Marie-Catherine Smith

Marie-Catherine Smith
Graduate Degrees: 
Associate in Applied Science, Graphic Design
Graduation Year: 

When Marie-Catherine Smith, 24, of Mesa, graduated from high school, she set her goal on becoming an early childhood teacher. After three years of attending university classes and juggling work responsibilities, she found herself burned out and in the midst of a pandemic.

"I started experimenting with some digital drawing on my iPad and really enjoyed it," Smith said. "The field of graphic design intrigued me, so I thought I would test the waters at Mesa Community College to see if it was right for me."

After a few classes at MCC, she found the flexibility, affordable pricing and quality education to be exactly what she needed.

"Trying to navigate work responsibilities and educational expenses was never an issue at MCC," Smith said. "I found lots of options, with online or in-person classes, reasonable prices and fantastic teachers. It has been a great experience."

Smith said she was pleased to take classes taught by MCC professors Malena Barnhart and Brenda Newhouse, who became excellent mentors and provided connections to real world experiences.

"Barnhart provided me with the best information that I will use going forward," Smith said. "She wants everyone to learn and take away many opportunities. She’s the reason I feel proficient in the field."

She said Newhouse was a phenomenal teacher as well.

"Newhouse helped me get an internship at MCC," Smith said. "She was my biggest cheerleader and a wonderful motivator. I loved them both."

In the future, Smith plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree in graphic informational technology at Arizona State University.

Smith recommends MCC to other students.

"I encourage everyone to take one class or earn a full degree at MCC," she said. "The student experience, connections and classmates really help make this a full experience."