February 2012 - Student of the Month - Sarah Cottrell

Sarah Cottrell, a Master of Fine Arts in Intermedia is the Graduate School's Student of the Month for February.  

Graduate School: Where are you from originally?

Cottrell: I am originally from Bangor.

Graduate School: What undergraduate institution(s) did you previously attend?

Cottrell: I graduated from UMaine in 2005 with BFA in sculpture.

Graduate School: Why did you choose to attend UMaine?

Cottrell: I grew up around the UMaine community and so I knew that my experience would be a marvelous one filled with supportive people and unique opportunities. 

Graduate School: What degree program are you pursuing?

Cottrell: I am in the Intermedia MFA program.

Graduate SchoolWhat are your plans after graduation?

Cottrell: I have been interested in doing grant writing work to support artists and also some behind the scenes organizing of shows and other exhibition options for fine artists.  I’d really like to find a meaningful and lucrative way to support visual artists in our state.

Graduate SchoolWhat do you consider your most important accomplishment here so far?

Cottrell: I think my position as the Research Assistant for the Intermedia program has been the most rewarding experience. I’ve been put in charge of organizing our annual Open House Exhibition, researching grants and funding for our students and connecting students with a variety of other resources.  I’ve been able to meet and work with some marvelously talented people that I hope to work with professionally in the near future!

Graduate SchoolWhat is the highlight of your academic experience so far?

Cottrell: One highlight of my academic experience has been serving as a senator and now the secretary for the GSG.  I’ve met some incredibly smart and creative people through this role.  I’ve also learned a great deal about how to best advocate for students and how to work the public. 

Graduate SchoolWhat is your favorite place on campus?

Cottrell: My studio!  Having the luxury of a private space where I can work on my paintings or objects is really a pleasure and necessity.  There is nothing like closing out the world and being able to focus 1,000% on my work in a meaningful way.  My department really works hard to make sure its student’s needs are met and I never take that for granted.


Graduate School: What awards or other significant recognition (both on or off-campus) have you received since beginning your degree program?

Cottrell: Last year I was nominated for the Student Employee of The Year Award.  This summer I was elected to the board of directors for a local non-profit, The Hemophilia Alliance of Maine, which I had a hand in founding. I have written over $10,000 in successful grants. I was elected to the position of secretary for the GSG. 

Graduate SchoolWhat other important information about yourself would you like us to know?

Cottrell: Graduate school is incredibly rewarding and I am a proud UMaine student.  I am even more proud to be a mother of a small child who has hemophilia.  Outside of the UMaine community I can be found drumming up support for Maine’s bleeding disorders community.