2021 graduating employee

By Life@TheU

2021 graduating employee

By Life@TheU

Lorena Lopez Hechavarria

What is your current role and department at UM?
I am a communications specialist for University Communications as well as a lecturer in the School of Communication.

What degree will you be receiving at graduation?
I will be graduating with a Masters of Fine Art in interactive media from the School of Communication.

How long have you been at the University?
I started at the University in October of 2018, so I am coming up on my third year at the U.

What were some highlights of your time as a student and employee? 
I think being able to see the University through different lenses has been one of the most rewarding parts of my experience. In my time here, I have been able to work, teach, and learn because of the various roles I’ve played, and they have allowed me to meet so many wonderful individuals. From my colleagues to cohorts, and most recently my own students, the UM community has been so welcoming. And being able to interact with such a diverse group of people has definitely been a highlight of my experience.

What is a favorite UM memory? 
My first year at the University I was selected to travel with the School of Communication to Washington D.C. for the ACCelerate: Creativity and Innovation Festival at the Smithsonian Museum of American History to showcase our Top Suits project. Our team spent the weekend helping to demonstrate the augmented reality experience to many of the 50,000 museum guests in attendance that weekend. We interacted with more than 400 innovators from institutions around the country. What made it such a great memory was that I was also able to  report on the event for our news team at University Communications, and I got to write about the projects showcased by the Frost School of Music and the School of Nursing and Health Studies.

Have you received any awards, honors, or special achievements? 
A personal achievement will definitely be graduating with a 4.0 GPA, particularly after working full time and teaching during my last two semesters. I also received the award for Best Virtual Experience during the 2019 Interactive Media Showcase for my project, Feeling Antiquity. Additionally, I received one of the UM XR Student Competition grants for my capstone project, Beyond the Frame.

Please share advice for employees looking to go back to school.
If you’ve found a program that truly excites you, inspires you, or just resonates with you, then do it! You have access to such wonderful resources and minds at the University. If going back for that first, second, or even third degree is something you’ve considered, then there is no time like the present to get started!

Learn about other 2021 graduating employees.