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Alum Being Recognized for Artistic Ability and Pays Tribute to Faculty

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Posted on Thursday, July 28, 2016

Steve Totin ‘14 has been accepted into the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), one of the top 10 graduate programs for fine art according to US News & World Report.

Totin, who graduated with honors in fine art, will focus his graduate studies on multidisciplinary art.

“When deciding to apply for graduate schools, I was conflicted on which ones to apply to because there are a vast number of them and the top programs can be extremely competitive, accepting maybe ten to 20 new students per year out of hundreds of applications coming from around the world,” said Totin.

“This is quite an honor for him and for us at Westminster College,” said Summer Zickefoose, lecturer of art and gallery director at Westminster College. “It is a pleasure watching students like Steve make such successful strides toward their dreams and become recognized for their hard work.”

“I applied to five of the top master’s programs for art in the country and succeeded in getting into two of them,” said Totin. “My advice is to not cut yourself short out of fear because you may miss an opportunity that was destined for you.”

Totin attributes his success to his undergraduate degree at Westminster College, naming his teachers as “powerful” mentors:

“Attending Westminster College for my undergraduate degree has undoubtedly played a major role in not only my success of getting into MICA, but my art career as a whole. The fine art program is a powerful program due to the dedication, passion and knowledge flowing through it from the two faculty members, Peggy Cox and Summer Zickefoose. I would not be where I am today without having had those two as professors.”

Totin was recently awarded the first place David E. Davis Award of Excellence for his sculpture in the “After the Pedestal: 9th exhibition of small sculpture” at The Sculpture Center in Cleveland, Ohio. Amy Gilman, associate director and curator of modern and contemporary art at the Toledo Museum of Art, was juror.

“My advice to future Westminster art students is simple but has been powerful advice that guides me every day: Hard work pays off every time. The payout may not happen quickly or on a time schedule that you want, but it will pay off eventually.”

He continued, “Stay true to your goals and your work. Let failures happen because they will happen no matter what. All you should do is learn from them and don’t let them deflate you. Use each of your milestones to create a wave for you to ride to the next one and before you know it you’ll find yourself achieving your dreams.”

For more information about the art program at Westminster College, contact Zickefoose at 724-946-7267 or