Media arts and technology students Elizabeth Lynch, left, Jamie García, and Brittany Hayes received Seabury Foundation fellowships this year.

Las Vegas, N.M. – Three outstanding New Mexico Highlands University media arts students received $2,500 fellowships this academic year to develop independent projects, thanks to the Seabury Foundation.

Elizabeth Lynch, Jamie García, and Brittany Hayes are the 2017 – 2018 Seabury Fellows.

“Each of these student’s proposals stood out for their strength, uniqueness, and connection to community,” said Lauren Addario, a Highlands media arts and technology faculty member who is on the Seabury selection committee. “Elizabeth, Jamie and Brittany are exceptional students who are driven to see their projects realized.”

“My Seabury project is a comic book that follows the life of an interracial Navajo teenager and his experiences of growing up on the Navajo Reservation in Arizona,” said Lynch, a senior with a concentration in visual communication. “I am basing this work on my own experiences as an interracial Navajo and the experiences of my family. I want to educate people on Navajo tradition and culture, and I want to show the reality of racism and prejudice that many interracial teens face.”

Lynch said she learned to read through comic books, using the heroes – regardless of their background or color – as inspiration for overcoming adversity.

“I am a performance artist and music composer who has much love for Northern New Mexico and its rural communities,” said García, a senior with a double major in media arts and music. “For my Seabury project, I plan to create and promote a youth orchestra in Las Vegas. Our community desperately needs programs for children, and I want to give kids an opportunity in music I never had growing up here. This program will give them experience in music performance and teamwork.”

García said her youth orchestra model is based upon a Venezuelan nonprofit organization called El Sistema. She will create a promotional video and branding materials for her project.

“For my Seabury project, I am incorporating hand-drawn lettering into a campaign to help promote self love and self acceptance,” said Brittany Hayes, a junior with a concentration in visual communication. “I will create a series of posters and design a calendar that will convey my campaign’s deeper message of loving yourself no matter what your race, size or sexual orientation may be.”

Hayes said she will design her images so that they can be presented digitally in both large and small scale to reach a wide audience.

The Seabury Foundation was established in 1947 by Santa Fe resident Deborah Seabury Holloway’s grandfather. The foundation has awarded fellowships to Highlands University media arts and technology students since 2009.