Engaging Minds, Transforming Lives

Senior Stories

Kim Dembrosky

Kim Dembrosky, a studio art major, was a registered ER nurse, a bartender, and a guitarist in a heavy metal band before coming to Southwestern. She describes herself as creative, spontaneous and controversial and says her Southwestern Experience was “thought-provoking, mind-expanding, and life-changing.”

What is your biggest take-away from SU?  
That the world is so much bigger and beautifully complex than I ever thought it was. And that having a “real education” changes everything

What are you most proud of about your time at SU?  
I am proud of how much my artwork and my writing skills have improved.

What do you know now that you didn’t when you arrived?  
When I started at SU, I didn’t know the first thing about China. But after taking a required Chinese art history class taught by Dr. Allison Miller, assistant professor of art history, and meeting my friend Yinlin, I became absolutely fascinated.  

Why did you choose to come SU?  
My brother is an alumnus, and SU has an excellent reputation among the doctors and other professionals I’ve worked with.  I knew Southwestern would prepare me for anything.

Best advice a professor gave you?  
I’ll never forget my political science professor, Dr. Tim O’Neill, saying, “Don’t be afraid to specialize!” This was important to me; deciding to choose one thing and dig deeper meant that I could have a richer experience, and work toward becoming an expert at something.

What would people be surprised to learn?  
How much work goes into being an artist. There’s this romantic idea of wearing a beret and standing at the easel, painting your next masterpiece, but there’s so much more to it! 

What did we miss?
I have to mention the ceramics classes I took with Patrick Veerkamp, professor of art. His enthusiasm, encouragement and sense of humor kept me going. I found that if I could just get into the studio and work with the clay for a few hours, I would find my center and leave feeling relaxed.  

After graduation, Kim participated in a “humanistic monastic life program” at Shengshou Monastery in Wenzhou, China. Also, her artwork was exhibited in a show at the Art.Science Gallery in Austin and a show at the Museum of Geometric and MADI Art in Dallas. She plans to go to graduate school.