When Concordia University Wisconsin student Andrea Adams walks across the stage in December to receive her diploma in graphic design, it will cap three and a half years filled with 18-credit semesters, a number of onand off-campus jobs, and volunteering.
The 2013 valedictorian from Jackson, Wisconsin has continued her academic prowess with a near perfect 3.98 GPA entering her final semester. She credits Concordia’s unique partnership program with the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design, in addition to high school AP classes, with enabling her to graduate in only seven semesters. “Having this college experience of two very different schools with distinct atmospheres at the same time definitely helped me grow as an individual,” noted Andrea.
“I chose Concordia because I liked the idea that a university could strengthen my faith as well as help me earn a solid degree,” said Andrea. “Coming out of high school I wasn’t sure if I wanted to pursue graphic design or environmental science; luckily Concordia offered both,” she continued. Andrea, who had visited her older brother, Tyler, at Concordia many times while he was a student, never felt she needed to make an official campus visit to any other university.
It was midway through her freshman year when Andrea was designing posters for the on-campus Christian band and the theater club that her attention began to focus on graphic design. Andrea continued that passion by designing booklets and posters for Campus Ministry and working the past two years in the university’s marketing department. “I’ve really enjoyed planning our annual Social Media Bash,” said Andrea, an event attended by hundreds of students during the first week of classes. After assisting the past two years, she is taking the lead on all of the design for this year’s Social Media Bash. Andrea is a recipient of the Wisconsin Grant, and earning the four-year, renewable grant made it easier for her family to pay for her college education. As president of the National Honor Society at her high school and a two-time forensics state gold medalist, Andrea earned additional institutional aid from Concordia, in part because of her academic achievements.
“I’ve lived in the residence halls my entire time as a student and developed some very special friendships I never would have had I commuted,” said Andrea. Interestingly, her hometown is located only 20 minutes from Concordia’s 200-acre, Lake Michigan campus. Despite her full class load every semester, Andrea found time to design children’s coloring books, work in the university’s marketing department, and intern as a graphic designer for Smart Choice MRI.
Andrea called last semester’s Senior Art show the highlight of her collegiate education. “It allowed me to exhibit my best work in a gallery setting, and it was overwhelming to see so many people show up to support us Opening Night.”