Sendai City, Japan
B.S. Graphic Design, Magna Cum Laude
Commencement Speaker, December 2010 Ceremony. Named to 2010 "Who's Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges."
(excerpts from Ms. Sakaba's address)
"I can still remember how nervous, anxious, and excited I was to begin my journey at Edgewood College four and a half years ago. Coming from Japan, I had no idea what college life in Madison, Wisconsin was going to be like. All I knew was I wanted to be academically successful. However, it's as I leave Edgewood College and look back on my time here, that I realize that in addition to growing academically, I have grown in so many other ways.
"Among all of the passionate professors that I have taken classes with, John Fields, the chair of Philosophy department helped me develop my critical thinking skills. I really appreciate his enthusiasm and his on-the-spot examples that he comes up with in class. I found myself not only applying the critical thinking skills that I learned from him to all my other classes, but also these skills guided me to become a better artist.
"In order to create Art that is not just pretty, but also tells a message or evokes various feelings, you need to take multiple perspectives and integrate them into a coherent point of view. My academic advisor, Alan Luft, was always there for me to assist me by finding ways to accomplish what I want to express through photography, and to challenge me to grow as an artist.
"One of the most memorable experiences I've had while at Edgewood College was the opportunity to study abroad in Rome. It has long been my dream to see Italy. Through the courses and trips that Professor Frank Casale organized, my classmates and I not only learned the Italian language, but also what it was like to live in an authentic Italian culture. In addition to the life experiences I gained while abroad, I was able to explore my Human Issues Independent Study on environmental issues in Rome in much greater depth than I could have ever dreamed. With the help and support of my advisors and contacts abroad, the end result was a successful photo exhibition.
"I've been given the opportunity to grow in all of the ways that I could hope for: academically, as an individual, as an artist, and a member of a community. In fact, it is the culmination of all of these people and events that have truly made my life here unforgettable. Even though I'm going back to Japan to start a new passage of my life, I will continue to build on the foundation of what I've learned here at Edgewood College. As I try to sum up my experience here, I offer these words to all of us as graduates. 'Let us keep our eyes wide open for new encounters and opportunities, and make the most of wherever our lives take us.'"