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Service learning adds a rich, hands-on component to a student’s education and gives them the opportunity to experience and discuss the many ways in which individuals can make a positive impact on those around them. – MIAD’s Service Learning Program

MIAD distinguishes itself as a leader in art & design colleges by being one of the first to implement a required Service Learning Program comprising intensive courses and a minimum of 35 hours of community service per student.

On Friday, March 21, MIAD presented the 2014 Service Learning Symposium from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. in the Todd Wehr Auditorium, honoring Chelsea Beiler ’14 (Illustration) for her exemplary service at the Schlitz Audubon Nature Center. The Symposium featured guest speakers Mary Osmundsen ’97 (Photography) and Jeanette Arellano ’10 (Integrated Studio Arts). The alumnae returned to MIAD to speak about their individual and collaborative work as artists, and how they have leveraged their creativity to serve those in need in the Milwaukee community.


As David Martin, vice president of academic affairs, said, “Your purpose in life is to make a difference. Our purpose as creative makers is to improve the world.”

Beiler, Osmundsen and Arellano take that purpose to heart in their work, and as guest speakers, Osmundsen and Arellano shared their path integrating creativity and service.

Osmundsen, program officer at the Helen Bader Foundation, works to enhance opportunities for low-income children during after-school hours and the summer months.

Arellano is the Latino Outreach and Education Coordinator at the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Greater Milwaukee, the MHAT Co-Chair for Milwaukee Latino Health Coalition, and sits on the board as a student representative for the American Civil Union and the Riverwest Artist Association.

Director of Academic Service Learning Leslie Fedorchuk shared how impressed she is with MIAD students and their passion for service, “You each have challenges you have to face – sometimes daily – to be here. I am in awe of how you do that with a smile, full on – and for those of you doing your service this term – you add this to the mix of what you need to accomplish each week.”

Click here to learn more about Service Learning at MIAD.

Image: Chelsea Beiler ’14, Jeanette Arellano ’10, Mary Osmundsen ’97