Advising Blog

Stamps Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Programs Joann McDaniel posts here with tips for student success. If you have questions, email or schedule an advising appointment.

Why Are You Here,  Anyway?

October 19, 2018

Here's some advising wisdom that will affect all aspects of your growth as student: personal,  professional and academic.  You came here for new and different things but what are you doing that's really new and different?  If you're not changing, if you're not taking some risks,  if you're not moving outside your comfort zone, then you are not growing.  How do you know if you're outside your comfort zone?  Ask yourself: am I uncomfortable? If the answer is no, you've got a lot of work to do.


What do people do with their lives? What do art majors do with their lives? What do STAMPERS do with their lives? Go find out from real living alums that you will get to meet! Friday,  Nov. 2, in the Helmut Stern Auditorium at UMMA.  Panel discussion 1:30-3 and at 3-3:30 you meet the panelists and get free stuff.  If 50 students show, there will be a pizza party at Stamps Tuesday, Nov 6, 10:45 -12. Here for more information.  Free Food and free stuff.  Pizza and swag. Panelists are an industrial designer who works as a  blockchain industry specialist, a scientific illustrator who is a surgeon, a photographer who is the creative director for Ann Arbor’s Duo tech company and a fine artist who is disrupting the world of collecting contemporary art.  DISRUPTING!!!!  YES! 

Do I need to tell you that the 6th is election day? Have you not been looking at all the posters? How can you stop thinking about how sexy voting is?  Don't ask me. I'm old.

Speaking of pizza, Pizza and Previews is Thursday, Nov 8, 11-12:30 in the TCAUP 2nd floor Common Space.  Follow the Stampers and the smell of pizza. Find out who's teaching what and talk to the people who are teaching it.  Juniors, this is a fine time to stalk your mentors.

Finally, if you are taking a second semester mini course,  you may want to think about going to class. Mini courses start on Tuesday the 24th. I'll answer your first question right now. If your mini course meets on Monday do you have to go?  Yes, you do. On Monday,  the 29th.

For artists and designers and everyone in between

October 12, 2018

12 October 18


No one knows you’re an artist. And they will continue not to know if you don't show your work! You have at least 48 hours to enter work you made at Stamps in the Undergraduate Juried Exhibition. Here‘s the link to submit. 

Details are in your UM email today. Entering your work in an exhibition means you are officially admitting that yes, you are an artist. 


If you are a designer and you want an engineering minor, then you have 48 hours to apply to the College of Engineering's Multi-Disciplinary Design Program. Find out about the minor here 

Browse all 46 MDP teams to find the ones that look interesting to you and go ahead and apply  The application is open until Sunday, October 14th at 11:59pm.   You need to have two semesters left in school.  

Credits count as non-Stamps (for BA students) and as academic/experiential for BFA students (i.e., not studio credit). If youa re reading this, you can count it as having met with your advisor.

Three Beyond the Classroom Opportunities: for free

October 5, 2018

Hi Stampers,

For those of you who love(d)  BookArts – the fun continues!  For those of you inclined toward animation, keep reading.  And finally, if you want to know what faculty are up to when they’re not teaching, check out the brown bag presentation next week.  You may meet your future mentor!


The Book Arts Studio (2397 Duderstadt) has two open studios a week, extended hours with key access, and two sessions of a box-making workshop. Details are in your UM email in box (subject line is Book Arts Studio).

Open Studios:

Thursdays 11 AM - 2 PM with Michelle Baker

Fridays 1 PM - 4 PM with Jim Horton



Box Making 

Exploring The Lidded Box

Instructor: Kyle Clark

Session A: Wednesday, October 24, 6 - 9 PM 

Session B: Tuesday, October 30, 6 - 9 PM

Sessions A & B will be exactly the same - just sign up for one!  



