CVPA ambassadors collaborate with Makers

One of the sketches drawn to create the recycled dress.
One of the sketches drawn during the drafting stage of the project.

Three College of Visual and Performing Arts Ambassadors are collaborating with the Makers living-learning community to work on a fashioned-themed recycling project.

The project marks a collaboration between multiple departments on campus, a move that enhances the academic learning experience, according to Assistant Vice Provost of High Impact Practices Jeanne Mekolichick.

“Anytime multiple departments, divisions or units can collaborate to enhance the student experience it is a win-win situation,” Mekolichick said. “Our students’ time at Radford University is experienced as a movement between life in the classroom, residential life, co-curricular activities and various campus offices. When we combine these individual events and activities into a uniform experience, we are able to provide a richer collegiate experience for our students and ourselves.”

The project to fabricate a dress from recycled materials was pitched shortly after the formation of the CVPA Ambassador program, with the recycling nature well received by all students involved.

“I love recycling and think it’s extremely important, so I was happy to participate,” said Kendall Hale. “Also, I thought it would be the best to jump right in with the ambassadors to get the best feel for it and really establish myself as an important member of the team.”

A photo of some of the materials being used to create the recycled dress.
A photo of some of the materials being used to create the recycled dress.

Despite being in different programs and classes, the Ambassadors and the Makers have common interests, which helped create the theme of the fashion project.

“All of us are extremely passionate about Star Wars and Marvel, specifically Guardians of the Galaxy,” Hale said. “A lot of the Makers liked the character Groot from Guardians of the Galaxy so we decided to make a dress inspired by him.”

Lauren Slough, another one of the Ambassadors working with the Maker living-learning community, is enjoying the experience of working with another academic group. Slough said the members of both teams hit the ground running after their initial meeting by “sending designs to each other.”

The goal of the group is to complete the dress in time to display it at RecycleMania to bring in prospective students into the Community of Artists and the Makers.

Living-learning communities integrate the social and academic lives of students to create a space in which they spend a significant amount of time.

“National studies on these types of initiatives show students perform better academically and have higher retention rates, both of which we believe to be the case at Radford University,” said Director of Housing and Residential Life James Penven. “Living-learning communities create opportunities for faculty and student interaction that is different than the traditional lecture or classroom experience.  It is this difference that expands learning for our students.”

“This collaboration is allowing me to expand my knowledge,” Slough said. “It also allows me to make new friends and gives me the opportunity to do something I wouldn’t have been able to do anywhere else. It’s allowed my freshman year to be filled with a great experience.”

Mar 28, 2017
Max Esterhuizen
(540) 831-7749