Meet Grace Beno ’21
Our Standout Student for Fall 2020

Major: Studio art
Graduation date: May 2021
GPA: 3.52
Hometown: Green Bay, Wis.

Organizations and activities: 
  • No Nonsense social group
  • The Equality Project
  • Volunteer work on campus involving screen-printing
  • Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF)

Scholarships and awards: 
  • Presidential Scholarship
  • St. Norbert College Grant
  • Wisconsin Grant

St. Norbert gives students the opportunity to experience the richness of college life, pursue their dreams and expand their knowledge.

Proudest achievement at St. Norbert:
In summer 2019, I got accepted into SURF, the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship. It was me and 10 or 11 other students, and we all became really good friends. We all proposed a research project, and I was the only one who proposed an art project. I was paid a typical wage for two months in the summer to research and study and make art the whole time. I ended up getting to make my own little comic book — I have a physical copy of it in the library. It’s just really cool that I was able to propose a project, get the money for it and be a part of that program. That’s my proudest accomplishment since I’ve been here: I was able to get into the program and I was able to create something that I’m really proud of.

What I learned from that experience:
It was my first experience being paid consistently as an artist. I learned a lot about what it would be like to be a full-time artist and get paid for it, and I learned about what works for me. The first two or three weeks I was trying to get my bearings, find my footholds and figure out how conducting research worked for me. Once I finally got those footholds, I had a clear path of how to go about things for the rest of the summer. I really learned how to be an artist as a job. I think that’s really important to do before you graduate and go out to work in art.

How St. Norbert has impacted me:
Because this campus is smaller and a liberal arts college, there are more individualized opportunities here. Being in the art department, there’s only a handful of majors that are in each graduating class, so I have been able to be singled out and given opportunities so many times. I’m able to work for Katie Ries or work with other art professors in the art department, have opportunities given to me, show my work and be recognized as an individual in the eyes of the college. I feel like that would be a lot more difficult at a bigger school or an art school where everyone is trying to do what I’m trying to do.

What will you remember most about SNC?
I’m really going to remember the opportunities that they give to all students in all departments. There are so many really intelligent, skilled, experienced professors here. I love that they’re able to focus on individual students and really give them a lot of opportunities. That’s been very valuable to me. I love that we’re able to have small classes where professors can focus on everybody.

And the campus is very lovely. I’m always going to remember being around all these trees and being by the river. I’m spoiled by this campus. I’ll remember the wonderful atmosphere that it has overall: the combination of being within nature and within a part of town.

What my scholarships mean to me:
The scholarships mean I was able to come to this really lovely, higher-quality, better-education, better-everything school. The scholarships mean I didn’t have to commute, and I’m able to immerse myself better and just really experience the campus more by living here. Being able to live here made me feel more at home and part of this college community. It means I was able get the full experience and not break my family’s bank.