Two degrees for one program; senior attends dual-degree program in art

Molly Wade, Staff Writer

        There was debate over where senior Amy Chen was going. Mostly, the debate was within her. Many high school seniors have trouble deciding which is the best school for them, and there is difficulty regarding leaving the state and leaving home behind. Chen finally committed to the Brown and Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) dual degree program just in time for the May 1 deadline—the day that seniors have to enroll in the college or university where they will spend the next four years of their life.

       “It’s a five year program that is still sort of in a pilot stage,” Chen said. “The first class of the program will graduate next year.”

       Chen will study industrial design at RISD and urban studies at Brown. After graduating from the program, students receive both a degree from Brown and a degree from RISD. According to Chen, she may not follow this path because of her numerous interests.

       “Amy is one of those rare gems of an art student that you wish you could have every year in class,” Art teacher Christie Skinner said. “She takes every project above and beyond than [anything] you could ever expect.”

       Chen has always been interested in art and spent her free time drawing as a child. But up until her junior year, she thought she would become an engineer. Only recently did she decide to pursue art.

       “She is so talented and creative,” Skinner said. “She pushes herself more than I ever could.”

       Chen credits her continued involvement in art to former art teacher Nancy Huffman as well as her parents, who have supported her. For Chen, her previous art teachers have influenced her to stay with art.

      “My parents are wary of my [decision],” Chen said “But in the end, it is my life. I am thankful that regardless of their realistic opinion, they’ll support me. I think it is important to take risks and chase after what you love.”