Webster Crowell is a filmmaker who leans towards stop motion animation; his award-winning films include the shorts Parasol and Last Call, and the independent feature film Borrowing Time, a shoestring epic requiring five years to complete and tour the world.   He will be presenting his work to ArtDes 243: Intro to Animation.  His work includes commissions from artists and institutions including The Frye Museum, Susan Robb, West of Lenin Theater, Artist Trust, Dina Martina, NW Film Forum and 826 Seattle.  He is a recipient of an Artist Trust Fellowship, and has received support from 4-Culture, Seattle Arts, and the NW Film Forum.  His webseries, ‘Rocketmen’ is currently streaming on Amazon.

Hear him, meet him, pick his brain!!!! Animator Webster Crowell talks about his work

MON OCT 8 @5:30 pm in Room 2114   All Stamps students are welcome.



Brown Bag presentations on Tuesday, October 9 @ 11:30a in room 2040 A&A.  Snacks will be provided.

Prof.  Nick Tobier found a tricycle on ebay. Find out how this led to an ongoign collabrotionn with street vendors in Mexico and artists/designers from India, Japan and the US.

Prof. Roland Graf will talk about the current development of a Brazilian kite-drone project and new partnership opportunities for the Stamps School and YOU.

A Live Human Writes This Blog

September 28, 2018

Hello Stampers:


As you know advising at Stamps focuses on your personal, academic, and professional development. So here are some things to give those areas a little boost:


Professional: Here’s a link to a good work study job at UM or a Stamps junior or senior graphic designer who is interested in using data to improve the lives of low-income youth:


Academic: yes, I know a picture is worth a thousand words and I …. blahblahblah.  Sometimes only words will do. So make sure your words make sense. Eventually they will also be polished and elegant and full of ideas.  The Stamps Writing Team has doubled in size to handle twice as many writing consultations with the addition of Ali Shapiro (she taught ArtDes 129 to a bunch of you). Make an appointment with her or Jennifer Metsker through Here’s only a small part of the help they can give:

  • One-to-one or small group writing consultations
  • Help for any stage of the writing process,from staring hopelessly at a blank page, to furiously brainstorming/freewriting/mind mapping, to tinkering with sentences during the revision. 
  • Because Ali and Jennifer are familiar with the writing projects that Stamps students are typically assigned, they can help with anything from research essays to creative writing projects to grant applications, proposals, and artist statements. 
  • They will help you even if your paper is not for a class in Stamps!!!!!!!!!

Also Senior Audits have begun. If you haven't applied for graduation you're going to miss a chance to have your graduation anxiety alleviated. Quit worrying about degree requirements. Let your advisor figure it out.

Personal: every Thursday night, 8-11, room 2030, Studio Night. Find out how great it is to work with, talk to, and learn from other Stampers.


September 23, 2018

Hello Stampers:

Peer Advisors are now up and working!

Academic and International Study Peer Advisors are now available for walk-in consultation.  International Study Peer Advisor Manda Villareal is ready to help you with your travel directions as you try to get from point A to point B on M-Compass. She can also help you think through your study abroad options and organize the paperwork. Or you can do it by yourself (more of a challenge).  Academic Peer Advisors Jean (Jiin) Suh and Perry Stella O’Toole are trained to know Stamps requirements, so they are great resources for quick questions, long explanations, or tips on staying.

Look for them at the double doors across from rooms 2043 and 2044. Their schedule is posted on the whiteboard.


Open Office Reminder: Every Monday from 5-6 pm I hold open office hours. By that time the main office will be closed, but the Peer Advising doors (see above) will be open.  Come on in and have a seat. You can tell me how you’re doing, share good news or just bring up some random topic. 


Deadline: the last day for early drop/add is Monday, September 24 (at midnight). You can still drop or add after that date, but if you drop you get a W and if you drop below 12 credits, you won’t get any money back.


Juniors: make your appointment #6 with our advisor now. To prep for it, be prepared to talk about your mentors (check out the mentorship posters) and to follow up on your sophomore review.

I want out!

September 14, 2018

Hi Stampers:

Welcome to the weekend. Mine won’t start untiI get this blog done so hang on.  This is going to be SHORT. 

DEADLINE: Monday, September 24

If you are thinking about dropping a course, you have until midnight on the 24thto do it. If this is your first year in college, then it would be smart to check with your advisor beforehand, just to be safe.

