3 Tips to Supporting Your Student’s Return to Campus in Spring Semester

With another semester at MIAD in the books, there is a lot to celebrate about our wonderful students: from their resiliency in this continued pandemic, to their creativity showcased in the MIAD Holiday Sale, to their ongoing compassion and support for one another, which has been incredible to witness.

It has undoubtedly been a difficult semester for many, with all of the stressors that college brings, on top of balancing the struggles of processing the world around them. Now more than ever, it is important for folks to take the time to practice self-care, students included.

We are halfway through the school year and spring semester will soon be upon us. Here are three tips to help your student feel grounded and energized for their return to campus in January.   

  1. Make time for connection: Everybody wants to feel connected and celebrated! Make time for connecting with your student and celebrate the things that have been happening in the past few months. This can look like grabbing a coffee together, going for a walk, cooking a delicious meal or anything in between. 
  2. Encourage personal creative projects: The end of any semester often leaves students feeling too busy or tired to pursue their own creative endeavors. Encourage students to make time for their own personal practice to help them keep their creative energy flowing and to revitalize their passion for art.
  3. Encourage establishing healthy sleep routines: Right after school is out, students often need extra time to sleep and rest. Towards the end of break, it is wise to start preparing for the return back to school, such as going to bed before midnight, continuing to get 7-9 hours of sleep a night, and waking up at a reasonable time. 

MIAD Advising: End of Semester Check-In

MIAD advising is here to support your student in their personal and academic growth, as well as their career exploration. It is important for them to reflect on what being a college student means to them. Encourage them to use this break to think about things such as:

  • What study habits were working well? What didn’t work?
  • How was my time management and organization?
  • Did I reach out to my professors, instructors and advisor with questions? How can I incorporate them into my study strategies and utilize them as resources?
  • What type of career questions do I have? Utilize the Professional Preparation Plan (PDF) as a guideline to begin/continue this discussion with your advisor. 
  • Do I feel as though I have ways to de-stress?
  • What are my academic goals for the spring 2022 semester?
  • How can I utilize the MIAD resources? Have them review the Guide to Campus Resources to learn how to contact for academic advising, career development, disabilities and accommodations, equity & inclusion support, financial aid, housing, tutoring and mental and emotional support services.

Remind your student that it is never too early to begin these conversations and that it is okay to reach out for support. We are all here to help and want to see your student succeed!

MIAD announces new gallery to showcase student and alumni work

This fall MIAD plans to open a new gallery to showcase MIAD student, alumni, faculty and staff work in all art and design fields. The new gallery, called MIAD Gallery at The Ave, will be located at 301 W. Wisconsin Ave. near the new 3rd Street Market Hall at The Avenue in Milwaukee. The Avenue is anticipated to attract more than one million visitors annually.

MIAD Gallery at The Ave Mission: To inspire our community by making art and design work accessible to all. To support student and alumni careers by providing professional opportunities.

This is an exciting opportunity for MIAD to expand its footprint and connections with the Milwaukee community, raise the visibility of the college in the community, and provide learning and professional development opportunities to students and alumni. 

MIAD students, faculty and staff were invited to attend a listening session about MIAD Gallery at The Ave on September 22 to share their ideas and questions about the new gallery. Additional information will be sent to students throughout the semester as the plans for the new gallery become finalized. Encourage your student to check their emails for important information from MIAD throughout the semester.

Important dates in Fall 2021

With the fall semester starting August 23, check out these important dates that you and your student should know. Encourage your student to check out the River Rat e-newsletter sent to students each week for details on additional events and activities happening at MIAD throughout the semester.

August 23: Fall classes begin
Classes return in person at MIAD this fall.

August 26: Welcome Back Street Festival
An annual tradition, students can get food and visit booths to learn more about student activities at MIAD and local businesses. This takes place 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. In addition, this year students have an opportunity to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, provided by Hayat Pharmacy. Students received an email about this opportunity in mid-August.

September 6: Labor Day Holiday
No classes.

Through Sept. 18: Somewhere Along the Line: Photographs by Joshua Dudley Greer
On view in the Brooks Stevens Gallery, this exhibition features work created over a six-year, 100,000-mile journey on superhighways in the United States. Greer examines the boundaries that line these roadways by looking at the separations between public and private space, privilege and need, the individual and the collective, and the countervailing ideas of home and escape. More details: miad.edu/galleries.

