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Students in field

Ceramics Major, Ramona Kuhn, named 2021 Student Representative

April 9, 2021

With graduation less than a month away, the Class of 2021 Student Representative, Ramona Kuhn, caught up with host Olivia Myers to talk about her time at Finlandia.

Kuhn, originally from St. Cloud, Minn. will be earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Ceramics. Kuhn can remember the exact moment she realized she wanted to pursue a career in art.

“I remember the first time when I touched clay and took a clay workshop as a kid was when I was eight, and I got to throw on the wheel and I was hooked,” said Kuhn. “I absolutely loved it. And from then on my love for it has grown. I’ve branched off and explored other mediums and have strengthened my proficiency in other areas because it’s a value of mine to be a well-rounded artist.”

She learned about Finlandia after a chance encounter with President Philip Johnson and Dr. René Johnson at a birthday party.

“René and PJ sat down and asked me what I wanted to do and I told them art and they told me about Finlandia,” said Kuhn. “Finlandia appealed to me because of the small class sizes and the Tanzania trip Rene does most summers because I went on a mission trip in high school and thought that opportunity would be great.”

Thanks to her connection with Dr. Johnson, Kuhn was able to immediately move into the Koskela Servant Leadership House her freshman year, where she’s lived her entire college career and been an active member of the campus community and participated in multiple service projects.

Regarding ceramics, Kuhn’s most renowned project was the 2019 Illuminarie Mug Project – a limited series of 100 cups to raise awareness for suicide prevention after losing a high school classmate to suicide. In the spring of 2020, Kuhn did a study abroad opportunity in Florence, Italy, that was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It was amazing,” said Kuhn. “Because we’re so small, I got to choose anywhere I wanted to go and we would make it work. While I was there, it was really exciting to be in another culture and another country because I’ve been fortunate enough to travel outside the U.S. before and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it. Every time I leave the country it broadens my world view and makes me refocus on my life and how human beings in other countries are not as different we think they are.”

After graduation, Kuhn plans to go back to Minnesota and is hoping to pursue an assistantship in ceramics in Italy to further her art career. For commissioned pieces, reach out to Kuhn on Instagram at ramona_kuhn1.

Kuhn will represent the Class of 2021 at commencement on Thursday, April 29 at 6 p.m. Be sure to join us virtually to hear Kuhn’s speech along with a message from commencement speaker Phyllis Fredendall, President Philip Johnson and Dr. Fredi de Yampert.  The virtual commencement ceremony can be found on our website at finlandia.edu/graduation.  We encourage you to tag us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and show us how you are celebrating!

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