If you are thinking that you should take a course pass/fail, you have until until midnight on the 24th  to make up your mind.  If you are a first year student or a sophomore, your mind has already been made up for you. No pass/fail until you are a junior.

Booster Orientation is coming to a close.  Last session is Friday, the 21st.

Sophomores and Juniors: it’s time to schedule your 4th(sophomores) and 6th(juniors) advising appointments.

ArtDes Council (ADC) needs new members. ADC is a group of students who act as a liaison between the student body and the stamps administration. The ADC also awards grants to students, manages the dinners with the Stamps Speakers, and takes on a special project every year. This year it’s Studio Nights. If you are interested in joining ADC, send an email to  Introduce yourself and let them know how you think you can help.

Seniors: you really need to apply for graduation. Go to Student Services on Wolverine Access and look for “Apply for graduation.”   No application, no senior audit.  

Everyone: do something fun this weekend. Please.

Adobe News—You’ve All been Asking

September 7, 2018

Hello Stampers,


I hope your first week back was great.  Mine was busy and still is, plus the blog has a ton of stuff in it this week.  I’d better hurry!


LSA Information for Stamps Students

Walk-in Advising on North Campus

Patrick Hill, our own LSA advisor, holds drop-in office hours in B2087 Walgreen every Tuesday, 10:30-noon. First session is on 9/11 and the last of the semster is 11/6. 


LSA Transfer or Dual Degree Sessions

All sessions begin @ 4:00PM

Sept 17th,  Monday - G243 Angell - Hosted by Patrick Hill

Oct 2nd, Tuesday - G255N Angell

Oct 22nd, Monday - G255N Angell

Nov 19th, Monday - G243 Angell

Dec. 4th, Tuesday - G243 Angell

Dec 5th, Tuesday - G243 Angell

Dec 12th, Wednesday - G243 Angell - Hosted by Patrick Hill


The Michigan Animation Club is where you learn stuff and network.  First meeting in in the Dude, DL1 next Friday (the 14th) from 6-8 pm. Optional screeeninsg until 9. Just in time for bed.


Eat dinner with a Stamps Speaker? Go here


Therapy Dog 

Hawkeye, the adorable therapy dog, is a working sled dog who loves people especially when they pet him. This dog is a pro. Meet him Monday 2-4 pm and Wednesdays 10am -noon at UHS,  ground floor,  suite 0210 (Wolverine Wellness). 


Get Professional/Enter the Undergrad Juried Exhibition

Deadline to submit work is October 14.  When I know more, I’ll let you know.


Stamps Studio Credit for Art Direction in TV and Movies

SAC 300, 400 and 404 need you to be the art director.  Great experience. If you want to take one of these three classes, contact Robert Rayher (  NOW


Adobe Creative Cloud Membership  

A lot of you have asked me about this.  Bottom line is that most of you will need to re-subscribe to it. There are no University discounts, so if your subscription has lapsed, then you have to take care of that on your own ($20/month). Click here

People who got the computer package last year got a year-long subscription as part of their package, but that has now expired. So yes, you have to pay for it yourself.

Poeple who were enrolled in a couple of specific courses last year were given temporary free access under a special plan that was managed by UM IT. If you got a message that  says the regents had discontinued your subscritpion (or something like that ), then you were in that class. 

Finally, people who purchased the computer package this year got a four year subscrition as part of the package because Apple didn’t drop their new computer in time for us to buy it, so we took advantage of the lower priced 2017 and used the savings to buy four year of Adobe Creative Suite.  

Clawing at my Keyboard

August 31, 2018

Hello Stampers,

The advising blog (which is really Joann scratching at her keyboard with two of her claws) is back. I hope you didn’t miss me because that would be truly pathetic if you did. Surely, your life must be richer than that! And since you asked, yes, I did miss you. 

