Seniors graduate with majors through individualized program

Individualized Majors Program students said their time with IMP has been both challenging and worthwhile.

Students in IMP must create their own curriculum, go through an admissions interview and, at the end of their senior year, do a project that culminates everything they have worked toward.

“It has been a great experience overall, but it has not been easy,” said graduating senior Jennifer Queen, who majored in applied health and social science of sexuality. “I enjoyed the challenge it presented me with. I created the program start to finish, which is a daunting task for a sophomore, but I never had an experience like, ‘Oh, I have to take this class.’ I had the privilege of taking classes I want to take.”

The seniors develop grandiose projects that seem overwhelming at first, but in the end get accomplished.

Graduating senior Charles Hylor Ott V, a musical theater/fashion and costume design major, presented a fashion show as one of his senior projects.

The fashion show was created to show how garments today can be traced back to earlier times and to show how trends resurface throughout time, Ott said.

Ott designed historical costumes that were reminiscent of the Elizabethan, late Georgian, antebellum and late Victorian periods for both men and women.
He then created male and female contemporary pieces inspired by each of these periods. Altogether, Ott created 27 ensembles.

“He really exceeded expectations,” said Linda Pisano, Ott’s sponsor and assistant professor of costume design, theater and drama. “The artistry of his garments were really spectacular. It was hard for him, but he did very well.”

Graduating senior David Klein, who majored in game design, created a break-dancing game for his final project.

“This major was more helpful in getting jobs in video gaming because you need a portfolio,” Klein said. “The project gave me a head start at getting a job in the first place.”

Klein also received a computer science major. But he said he found the game design major more helpful for his future career.

“For the computer science major, you take a bunch of classes, but for game design you are independent, and you are doing real work,” Klein said.

Many students and parents wonder how IMP will be useful when it comes to students’ futures, but most IMP participants find it particularly helpful for whatever they plan on

“It helps a good deal for someone who is interested in graduate school,” said Ray Hedin, IMP director. “The very fact that it is unusual makes someone stand out.”

Many students form bonds with their sponsors, the IU faculty members who oversee one or more students throughout their IMP careers, and they develop close relationships throughout college.

“I’m better from having the experience of working with them, and I hope to continue working with them in the future,” Ott said, of his sponsors.

Pisano said it is difficult to say goodbye to students she has seen flourish academically throughout college.

“You don’t want to see them go, but you want to see what they do,” Pisano said. “It’s like parenting – seeing them go out into the world is bittersweet. You still want to help, but you know they’re ready to go out there.”

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