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Kelsey Norz, 2014 Student Representative
Kelsey began her college education at the University of Wisconsin in Green Bay. She transferred to Finlandia at the beginning her sophomore year to pursue a Bachelor in Fine Arts degree, with a Graphic Design concentration and a minor in Communication. Kelsey was attracted to Finlandia University for several reasons. During her tour of campus, she was impressed with the art and design program, especially for a smaller university. In addition she wanted to spend some time studying abroad, and Finlandia enabled that opportunity. Of her program choice, Kelsey says: “I love how graphic design ties together art with business, allowing me to choose a business path while still being an artist.”
Kelsey has two sisters and is originally from the Green Bay area, where her parents still reside. Kelsey’s fiancé, Max, is also from the Green Bay area, and is currently attending MTU.
Kelsey spent the fall of 2011 at the University of the Arts in Zurich, Switzerland, where she enjoyed being immersed in the culture and taking classes. Switzerland has four national languages: French, German, Italian, and Romansh. Though English is not a national language, it serves as bridge. Kelsey speaks conversation Swiss-German, which was how she communicated with her professors. Because of the close proximity of other countries, Kelsey was able to expand her tour abroad and visit France and Italy. “It’s closer to drive from Switzerland to France, than from here to Green Bay,” Kelsey said. Kelsey has family in Switzerland she stayed with, and that came in very handy. She has a cousin from Switzerland who has similarly stayed with Kelsey’s parents in Green Bay to attend college.
Graphic Design is a versatile and evolving career with many entrepreneurial opportunities, from designing pamphlets and postcards, web site development, to enormous wall graphics. Kelsey is keeping her options open as to which type of graphic design career she will pursue. She hopes to expand her knowledge in design, software, and business. Kelsey is getting some “real world” experience through her internship at Calumet Electronics where she is working on an environmental design project within the factory hallway. Additionally, Kelsey worked as a graphic design intern in the advertising department at the Shopko Corporate Office.
All Art and Design seniors have a capstone project called their “Diploma Works.” Kelsey is creating a short film using Adobe After Effects. “I wanted to learn a new medium and software I have never used before, so I decided to make a short film.” The film’s setting takes place at her grandmother’s home in Fish Creek, Wisconsin, where simple family activities, such as preparing and eating breakfast, will be portrayed through idiosyncratic filming techniques, allowing the viewer creative interpretation. There will be a subliminal message in the film. (No spoiler alert!)
In addition to a full class load and maintaining a 3.931 grade point average, Kelsey found time to run for the Finlandia women’s cross country team. She described her running as a kind of “hobby” and ran the half marathon in the 2013 Canal Run and also a half marathon in Door County, Wisconsin. Kelsey served on the Reflection Gallery Team in the spring of 2012. The Reflection Gallery, located in the Jutila Center, features monthly exhibitions that the students help prepare, install and take down for each show.
Now that she approaches graduation, Kelsey describes her Finlandia experience as “Largely shaped by the activities and people in the art department. . . and (I) appreciate all the resources that are available there. It is exciting to be involved in a smaller school while still living in a ‘college town’ with so many other students.” She gives special thanks to the professors in the art department and her Cross Country coach for their encouragement.
Her advice to students just starting out, “Take advantage of learning new things. There are professors and other students who are willing to help teach you.”