My favorite part of being a PlayMakers is back to being a Student. Learning alongside and from incredible team of Working Artists and Master Teachers.
  • Best memory with PlayMakers?
    • My First Year here, through PlayMakers Mobile, directed by Alejandro Rodriguez, we toured Thornton Wilder’s Short Plays to schools, libraries, various nonprofits and Community Centers all across the Triangle. Through facilitated workshops, I got to meet fantastic students who are passionate and hungry about Theatre and the power of Arts Education.
(photo cred. Huth Photo and JMHSArts)

Michael Sparks

  •  Major
    • Computer Science (BA) and Communication Studies (BA)
  • Describe the Department of Communication in 3 words
    • Create, Capture, Celebrate
  • What’s your favorite part of being in the Department of Communication?
    • I love the people I’ve met through the department. While I’ve enjoyed the classes, fostering lasting relationships with other passionate people has made my college experience much brighter. The friends I’ve made me a better creator and person, both in class and out.
  • Best memory with the Department of Communication?
    • I don’t know if I have a specific favorite memory from the communications department. However, recently I drove out to the beach with some of my friends to finish a final project for my capstone class. The drive was long and bitterly cold, but being there with my friends made it all worth it. Getting some pretty shots was a nice bonus.