From Canada to Mexico, meet the impressive students to receive recognition at winter commencement

Friday, December 2, 2016

During the 2016 winter commencement ceremony, the College of Fine Arts will recognize one student from each of its three academic units who stood out among their peers. These students were chosen for their outstanding work and commitment to excellence.

Nicole CarltonDepartment of Art and Art History

Nicole Carleton, 22, Design

Hometown: Austin

What are your plans after graduation?

My plan after graduation is to work at a branding firm. Whether or not I get hired at one is another story. Long term, I'd like to either be able to freelance full time or eventually become a creative director. For right now, I'm just trying to finish my degree and look for jobs around town.

How would you sum up your experience at the College of Fine Arts?

It's been a whirlwind of hard work, late nights and wacky critiques.

Looking back, are there any memories, projects or classes you would like to share?

My junior year I took DES 322, Design and Social Environment, with Assistant Professor Jiwon Park. We got to work in teams and go out in the world and find existing institutions to partner with for support of each project. My team ended up tackling creative thinking in the classroom, and it was really interesting getting insight from local teachers, after-school programs and the Thinkery. There aren't a lot of school projects that reach that far, and it was a really inspiring issue to take on. I think the combination of having motivated teammates, outside input and a personally relevant issue resulted in a design project that we were very proud of.

Jenny De La FuenteDepartment of Theatre and Dance

Jenefer De La Fuente, 22, B.A. Theatre and Dance with Acting Focus

Hometown: Mexico City

What are your plans after graduation?

My plan is to continue acting both in film and theatre. I want to be part of the acting community in Austin and finally grow and be able to act in different places. I want to be able to participate in many different plays and acting productions and be able to tell the stories that I love the most. I am also working on improving my French so that I can open more job opportunities. I would love to do a play or film in French/Spanish and English. I am also working on writing a play, and my goal is to get it published.

How would you sum up your experience at the College of Fine Arts?

My experience at the College of Fine Arts was excellent. I had the opportunity to meet the most talented and hard-working group of people and to be able to share work and ideas with them was one of the most exciting things I've ever done. I was able to be in a number of theatre productions, and I can say it was from the smaller ones where I learned the most because I was working with actors and directors who were focused solemnly on the work and its meaning. We were all learning and creating together. That's how I learned the true meaning of the word "collaboration."

Looking back, are there any memories, projects or classes you would like to share?

My first semester I got chosen to play Lindsay in the play Some Girls, and it was an amazing experience. I hadn't acted in a play before or auditioned, beside from what I've done when I was a child, so it was a nerve-racking opportunity. I met the most amazing people on that play and the feeling of being on stage presenting a work such as Some Girls was overwhelmingly amazing. It was my first theatre job at UT, and I think that is one of the many reasons of why it lives so close to my heart.

Andre GalubanButler School of Music

Andre Galuban, 24, B.M. Jazz Performance

Hometown: Ottawa, Canada

What are your plans after graduation?

I plan to pursue a career in arts management, in addition to continuing to perform and write music.

How would you sum up your experience at the College of Fine Arts?

My experiences in the College of Fine Arts have been incredible. I have studied with faculty who have inspired me every day and have played in different ensembles, such as AIME, where I had the opportunity to explore writing original compositions, and the Jazz Orchestra, where I played with other amazing jazz students and, occasionally, with world-renowned jazz artists. In addition to all of my studies in jazz, I've been able to lead One Note Stand, a UT college a cappella group. This group has broadened my horizons as a singer and as an arranger outside of instrumental music. Overall, my 4.5 years in this college and at this incredible university have been eye-opening, life-changing and musically inspiring.

Looking back, are there any memories, projects or classes you would like to share?

The opportunity to study abroad in Paris was by far one of the greatest memories I will have. All of my classes were fully in French, and the music classes were so intriguing and inspiring. Being able to be a music student in one of the most eclectic cities in world, in addition to being able to travel and learn about other cultures and music around Europe, will always be a highlight for me.

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