Dylan Bauer (BFA '21) learned that courses are only one facet of your university experience. He will graduate this spring with a Bachelor of Fine Arts as a multidisciplinary student. From working on numerous theatre productions, to playing in the jazz ensemble, his talent shone through.

What is your most memorable uLethbridge experience?
I was the sound board operator for the University's 2018 production of She Kills Monsters. Halfway through one of our shows a vital piece of sound equipment died, which resulted in some great improvisation by the actors as they had to manage the rest of the show with no sound effects, while backstage we tried our best to get something up and running. It was a real testament to the unpredictability of theatre and how we can adapt even when things go wrong.

What is the most important lesson you learned during your time in the Faculty of Fine Arts at uLethbridge?
Something that I've learned is that the courses are only one facet of your experience here. Getting involved with the university community in other ways and developing relationships with your peers, staff, and faculty enriches your experience here and makes it all the more meaningful. It's those long term relationships that you develop that will have the greatest impact on you.

Is there someone specific who had an important influence on your uLethbridge experience?
U of L Jazz ensemble director and music instructor, Dr. Josh Davies is wonderful. He welcomed me into the jazz ensemble despite my relative lack of experience. He saw that I had potential and encouraged me and helped me to feel welcome, and in return I was able to commit myself to improving my musical abilities. He gave me a great opportunity to get involved with the music side of fine arts, and I truly enjoyed my time as part of the ensemble.

What are your hopes/plans for the future?
I don't have too solid of a plan, enough to know how to support myself for the foreseeable future. Since life is rarely straightforward I figure that something unexpected will surely come along and shape my life, I just have to be ready for it. But I hope to find a job that I can enjoy coming back to every day, and to be able to live a comfortable live surrounded by supportive and caring friends and family.

What does the Gold Medal in Fine Arts recognition mean to you?
Simply being nominated for this award was incredible, so to be the recipient is a huge honour. To me it is a recognition of the effort that I have put in over the past five years, both into my academic studies and into the variety of other endeavours I have pursued. I have gone through a number of challenges, from dealing with burnout to the transition to online learning, but throughout it all I was able to maintain the high academic standards that I hold myself to, and this award is an acknowledgement of that.

What advice would you give to those who are about to begin their journey at uLethbridge?
Put yourself out there right away, don't wait until your later years here. Get involved in anything that piques your interest as early as you can; some things may take you places you'd never expect. Even those that turn out to not be your thing are valuable by teaching you more about yourself, and every experience you have might result in relationships you wouldn't have gained otherwise. But also make sure to take time for yourself too, and avoid overextending yourself too much. Burning yourself out won't help you or anyone else.