by Hannah Bahney
Cakes in Prague, ceramics in Dresden, and architecture in Berlin: these are a few of Honors Scholar Megan Smith’s favorite things.
When Smith, a Chancellor’s Scholar majoring in Ceramics, first began her journey at IUPUI, she was drawn to the university by the Herron School of Art and Design, but she found so much more.
“I came here for one thing, which led me to all these other wonderful opportunities that IUPUI offers,” says Smith, who will complete her fourth study abroad experience during Fall 2017 in Jingdezhen, China, a city where people have made blue and white porcelain for over a thousand years.
Smith caught the study abroad “bug” after her first program, “Exploring Arts in Central Europe,” which took her through Germany, the Czech Republic, and Austria for three weeks over the summer. The credit-bearing trip abroad focuses on exposing students to historical sites, but also to the contemporary culture of the regions.
“I wasn’t just traveling and going go museums,” says Smith. “We were also learning the culture and history behind the country and how it influences art in the area.”
However, Smith’s summer adventure did not stop there. She then spent nearly three weeks traveling on her own through Germany and France before beginning her second program, “French Language Studies.”
No matter where Smith’s journeys took her, her love for ceramics came, too.
Enclosed in a small protective case, Smith took inch-high clay ceramic people she made on all her excursions overseas.
“I can travel with a little bit of home and my love for ceramics,” says Smith. And while she’s always looking forward to her next overseas expedition, her passion for community involvement is made clear on IUPUI’s campus.
Smith founded the Herron Student Council, an organization created to better connect Herron to the rest of campus while advocating for art and design students.
Smith was able to connect her “two campus homes,” the IUPUI Honors College and Herron, as soon as her undergraduate career began. She was assigned a mentor, who was a Herron student, through the Honors College Peer Mentor Program.
“Having a mentor was like having a great friendship right off the bat,” says Smith, who later served as a mentor herself. “I remember asking these really basic questions, but I didn’t have anyone else to ask so my mentor was a great resource.”
The IUPUI Honors College provides Smith with a space she can go in between classes and reset so she can move forward to her other classes feeling ready and refreshed.
“[The Honors College] has given me such a great network of community and peers,” says Smith. “We all want to do great things, and being in a place like the Honors College is really encouraging and pushes me to do better.”