Art Department Celebrates Winter and Sp/Su 2020 Graduates

Over the next several weeks, the Art Department will be highlighting graduating students from the department in various ways—a few students were interviewed, some submitted final projects, some tagged us in photos. While this does not substitute for a face-to-face graduation ceremony, we found we could not let this moment pass without highlighting our Creative Warriors and all they have accomplished over the years! Visit the Commencement page for more graduation celebrations!

First generation student Angel Buckens celebrates graduation from WSU Art Department!

image: Angel Buckens, BFA Design, Interior/Industrial Design, Winter 2020

The James Pearson Duffy Department of Art and Art History is pleased to feature Creative Warrior Angel Buckens. Angel is a senior in the Interior Design and Industrial Design programs and is set to graduate this Winter 2020 semester.

Angel came to Wayne State University in order to be close to her grandparents. As a firstgeneration student, it was important for Angel to involve her family in her education, but also to have a sense of independence. She loves being able to bring her grandparents on campus to show her designs, concepts, and art, knowing that it made them so proud of her accomplishments.

image: Angel with her parents

Angel has always paid attention to detail when entering a new space leading her to the Interior Design program. As an avid, "Simmer", the Sims game inspired her by allowing players a creative platform to design and redesign whatever they want. Since the 8th grade, Angel has known that Interior Design was the right path for her. During her time here at WSU, Michele Porter, an advisor in the Art Department, had pointed out her water bottle on her desk stating that an Industrial Designer designed it. This opened a completely new world and interest for Angel, and she began her Industrial Design studies on top of her major in Interior Design.

Angel had many great experiences at WSU and loves the sense of community she has gained while here. She made lifelong friends in classmates, instructors, and advisors. She has learned that she can push her limits further than she ever thought she could. No matter what comes her way, she grinds through it all, making her education her priority. Angel was very involved in both of her programs; she was the President of Interior Design Student Organization (IDSO) the 2019-2020 school year, as well as a member of Industrial Design Student Organization. She participated in "Noel Night" and in the WSU undergraduate exhibition for two years. Angel also gained an internship in Birmingham due to of her involvement in the Interior design display on "Industry Day."

Angel would like to give a shout out to her instructors, Claas Kuhnen and Siobhan Gregory, as well as Avanti Herczeg, her primary advisor and thank them for all the opportunities they presented for her.

One of Angel's favorite experiences as a Creative Warrior was participating in design competitions at WSU. She was able to leave a piece of herself on campus through these experiences. Angel took part in designing the Education Student Lounge in the Education Building along with another student. She was also able to design the Mitch Ilitch School of Business lactation room with a small team. These experiences helped Angel work towards her goals of being able to say "I WAS HERE." She loves that she was able to be an advocate here in her own WSU and Detroit communities. As well as being part of a great interior design firm, she hopes to continue community work such as this in her future. If Angel could provide some advice for incoming students, it would be to have a great relationship with your advisor—they can provide so many opportunities to expand your education, resume, and career. Angel would stop by Avanti's office at least 3 times a semester, even if only for a casual drop-by. She says: "Communicate with them. Let them know where you're at and your goals. They will really help you out with opportunities." If she could give advice to herself before coming to WSU, she would tell herself to not put too much pressure on herself, enjoy each challenge, and step out of your social-anxiety bubble. She says: "Don't overthink it! You got it! You CAN succeed!"

image: Angel's cap and gown

Angel does not know what the future holds for herself, she hopes for a job in a great firm designing interiors and creating hands-on designs. She would like to travel to Greece one day and possibly furthering her education with a master's degree. No matter where she goes, or what she does, she can look back at her time at WSU and know that she did it surrounded by a great community who want only the best for her. She is very happy that she was able to leave a piece of herself on campus for future students to enjoy. SHE WAS HERE!

The Art Department wishes to thank Kalianne Lewis, BA English W'20, for interviewing Angel for this article.

For more graduation celebrations, visit the Art Department Facebook and Instagram pages over the coming weeks! If you are graduating this Winter or Sp/Su 2020 semester and would like to participate, email Art Department Academic Advisor Avanti Herczeg at