Spotlight: VPA Grad Fellow Lauren Pardue

Alumnae Lauren Pardue ‘22 returns to the Visual and Performing Arts Department.
Headshot of Lauren Pardue
Headshot of Lauren Pardue

Last fall, graduate student Lauren Pardue ‘22 rejoined the Department of Visual and Performing Arts team for the 2023-2024 academic year as VPA’s Provost Graduate Fellow. Now on her way to being a Communication & Media graduate, she assists both the VPA and the McCoy Gallery by designing various promotional materials, writes news articles, photographs classroom learning and VPA events, and more. 

Before re-enrolling at Merrimack, Pardue graduated in 2022 with a BA in both Art & Art History and Graphic Design. During her undergraduate experience, she was heavily involved with the OnStagers Dramatic Society, assisting on- and off-stage with various productions, and later elected Publicity Chair during her senior year. Along with this, her graphic design experience led her to be elected as Layout Director for the Honors Program’s newsletter, The Northview, as well as one of the few students to have their art purchased by the College for the Austin Hall Chapel banners. 

After graduation, Pardue took a year off to concentrate on what her next steps were. “I knew I wanted to continue my education and achieve a Masters, though I needed time to research which direction. There were so many career paths I wanted to explore, and make sure I found the right fit.” Deciding a change of scenery was in order, she decided to move to Honolulu, Hawai’i and explore life away from New England. Her year was spent working at the Honolulu Museum of Arts (HoMA). She assisted with various museum-facilitated events and activities, as well as taught art classes. “I knew I always wanted to work at an art museum, but in what capacity? While working at HoMA, I was able to talk with various departments, review various positions, and see what their day-to-day was like. It was extremely helpful to get the inside scoop, since folks don’t hold back when talking to coworkers!”

After talking with HoMA’s Communications Department in detail, she decided a career path in museum promotion and communications was the one for her. Choosing this route led her to apply for Merrimack College’s Graduate Program in Communication & Media and a Graduate Fellowship. “I’m loving my time as a VPA fellow. It’s a good amount of designing and writing, but I really enjoy doing it.”

Coming back to work for VPA has been a fun experience to Pardue, “This position has really helped me strengthen my graphic design skills for the real-world. The posters I design, or the logos I create, aren’t just going to stay in the classroom, they’re hung in the hallways and shared with faculty and students… it’s very strange to see, but very rewarding.”

After graduation, Pardue hopes to pursue a career in Communications within the field of Arts Management. 

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