Now let’s get on with it. It’s time to connect and reconnect, so I hope to see all of you at the Back to School Bash in the courtyard Tuesday,  4 Sept.  Ice cream starts at 11 and lasts until it runs out. All sorts of flavors like sriracha, Himalayan garlic and kelp. And toppings: spicy kale, turmeric, spirulina, and toasted quinoa. And if you’re really good I’ll let you sprinkle some of my black Cypriote salt on your gluten-free frozen treat.

For Incoming Students: Make sure you have signed up for Booster Orientation!! Check your UM email for more info. Also, look for the posters around Stamps about Terrific Tuesdays. 

For Sophomores: Make your advising appointment (#4) NOW. It’s time to revisit your goals and plan to get a lot done this year—lie sophomore review and the groundwork for your international experience.

For Juniors: It’s mentoring season.  It’s time to start stalking your professors and turning them into mentors. It’s also time to meet with your advisor for your last official advising meeting (#6) to talk about the sophomore review results, where you’re going and who is going to help you get there. 

For Seniors: I suppose you all want to graduate and leave us. Well, fair enough. It is not too early to apply for graduation.  Go to Student Business on Wolverine Access and look for “Apply for graduation.”   Then do it.  The advising team starts preparing senior audits on 25 Sept, so if you want to know what courses you still need for graduation, you MUST apply for graduation first. Otherwise we’ll just assume you want to remain in college forever.

For Everyone:  Volunteer to help with Decipher, the Design Educators Research Conference held this fall at Stamps. Volunteer activities may includeregistration, assisting session facilitators, wayfinding for guests, photography and documentation, installing exhibitions, hanging signs, assisting with special events, Q&A with guests, social media update, and more. Here's the volunteer sign up form. And here's where to get more answers:

Return of the Blog

June 1, 2018

After a lovely month off, the blog is back and ready for trouble.


Our first group of brand new Stampers show up Tuesday, 5 June for orientaiton and the advising team is eager to meet them. If you are an incoming first year Stamps student and you are reading this, I'd like to take this opportunity to ask you a few questions.   First, did you finish the writing assessment? No?  Oh, you were waiting until you felt more inspired?  Oh, okay.  What about the math placement? No? Actually,  I'm not sure it's such a good idea to do it after you get home from your friend's graduation party.  Well, what about your future planning exercise? Not that one either, huh? All right.  Well, it looks like next week is going to be very interesting.  What?  Why are you laughing?  Oh,  you did them.  You were teasing. Ha.  Ha. yes,  very funny.  See ya soon.

Monday’s Class Availability

April 16, 2018

Registration updates for Monday,  16 April

  • ArtDes 398. 002 Identity Politics Seminar and ArtDes 400.004 Identity Politics (studio) can be taken separately. You do NOT have to enroll in both of them. Both have open seats.
  • There's a new section of IP (498.005) with Prof. Andy Kirshner.  
  • The prereq for ArtDes343, Making Things Interactive, is programming--either ArtDes 239 or EECS 183. Write me (Joann) directly to get an override.
  • Interaction Design, ArtDes 345, has relaxed its prereqs.  If you are interested in UIUX, write me directly about getting a seat.


Two-hundred level classes with seats available  (you may need to add yourself to the waitlist)

  • ArtDes 200.001,  Social Spaces
  • ArtDes 200.002,  Social Spaces
  • ArtDes 202, Intro to Ceramics
  • ArtDes 205.002, Intro to Painting (Organizing Visual Space)
  • ArtDes 210.0043, Typography
  • ArtDes 215, Fab One: Wood and Metal
  • ArtDes 225.002, Entanglement
  • ArtDes 235.002, Intro to Printmaking
  • ArtDes 239, Creative Programming
  • ArtDes 243.002 Intro to Animation
  • ArtDes 252, Metals/Jewelry

Stamps Open Courses

April 12, 2018

Hi Stampers,

  •  Please note that Making Things Interactive (ArtDes 343) now requires programming only, so if you've had Creative Programming (ArtDes 239) or EECS 183,  you're ready to be in Making Interactive things.  Send your name UMID and the programming course you've taken to so you can get an override.
  • Interaction Design (ArtDes 345) is going to loosen its prereqs, so if you think UIUX may be in your future,  there's HOPE. Stay tuned.
  • The courses I listed below have OPEN SEATS. The number of seats avaialble is in parentheses.  You may have to add your name to the waitlist for some of them.

