Allison Haeger

Professor keeps fueling the fire

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Professor Litteken advises an Art Portfolio student.  –Photo by Allison Haeger

For the Art Portfolio module of the Summer Scholars program, Professor Matthew Litteken runs the show. Before Miami,  Litteken always loved drawing. For Litteken, his high school teachers “fueled the fire” for his passion of art. In the summer scholars program, Litteken decided that high school students needed to get a source of the same support he got as a teenager. The focus of the program is to expose students to many different aspects of art, and to help them create unique pieces that can be used in a portfolio when applying to college or different programs. Students in his module traveled to the Hefner Zoology Museum to draw from still life and crafted wire sculptures, both activities aim to give students a competitive edge in their portfolios. Going back to his roots in art, Litteken identifies drawing as his favorite class activity, even though he still enjoys teaching ceramics, figure drawing, painting, and sculpture. Litteken knows that each form of work presents its own set of challenges, and different students find various techniques easy or hard. One of the best parts of the program is being able to unite a group of passionate students, and create a communal feeling in the classroom — as well invest in students the way his high school teachers invested in him.

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Professor Litteken greets a class visitor. — Photo by Morgan Smith

During the first week of the module students focused on two-dimensional work, and the second week they did on three-dimensional work. During the two-dimensional focus, students did day-to-day projects including: still-life drawing, portraits from direct observation, and the zoology museum life drawing. Students were able to take a day at the end of the week to invest more time in any particular project they had worked on. In the three-dimensional focus, students had a more open class setting, with three assigned projects. An open curriculum in the second week worked because of the breaks needed when sculpting or working with wire. Final projects were optional to present to the rest of the summer scholars, but will likely be used throughout the course of college admissions.

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Artist creates a life-sized Dementor

Guerin Catholic High School’s Rachel Anthony is using her artistic ability to form her own business, as well as to root out a career path for herself.

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Rachel Anthony works on a life-size mermaid tail in the Art Portfolio module of the Summer Scholars program. — Contributed photo
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Rachel Anthony used digital tools for a self-portrait. — Contributed photo

This 17-year-old rising senior  from Fishers, Ind., is a member of the Art Club, yearbook and many other school organizations. She began to hone her artistic ability in sixth grade when she decided she wanted to be an interior designer. By eighth grade, Rachel started doing more design-based projects with Photoshop and editing technology, and decided she wanted to be a graphic designer, which focuses on art more. At a young age, “Art is my passion,” she said. “I’m going to use it to extend my career path.” In her free time, Rachel works on art in her basement art closet whenever she feels like it, comes up with an idea, or wants to replicate something she sees on Pinterest. In school, Rachel has taken Intro to 3D, Ceramics I, and IB Art to give her a greater exposure to art. Senior year, Rachel will be continuing with Ceramics II and Drawing. A cherished piece of Rachel’s work is her life-size paper mache model of a Dementor from Harry Potter. Rachel has sold a piece in her school art show, and also has her own online business where she sells the artwork she creates. By using art throughout her life, Rachel hopes to use her abilities to land her dream job as a print prop designer for Warner Bros. Studios.

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A seasoned dancer still enrolled in dance lessons  

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Madison Janky still takes dance lessons to keep up her skills. — Contributed photo

Rising junior at Centerville High School, Madison Janky, is making her mark in the dance scene around her.  Madison,16, lives with her mom, Kim, and her dad, George, in Centerville, Ohio. Around age 3 or 4, Madison’s mom signed her up for dance because she thought it was cute. One of the first productions Madison participated in as a young girl was a Tigger-themed gymnastics-style performance. When Madison began kindergarten, she also enrolled at Tops Dance Studio. At this studio, Madison did a cowgirl/jazzy performance, a pom-poms performance, and a tap performance. Since then, Madison has attended a dance class at Miss Wendy’s School of Dance once a week. Thinking back, Madison realized she “always liked performing [at recitals], even though it was super scary, and [she] was always super nervous.” Madison considered this when she had to decide whether to continue dance or not, and she also realized dance was a habit that kept her busy and exercising. In addition, when Madison’s best friend started dance in middle school, she had another incentive to continue dancing. Since this decision, Madison has tried out many different styles of dance, including: Hawaiian, lyrical, tap, jazz, and hip-hop. During class, Madison stretches, practices various dance moves and combinations in the studio, and also adds to her combinations at the end of class. Presently, Madison continues her hobby by taking part in recital solos and duets. In solos, Madison typically performs tap and will lip-sync music; in her duets, Madison does jazz/hip-hop with her best friend.

