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MICA Welcomes Largest Freshman and Graduate Classes in its History

Scholarship Winners and an Increasingly Diverse Population Make Up the New Classes

Posted 08.30.11 by MICA communications


BALTIMORE -- MICA welcomes the largest entering freshman and graduate classes in its history, including many prestigious national scholarship winners and the most international students on record. New students joining the MICA community include 520 freshmen and 85 transfer students, a 16 percent increase in new undergraduate enrollment over last year. Two-hundred-six new graduate students will come to MICA, a 60 percent increase over last year as a result of adding six graduate programs. Total campus enrollment is now at a record-breaking level of 2,169, including 1,863 undergraduate and 306 graduate students hailing from 48 states and 54 countries. MICA also serves an additional population of 1,314 School for Professional and Continuing Studies students.

The increasing interest in MICA from around the world is evident by the rise in the number of foreign and minority students coming to the College-an additional 43 percent and 19 percent, respectfully, compared to last year. From China alone, the population has grown from three students last year to 24 this year.

Applications came from 49 states and 46 foreign countries. The largest increases in applications came from overseas, with the most significant increases coming from Central America, South America and especially China, where new recruiting initiatives are taking place. Within the United States, most notable were increases in applications not only from the mid-Atlantic region, where the College is located, but also from the West Coast, Southwest and Southern regions of the country.

Incoming freshmen overwhelmingly indicated in surveys they were attracted to MICA because it felt like the "right fit" as well as the following reasons: stellar reputation and flexibility of programs; strength of current students' artwork; beautiful campus and housing facilities; recommendations by high school art teachers and MICA current students and alumni; and alumni success stories and professional development opportunities. Graduate students shared they were drawn to the College by undergraduate professor and MICA alumni recommendations; the College's reputation and ranking; and Baltimore's creative vibe, both through its visual art and music scenes.

Highlights of New Students:
This year's crop of freshman and graduate students is especially talented as well-rounded artists and designers, as well as student leaders, athletes, musicians, writers and more. "Once again, MICA is attracting students who have already been recognized by major arts organizations and foundations for their superior artistic achievements prior to entering as students," said Theresa Bedoya, vice president for admission and financial aid. "I'm thrilled to welcome these talented, intelligent and motivated men and women to our community of artists."

Lee Heinemann, a U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts and Scholastic Gold Award winner from Kansas City, Mo., who plans to pursue a B.F.A. in general fine arts, enters MICA with a profound interest in and experience with community-focused art. Before entering college, he volunteered at a non-profit community arts organization named Whoop Dee Doo that produces a variety show in coordination with local under-served youth. Audrey Gair of Miami is another winner of two prestigious awards: the Latino Art Beat scholarship and Scholastic Gold Award; Gair also plans to major in general fine arts.

Two Gates Millennium Scholarship winners have entered MICA this fall--Jessica Bastidas, who attended Lehigh Valley Charter High School for the Performing Arts in Bethleham, Penn., and Richelle Vargas, who attended the Design and Architecture High School in Miami.

Outstanding examples of incoming graduate students in the new programs include Jun Chen (M.F.A. in Illustration Practice), who has won several awards, including the Award for Outstanding Diploma Project, Canson Printmaking Award and Wacom Digital Art Award. Chen has illustrated and designed for numerous Chinese publications, including Beijing News, and has published a limited edition book, The Biggest Fire, with contemporary author Qiao Mai, as well as published comics Rice Cream and Bloody Princess with Cantonese comic book author Sei Gao.

Incoming student Remy Peritz (M.A. in Social Design) has completed a post-graduate internship as assistance associate for political prisoners in Burma and Thailand, and has work experience as a manager of social media policy creation at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Most recently, Peritz was a post-production manager who oversaw videography and photography for 50 TED talks.

Lauren Richel Kelly (M.P.S. in The Business of Art and Design) has five years work experience as a designer with companies in the fast-paced fashion industry, including Martha Stewart Weddings and kate spade. Kelly recently launched a boutique stationary brand and design studio that she is interested in growing into a full wedding and event design studio.

Application Trends:
Graduate applications grew overall by 16 percent from last year, as a result of the addition of new graduate programs as well as a nearly 50 percent increase in international applications. Applications from China rose by approximately 178 percent.

Transfer applications increased this year by 16 percent, with a notable number coming from community colleges. The reasoning behind this trend could be economically-related, with an increasing number of students choosing to attend community colleges to save money, with the intention of later transferring to a four year college.

There was also an overall six percent increase in undergraduate applications, and within that increase 23 percent came from international prospective freshmen, most notably from China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Founded in 1826, Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) is the oldest continuously degree-granting college of art and design in the nation. The College enrolls nearly 3,500 undergraduate, graduate and continuing studies students from 49 states and 52 countries in fine arts, design, electronic media, art education, liberal arts, and professional studies degree and non-credit programs. With art and design programs ranked in the top ten by U.S. News and World Report, MICA is pioneering interdisciplinary approaches to innovation, research, and community and social engagement. Alumni and programming reach around the globe, even as MICA remains a cultural cornerstone in the Baltimore/Washington region, hosting hundreds of exhibitions and events annually by students, faculty and other established artists.