Through Sept. 25: 2021 Mary L. Nohl Suitcase Exhibition
On view in the Frederick Layton Gallery at MIAD, this exhibition features Milwaukee area emerging and established visual artists who have received the Mary L. Nohl Suitcase Travel Award in the preceding two years. More details: miad.edu/galleries.

October 11-12: Fall Break
No classes.

October 5 – December 4: Constant Practice: New Work from MIAD Faculty
Faculty at MIAD are accomplished, practicing artists and designers in communication design, fine arts, illustration, interior architecture and design and product design. In this biennial exhibition, MIAD faculty showcase their ongoing explorations in their fields. More details: miad.edu/galleries.

October 11 – December 4: Reimagining the Global Village
This exhibition, generously sponsored by Fiserv and curated by MIAD alum Nirmal Raja ‘08 (Painting), features work by more than 30 artists and collectives, created collaboratively between artists and between artists and communities in more than 18 different countries. Their work reveals the importance of human connection and showcases strategies artists have adopted to create a more connected and caring world. More details: miad.edu/galleries.

October 14: Midterms reports due
If your student is struggling, encourage them to reach out for help through tutoring, counseling and other academic support resources at MIAD.

October 29: Last day to withdraw from classes
This is the last day students can drop a class and receive a “W” on their transcript. 

November 17: MIAD Creativity Series
MIAD brings internationally renowned creatives to campus twice per year for a public presentation and to engage with students. Check for details at miad.edu/creativityseries.

November 24-26: Thanksgiving Break
No classes.

December 2-4: MIAD Holiday Sale
The annual sale of student and alumni work. Check for details at miad.edu/holidaysale.

December 10: Last day of fall semester

A year in review: 2020–2021

This 2020–2021 school year has been an extraordinary year for MIAD and our students. Take a look back at a few accomplishments as we head into the summer.

1. MIAD receives national accolades. For the sixth consecutive year, Graphic Design USA magazine named MIAD a Top Design School and named Erin Gray ’22 and Carli Jordan ’21 on the Students to Watch list. 

2. Unstoppable students. First-year students share their experiences of starting college during the COVID-19 pandemic.

3. Sweeping Milwaukee design awards. Communication Design students and recent alumni won all five Student Showcase awards in The Ninety Nine Adworkers Showcase.

4. Changing the board game industry. MIAD students Rocky Ho ’23 (Illustration) and Melvin Hood ’23 (Communication Design) collaborated with a local high school teacher to design and illustrate a new fantasy strategy game that aims to broaden cultural representation.

5. Solving pandemic challenges. MIAD students designed innovative concepts to make life better while facing the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

6. Honoring women in Product Design. MIAD students Carli Jordan ’21 (Communication Design), Olivia Paul ’21 (Product Design) and Sophie Yufa ’21 (Communication Design) designed a series of posters and a booklet celebrating and recognizing pioneering women product designers.

7. Record illustration student honors. The Society of Illustrators has accepted a record five MIAD Illustration students and recent alumni to the organization’s 2021 Student Scholarship Competition.

Mental Health Awareness Month Resources

May is Mental Health Awareness Month and your student’s health and wellness is important. There are many MIAD and local wellness resources available to students. 

For a list of available MIAD wellness resources, refer to this blog.

Local community resources: 

  • Alternatives to calling the police for situations including housing, LGBTQ+, mental health, crime and more. Learn more.
  • Low-cost or free mental health resources in Milwaukee. Learn more.
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) local resources in southeast Wisconsin. Learn more.
  • PrideFest Health and Wellness digital directory with local and statewide resources. Learn more.

How you can view the MIAD 2021 Senior Exhibition

Join us for a month of celebrating the MIAD Senior Exhibition April 16 – May 12, 2021! The exhibition showcases the culminating work of nearly 160 emerging creative professionals representing MIAD’s Bachelor of Fine Arts programs, including Communication Design, Illustration, Interior Architecture and Design, New Studio Practice: Fine Arts and Product Design.

