A Communication and Industrial Design student at the University of Alberta, Elli Hanson saw the Killam Fellowship as a golden opportunity to study at the epicenter of her field – the Roski School of Arts and the Annenberg School of Communications at the University of Southern California (USC) in Los Angeles. “Design as an academic discipline is all about creativity,” she explains, “where the surrounding social, economic and cultural factors strongly influence the instruction and ultimately the outcome of the work. I have grown exponentially as an academic and a designer for worldly solutions since participating in my Killam Fellowship. I was able to take full advantage of the school and the city and their rich creative influences.”
Los Angeles offered Elli many educational and professional opportunities that went well beyond the confines of the classroom. Many of Elli’s classes had weekly guest lecturers who discussed their personal and professional journeys in the industry, and facilitated professional connections.
Upon completion her exchange, Elli noted that her Killam Fellowship exchange fundamentally changed the way she approached her academic studies. “It has made me more focused on the process of gathering educational and cultural experiences within and beyond the classroom to enhance and complement my studies, rather than simply working towards an end academic goal. For this reason, along with all the other outstanding influences I have been fortunate enough to encounter in my exchange abroad, this semester as a Killam Fellow has been nothing less than life changing.”