Maia Suazo-Maier 

What do you appreciate most about study in the field?  (art history or architecture)

In studying art history, I find that I am given the opportunity to improve my writing and develop a unique perspective. I have been encouraged to make bold claims through my papers, expound on ideas I find independently interesting (like color theory), and juxtapose perspectives in ways I haven't been encouraged to do so in other courses. This semester, I brought in discussions from my neuroaesthetics course (an MBB class) to my final paper on a sculpture in the art museum. I have found that HAA truly supports interdisciplinary thinking and welcomes creative thought wherever possible. 

What do you appreciate most about the HAA department?

I appreciate how approachable all of the faculty members have been. They always seem happy to talk to students, whether it be about a particular class, an advising question, or if their field of expertise is of particular interest.  I have found some of my most fruitful conversations at the school to occur when I reach out to HAA faculty to get to know them over coffee. 

How did you come to join this concentration? 

I took two Gen-Eds in the department (Culture & Belief and Aesthetic & Interpretive Understanding) my freshman year. Curiously, they were both taught by Professor Kelsey. I don't know if I got hooked on his teaching style, or was introduced to this department through the Gen-Ed system and realized I was exercising a part of my brain I had never really tapped into before. From those experiences, I took more HAA courses in my Sophomore fall and ended up deciding to pursue that track alongside my previous interest of computer science. I felt that the two could go hand in hand, and was pleasantly surprised to find how helpful and encouraging the HAA Department has been in fostering my varied interests.

A thought on a notable: course / faculty member / opportunity?

 I have truly enjoyed all the "Gen-Ed" courses I've taken in the department, mostly because they're accessible to non-HAA concentrators, and that really opens up the discussion in section. I have fond memories of Modern Art & Modernity my sophomore fall, in which my TF, Laura Kenner, fostered the most interesting section discussions. I actually ended up meeting my best friends in that section. In our friend group of 6, only 3 of us are HAA students, and 1 of us is an Ec concentrator on the football team who took this course for Gen-Ed credit. Through exposure from this course, however, he has now felt comfortable to tag along with the rest of us to MFA trips! In this way, HAA has not only created an enjoyable environment inside the classroom, but outside as well. You can't spell HAAppy without HAA!