Getting here:

My elementary school teacher in Carbondale, Colorado, Julianna Lichatz, graduated from COA, class of ’90 (small world). She told me about COA when I was in high school and since I was interested in studying a lot of different things and not at all looking forward to the idea of picking a major, human ecology sounded magical: I was stoked by the prospect of getting to explore whatever I wanted for four whole years.

Favorite class:

Objects and Performance! Co-taught by Nancy Andrews and Jodi Baker, this class is an exploration of performance art. You are making performances every class and exploring super cool artists and art movements. I have never had so much fun doing research and devising creative work!

My approach to human ecology:

“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” — Howard Thurman


I spent 3 months working for an amazing little regional theatre in Telluride, Colorado The cool thing about working for a small theatre company is you get to try your hand at lots of different things; I promoted shows, stage managed, fund raised, sold concessions, assembled props and costumes, and performed in productions!

Senior project:

Here at COA, my studies have continually revolved around theater and performance art. I have found performance to be both a creative and practical vehicle for exploration of everything from psychology, feminist theory, and postcolonial studies, to botany, politics, entertainment, and self-expression. When it came round to deciding on the nature of my senior project, it seemed only natural that it should be performative.

Continuing my research of contemporary performance and exploration of my personal artistic process, I am devising a performance piece that takes the shape of an interactive museum exhibit and audio tour. The piece brings to life a body of research on the neurophysiology of emotions conducted in the 1960s and 70s and documented in the book Sentics: The Touch of Emotions by Dr. Manfred Clynes, the largely overlooked concert pianist cum physiologist, neuroscientist, and biocybernetics pioneer whose contributions to science also included the discovery of the biologic law of unidirectional rate sensitivity, the invention of the Computer of Average Transients (CAT), and the coinage of the term cyborg.

The piece also serves me as a means to investigate questions about how commentary (both audio and visual) shapes the audience’s experience of the visual/physical content of an intentional space such as a museum/gallery, and experiment with making audience active or complicit participants in my work.

Life on Mount Desert Island:

- Walking everywhere! In my four years here I have never had a car, but everything from groceries to hikes is within walking distance!

- The gentle sound of sea slush on icy winter days might be one of the most magical sounds in the entire world.

Activities, traditions, celebrations:

 - night swimming with the bioluminescence in September

- taking naps on sunny windowsills in the Thorndike Library

- salad from tab for lunch

Passions & motivations:

Theatre, eating food, performance art, tasty food, sunny days, gnomes, radical acts of kindness, compost, sleep, the carbon cycle, making people laugh, cats, also food.

Adventures yet to come:

Practicing radical quotidianism. I’m gonna make it a thing, you’ll see.

Best meal on campus:

Dhal and jasmine rice! But most everything is stellar!

COA might be the right college for you if...

you are interested in lots of different things and the idea of picking just one major freaks you out.


I grew up in the Colorado Rockies where we refer to ‘mountains’ under 9,000 ft. (approx. 3,000-4,000 feet above the plains) as ‘the foothills.’ I was incredibly confused my first week at COA because people kept talking about hiking mountains in Acadia, and I was like “where are these mountains everyone keeps talking about?” Apparently ‘mountain’ is a relative term.

Which came first, the chicken or the egg?