With the dream of one day working for Disney or Pixar, or perhaps creating illustrations for Marvel or Dark Horse comics, Bradley Gradneigo '14 of Pittsfield, Mass., is combining his love of art with his interest in computer science on his way to a career in computer animation or illustration.
A recent graduate of the Florida School of the Arts, Gradneigo decided to check out MCLA at the urging of his brother. "I wanted something new, different and challenging, too, so I ended up signing up for college a week later. ...MCLA is surrounded by a great art community, so it is a perfect place to check out and get into the art scene."
A double major in art and computer science, Gradneigo believes his involvement with art helps him to look a different ways of computer programming.
"The art and computer departments are very nice and helpful," he said. "I like the teachers I've met from both departments. The classes and the professors meet my needs. They are helpful and answer any questions I have and point me in the right direction when they can't answer them. They help me excel and push myself."
Campus life is new to Gradneigo. He has enjoyed meeting his housemates and their families. The best part of being an MCLA student, he said, is meeting and getting to know other students - especially those who may be different than he is - as well as co-workers and teachers.
"Overall it has been a good experience," Gradneigo said.
The Freel Library is his favorite place to hang out. And, "I love to draw so anyone that knows me usually sees me with a pencil in my hand, depending on the time of day. The social life is good; it all depends on what people are into, and finding those who share the same interests."
Gradneigo is a member of the BGLAD club on campus, and plans to join other groups this year.
"BGLAD changes a person's perspective on the topics that surround the BGLAD community, and opens a person to others' opinions," he explained.
Recently Gradneigo was honored by "Lift Ev'ry Voice" and ThinkLarge.org as one of the first recipients of the Lift Ev'ry Voice Pearl Fryar Scholarship, offered to encourage an enrolled or recently accepted MCLA student to dream larger than their previous academic success.
At MCLA, "I am a little more outgoing and relaxed with who I am now," Gradneigo said. "I didn't think I would be doing this well at a college like this. I've learn to adapt and challenge myself more - as far as my classes and as a person, overall."
He added, "The scholarship will help me to go farther in my education at MCLA. I am getting better at what I do, and what makes me passionate is what I am here for. Having the 'Lift Every Voice' award on my resume is showing me how hard work pays off when you buckle down and try your hardest. I earnestly appreciate the committee for giving me this award."