How to celebrate virtually or in-person: 

  • April 16 – May 8: On-campus exhibition on view in MIAD’s Galleries. Visitors must pre-register at least 48 hours in advance via an online form. The galleries will be open to only MIAD seniors and their families on May 8 from 9 a.m.–5 p.m (no registration required).
  • May 6: Virtual MIAD 2021 Senior Exhibition opens. View online at seniorexhibition.miad.edu.
  • May 12, 4:30 – 5:30 p.m., Virtual Artist & Designer Meet & Greet: Talk one-on-one with MIAD seniors about their work and professional career goals during this interactive online event. Links to each video meeting room will be available at seniorexhibition.miad.edu on May 12.

Follow us on social media for more updates: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.

2021 MIAD Graduation Ceremony: What Parents Need to Know

  1. MIAD Commencement is Saturday, May 8, 2021.
  2. It takes place at the Pabst Theater, 144 E. Wells Street, Milwaukee, WI.
  3. Students will be divided into multiple ceremony times. The time of the ceremonies will be determined by the City of Milwaukee capacity limits as of May 1. 
  4. You can find up-to-date information with more details on the MIAD Graduation blog
  5. 2021 graduates will receive all updates to their MIAD email. Please make sure your graduate is checking their email periodically for very important information regarding graduation. 

How to support your student at the end of the semester

The last weeks of the semester are busy and can be stressful for your student. There are final projects to create, papers to write and the stress of meeting final critiques and deadlines. How can you best support your student during this time?

Listen. If your student calls or texts you and needs to vent, let them. Listen and offer words of encouragement. Refer them to the Learning Resource Center or wellness resources if they are struggling.

Don’t call too much. Remember, this is a busy time for your student, so calling too often could add more stress. Check in and let your student know how proud you are of them—perhaps via a quick email or text.

Encourage good nutrition and hydration. While it’s easy to grab junk food when stressed, it’s important for students to make healthy choices, especially this time of year. Eating nutritious food can energize students and help with concentration and retention. The brain works best when hydrated, and staying hydrated can help students avoid fatigue and headaches.

Send a card or care package. This is a great time of year to send a card by regular mail or a care package to your student. It’s a great unexpected surprise that lets them know you care, and shows your support. Ideas for items to include in a care package include: food (especially homemade goodies or favorite snacks), personal items (such as toothpaste, lotions, etc.) or a gift card to the BLICK Art Materials store (for any last-minute art supplies needed for projects).

Spring 2021: Mid-semester advising check-in

Spring Break is here, and you can encourage your student to finish the semester strong by engaging in a conversation about their experiences.

Questions for first-year students

The First-Year Experience curriculum at MIAD provides all first-year students with a basic foundation of skills and knowledge as they transition into their major.

  1. How are you managing time to finish projects?
  2. What are doing well to be successful in your classes?
  3. What are your challenges?
  4. How are you using the Learning Resource Center (LRC) as a tool for your academic success?
  5. What are you most excited about at MIAD?

Questions for sophomores, juniors and seniors

  1. How are you connecting class work to work you’d like to do professionally?
  2. What has given you more confidence since last semester?
  3. What is a challenge right now?
  4. As assignments and projects take up more of your time, how are you practicing self-care?
  5. How are you using campus labs for your projects and professional work?

Please remind your student to connect with their advisor after Spring Break to schedule their next advising session. Your student and their advisor will review midterms, revise success plans for completing the semester and start the process of Fall 2021 registration.

What to know about applying for 2021-2022 housing

The application to live in MIAD-affiliated housing is now open. If students are required or are interested in MIAD housing, they can start the process here.

For Fall 2021, MIAD-affiliated housing will return to its pre-pandemic housing requirements and capacity. This means:

  • Students are required to be in MIAD-affiliated housing their first year and sophomore year, unless they meet one of the following criteria:
    • Over 21 years of age at the start of classes in Fall 2021
    • Have a permanent residence, at the time of acceptance to MIAD, within 45 mile radius of campus
    • Are married
    • Have a custodial child
  • For example, a first-time first-year student in Fall 2020 from out-of-state will be required to live in MIAD-affiliated housing in Fall 2021 (unless they meet the listed exceptions above), even if they received a housing exemption and lived at home for the 2020-2021 academic year.
  • Two50Two will again have triple rooms. There are no triple rooms in the off-site housing, and to accommodate new students, triples at Two50Two will be limited.
  • Because of MIAD’s continued growth, not all sophomores required to live in MIAD housing will be placed in Two50Two. Some will be placed in off-site apartments.  These apartments have similar amenities to Two50Two and are within walking distance.
  • Housing is available for students who are not required in MIAD-affiliated housing. MIAD and General Capital will work with upperclassmen who are not required, but wish to live in MIAD-affiliated housing, subject to availability.
  • Visitor policy: We are hoping to ease restrictions on visitors in Fall 2021; however, this will be dictated by the spread of the COVID-19 virus. MIAD is working on specific health department metrics to determine when it will be safe to ease restrictions. Once these metrics are finalized, we will share them with students.

