Faces of Carroll

Author: Malcom McDowell Woods

Published Date: 10/21/2018

Categories: Alumni Art Corporate and Foundation Funding F1RST Fall 2018 F1RST Magazine Faculty and Staff Students

The project was supported by the Mary Nohl Fund of the Greater Milwaukee Foundation

A Vivid Portrait of the Carroll Community


Dutch sculptor Saskia de Rooy spent several weeks at Carroll last academic year working with Carroll faculty on (in)sight: a portrait project. The interdisciplinary initiative culminated in an art exhibit in late spring. For that exhibit, students worked collaboratively to profile fellow students, faculty and staff. Those images, and the brief stories told in the subjects’ own words, create a vivid portrait of the Carroll community.

Selections of work from (in)sight: a portrait project

Image 1
Jocelyn Guzman  |  Facilities Manager
As told to Kylie Peters • Artist Micehlle Franke

“Something about me, and I’ve had to hide it a lot, is how dorky and nerdy I really am about my interests. I love music, I can’t be without music. I even work with music playing. I don’t know if it has to do with my upbringing. My dad used to be a professional DJ. My mom used to sing. I did choir. I competed. For a while, I was going to be a music producer. And, then, financial circumstances and all that just kind of…I really would like to find something that I really enjoy. They always preach you should ‘find your passion;’ music is my passion. I know that it is up to me. I’m still young enough where I can go after it. I just haven’t found that motivation, because I tend to stop myself. Right now, I’m working on me.”

Image 2
Melissa Placios  |  Student
As told to John Serrano • Artist Maria Acosta

“Because I am first generation, my parents do not have the same experience as me. I’ve had to be independent, ask for help, resources and push myself. Helping other first generation students is my motivation; it’s why I became a mentor. I’ve learned to communicate with them differently. They usually open up to me, and I always try to help them…since everything is new to them, I tell them to get used to it, put themselves out there…I love that they still come back to me, asking for help with classes, even becoming mentors themselves. A lot of people who know me say  I give them hope…they see I’m doing good because I always try to make the best of my experiences. Live up to your life, explore, try new things.”

Image 3
Carl Ervin  |  Assistant Director of Student Success
As told to Amanda Elkins and Kayla Geissberger • Artist Taylor Uselman

“The happiest moment of my life, I guess, that was when I was baptized, when I was fully accepted into the church, because that’s when you see (that) your life, your purpose in life, is more than you, it’s about giving yourself over; life is much greater than you are. The saddest moment was when my father passed. The kindest? I guess it is working at this university.I help students get through difficult times and challenges and just seeing what I can do to help them out, and hopefully going that extra mile and letting them know I am there. The most important lesson I’ve learned is that this too shall pass. It’s something I’m still working on, but I don’t let the past stop me from having a better future or today.”


Image 4
Brandon Koster '14  |  Financial Aid Assistant
As told to Madeline Buchta • Artist Samantha Seybold

“I’ve learned from the ten years that I’ve been in higher education that it’s where I belong. I have the urge to guide, advise, and teach students and my peers. I went from a shut-out commuter student, to a really involved student at Carroll, to experiencing life at a Big Ten school. Now, I’m back where my life started at Carroll. I love the people I work with and Carroll dearly. I am very thankful for my current position in the Financial Aid Office. I can teach the scared family wondering how they can afford this for their son, or (explain) what separates Carroll from 12 other schools. Right now, I’m in more of an administrative role. I want to get back on track someday, pursue that terminal degree, and get back into academia. I feel a strong connection to this school, but I definitely want to teach.”


Image 5
Thitikan Thianjan  |  Student
As told to Corey Kowalski and Cassidy Neefe • Artist Nathan Stanley

“I am from Thailand and moved to the U.S. when I was about 14. In Thailand, everyone follows the group, we are collectivist, but over here (in America), we are individualist. You can act however you want, and you’re free to express your opinion. Having an opinion shows you can think for yourself. I just had to adapt to that. I had to basically learn how people act and interact with each other. I learned by looking at other people, how they act, what they are eating, and what they are doing. My mom has been my biggest supporter because she was the one who brought me here to get educated [and] to learn a second language. My boyfriend also supports me, he says all the time how no matter what I do, he’s going to be there to support me through it. It really makes me feel confident.”


Image 6
Czarina Encarnacion  |  Student
As told to Loey Dodge • Artist Chris Keefe

“I am a member of Alpha Xi Delta, which is one of the sororities on campus. I’m pretty involved with that and I really like it a lot. I am also on Student Senate. I’m currently the vice president and it’s pretty fun. I’m just really passionate about people. When I’m able to make people feel better and laugh and give them a different outlook on a hard situation, those moments make me proud. I love being involved and I love getting to know people. I enjoy one-on-one interpersonal connections, which is why I think I was led toward the medical field, therapy and helping people. I want to go into occupational therapy with the geriatric population. I think there’s something really rewarding about helping older people. They’re just so genuine and nice.” 


Image 7
Greg Gabrielsen  |  Distinguished Lecturer of Physics
As told to Mia Pham • Artist Maureen Klopp

“In broad strokes, the world’s the best it’s ever been, and this is a thing that’s hard for a lot of people. The things that are awful now, are, for some people, objectively awful: I mean, there are people experiencing racism, sexism, transphobia, and that’s objectively true. But in a weird way, it’s also better than it used to be. Over long time spans, the arc of history bends towards progress and getting better—keeping the long view in mind is important. The fact that there are high school students who are seeing something as a problem they want to take agency over and are doing something about it, is important. The fact that there’s young people seeing things that they want to change and doing it, that helps. That makes me smile. That gives me hope.”


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Panoramic View of campus