Erin Rist (’11), theater major with a minor in communications studies
Professor Kathleen Jaremski, associate professor/costume design
“I saw CNU as a place of growth and development, and I wanted to be in the action,” says Erin Rist. Amid that transformation, she also saw a change in herself. Erin’s interest in the arts led her to choose a major in theater with a concentration in design and technology, an emphasis in hair and makeup design, and a minor in communication studies. As a hair and makeup designer, you must be able to create drawings and paintings to communicate your designs to the director, actors and technicians. “When I came to CNU, my ability to artistically convey my ideas was at a minimum. By that, I mean I could draw stick figures and not much else. Color theory was a complete mystery to me,” she says.
During her freshman year, Erin met Professor Kathleen Jaremski during fall advising. “Being the scared little freshman I was, I was completely intimidated. Over the years, however, she turned out to be my biggest advocate,” says Erin. “She constantly pushed me to improve my skills in class and overcome my timidity in creating designs. Whenever I met a challenge from her, she would set another one just out of reach.” Throughout these advising appointments, Professor Jaremski guided Erin as she looked for internships, resources and direction. As a result, Erin now holds a portfolio full of designs and projects she is proud to call her own and even presented her work at the Senior Portfolio Review.
Professor Jaremski saw Erin’s willingness to learn, her patience, her ability to accept constructive criticism and an eagerness to do her best. “She has been a delight to work with, and I am very proud of her growth and accomplishments,” Professor Jaremski says.Aside from academics, Erin assisted in TheaterCNU productions as both a designer and a technician, is a member of Lambda Pi Eta national communication honors society, and worked for Residence Life as both a front desk assistant and resident assistant. She also became active in InterVarsity (IV) Christian Fellowship, an international ministry focused on reaching college students, and eventually took on a leadership role with IV.
Erin recalls Professor Jaremski once asking her where she saw herself in five years. “For whatever reason, that question terrified me. But more importantly, it got me thinking about what I needed to be doing at that moment in order to move forward after graduation,” she says. “It pushed me to consider what really mattered to me in life, and where I enjoyed spending my time and energy.”
Following graduation, Erin will intern with InterVarsity at the College of Charleston in South Carolina. After a year, she will be placed in the region as a full-time staff worker. Erin hopes to one day be on staff at a school for the arts, noting, “I would love to share my faith with students who also share a love for performing and visual arts.”--Andrea Bradley '09