|HOMETOWN: Thomaston, Connecticut
MAJOR: Graphic Design
WCSU DEGREE: Bachelor of Arts in Art – Graphic Design concentration
ACTIVITIES: Active member of Prisma Art Club for four years, vice president for the 2017-18 calendar year. Part-time job on weekends at the Danbury Ice Arena since fall 2014 as a figure skating coach, summer camp counselor and skate guard.
INTERNSHIPS: University Publications and Design as a Design Intern since March 2016
HONORS AND AWARDS: Dean’s List every semester, Isabelle T. Farrington Scholarship (2017-18), Jason & Ellen Hancock Scholarship (2015-17), W.B. Connor Trust Scholarship (2014-15), Connecticut Association of Schools Outstanding Arts Award (2014), graduating Summa Cum Laude with a 3.91 cumulative GPA
Ruby Cantoni says the high school she attended had a very underfunded arts program, so going to college left her unsure of what major she wanted to focus on — she just knew that she wanted to pursue the arts. “I began as a Studio Arts Painting major, but then realized my true passion for Graphic Design and Illustration as I spent more time in the art program,” she says.
Cantoni decided to come to WCSU because it was close to home and affordable. “Another huge contributing factor in my choice was the brand new Visual and Performing Arts Center. My year, Class of 2018, was the first to enter the building.”
In thinking about the faculty and staff she encountered during her four years at WestConn, Cantoni says, “It would be hard to pin one member of the WCSU community as a mentor when in reality, I had many. In the design department, Professor David Skora was the one who helped me realize I wanted to be a designer. His wit and take on life proved helpful when I was going through stressful times. My adviser, Cathy Vanaria, was a true friend and always helped me along the way in my four years. Her attitude and constant friendliness inspired me. At my internship, Ellen Myhill and Peggy Stewart both were great work companions and taught me many important skills about the industry that I will be entering.”
Asked what she will remember most about her WestConn experience, Cantoni says, “Collectively, living on campus with my friends is an experience I will always cherish. A sight I’ll always hold close to heart is the view from my balcony. I live in Pinney Hall on the fifth floor. From my balcony, I can see a wide array of sights. On the right, I can see a strip of I-84 and the Crown Plaza. To the right of 84, I can see Lake Kenosia in front of Mill Plain Road. Further left, I can see parts of the mall as well as the landing strip to the airport. I can actually watch planes touch down. The farthest left I can see is a portion of Route 7. I have seen some of the most beautiful sunsets of my life from this balcony.”
After graduation, Cantoni expects to begin full-time work as a designer and illustrator. “I plan to work initially for a design firm with a creative team, so that I can still work in a learning environment. I also would like to do freelance work from home when the opportunities present themselves.”
Her advice to new students entering WCSU is: “Master time management. If you can properly organize your time, then it leaves more free time to enjoy college outside of school work. You can work hard, achieve your goals, get good grades and still have a fun college experience. Yes, it is possible.”