At the end of the academic year, CCAD deans present the Outstanding Seniors for their divisions. Today, in part one of our 10-part Outstanding Seniors series, meet Photography major Lian Dziura.
Q) What was your proudest achievement while at CCAD?
A) I honestly think it would be never failing anything. I never failed a class, and I am happy with my grades and work in every course I took while here. Another achievement that I am proud of was taking photos of Aminah Robinson. We did an IMAGE magazine story on her, and I was able to not only photograph her, but also talk to her about her work and her life.
Q) What scared you the most while you were at CCAD?
A) When I first started taking photography classes at CCAD, just about everyone in the class had some sort of experience or had taken previous courses. I felt a little nervous since I didn’t have any experience, but it actually turned out better for me since I didn’t have any bad habits to break and was able to work extremely hard and learn everything on a clean slate.
Q) What are your plans after graduation?
A) I am still deciding what direction I want to go. I have a lot of opportunities, and I am sorting through them now. Currently I have an internship with McGraw-Hill. I interviewed for their paid summer position, so I am waiting to hear back from them. I also got accepted into Studio Art Centers International (SACI) in Florence, Italy, to continue my studies. I know I would like to attend graduate school to study photography and fine arts, but I am leaning towards taking some time off to work and relax before I go back to school.
Q) What is your ultimate dream job? Or goal?
A) I would love to be able to travel and do some sort of documentary photography—I want to be able to travel to a country and live with the people of an area long enough to understand their culture and ways. I have a Fine Arts minor so I would love to be able to incorporate that into my work by doing photo collages, etc.
Q) Why it is important to continue giving back to your alma mater?
A) I know I will continue to give back to CCAD after I graduate, whether that is through volunteer work or financial means. My time here was greatly influenced and contributed to by alumni. I was helped through scholarships, teachers, and mentors. I want to be able to do the same for current and future students.
Q) Do you remember a single point that made you sit back and say, “This is why I am doing this?”
A) I think I realized why I am an artist in my study abroad trip to Italy. I was able to study over there for three months, and I had a “this is why I am an artist” moment when I realized that not only was I abroad, working in a different environment outside of a classroom on a group of pieces that were my personal work and not assigned classwork.
Q) What smell, word, object, or whatever will always remind you of your time here as a student?
A) Rubber cement. Yep, definitely rubber cement and photo fix, and pretty much any other chemical.
Q) What will you miss the most?
A) I think it will be a mix between faculty and friends. That whole circle of CCAD family I made while I was here I am going to miss being around constantly.
Q) If you can describe what graduating feels like in one word or sentence, what would it be?
A) It’s a perfect balance between scary and wonderful at the same time.
Q) What was your favorite class while you were at CCAD?
A) I don’t think I could pick just one. The top two would have to be my Intro to Philosophy class. I love philosophy, and it was interesting to sit in a classroom with your peers that you have had countless classes with and hear them talk about something other than art.
The second favorite class would be Photo III. Although it was one of the most difficult classes, and it was definitely a pain in the ass, it made a huge impact on me and was helpful in advancing my skills.
Q) What did you like to do in your free time?
A) What free time? (laughs) I really just spent a lot of time with my friends. We would have homework parties and hang out in the Crane Center. That and studying abroad are probably my fondest memories of CCAD.
Q) What would you change about your undergraduate experience?
A) I don’t think I would change anything, but there are parts I would like to stretch out. For instance, I would love to have been able to study abroad again, and there are so many classes that I wish I would have had time to take.
Q) What advice would you give to future CCAD students?
A) Take every opportunity possible. CCAD is filled with opportunities, and I learned that the faculty and staff are here to help you make those things happen. So don’t be afraid to ask them, and they will help you get to where you want to be!
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