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Courageously Creative

Friday, May 19, 2017 - 14:07


Photo Credit: 

Spencer Bruttig


There’s a lot more to art history than memorizing artists, dates and locations, and graduating senior Rocio Iribe can attest to that. This history of art and architecture major, with an emphasis on architecture and environment, has an eye for design and a love for her community. After serving in the U.S. Marine Corps, Rocio returned to school, attending Santa Monica City College. Upon her acceptance to UC Santa Barbara, she realized it was time to pursue her passion for art.

Having spent eight years in the Marine Corps, Rocio was excited to return to Southern California. Originally from Los Angeles, she chose UC Santa Barbara for its location and because its history of art and architecture program was the perfect fit for her. Professors such as Jeremy White opened doors for her to explore all the art and architecture world had to offer. As a transfer, she took the steps to become an integral part of her campus community, both academically and socially. Rocio was drawn to a place that felt familiar, a place where she knew she could contribute: the Student Veterans Organization (SVO).

From writing postcards to tabling to giving prospective students campus tours, Rocio immersed herself in the SVO. She acted as a leader and a listener, placing herself in a network of shared experiences. Her goal was to break stereotypes against student veterans. Attending a creative writing class at UCSB designed for veterans, Rocio was mentored by Susan Derwin, director of the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center. Here, Rocio discovered a way to share her experiences through her writing, later presenting her short story to the public in a group reading.

On top of school and extracurricular activities, Rocio also pursued internships, hoping to get a hands-on experience in what it was like to work in museums and art galleries. As an intern in the Art, Design & Architecture Museum on campus, Rocio got a behind-the-scenes look at all the things that made a museum tick. From acquisition to buying to inventory, Rocio hopes to take her skills to graduate school.

While her time at UCSB was short, this Gaucho will miss many things about campus – and the thing she says she’ll miss most is the contagious optimism she found at UCSB. In a sustainable communities class she took with professor David Pellow, Rocio was inspired by the campus spirit to make the world a better place. “This is a place where you can discuss grand ideas of change,” said Rocio. “I will miss the multitude of choices to learn anything I could possibly be interested in.”

Written by Miranda Chan