‘It’s been the most rewarding experience’

NDSU gives students a chance to view the world through a different lens.

A great example is the highly popular Photography I course taught by Meghan Duda, assistant professor of visual arts in the School of Design, Architecture and Art.

In the course, students explore the marvels of a photo darkroom. They break down the art form to its basic fundaments, as they develop and print photographs they make with analog film cameras.

“Participants are introduced to the magic behind photography,” said Duda. “They come to appreciate the history and processes that led up to something we all take for granted – that we can freeze moments and memories with the click of a button. I hope students walk away from this course with a sense of wonder, an attention to detail and craft, and an ability to observe the world from a variety of vantage points.”

Lyvia Juarez is one of the many students who love the creative, thought-provoking coursework.

“I enjoy the freedom we’re allowed in this class,” said the art education major from East Grand Forks, Minnesota. “We can run pretty freely with any ideas we have. It’s also just fun to play and experiment in the darkroom – it seems there’s always more to learn about the process.

“I was nervous at first to find out it was a strictly film-based class, but it’s been the most rewarding experience,” she said.

Juarez plans to mimic some of Duda’s teaching philosophy during her own career. She likes the way Duda encourages students to be creative and push their limits.

“This is a very hands-on class, as are most art classes, but it takes a lot of craftsmanship and patience that are important in most fields,” Juarez said. “She is really good about guiding us, but she also lets us learn and create through trial and error.”

That makes the learning experience meaningful and lasting. That’s something you’ll see across the NDSU campus, Juarez said.

“NDSU is a good choice financially compared to other universities,” said Juarez. “The small class sizes in the School of Design, Architecture and Art promote a personable experience for each student, and the faculty work hard to be supportive of students in whatever way they may need.”