Jennifer Copeland, who is pursuing her MFA in sculpture at the University of Pennsylvania on a prestigious Jacob K. Javits Fellowship, worked closely with the staff of the Joseph Meyerhoff Center for Career Development in her successful application for the Javits. She was the seventh MICA graduate to receive this fellowship, which offers up to $30,000 per year to cover full tuition and a stipend for up to four years of graduate study, and is one of the most competitive of its kind in the country. Copeland was also a finalist for MICA's $25,000 Jacques and Natasha Gelman Travel Fellowship, the largest undergraduate travel award available to student artists.
Copeland, who began taking community college art courses after her high school graduation, applied to MICA at the encouragement of a teacher and entered as a sophomore. She credits her participation in the four-semester Exhibition Development Seminar, producing the exhibition At Freedom's Door: Challenging Slavery in Maryland as a life-changing experience. As she explains, "Working with 34 other students to put on an exhibition was an incredible challenge. It was more than a full-time job. I have learned, more than anything, to listen and learn, to be open to so many other perspectives, not just from within the class, but from the museums, and the many communities where we worked."
When she decided to continue on to graduate school, she decided to get back into the studio, saying, "My time at MICA was not long enough. I wanted to continue my education as an artist. Right now I'm a sponge, and the more I learn the better for me, for my work, and for my growth as an artist."