Priority and preference is given to students who complete the housing application process first. If students have questions about the lease process, they can contact General Capital at talk@two50two.com

If students wish to secure summer housing at one of MIAD’s off-site locations, please contact Matthew Stricker (matthewstricker@miad.edu) or Marianne DiUlio (mariannediulio@miad.edu).

How your student can search for summer professional opportunities

The spring semester may have just started a few weeks ago, but the Career Services staff are reminding students that it is best they research and pursue professional opportunities for the summer now in February and March rather than waiting until April and May. 

Summer professional opportunities can include internships, full- and part-time positions, temporary and seasonal jobs, ongoing or one-time freelance projects, commissions, exhibitions and selling work, and volunteering. These may be remote, in-person or “hybrid” opportunities. We recommend that students be as flexible as possible regarding the type of opportunities they will consider. 

Businesses and organizations usually focus on seniors and juniors (sometimes sophomores) for their internships and full-/part-time positions. First-year students can learn about internships and part-time positions, but may need to wait until their sophomore or junior year to be considered as applicants/candidates. 

The MIAD Career Services Handshake website is a good resource for students to use. Students may review different tabs for resources. 

  • Jobs tab: Students may review the postings of professional opportunities.
  • Employers tab: Students can research businesses that have recruited MIAD students/graduates.
  • Events tab: Students can see lists of virtual presentations and discussions offered by professionals. Most of these are free.

We strongly encourage students to research employers in addition to reviewing postings of opportunities. Many creative businesses find candidates for their positions from students who have directly contacted them instead of posting their position and receiving applicants. 

The Career Center Resources section of the MIAD Handshake website offers other websites to use for searching postings and researching potential employers. LinkedIn is a resource in addition to Handshake that is strongly recommended for students to use. 

Several businesses/organizations will request students to provide work samples and a resume as part of the application process or when a student directly contacts a business/organization to inquire about possible summer professional opportunities. 

The Career Services staff are available to help students. Email: careerservices@miad.edu.

Available wellness resources for your student

Students’ health and wellness is important. Below is a list of the various wellness resources available to your student:

  • Mental health support: Hanna Hobson (hannahobson@miad.edu) is available to offer non-clinical mental health support. Hanna can assist your student if they are feeling upset, overwhelmed or stressed, as well as help create a wellness plan with individualized coping skills.
  • Counseling support: Jennifer Crandall (jennifercrandall@miad.edu) is available to help students who are struggling balancing school with work, personal issues or medical situations, as well as create time-management plans.
  • Accommodation support: Becky Skupien (beckyskupien@miad.edu) is available to assist students with accommodations for a documented physical, medical or mental health condition.
  • Financial support: Carol Masse (carolmasse@miad.edu) is available to assist and support students experiencing financial difficulties. 
  • Marquette University Medical Clinic provides MIAD students free and confidential health services. Students can call to speak with a nurse if they are sick or have health concerns.
  • Marquette University Counseling Center offers MIAD students free, confidential short-term counseling with a licensed professional. (Note: Sessions are telebehavioral health and can be provided only to students currently living in Wisconsin.) 
  • SilverCloud: MIAD has also partnered with Marquette University Counseling Center to offer a new online mental health tool for all students called SilverCloud. This is an online, self-guided, interactive resource that provides students with no-cost, confidential help for mental health issues and stress management programs 24 hours a day. SilverCloud offers self-guided exercises to help users change beliefs and behaviors so they are thinking and feeling better. SilverCloud’s evidence-based learning modules address: Anxiety, Depression, Stress, Resilience, COVID-19, Insomnia & Sleep Issues. Email Hanna Hobson with questions.

Students with any questions about wellness resources can contact studentsupport@miad.edu.