ArtDes 200.001 Social Spaces (3)

ArtDes 200.002  Social Spaces (4)

ArtDes 200.003 Design Drawing (2)

ArtDes 202  Ceramics (1)

ArtDes 205.001  Organizing Visual Space  (1)

ArtDes 205.002  Organizing Visual Space (6)

ArtDes 210.003  Typography (4)

ArtDes 215 Fab: Wood and Metal (3)

ArtDes 225.002   Entanglement  (8)

ArtDes 235.002 Printmaking (10)

ArtDes 243 Animation (6)

ArtDes 252 Metals and Jewelry (4)

ArtDes 304 Clay to Bronze (9)

ArtDes 330  Documentary Photography (4)

ArtDes 333  Information Design (4)

ArtDes 335  Color Woodcut Print (7)

ArtDes 377 Gender, Race and Sexuaity in Photography (7)

ArtDes 391 Professional Practice (4)   non-studio

ArtDes 399.002  Writing in Art and Design (13)  meets ULWR, non-studio

ArtDes 414 Where Do Paintings Come From? (11)

ArtDes 420  Sci-Fi Prototyping (6)

ArtDes 422 Advanced Typography (4)

Registration Rx

April 8, 2018

Hello Stampers,

This is the last week of registration, and many of you have questions on top of questions. Please remember that you can drop in and meet with one of our peer advisors and if you can’t get in to see your regular advisor, check on genbook to see if someone else is available. And please, be calm but take action.

For those of you who still have problems with your fall schedule after registration ends, I’ll be available this Wednesday and Thursday to try to help you out.

Wednesday 5:00-6:00

Thursday, 4:30-when the last person leaves

Come to the side doors across from rooms 2044 and 2043.



 “Voting is Sexy” is NOT an engagement course. And, you need to contact the faculty teaching it to get an override.  That’s Hannah Smotrich or Stephanie Rowden.

The Identity Politics course is actually TWO courses and you have to take them together.  So if you are registered for the 400 version (studio credits), you also need to register for ArtDes 398 (academic credits). I realize that this development throws yet another wrench into your plans so please let me know if there is something I can do to help you rethink your schedule.


If you’re smart you’ll go to a couple of sophomore reviews next week.  They are open to the public, and you want to go because you are going to review next year and you want to know what it’s like before it’s your turn.  The review is an hour long: twenty minutes for the student to present, twenty minutes of discussion and then twenty minutes for the faculty to discuss among themselves.

Ground rules:

  1. If the door to the room is closed, don’t go in.  The review has already started.
  2. You may leave at the end of the student's presentation, but you MUST leave when the student leaves the room.
  3. You are an observer so pay close attention, but refrain from entering the discussion (no matter how tempting). 
  4. If you are asked, for any reason, to leave the room, do it. Please. 
  5. It's nice to thank the student for letting you sit as you leave the room.

The schedule of reviews is here:

Luggard is not a word but it should be

April 1, 2018

Hello Stampers,

You can tell it’s April in Michigan because there’s snow in the forecast. Don’t let that bring you down; spring snow is usually light and always fugitive.

The big news is registration this week (and next). Those of you who are going to be ​

  • seniors next year probably have questions about how the conversion from 12 credits of IP fits into 9 credits—what does it mean exactly in terms of your requirements? And how does the BFA without IP work? Drop in and talk to the peer advisors. Or, schedule an appointment to review your progress with Alyssa Cozad on genbook.
  • sophomores next year, don't forget to schedulea time for you meeting #3 with your advsior


What’s new? A minor in Education.   Yes, it’s called Education for Empowerment. If you want to know more about it, go here:


All Undergrads are welcome at the

Faculty Brownbag (bring your lunch) 

Thursday, April 5 11:45-1:25

Room 2030

Featured Faculty are Lou Marinaro, Jessica Freylinghuysen and Susan Hoge. Representational sculpture, Jessercise, and Drag: It’s Not Just for Guys. If you don’t like any of these, I don’t know what to say to you.  


