Pioneer Profile

Mackenzie Schmitt '17

Major: Graphic Communication (Graphic Design emphasis)
Minor: History

What made you choose this major?

Since a young age, I have always had a passion for art and design. Throughout my childhood and young adult years I experimented in all sorts of mediums ranging from photography, to illustration to mixed media. Eventually my passions led me to graphic design, and I fell in love with the idea of using my artistic talents to help fulfill other individuals’ goals. Additionally, I found that graphic design is an area of study that has the ability to touch the lives of millions and has the power to alter and influence ideas.

How has what you’ve learned prepared you for your future?

While Carroll professors have taught me essential software knowledge, art principles and design theory; the greatest skills I have learned during my time at Carroll are how to challenge myself as a designer, how to look at things from alternative perspectives, how to effectively communicate and how to continuously be an active learner after graduation.

What opportunities have you had to work closely with a faculty member and what impact has that had on your education?

It would be difficult to pinpoint one relationship that has impacted my education, because over the years I have been influenced by the whole faculty. With both working for the department and taking classes, I have had the opportunity to gain endless support and trust from many members of the faculty. These relationships are something that I don’t take for granted and I will be sure to miss them once I have graduated.

What’s one unique experience you’ve had relating to the coursework for your major?

In the spring of 2015 I had the unique privilege of studying abroad in the small town of Scarborough in northern England. Taking design and marketing classes in a small English school was something I’ll always cherish. While I didn't study in London, Paris, Berlin or Florence, choosing to live in a small community was the best decision I could have ever made because through that experience, I gained a new home. I ended my time in England not feeling like I was living across the ocean in a foreign country but part of the community and family there. The accents and food were no longer a new experience, but a comfort. That immersion allowed me to connect to the honest and genuine identity of the area.

How has Carroll enriched your growth as a person outside of the skills you’re learning in the classroom?

In addition to studying graphic communication, I also have a minor in history. For me, studying both history and design gives me balance. Taking courses in history allows me to be more analytical, while taking courses in design allows me to be more innovative and experimental. However, both force me to be creative and think out of the box. Whether I’m creating a logo or drafting a thesis, I need to come up with ideas no one has seen or read before.

Why did you choose to attend Carroll University?

In my first few months at Carroll I was very skeptical and unsure of my place on campus. I felt uneasy and an itch to go study elsewhere. However, I persevered through those feelings and I have no regrets about staying at Carroll, because I know that if I had left Carrol after my first few months, I wouldn’t have been able to experience studying abroad, speak at a conference, take independent study, exhibit art work, hold three internship positions, and, most importantly, gain close relationships with faculty and students.

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