F&M Stories

Senior Spotlight: Olha Shapovalenko

Olha Shapovalenko '24

Image Credit: Deb Grove

Name: Olha Shapovalenko

Major: Double major in mathematics and studio art

What city and state or country do you call home? Chernihiv, Ukraine

Activities at F&M: The College Reporter, The Neighborhood magazine, Epilogue magazine, Pi Mu Epsilon honor society, costume shop, Office of Admission

Why did you choose to attend F&M?

My counselor at Ukraine Global Scholars suggested F&M to me. Strong blend of arts and science, a new arts center near completion, tight-knit community and its prime location – for a 17-year-old passionate about biology and art, it felt like the perfect place. A talk with a fellow Ukrainian Nataliia Nevinchana ’21 sealed the deal. I applied early decision, got in and never looked back.

What is something that you did for fun at F&M?

Working at the costume shop during my senior year. I learned to sew, draft patterns and even create my own designs for plays.

What did you enjoy most about your time at the College?

The international community and the Winter Visual Arts Center. Joseph International Center (JIC) staff made me feel like I belonged here and were immensely supportive, especially during challenging times for my country. I’ll also eternally treasure the friendships I made along the way.

Alongside that, the resources at the Winter Center were invaluable. I got to explore everything from painting and drawing to screen printing, etching, woodworking, soldering, and even made my own canvases, all while getting priceless feedback from my professors. It enriched my creative vocabulary and granted me freedom for creative expression.

What are your plans for after graduation?

Interning during college helped me discover my love for art, design and fashion. I am eager to dive deeper into the industry and explore these passions further.

What brief advice would you give to incoming students in F&M’s Class of 2028? 

College is a time for exploration and testing hypotheses. Take a class or two outside of your main interest — you might be surprised by what you discover.

“The resources at the Winter Center were invaluable…It enriched my creative vocabulary and granted me freedom for creative expression.”

— Olha Shapovalenko '24

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