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2021 Class Marshals

2021 Class Marshals

Class Marshals are members of the Commencement Committee, and serve as the student voice at the Commencement planning meetings. They are also responsible for relaying Grad Fest and Commencement information to their classmates. They receive recognition at the Student Awards Ceremony, our Commencement Site, and in the Commencement program. 

Each year, chairs identify their class marshal as a graduating student in their department who exemplifies strong leadership and communication skills and who also has made strong and meaningful connections with their peers and faculty members. 

On this page, we would like to honor our amazing 2021 Class Marshals, who were chosen by their departments for their leadership and spirit. The Class Marshal tradition is very important to the Office of Student Activities, and to Otis College of Art and Design, and we would like to show our appreciation to our Class Marshals for their invaluable contributions to their departments and our community.

BFA Programs

Tania Ji

Tania Yitan Ji

Fashion Design

What is one great life lesson you have from your time at Otis College?

During the years at Otis College and the Fashion department, the most valuable thing was to learn how to communicate with people. As everybody acknowledges that Otis Fashion students always have a very intense study life, we need to deal with sharp deadlines, make our design real, and be professional as a designer. However, in my individual case, I learned how to build a set of relationships over time, both personally and professionally. Also, I realized that listening to people rather than speaking endlessly is more important as a leader. This particular skill I learned during the school years would definitely be a treasure to me for working in the mixed bag of the Fashion Industry after I graduate from Otis.

What do you plan to do after you graduate?

I am going to grad school and majoring in Fashion Studies after I graduate. I would like to study Fashion in a deeper level rather than focus on the design area.

 


Josh Haag

Josh M. Haag

Architecture Landscape Interiors

What is one great life lesson you have from your time at Otis College?

One significant life lesson that I’ve learned while at Otis College has been that things don’t always get easier as we progress forward in life. Things get more challenging many times! However, I’ve learned that it’s not the stresses themselves that matter but how we cope with these stresses in our daily lives. Life is not about being perfect or succeeding at everything; it comes down to being able to roll with the punches and enjoy the process as much as possible.

What do you plan to do after you graduate?

After I graduate, I plan on continuing my journey as a lifelong learner and creator in the hopes of working in an architecture firm  in L.A. that focuses on affordable housing. I also plan on beginning the process of getting my license as an architect.

 


Justin Akioka

Justin Akioka

Product Design

What is one great life lesson you have from your time at Otis College?

One of the most significant takeaways I have realized over my terms at Otis College is the importance of community. During my time within the Product Design Department, I have relied upon an external structure of supportive peers to collaborate and strengthen one another's work. As a creative, it is essential to learn how to develop independent designs on your artistic pathway, but I believe it is equally critical to have a strong community of peers rooting for you and whom you can rely on for innovative feedback.

What do you plan to do after you graduate?

I intend to continue working freelance for various companies and further refine my design work. I also plan to open a ceramic workspace within the Los Angeles/Southern California area so that other young and aspiring designers can have access to facilities and materials.


Kat Krupski

Kat Krupski

Toy Design

What is one great life lesson you have from your time at Otis College?

Everyone wants to see each other succeed, so don't be afraid to be vulnerable and ask questions. There's always something you can learn from someone, whether that lesson is great or small.

What do you plan to do after you graduate?

After I graduate, I'm working on getting hired at a toy company, learning something new every day, and making lasting connections with the people I meet. I hope to one day be in an Art Director position.


Natalia Parra

Natalia Parra

Digital Media

What is one great life lesson you have from your time at Otis College?

The greatest lesson I got from Otis is that if you want to create a work of art, you depend on other people. My peers at Otis have been instrumental to my development as an artist. No art could happen if we didn't rely on and learn from others. I learnt that my art is nothing without community. 

 

What do you plan to do after you graduate?

I want to tell stories that will make the world a better place, and create beautiful art to tell them. 

 


Gena

Gena Smith

Fine Arts

What is one great life lesson you have from your time at Otis College?

