Congratulations Class of 2010

The Senior Year Experience

Senior Alysea McDonald has already begun the next chapter in her life despite the fact that graduation is not until May. McDonald is currently employed as the Pennsylvania Partners in the Arts Coordinator at the Lehigh Valley Arts Council in Allentown, where she works with grant applications.

McDonald is an American studies major and an English and art history minor. She has always had an admiration for history, culture, and the arts. Her multitude of professional experiences have been worthwhile each step of the way. McDonald interned at the Monroe County Historical Association, during the summer of her sophomore year, where she did genealogy research and gave tours. In the summer of 2008, McDonald interned at the Lehigh Valley Arts Council, where she is currently employed. Last semester, she enjoyed an internship at the Civic Theater in Allentown where she completed historical research. Currently she works at the Muhlenberg College Career Center where she serves as the Presidential Assistant, acting as the liaison between employers and students. All of these endeavors have given her the proper background in the arts, and the extra edge over others with less professional experience.

McDonald's current employment did not just happen by chance. She took charge of her own destiny by maintaining close relationships with previous employers. Actually, McDonald did not even apply for this position at the Lehigh Valley Arts Council- they approached her when a position opened up. McDonald accepted the offer and began working there part-time in January.

The Lehigh Valley Arts Council aims to promote the arts and strives to maintain a good relationship between artists, arts organizations and the community. As the Pennsylvania Partners in the Arts Coordinator, McDonald's job function consists of reviewing applications, composing a panel of community leaders to judge different arts projects and moderating the panel. Her daily tasks are to organize the applications of artists and make sure regulations are met; organize the panel meetings; plan award ceremonies; compose workshops; and work with the state in matters of grants and administration.

If McDonald can offer any advice to fellow students, it is to research different professions, apply for internships and always keep in touch with past supervisors and colleagues. McDonald says that she found her profession by chance. She was working in the Career Center one day when one of her tasks was to look up grant writing. She became interested in this profession and then through the Career Center, secured the internship at the Lehigh Valley Arts Council. Things have a funny way of turning out- in her case things turned out very well!

As for now, McDonald is enjoying her job at the Lehigh Valley Arts Council. She hopes to continue working with grants and fundraising in the arts until at least December 2010, in order to see her projects come full-circle. As far as the transition after graduation, she feels she is already experiencing it now. There is always the question of what comes next, but McDonald is ready to jump right in and face any challenges thrown her way.

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