Students receive awards at the 2018 Student Awards Banquet

By Halley Sutton

On Tuesday, April 10, 2018, students, faculty, and staff gathered in the Otis College of Art and Design Forum for one of the highlights of the year: the Student Awards Banquet. Students, their guests, faculty, and staff were treated to a delicious, tropical-themed dinner.

Otis College President Bruce W. Ferguson welcomed guests with encouraging words about the importance of the evening and then introduced Dr. Carol Branch, Assistant Dean of Student Affairs and Title IX Coordinator, to emcee the evening’s program.

Among the most prestigious of the awards included the unveiling of the Otis College of Art and Design 2018 Valedictorian, which for the first time, went to an undergraduate fashion design student, Jinny Song. The Valedictorian was picked from the students who were honored with the most academically rigorous and prestigious award of the evening, the Academic Excellence Awards, which went to the following students:

  • Juan Ignacio Febres-Cordero Pittier, Architecture/Landscape/Interiors
  • Charles Kendall, Communication Arts with an emphasis in Illustration
  • Jacob Witt, Communication Arts with an emphasis in Graphic Design
  • Mollie Luria-Roberson, Digital Media with an emphasis in Motion Design
  • Francis Genares, Digital Media with an emphasis in Animation
  • Anna Solomko, Digital Media with an emphasis in Game and Entertainment Design
  • Jinny Song, Fashion Design
  • Daniel Cope, Fine Arts with an emphasis in Sculpture/New Genres
  • Yeltsin Penado, Fine Arts with an emphasis in Painting
  • Pamela Ramos Ramírez, Fine Arts with an emphasis in Photography
  • Grayson Hild, Product Design
  • Sahad Susette Rivera Sonda, Toy Design
  • Anna Ayeroff, MFA Public Practice
  • Nathan Gulick, MFA Fine Arts
  • Maria Jose Balvanera, MFA Graphic Design
  • Newton Garner, MFA Writing

Awards Honor Student Achievement, Community Outreach, and More

The honorees for 2018 excellence in work service at Otis College included the following awards:

  • Student Supervisor of the Year went to Julie Bryan, Executive Assistant to the Vice President of Campus Life
  • Student Employee of the Year went to Mollie Luria-Roberson

Throughout their career at Otis College of Art and Design, students are encouraged to develop an e-portfolio that serves as a digital repository for their work and experience at Otis College. Those honored for their excellence in ePortfolio design were Grand Prize Winner to Megan Moberly; the ePortfolio Excellence Award Winner went to Yiming Zhang; and Honorable mentions went to Hanabee Cartagena, Jinny Song, Mirna Kamel, Nelli Bryzgalova, and Roanne Kim.

Rich Shelton, chair of the Creative Action department, announced the students who were nominated by their own program chairs to be recipients of the Kia Design Charette awards. These students included: Brandon Thomas, Sahad Rivera, Eliana Marie Ramirez, Janis Ahn, and Charlie Kendall.

The following student clubs were honored:

  • The Dirty Deeds
  • Dungeons, Dragons, and Diversity—which was also the recipient of a special recognition for being the student-run club or organization for holding a mission to improve interpersonal relationships between peers
  • The Identity Gay Straight Alliance
  • The Indian Wood Curatorial Team
  • Otis Collective
  • The Otis Video Game Club
  • The Marauders
  • The Motion Club
  • The Otis Muslim Association
  • The Otis Christian Club
  • The Theater Club
  • Under the Baobab Tree Club
  • The 2D Animation Club

In addition, the following students on the Campus Activities Board, which is responsible for planning, developing, and executing student events throughout the year, were honored: Eli Sanchez, Hanabee Cartagena, Justus Morschauser, Kimberly Troyer, Vanessa “Synn” Bolanos, Vanessa Quiles, Yasamin Safarzadeh, and Joshua Chang. Bolanos and Cartagena were singled out for their contributions to campus life.

