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Anne Kong, Visual Presentation and Exhibition Design Faculty

I was freelancing very actively before becoming a tenured professor. I was thinking about my futuremy family and my career—and it was tough to enter academia full-time. But it was the best thing I've ever done. I've never felt more alive and inspired.

I don't know what I would do without the frenzied last moments of the senior show or the night before an installation. Some people find it frightening when 25 displays are hanging 36 feet from the ceiling with lighting and motors and smoke machines, but I love that buzz. On a smaller scale, when 25 projects are due at the same time, that's a buzz too, a great surge of creative energy.

Our classroom becomes a think tank with 25 ideas utilizing all these different materials and design solutions. Each project acts as a three-dimensional textbook for the other 24 students looking at the 25th student's work. And seeing the evolution of all of those projects is really a beautiful experience for our students. Those are the most exciting times—when you make it happen, when you cross the finish line.