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Tennis player missing cartilage

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Megan Riley plays tennis for her school. — Photo by Allison Haeger

Rising senior at the Summit Country Day School, Megan Riley is ready to get back on the tennis courts and continue her search for a big college. This 17-year-old lives in Cincinnati with her mom, Karen, dad, Kevin, and three younger siblings, Maddie, Morgan, and John. Megan participated in the cross country, soccer, and tennis teams when she was younger. One night during a game of corn hole, Megan felt a great pain in her knee and could not walk. She soon discovered she had no cartilage in her left knee, and her doctor told her that she could never play a contact sport again. Eventually, Megan invested all of her athletic time to playing tennis, as she could go at her own pace, and realized she “could be like an old woman with five knee replacements on the court.”

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Megan Riley prepares a serve. -Contributed photo

Megan’s knee did still hurt when she played tennis, but her doctor said surgery would not be smart, as she would getting knee replacement after knee replacement done. Instead of a knee replacement, Megan ended up getting a herbal supplement injected into her knee, “It was like a steroid shot, just without the steroids,” she said. Because this treatment takes away the majority of the pain, Megan is confident tennis will remain manageable and now plays on her school’s league and with the Beechmont Racket Club.

Throughout the year, Megan travels to other schools for games and also participates in the USTA tournaments with her tennis club. Megan’s most consistent coach, Jason, saw her potential and perseverance. Megan said her coach liked that “even though I had an injury, I didn’t let it slow me down.”

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Media does matter

As a student in the Media Matters module of Miami’s Summer Scholars program, I was educated on the status of journalism in the world today, and on the various routes journalism can take a reporter down. At 17 years old, I do not consume much news during my day. I have always seen news as a boring and disappointing industry that did not catch my eye, but finding out that most of my peers consumed news more than I did in some way bothered me.

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Media Matters students with reporter Chris Graves, middle bottom, at the Cincinnati Enquirer. — Photo by Patricia Gallagher Newberry

Why had I not found it important to be informed on the world around me? Now, I think I should definitely keep up with news more, and stay involved in my community and what is going on. Many people my age consume news through a mobile device, which has made the print newspaper nearly obsolete. In the field of journalism, many people are losing jobs because of the lack of print consumption, and even news consumption. Like me, people are not finding the current events important enough to dedicate time to learning about them. I have come to believe that this should change, as the support of many failing jobs are in the hands of news readers, and reporting information about communities is essential to our culture. I have not been interested in a career in journalism, but after seeing various sides of the industry in this program, I could see myself fitting into a behind the scenes job — possibly as a TV news director or video producer, or even a crime journalist. Speaking with reporters Bethany Bruner and Chris Graves really got me questioning my plans to be an editor for a publishing firm. The adrenaline rush and mystery of a case would keep me invested in my job, and that is what I am looking for in my future. From other guests, I learned tips about interviewing and keeping a good story. For example, I now know a good reporter will never give a source a list of the questions that will be asked during the interview, that sometimes knocking on people’s doors is the best way to squeeze an interview out of someone, and that staying objective is important when aiming to get all the sides of the story. If I do pursue a career in the media industry, I will look back on what I learned in this program to aide me in my future.

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About the author

Allison Haeger, 17, is a rising senior at Gahanna Lincoln High School in Gahanna, Ohio. She has an eccentric younger brother, Reis, and is involved in the SADD club and Link Crew at her school. Academically, Allison does best in English and FullSizeRenderarts classes, but math and science are not too difficult for her. Interests for Allison include reading a lot, watching movies and television series, and also writing. Most of the time Allison will be caught with a book nearby or on her mind. After hopefully studying English in college, Allison hopes to become an editor for a publishing firm. This might lead to a move to Chicago or New York, which her mom is not excited about. Allison enrolled in the journalism module of the Summer Scholars program because she has not had much experience in the journalism field at school or at home, and figured it would be good to see what this side of writing is like.