For Art and Art History graduate student, Saki Rizwana, graphic design was a nearly missed passion.
Although she started the program to appease her parents, after her first design class, she knew it was a perfect fit for her “OCD nit-picky tendencies.”
Saki was born in Dhaka, Bangladesh and at age 9 she and her family moved to New York. Because of the duality of two conflicting cultures, Saki brings a unique viewpoint to her work in exploring the intersection of education and design for her master’s thesis.
“I think because of how I struggle sometimes to fit into one or both of these groups, I tend to look at things differently as a rule. This certainly comes out in my interest in education,” she said. “The push to be culturally sensitive in teaching, whether you're looking at students from different cultures, classes, generations, genders, etc., is something that comes directly from my experiences in dealing with these different cultures.”
Keeping in line with her thesis topic, Saki designed and created a children’s book that contained stories of Akan peoples from Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire and provided a new perspective on African-based philosophy for both children and adults. This year, she hopes to be able to create more handmade books while finishing her research on education and classroom dynamics.
With the help of the Doty Society Scholarship, Saki was able to move closer to campus, which helps her spend more time in the studio working.
“It's so important that, even in this economy, we continue to encourage people to pursue higher education and scholarship programs are at the heart of what makes it possible for someone with a ton of debt from undergrad to even dream that she can take two more years to study and perfect her thought process and her craft,” she said. “You really don't know how wonderful a gift it is that you give to students.”