May 6, 2021 WSU Tri-Cities student Kyle Kopta named WSU Top Ten Senior
- College of Arts and Sciences
- Digital technology and culture
- WSU Tri-Cities
- Hermiston, Oregon
Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society; President’s Honors List, summa cum laude; ASWUTC Perseverance Award; Douglas P. Gast Fine Arts Scholarship; member, committee of the Washington State Arts Commission overseeing the Washington State Art Collection; graphic designer for ASWSUTC; marketing intern for WSU Tri-Cities; teacher’s assistant and tutor in the digital technology and culture program; host of biweekly community radio show; and WSU Tri-Cities Student Employee of the Year for the 2020-2021 academic year
FAVORITE WSU EXPERIENCE
The WSU Tri-Cities Undergraduate Research Symposium and Art Exhibition is held at the end of each semester. What stands out most to me is really those shows. Our students are making just incredible work. I helped put it on when we were in-person. Being able to showcase their work and my work is always the most fun event. I’m currently 3D modeling a space for us so we can hold it virtually this semester. I’m doing it in my free time; I’m not doing it paid or part of any job. It’s something I know how to do and can donate. It’s just so important for students to have this kind of culmination for all their hard work. They create all this amazing work, and they have to be able to somehow show it.
WSU Tri-Cities also has a lot of mentors who helped me navigate the higher education world and the art world. I grew up in a rural area. There were zero galleries. Neither of my parents graduated from college, but they have been so supportive of my journey in higher education. I couldn’t have done it without them and my professors, who helped me succeed inside and outside the classroom. I think art in general has been a vehicle for self-growth in my professional, personal, and academic life. Through video, photography, and painting, I can learn about myself and my community and how I fit into it and I can help other people. Sometimes the things you don’t expect can end up having the most impact and being the most rewarding. Limitation can breed innovation.
I’ve really found a love for marketing. It’s not something I expected to love as much as I do. I came to WSU Tri-Cities putting myself in a box, saying, “I’m going to become a videographer or graphic designer,” but I’ve been awarded so many opportunities to collaborate with so many different WSU departments that I’ve found I have a real love for creating things for the community with other people. My plan now is to get a marketing job. I contemplated whether I should move to a bigger city or stay local, and I think I’ve kind of settled on staying local because it’s really important to me to foster this small but tight-knit arts community. I really want to contribute to the Tri-Cities community what I wish I had growing up in Hermiston.