The Student Voice Association provides the voice to the Otis College student body by fielding concerns related to students’ campus and/or academic life. The following students were honored for their work with the SVA: Bobbie Gibbings, Elyse Carter, Hind Abdulmajeed, and Victoria Capo.

The following students were recognized for their efforts to connect with incoming foundation, transfer, and graduate students during Orientation Week and throughout the academic year as Peer Mentors and Orientation Owls: Angie Peiyue Wang, Daniel Delgadillo, Hanabee Cartagena, Hind Abdulmajeed, Josh Martin, Kate Park, Lulu Miao, Marcos Chen, Stephanie Goldstein, Vanessa Quiles, and Waranya Chuencheevit.

Chris Hurley, coordinator of residence life and housing, honored the following students for their work with residence life and housing throughout the year: Daria Bazzi, Holiday Muhammad, Geneva Bernal, Anna Nguyen, DeVon Beasley, Brian Dionisi, Brandon Lim, and HG Park.

Graduate Public Practice student Xochi Maberry-Gaulke was honored with the Outstanding Contribution Award for her contribution to Otis College community life and beyond. Undergraduate nominees for the Otis Spirited Owl 2018 award included:

  • Sean Lorenz, (Architecture, Landscape, and Interiors)
  • Alex Carman, (Digital Media)
  • Jasmine Ying, (Digital Media)
  • Mollie Luria-Roberson, (Digital Media)
  • Chi Sun, (Product Design)
  • Pyung you Choi, (Product Design)
  • Sahad Rivera, (Toy Design)

The award went to Jasmine Ying, from Digital Media.

The class marshals were also honored: Juan I. Febres-Cordero (Architecture/Landscape/Interiors), Nick Daele (Communication Arts), Vanessa “Synn” Bolanos (Digital Media), Amanda Cox (Foundation Design), Yeltsin Penado (Fine Arts), Frank (Shih Yao) Chiu (Product Design), Sahad Rivera (Toy Design), Allison Nill (Graduate Fine Arts), Frankie Hamersma (Graduate Graphic Design), Xochi Maberry-Gaulke (Graduate Public Practice), and Halley Sutton (Graduate Writing).

The Studio Distinction Awards went to the following students: Chloe Kim (BFA Illustration), Jessi Hita (BFA Illustration), Francis "Nick" Saele (BFA Graphic Design), Steven Galekovic (BFA Graphic Design), Frankie Hermesma (MFA Graphic Design), Pilar Castillo (MFA Graphic Design), Patrick Ward (Digital Media), Mollie Lurie-Roberson (Digital Media), Zoe Lin (Digital Media), William Wang (Fashion Design), Michael Gross (Fine Arts: Painting), Patsy Pitts (Fine Arts: Sculpture/New Genres), Joshua Kim (Fine Arts: Photography), Isabella Labriola (Product Design, Sophomore), Heuiwoo Lee (Product Design, Sophomore), Rayph Cosford (Product Design, Sophomore), Javier Diaz (Product Design, Sophomore), Stefan White (Product Design, Junior), Sabrine Mengerink (Product Design, Junior), Tatiana Stewart (Product Design, Junior), Amanda DaSilva (Product Design, Junior), Jackie Phongmai (Product Design, Junior), Ashley Peng (Product Design, Senior), Colin Yoon (Product Design, Senior), Chi Sun (Product Design, Senior), Colin Yoon (Product Design, Senior), Jacob Kim (Product Design, Senior), Deborah Adams-Welles (MFA Fine Arts), Lorenzo Baker (MFA Fine Arts), and Mark Farina (MFA Public Practice).


Photo: (L:R) Eli Sanchez, Vannessa “Synn” Bolanos, Hanabee Cartagena, Justus Morschauser, and Vanessa Quiles. Credit: Allison Knight


Halley Sutton is a graduate of Otis College of Art and Design’s master of fine arts in writing program. She lives in Playa del Rey, CA.