Smile Indias ’17 (Social Design M.A.), this year’s graduate student speaker at MICA’s 168th Commencement on Monday, May 15th, believes that the responsibility to uphold truth and kindness is universal and transcends individuality.
A native of the Philippines, Smile came to MICA after working as senior designer and creative director for the communications office of the country’s president. While admitting that the experience moving from overseas was challenging, Smile credits the MICA community with supporting her as she adjusted to graduate school in the U.S. She has used her time at MICA to use the human-centered design process on collaborative projects with partners that include the Baltimore City Health Department, Johns Hopkins University and Baltimore Bike Share.
As she reflected on her time at MICA, Smile noted, “In 2016, I learned to take the leap and trust that I will land on my feet: and I made the bravest decision to uproot my life and attend school here. I am lucky that MICA has a very supportive community that has helped me deal with the challenges I faced once I arrived here. I was expecting a lot of good from MICA, but I did not expect so much kindness from people I only met this year.”
She added, “I enjoy the Social Design Program for its structure and level of difficulty but more so because of the strong community we have in the studio. I love how genuine and effortless the camaraderie has been. This is something I value being far away from home.”