Mentorship & Advising
Mentorship is a central component of the academic and creative experience at SMFA.
In addition to your academic advisors, faculty and staff are here to help instruct, influence, and collaborate in the development of your professional practice and academic experience. This may come in the form of critiques with faculty, studio managers who help you learn how to use new tools and methods, or curatorial staff who help you prepare for an exhibition. Your classmates and peers will also play an important role in both supporting you and pushing you further.
The Academic Advising Team at SMFA at Tufts works in partnership with the faculty to support you throughout your studies. Advisors help you track degree requirements, assist with course selection, and connect you to faculty and staff who will be important to both your artistic and academic development.
Students enrolled in a BFA degree program have two members on their Advising Team on site at SMFA: an Academic Resource Advisor, Tobias Bennett, and an Advising Dean, Leah Gadd. BFA students may meet with both advisors interchangeably throughout their academic careers.
In addition to providing students with guidance on course selection and degree requirements, the BFA Advising Team also advises students on study abroad and exchange opportunities, and helps with personal leaves of absence.
Combined Degree Advising
Students in the Combined Degree Program meet with both the BFA Advising Team as well as an advising dean who specializes our the BA/BS programs, Dean Robin Olinsky. In addition, once Combined Degree students declare their BA/BS major, they will select a faculty advisor within their major.
Graduate students are required to meet with their graduate faculty advisor at least four times a semester to discuss the progress of their current work. Students must also meet with their academic advisor at least once each semester for guidance in selecting studio and liberal arts courses that are most appropriate to their path of study.
In addition to your faculty and academic advisors, the range of informal mentorship opportunities is abundant. This may come in the form of critiques with faculty members outside of the graduate faculty cohort, studio managers helping facilitate the teaching of specific tools and methods of making, or curatorial staff helping prepare for the MFA Thesis Exhibition.
MFA students will meet with the Associate Director of the MFA program, Lisa Bynoe, to discuss course selection, degree requirements, and to prepare for their final theses throughout the program.
Post-Bacc students will meet with Karmimadeebora McMillan, to discuss which courses will best support their artistic goals.
Our job is to help our students discover what interests them and to find what's available at Tufts to help them soar as individuals who are committed to making a contribution to the world by doing work they believe in.
Mentorship supports artists in growing and developing their individual practice by posing questions, providing guidance, and pushing the boundaries of the way they think and approach their studio practice. Mentorship provides a constructive and critical dialogue about the work within a larger cultural context, helping artists understand their own practice and location within contemporary art making and society at large.
My personal approach to mentorship focuses on empowering students to feel confident in their own decision making, encouraging students to take ownership and responsibility for the work they make and their role in the world. I am interested in helping each individual cultivate curiosity, risk-taking, and experimentation within all of their intellectual endeavors.