By Taylor Viles – Sports Editor
There are multiple ways to complete the college experience. Senior Fashion Media and Marketing major Madison Griffin chose to dive into the Lasell community by participating in extracurriculars and becoming an on-campus leader, giving her a feeling of accomplishment for when she graduates in a couple of weeks.
All Griffin knew when she came to Lasell was she wanted to do “something with fashion,” she said. “I knew that I was getting a full, well-rounded education with professors who cared about me.”
One of those professors is Assistant Professor of Art and Graphic Design Deborah Baldizar, who Griffin dubs, “[her] favorite woman to ever exist.” The two met in Griffin’s first-year seminar class, “The Spark of Creativity.” She is also the faculty advisor for “Empty Bowls,” a club aiming to raise money and awareness for the hungry by making ceramic bowls. Griffin joined the club as a first-year because she “wanted to do something with people who actually cared so selflessly about an important mission.”
Through her passion for Empty Bowls, Griffin became the leader she never knew she could be. As a sophomore, she was given an e-board position and began taking on more responsibility. “She is the epitome of prepared, organized, and professional,” Baldizar said of Griffin, who has since become Empty Bowls’ Co-President. “I feel like she has this wisdom beyond her years.”
By the end of her sophomore year, Griffin realized something that was making her on-campus lifestyle uncomfortable. She felt she wasn’t making friends who supported her, and the situations she was experiencing with them led to further discomfort. Griffin says overcoming this was difficult, but she was given the perfect “out” by traveling abroad to Florence, Italy at the beginning of her junior year.
“Studying abroad is one of the main reasons that I went to college in the first place,” she said. Griffin’s experience allowed her to let go of the treacherous routine back at Lasell and focus on herself. She was able to travel to 10 countries before returning home.
She began commuting during the spring 2020 semester but soon moved fully online as the whole university did in March. Griffin has been online this school year. “I have been able to feel more involved in my own element than I was at school,” she said.
Making those tough decisions is something her advisor, School of Fashion Dean Kathleen Potter, says is one of Griffin’s strongest attributes. “[She always] carves the best path forward for herself,” said Potter.
Associate Professor of Journalism Marie Franklin has also observed how Griffin sets herself apart. Franklin has taught the senior in two classes and says she shows leadership and maturity even behind the computer screen. “I’ve been very impressed with her ability to take constructive feedback positively, and…improve her work as a result of it,” said Franklin. “Madison wants things to be as good as they can be.”
From home, Griffin has been able to co-lead the recent Empty Bowls event as well as the upcoming all-virtual fashion shows taking place May 7 and 8.
She says her achievement during the Empty Bowls event is one of the most impressive things she’s ever done. The virtual event included a live auction Griffin was in charge of. “Throughout the event, anytime someone bid on a bowl, I had to update the website continuously which was super stressful. But somehow I did it.”
On May 15, Griffin will graduate with her Bachelor’s degree but won’t be attending commencement in person. Instead, she is moving to North Carolina for the summer where she will intern for a summer camp as a media specialist. “I don’t know where life is going to take me after that,” she said. Griffin has become skilled at social media and hopes to, someday, make a livable wage working from her phone.
Reflecting back, Griffin is satisfied with her personal growth and is grateful Lasell allowed her conditions to thrive. “I feel like I’ve just changed so much,” she said. “I’ve really become someone who I like to be and I’m proud to be.”