Incoming 2017: Part Two

POSTED ON: August 29, 2017

This is the second of our three-part series where Cooper's newest students tell us where they came from, how they found Cooper Union, what they are looking forward to doing here and what they have been up to during the summer. See part one.

Vyczie Dorado-LopezVyczie Dorado-Lopez
Texas, Florida and "all over"

My mother was an artist and I always idolized the work she produced so she was a heavy influence on me before she passed away. When she was alive, I would show her my work and she would never be the type of mom that said, "Oh this is wonderful! up on the fridge it goes!" Instead she would give me technique advice, show me how I could improve and grow and really shaped me at such a young age.

I found The Cooper Union School of Art at a college portfolio day and out of all the colleges I saw that day, they were the only ones to take my art portfolio and say "we would NOT accept this into our school" to about half of my overall best work. And I loved that so much! They provided a challenge for me from the beginning that stood out from the other schools and ultimately made me choose them.

I'm looking forward to hearing from the other artists there and their perspectives as well as seeing the work produced. The objectives for the application alone was very rigorous and imaginative so seeing how these other artists manage and create is really exciting.

Over the summer, I've just been creating works and practicing my skills to make sure I'm ready for the school year ahead of me. I've also been looking for gallery and show opportunities in New York that I'll try to jump on when I get there.

Chris MignanoChris Mignano
Mechanical Engineering
Staten Island, New York

For as long as I can remember, I have always wanted to be an inventor. My dad has worked in car sales my entire life, and so from a young age I’ve always been interested in learning how things work while thinking about ways to optimize them. Over time, I’ve realized that an education in engineering would allow me to cultivate my love of problem solving, give me the knowledge and drive to innovate, and empower me to do what I’ve always wanted to do: invent, serve others, and turn my love of science into a career.

From the moment I toured the school for the first time, I knew Cooper was the place for me. Walking through the engineering floors, I was excited to see that the labs were full of resources readily available to students. I had looked at several engineering schools, but none opened my eyes to the world of engineering like Cooper has.

I’m looking forward to being a part of the tight knit community at Cooper and working closely with other people who love the same things I do. I also can’t wait to be a part of the motorsports team and finally get some hands-on experience creating as opposed to consuming.

This summer I’ve been taking a break from working to relax and spend time with family and friends. I’ve also been training on a quasi-American Ninja Warrior obstacle course I built in my backyard.

Sanjana LahiriSanjana Lahiri
Singapore via India

My favorite subjects in school were always art, physics, and math. Combining those with my love of design meant that architecture was a natural choice. I've also been influenced by living in Singapore, because the city itself is an amazing mix of skyscrapers, shophouses, colonial buildings, and everything in between.

I chose to attend Cooper because I like how specialized it is, and so you know that everyone who attends shares a genuine passion for their subject. I also like that it's a small school, which makes it easy to get to know everyone

I'm really looking forward to studying in New York City's enriching environment, through which I'll undoubtedly grow as both a designer and a person. Living halfway across the world from my hometown will definitely be an exciting experience as well!

This summer, apart from writing college-related articles for Fresh U and tutoring math and physics, I'm completing a series of on-site architectural sketches to hone my drawing skills. Most importantly, however, I'm spending time with friends and family before I leave for the US. I also dyed my hair blue!

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.