“Passionately do what you love.”
Mary Scott says it’s the very best advice she received from a professor while at St. Joseph’s College. Following her passion was crucial to Scott’s time at St. Joe’s, as the creatively driven Southold native became the College’s first-ever studio arts major to graduate from SJC Long Island in 2017.
St. Joseph’s is widely known for its child study program, which remains one of the most popular majors at the school. Like many others, Scott saw this major as a great choice for herself and decided to declare for child study as an underclassman. It wasn’t until 2016, her senior year, that a potential new direction made itself possible.
“The head of the art department, Dawn Lee, contacted me as soon as the (new studio) art major became available,” she said. “She was interested in having me join, and it seemed like the perfect opportunity.”
I found I loved studio arts, and that passion blossomed during my study abroad where I visited countless art museums and galleries in Spain, France and Italy.”
Despite being saddled with a heavy senior course load, Scott decided to follow her heart and dual major in child study and studio arts — SJC Long Island’s first art major option, introduced at SJC Long Island in fall 2016.
Scott’s love for studio art initially developed in high school.
“I took college-level courses in painting and ceramics,” she said. “I found I loved studio arts, and that passion blossomed during my study abroad where I visited countless art museums and galleries in Spain, France and Italy.”
Now a graduate of the Class of 2017, Scott is travelling abroad once again — spending her summer working with a service-based organization located in Lima, Peru.
Peru happens to play a significant role in Scott’s interest in art. “The summer before my senior year of high school, I went to Peru to volunteer at a home for children with physical disabilities,” she said. “There, I spent time playing with – and providing basic nurturing care for – young children. I saw how the kids gravitated toward art-making and creative play as a means to express their feelings.
“I immediately fell in love with the thought of being able to provide this experience to young children such as these, and therefore geared my college education toward art and the study of children.”
Joining the faithful family of SJC
The fifth of seven children, Scott shared that her family is the biggest influence in her life.
“I have always felt like a part of the older crowd,” Scott said. “I matured fast and took on responsibility early. I saw how my siblings dealt with the major issues of life, and I used them as an example for my actions. My parents, loving and faith-filled, gave me a model for how I should love others and how I deserve to be loved.”
In addition to adding a major that she was passionate about, SJC offered Scott with the perfect opportunity to attend a college that values religion as much as she does. “I chose St. Joseph’s because of it’s Catholic roots,” she said.
“I knew I could trust the education that I would be receiving here. I was fortunate enough to have several Sisters of St. Joseph as professors. Each of them gave me a sense of the incredible care and thought.”
Scott said her wishes for college were fulfilled by SJC.
“I hoped to gain true knowledge and world-wide wisdom. Experiences that will last me a lifetime,” she said. “Some learning, I have realized, does not ‘stick with you.’ I never want to memorize it and forget it after the test. At St. Joseph’s, this was rarely the case with my classes.”
I knew I could trust the education that I would be receiving here. I was fortunate enough to have several Sisters of St. Joseph as professors. Each of them gave me a sense of the incredible care and thought that they put into each lesson.”
One area of SJC that Scott took advantage of was all the extra-curricular activities offered to students. “I immediately dove head first into any and every activity on campus.
“As a freshman, I dipped my toes into almost every club and over the year weeded out the ones I really wanted to take part in,” Scott said.
“I have participated in many Habitat for Humanity trips and Make a Difference days, where I fell in love with the Campus Ministry,” she said. “This, among other inspirations, is what led me to applying for a service post graduation.”
As for her future, Scott has big plans. “Currently I am considering Masters of Fine Arts programs from a number of universities, to continue my studio practice, or a Master’s in Sacred Arts, which would be an online-hybrid provided by the Pontifical University in Rome.”