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Feedback from our Scholarship Recipients

My SNAG Educational Endowment Scholarship Experience

By Bifei Cao, 2011 Recipient

I came to the United States to pursue an MFA in Jewelry & Metals at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. After learning about the SNAG Educational Endowment Scholarship, I decided to apply but I never expected that I would be awarded first place when faced with the competitive applicants from different schools.

After I received word that I had won, I immediately called my advisor, Lynda LaRoche. She instilled in me a hunger for knowledge, brought me to a new world, and at the same time, respected my own artistic language. Since then, I am still surprised what I have achieved…and think I might be for the rest of my life.

The scholarship helped me not only with my financial situation, but most importantly, with my confidence. In China, I had nearly lost my faith succeeding as a metalsmith as I was defined there as a non-talented student during my MA studies. But later, a Shanghai University professor encouraged me to apply to her graduate school, Indiana University of Pennsylvania. I cherished the opportunity and worked as hard as I possibly could. I appreciate the educational system of the United States that has allowed me to discover myself, and I’m happy to say that I’ve started to receive invitations from galleries for themed exhibitions.

I believe that the SNAG Educational Endowment Scholarship is an invaluable help to students. It brings emerging artists with diversified works and cultures to our jewelry and metals field. It builds students’ confidence and brings new blood into the field.

As a student who has received the benefit from the scholarship, I will purchase raffle tickets this year, and I would like to ask every artist to support the scholarship fund. It is really a way to build futures of young artists.


2011 Educational Scholarship Winner & Raffle Double Winner

By M. Annie Kilborn, 2011 Recipient

It was a delight and honor to find out that I was one of the SNAG’s Educational Endowment Scholarship Awardees. Although I have previously submitted work for past SNAG student exhibitions, this was the first year I applied for the scholarship. Since I was pleased with the work I created for my BFA creative project, I figured I had nothing to lose by applying. As a student, I know the importance of getting your work out there, hoping for positive encouragement and being willing to accept rejection.

The annual conferences are always inspirational and are a wonderful way to make lasting connections in our field. I really wanted to attend the Seattle conference, but unfortunately, the financial burden of moving my family across country to San Diego for graduate school seemed to make my conference attendance unfeasible. However, the exciting news that I had been awarded the scholarship came early enough that I was able to book my travel for Seattle!

At the conference’s final dinner and dance party, I was not paying much attention to the names being called for the raffle. My mentor informed me that my name had just been called. I won a free photo session from Steven Brian Samuels Art and Jewelry Photography! I had purchased a single raffle ticket–not because I had high hopes of winning, but to support the Educational Endowment Scholarship. As a student, I am well aware that every opportunity counts and being awarded even the smallest honor is stimulating and encouraging. It is important to promote opportunities for those who are building futures as artists.

I highly encourage everyone to buy raffle tickets. Each ticket purchased goes to the Educational Endowment Scholarship Fund to help achieve students’ career goals. Plus you might be a lucky winner of one of the great prizes, which are generously donated each year!


My Experience as a Hoover & Strong Scholarship Winner

by Heejin Hwang, 2011 Recipient

I am greatly honored to become a Hoover & Strong Scholarship recipient and so thrilled to receive this award. I have applied for a variety of scholarships every time if given opportunities, with the conviction of ‘strike while the iron is hot,’ but it has special significance for me this time. This is because I have thought that I would like my current work to be recognized by the public so far as a student artist, and I was more sure about and confident in my works of art through this opportunity.

What I shouted with joy when I was informed of this news was “Yes!!”

In addition, I still vividly remember that I was thinking with a chuckle of buying tools and materials I had long wanted with this scholarship. Subsequently, there have been many changes to me actually. Among them, the biggest change is that it is more pleasant to create works of art. I am enormously grateful to SNAG for giving me such an important experience.


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