Student Spotlight

We wanted to recognize Communication and Visual Arts students who work hard to go above and beyond coming to class and truly make a difference in the department, student media organization(s), and/or the community. As a parallel to our Alum Spotlight, our Student Showcase offers students an opportunity to lift up those who truly stand out, allows others an opportunity to conceptualize their academic path, and evoke inspiration through various careers that stem from their degree. Faculty, staff, and students are encouraged to submit a nomination for any student currently attending Valpo. Please email us with any questions or click here to nominate a student who stands out!

Maiah Deogracias

Maiah Deogracias

I came to Valpo because of the community and opportunities I knew I would have as a student. I was drawn by the prospect of exploring both my passion for Communication and Digital Media Arts. Additionally, I felt at home immediately and could see myself growing so much both inside and outside the classroom.

My dream job would be working as a Creative Director for a magazine.

When I was younger I so badly wanted to become a photographer. I took photography classes each year I was in high school and became a photographer for Valpo’s Integrated Marketing and Communications team for about two years. Although I have since leaned into digital designs and illustrations more than photography in combination with developing skills within my Communications major, I still see the principles of design and my cultivation of understanding aesthetics very prominently in the ways I approach projects. I know this will continue post-grad as I work within marketing and go about finding creative solutions when working with clients.

My favorite CVA class I’ve taken so far has been the CVA Senior Capstone class taught by Paul Oren. My group got to connect with The Press downtown and create social media and digital content for them to use.

My best piece of advice came from my former IMC advisor and past University photographer, Jon Hendricks. I was incredibly nervous before a photoshoot and he told me “It’s good to be nervous. It means you care.”

memory at Valpo was when I traveled to Italy as part of a Christ College study abroad program over winter break during my sophomore year.

Over the course of my time at Valpo, I have held four internships and been featured in two exhibitions. My first internship was in Valpo’s Office of Admission as a Communications Intern. This was followed by my time as an intern and CAPS fellow (through Valpo’s Institute of Leadership and Service) at Concordia Place, a nonprofit organization in Chicago focusing on accessible and holistic childcare. I then interned for a semester with another nonprofit, College Moxie, an organization that focuses on uplifting and empowering women to know their worth, mainly focusing on social media content creation. Currently, I am doing an internship in Valpo’s Sirko MakerSpace as I experiment creatively with projects utilizing the Glowforge laser cutter/engraver and 3D printer. I also help provide services to those who visit the MakerSpace. I have had the opportunity to have my work be part of the CCLIR Permanent Collection at Valpo’s Christopher Center Library, and it was also on display as part of the Das’ Gallery in Valparaiso, IN.

I think for me it would be the impact I’ve been able to have over the past four years. I really have enjoyed being part of so much on-campus and having formed so many relationships with others. I felt most fulfilled when I was able to connect with and serve others in instances such as being an Orientation Assistant for two years when I got to welcome incoming students to Valpo’s campus, traveling to Florida on a service trip, and helping with reconstructing homes that had been destroyed by hurricanes and flooding, and by the service I could impart to my Sorority when I served on executive board for two years.

I would say that the opportunities you’ll have the most growth through and the challenges that may feel most overwhelming are often the most fulfilling ones. It’s okay and even encouraged to step out of your comfort zone and open yourself up to new experiences.