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Academic Awards 2019

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Academic Awards

An Otis education is widely known for its academic rigor and educational excellence.  The College recognizes the highest level of achievement with the Valedictory Award, Academic Excellence Awards, Distinction in Studio Awards, and Honors.

2019 Valedictory Award

Fine Arts major Rosie Galanis has been named Valedictorian of the Class of 2019. This award is bestowed annually on the member of the senior class whose work represents the pinnacle of academic excellence. This graduate wears a special medallion and gives an address at the Commencement ceremony. Rosie was chosen for her continuously stellar academic performance throughout her Otis College career and the exceptional quality of her studio work. Galanis' work examines the complicated duality of what constitutes life at the micro and macro level while manifesting this concept materially by focusing on the transmutation of studio supplies and how they affect viewer interpretation.


valedictorian 2019

Rosie was born and raised in Los Angeles to creative parents: an artist mother and a writer father who also produces music. Although she grew up surrounded by creativity, it was only during her college studies that she realized a burgeoning studio practice was her passion. Shunning the conventional academic path and opting for a more experiential approach, Galanis embraced life lessons while transferring from various schools, leading her circuitously to New York City and back to Los Angeles. Inspired when accepted into Otis College, Rosie dedicated herself to her studio practice with renewed enthusiasm and vigor. During this time she would discover and focus on a deep-seated thread that runs through her studio practice and work: the transmutation of material. Conceptually, her work asserts the idea that animate and inanimate objects at the micro-level of matter are composed of similar, if not identical, structures. In the making of her work, Galanis transforms readymade materials like newspaper, wire, and tape into artworks that allow the viewer to have a sense of equivalence with objects and matter, thereby redeeming their “everyday” value. Among her future goals is to continue to focus on what constitutes life at micro and macro levels and further her education at the graduate level here in Southern California. 

A talented, intelligent, and profoundly thoughtful artist that enriches the world that surrounds her with creativity, skill, and vision, Rosie truly embodies the aspirations of Otis College. Samples of her work may be seen at

2019 Academic Excellence Awards

The Academic Excellence Award is the highest honor given to graduating students in a major program. Selections are made by program leaders and faculty, and affirmed by the College’s academic awards committee. Criteria include a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher (for undergraduates), quality of work, personal character, and contributions to Otis and the larger community. These students wear a special purple cord at the Commencement ceremony.



The 2019 Academic Excellence Award recipients are:
Xiaoling Su, Architecture/Landscape/Interiors
Michel Manalese, Communication Arts with an emphasis in Illustration
Dani Grossman, Communication Arts with an emphasis in Graphic Design
Waranya Chuencheevit, Digital Media with an emphasis in Motion Design
Yumi Yamazaki, Digital Media with an emphasis in Animation
Jeanette Marie Kulick, Digital Media with an emphasis in Game and Entertainment Design
Brielle Eshenour, Fashion Design
Rosie Galanis, Fine Arts with an emphasis in Painting
Alex Len Mediate, Fine Arts with an emphasis in Photography
Amanda DaSilva, Product Design  
Robert L. Squires II, Toy Design
Matt Hollis, Graduate Fine Art
Eamon Smyth, Graduate Graphic Design
Kyle Raymond Fitzpatrick, Graduate Writing

2019 Distinction in Studio Awards

Architecture/Landscape/Interiors Awards for Excellence in Design 2018-2019
Daniela Kuzmane - Studio 1, Fall 2018 - Spring 2019
Josh Haag - Studio 2, Spring 2019
Rikako Sho - Studio 3, Fall 2018
Zulma Juarez - Studio 4, Spring 2019
Sky Allen - Studio 5, Fall 2018
Faizal Lokman - Studio 6, Spring 2019

Communication Arts Distinction in Studio Award
Chase Shewbridge IV: Com Arts; Graphic Design emphasis
Geneva Bernal: Com Arts; Illustration emphasis

Product Design Distinction in Studio Award
Mirna Kamel - Sophomore
Nogc Phoung Pham - Junior
Yiru (Flora) Wang - Senior

Toy Design Distinction in Studio Award
Richie Gov- Sophomore
Lauren Horzewski- Junior
Evan Troutt- Senior

MFA Graphic Design Distinction in Studio Award
Tiffany Chung

MFA Fine Art Distinction in Studio Award
Jeffrey Maurer 
Jeongmyo Chloe Kim

Honors List
An honor given to graduating seniors (Undergraduate only) who achieve a 3.5 GPA or higher as of Spring semester. See this year's list here.
Dean's List

Students whose cumulative grade point average is 3.5 or higher earn a place on the Dean's List. 

Academic Awards Archive