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Michelle Bernard

When Michelle Bernard first visited Dominican, it was at an open house and it painted a perfect picture that she belonged here.
“I had a one-on-one information session with the Art Department. I met the faculty and they were open, friendly, and genuinely interested in getting to know me,” Michelle says. “It was then that I realized Dominican was the place for me.”

With the support of Lynn Sondag, chair of the Department of Art, Art History and Design, and Steven Polacco, director of Graphic Art and Design, plus Dominican Service-Learning Director Julia Van der Ryn, Michelle has gone many places. While majoring in Graphic Art and Design with an Art History minor, she visited New York City for a three-week, grant-funded, service- learning class called “Urban Community as Canvas for Social Change” in partnership with City ARTS.

“That trip was absolutely life changing. We visited museums, traveled around the city, embraced the culture, restored murals, and learned how public art can act as a catalyst for positive change in communities,” says Michelle, who graduated from Dominican in May. “It was amazing and eye-opening and I definitely recommend participating in at least one service-learning class at Dominican. That trip made me want to get more involved with the community and to possibly get involved with public art projects in the future. The trip had such a powerful impact on me as an art major.”

In addition, Michelle established friendships and bonds that were instrumental in volunteering for various causes and creating other projects. One of them was INSIDE OUT-Educational Equity in Marin, a global public art project that involved local high school students from the Canal Alliance Youth Scholarship Program and mothers from the Young Mom’s Marin group and their children. She also co-chaired our campus Relay for Life event, which raised over $7,000 for the American Cancer Society.

The final mark Michelle left at Dominican was her senior thesis entitled, “The Posivibe Project.” It is a series of hand-lettered posters and stickers with positive statements that aim to inspire and console people through everyday life. This summer she has received requests from New York City and Pennsylvania for her stickers in The Posivibe Project store.

Michelle is also working as a full-time counselor and Graphic Design instructor at Camp Edventure More, a summer camp that specializes in art, technology and science. This valuable experience connects Michelle with children and inspires her to become an art teacher.

“I have had so many amazing opportunities and experiences at Dominican. I’ve made lifelong friends, the art department has been so supportive, and I have had the opportunity to travel and expand my horizons here,” says Michelle who is considering applying next year to the Graduate School of Education for a MA in Arts Education at Lesley University. “I really miss Dominican after graduating.  This place has truly become my home over the past four years.”


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