Spotlight

Spotlight: Roya Mahdavi Movahed

Roya Mahdavi Movahed is a Greenhouse Studios SFA Graduate Research Assistant.


My name is Roya Mahdavi Movahed and I am pursuing a Master of Fine Arts in Digital Media & Design.  I have been in the field of visual communications for several years working as a visual designer and multimedia specialist.  Before coming to Greenhouse Studios, I worked for five years in multimedia and worked for two years as a visual designer for a prominent telecommunication company in Iran, called MTNIrancell. In 2013, I was awarded first place at the Iranian Visual Arts Festival.

My research focuses on the impact of motion and static visual elements on social media.  During my time at UConn, I will be focusing on User Experience Design and examining the aesthetic, psychological, and sociological aspects of digital product design.  I am a highly motivated, creative, and conscientious professional who is eager to learn the principles of digital arts, so I am able to achieve more effective methods of communication.  My personal passion as designer is to enhance visual literacy by creating effective designs.

Can’t find me at Greenhouse Studios? I’m at the gym!

Spotlight: Jin Liu

Jin Liu is a Greenhouse Studios SFA Graduate Research Assistant.


My name is Jin Liu and I’m a first year DMD graduate student from China.  I’m pursuing a Master of Fine Arts in Digital Media & Design with a concentration in Game Design. Before attending UConn, I went to Beijing Film Academy in China and graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Digital Media Art. There, I was a vice minister of the Rights and Interests Department in the Student Union. I was responsible for planning a number of university-level activities, and participated in the design of the university’s online lost-and-found system.  I’m looking forward to joining the fencing club and Rainbow Center.

As an international student in the United States, I look forward to the collision of cultures and new adventures.  It is my hope that I can explore different ways of thinking and various ways to solve problems.  I’m looking forward to working with people from other majors to create wonderful works.  It is my goal to help generate creative ideas and offer practical help for Greenhouse Studios projects, as well as collaborate with my colleagues, learning from each other’s strengths.

While I like to participate in various activities, I also enjoy time alone.  I am still young, so I have plenty of time to try new and interesting things, while exploring the wonderful connection between people.

To see some of my work, visit my website or visit my youtube channel.

Spotlight: Lauren Harland

Lauren Harland is a Greenhouse Studios Undergraduate Research Assistant.


Lauren HarlandMy name is Lauren Harland and I am a sophomore undergraduate student at the University of Connecticut. I am pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Digital Media & Design with a concentration in Business Strategies. Before attending UConn, I went to Averill Park High School just outside of Albany, NY. There, I was an editor of the school newspaper, the vice president of my class, and heavily involved in the art department. In my first year at UConn I joined the marketing team for UConn’s Human Rights Symposium. Next semester, I hope to join the American Sign Language and Paws & Claws clubs. Continue reading

Spotlight: Alyssa McDonald

Alyssa McDonald is a Greenhouse Studios SFA Graduate Research Assistant.


My Name is Alyssa McDonald and I am a first-year graduate Student at the University of Connecticut.  I am pursuing a Master of Fine Arts in Digital Media and Design.  Before attending UConn, I received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Massachusetts College of Art and Design and worked in the fine art photography industry for four years.
Continue reading

Spotlight: Kenia Rodriguez

Kenia Rodriguez is a Greenhouse Studios CLAS Graduate Fellow


My name is Kenia Rodriguez and I am a second year MA/PhD track student in English at the University of Connecticut (UConn). In May 2019, I earned my  Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from California State University, Northridge. I am an HSI Pathways/Mellon Student Fellow who hopes to become a professor of children’s literature. I am a first generation college student and the first member of my entire family tree to pursue a graduate education. My research interests stem from my adolescent experiences with young adult literature (YA) and include contemporary American YA literature written by Latina authors, as well as relationships among gender, race, and citizenship.

Continue reading

Spotlight: Lauren Cronan

Lauren Cronan is a Greenhouse Studios SFA Graduate Research Assistant.


My name is Lauren Cronan and I am a first-year graduate student at the University of Connecticut. I’m pursuing a Master of Fine Arts in Digital Media and Design with a focus on digital culture, learning & advocacy. Before relocating to Hartford, I contributed service, design, programming and instruction in academic and public libraries in Richmond, Virginia. I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography & Filmmaking from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCUarts).

Continue reading

Spotlight: Luisa Fernanda Arrieta Fernandez

Luisa Fernanda Arrieta Fernandez is a Greenhouse Studios CLAS Graduate Fellow


Luisa ArrietaI’ve always liked museums. But not in the contemplative way most of you might imagine. I like museums in the way a child likes his favorite truck; she looks at it, touches it owning every part of it, and pulls it apart over and over again. I like to separate every part of a museum understanding the ways it represents everything and everyone, except people who look like me. I am an Afro-Colombian woman, born and raised in the Caribbean city of Cartagena, port of entry of the slave trade in Hispanic America. Therefore, my relationship with museums and my research about them are influenced by national and global structures of power that establish a hierarchy of humanity based on race.

Continue reading

Spotlight: Wenchao Lou

Wenchao Lou is a Greenhouse Studios SFA Graduate Research Assistant


I am very happy to be able to work with professors and students in Greenhouse Studios. I also learned a lot during this year. In my first year at Greenhouse Studios, I was involved in Overrated’s board game design by designing cards and tokens, and using laser cutting to create tokens and cards from cardboard and wood, which will greatly increase the interest of game players. I also worked to continuously improve and update the game rules during playtesting. One goal of the game is to let players get together, and starting discussions to help them better understand each other. 

Continue reading

River Soma Brings to Life Our Design Process Model

When you walk into the Greenhouse Studios space, you are greeted by a giant hand-painted mural of our design process model. As your eyes follow the flexible path and big colorful circles which represent the phases of our process, you are transported to a world of inquiry, collaboration, innovation, and creativity. River Soma, one of our graduate assistants and a UConn Studio Art MFA candidate with a concentration in sculpture, is the mastermind of the work of art. River has been working with Greenhouse Studios since the beginning of the Fall 2017 semester and has been a fantastic addition to the studio- her curiosity and artistry has proven to be valuable assets. She is the curator of the current art exhibition in our space, which previews the works of the third-year MFA Studio Art students. The works of art really light up the space, just like River’s positive charisma! Read the following interview questions below to learn more about River Soma and the design process model mural she painted.

River Soma - Joseph Rodefer DeCamp

River Soma (Left) juxtaposed next to her famous work of art look alike

Read More