My time at Otis college has had its fair share of difficulties but one of the most important life lessons I learned was just letting it flow. From the time our butts hit the cold seat of our desk in first grade we are told to get good grades, go to college, and get a good job. For me, that road to a degree looked a little different with lots of roadblocks and detours. I struggled with the fact that things did not end up the way that I had planned. At that time one of my friends recommended I read a book called Who Moved My Cheese? by Dr. Spencer Johnson. What this book taught me was that change was inevitable so why be upset about something that I know is going to happen anyway.  Obviously, finishing college during a pandemic poses its challenges but for me, I saw this as a challenge that I was willing to overcome. Letting it flow simply means playing the hand you are dealt as if it were the one you wanted. 

What do you plan to do after you graduate?

After I finish my degree in fine arts, I plan on continuing to exhibit my work along with my continued pursuit of entrepreneurial ventures. My desire is to have freedom of time and money so that I can spend both helping as many people as possible while I am here on this earth. 


Lucas

Lucas Cantu Guerra

Communication Arts

What is one great life lesson you have from your time at Otis College?

My GREATEST lesson I have learned at Otis College was to appreciate the small moments of human connection and kindness. I have spoken to the numerous wonderful people that Otis cultivates from peers, teachers, and staff alike. Creating not only fleeting moments of delight that could be shared with others but as well as fostering what could only be assumed to be life-long friendships. I have come to realize that those moments in time are truly appreciated only after they have faded, as you have felt the joy and now have the hindsight to appreciate it. It's a lot like having the cake and wanting to eat it as well; as I look back, I would love to revisit and do them all again. In these more solitary times, I have grown glad that I was ever able to even have the cake.

What do you plan to do after you graduate?

After graduation, I plan to further work on my illustration portfolio, with my highest priority being to find work within the art and design field. I wish to look towards the game and entertainment industry; however, I look forward to any divergent paths that may lead me to what one would define as "success." Secondly, I would like to continue spreading joy to others and try out one of those naps that I hear so much about.


MFA Programs

Xiouping

Xiouping Chang-Whitworth

MFA Fine Arts

What is one great life lesson you have from your time at Otis College?

My greatest life lesson I learned from my time at Otis College is... how very important it is to have one's agency and narrative through developing your discourse. Being able to communicate what art is, what it means, contextualizing understanding, these are not easy things to do. I was surprised to discover my voice as a writer, and have come to love the art and form of writing as a medium of communication. I struggled early on, but with a lot of effort and help from my professors I started to gain momentum and feel like it has really taken off, this is also a great lesson for me, how necessary it is to have a mentor. I now have productive discourse regarding art , I understand it deeper, more nuanced, searching for patterns, considering form, structure, context, and interrogation this is my agency in art.  All this being said, the greatest life lesson & learning experience has been the formation of my discourse and communication as it relates to art and how important it is for a artist in the fine arts.

 

What do you plan to do after you graduate?

I plan on taking everything I have learned at Otis for my MFA and applying it. I’ll get my own studio somewhere like I’ve had in the past, and continue working on my practice, and collaborating with other artists to get into various shows. I’ll continue to foster the relationships I’ve built with students and professors as well; I am sure there will be collaboration opportunities there as well, and I would like to continue to learn from them and have lifetime mentors who can help me navigate the art world. I will continue my practice no matter what. I intend to pursue education further and work with the best artists in their prospective fields. 


Alexi

Alexi Gehring

MFA Writing

What is one great life lesson you have from your time at Otis College?

Never give up no matter what obstacles are thrown at you.

What do you plan to do after you graduate?

I did plan on creating a writing business working remotely before the Pandemic happened. But most are working from home now. It could be an obstacle and reduce my opportunities, but I am still going to give it a try. I have one client already!


Owl

Itsayana Campa

MFA Graphic Design

What is one great life lesson you have from your time at Otis College?

Always approach each project or opportunity for collaboration with enthusiasm and receptiveness to learning because there is always something to be gained in those opportune moments. 

What do you plan to do after you graduate?

I am working at a creative agency in Los Angeles as a designer, and continuing to find life prompts for self initated projects.