Activist? Community service? Advocacy?

Be on the Ginsberg Center’s Student Advisory Board

Applications due April 10.

More info at

Voting is Sexy but It’s not Engagement

March 26, 2018

Hi Stampers,

It’s the season of Regi(stress)tation and that with the recent changes to the curriculum may have your head spinning. Although I hope not like in the Exorcist. Previous blog posts have clarified what BFA students need to do/not do, but if you still find you have questions, is a good place to direct them.

As usual I’ll devote lots of blogspace to registration’s ups and downs. So here are the first ones:

  1.  Most ArtDes courses will be capped at 18 (not 19).
  2.  We’re going to cap 200-level courses at 15 (not 5) to see if that will reduce the stress you get from waiting for an override.
  3.  Sorry, but Voting is Sexy is not an engagement course. But it's still sexy. 
  4. The Last Chance for Help Day is April 12, 4-6 pm.  If you haven’t figured out your schedule for fall by then, you need to show up for it.
  5. Overrides for ArtDes will work the same as ever.  If they are issued before noon, they expire at midnight.  Issued after noon, they expire the next day at midnight. So watch your UM emails for a “permission to register” message.
  6.  Most answers to registration questions can be found in -- guess what?--the registration section of the student handbook.  Peer advisors are even MORE helpful.

Here’s an announcement from our friends in SAC (with additions by me) :

THIS FALL 2018:  

Studio Credit as an Art Director in Movies and TV  Yes, YOU can earn studio credit being a Movie or TV Art Director.  

Art Directors collaborate on the look of everything (from hair, make-up and wardrobe to sets and props) that appears on screen.  You can earn Stamps Studio Credit (all count as 300-levels in S amps)! 

SAC has 3 courses in Fall 2018 in which you can learn how to be a Movie or TV Art Director.  That's all it takes folks: ONE COURSE!!!

SAC—Screen Arts and Cultures, in LSA:

  • 300: if you have an interest, but no experience, this is a great place to start.  You’ll be involved in Designing 2 short movies in a small crew made up of SAC Majors who have production experience.  4 Credits.
  • 400: if you have some experience designing movies, TV, Theatre, live events, or other location specific art, you’re ready to help a medium size crew make a 10-15 minute movie.  4 Credits.
  • 404 TV Pilots: If you’re ready for a challenge, and have an interest in premium TV production, you can join a large crew and help design and shape a full-length TV Pilot.  4 Credits.

Contact for details!  Do not contact Joann.  She litetrally knows nothing.

Robert Rayher
Senior Lecturer
Screen Arts and Cultures, LSA
University of Michigan


And another from our friends at CAPS about the

Messages of Hope Tile Wall Unveiling:

North Campus, in the Pierpont Commons. 

Wednesday, March 28, from 3-4:30 pm, with remarks at 3:30.

This wall celebrates hope and resiliency as an antidote to suicide and stresses the humanity of us all as an answer to isolation. The messages offer support and encouragement in place of despair, a feeling that once you’ve met it you never want to see it again.


And something from our own embedded CAPS therapist, Karen Henry

Healthy Relationships March 29, 2018 Workshop

Do you find it hard to say "no" to loved ones? Have you ever wondered how to ask for what you need in relationships? Join us for a workshop that will help students get more in touch with what they value in relationships and how their cultural contexts can shape these values. We will work on skills that can help students build and maintain more fulfilling, safe, and enjoyable relationships. Students will learn strategies to get in touch with their needs and communicate them with others.

Thursday, March 29 in room 2213 from noon - 1 pm.

RSVP, by Monday, 26 March,  

The workshop will be capped at 25 students.


And finally, something from the Museum Studies Program:

What do Curators Know?   Steven Lubar from Brown University spills the museum-quality beans 

Tuesday, March 27 at 6:30

Michigan Room of the League

Capstone Status

March 19, 2018

hi Stampers,

The UPC met today and discussed your concerns about capstone.  The verdict is out, but when I have more to report,  I will.