Because she’s taken full advantage of opportunities to become even stronger at Meredith, the future holds more potential than she ever thought possible for presidential scholar, Bailey Birtchet, ’21.
Majoring in graphic design with a minor in marketing, the opportunity that’s had the most impact on Bailey has been her undergraduate research.
“What has made my research experience so unique is the encouragement I received from my advisors and professors to incorporate graphic design into my work,” she said. “My eyes have been opened to the potential of graphic design to go beyond just the arts and how it can be used in academic research and community-based initiatives.”
The project that had the biggest impact on Bailey and the direction of her design was titled “Degrees of Women’s Anger: Burning Hot, Cold, or Out of Control.” Through this research, she analyzed the rhetoric and use of anger as an appropriate perspective for social critique and change alongside one of her peers, Ellie Jones, ’20.
Bailey and Ellie wrote a culminating paper together on their findings and were also able to present their research at a number of conferences, including Meredith’s Celebrating Student Achievement Day, the Women’s Undergraduate Research Conference, UNC-Chapel Hill’s Feminisms Here and Now, the Meeting of the Popular Culture Association South, and the National Popular Culture Association Conference.
“The responses we received from other academics and peers empowered me to continue my involvement as a designer and activist,” said Bailey. Through studying the rise of anger and rage as organizing principles in contemporary American feminism, she found a mission to get behind in her work as a graphic designer.
“Through my research, I learned that as designers, we have a responsibility to promote equality across all spectrums and increase awareness and visibility of social issues, especially issues that go beyond the field of art and design,” she said. “I hope to continue this mission as I progress further in my career as a designer.”
Another opportunity that has shaped Bailey during her time at Meredith was her experience studying abroad in Italy through Meredith’s Italian Life and Culture program. “That summer of 2019 was life changing,” said Bailey. “It made me a more confident individual and solidified my passion for art.”
Overall, Bailey’s time at Meredith has shown her that she’s stronger and more capable than she thought as a first generation college student. “I would not be the same had I not attended Meredith College,” she said. “Every year, even every semester, I learn something about myself that I would not have known otherwise had I attended another college or university.”graphic design marketing presidential scholar undergraduate research