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Student Spotlight: 2021 Giving Blueday Scholarship Recipients

Giving Blueday is the University of Michigan’s annual day of “paying it forward” through philanthropy at all levels. At the Stamps School, we celebrate the day by gathering together to champion the next generation of artists and designers. Join us and support what you love about Stamps by visiting our Giving Blueday campaign page.

As part of the 2021 celebrations, four undergraduate students were awarded the Stamps School’s Giving Blueday Scholarship: Marissa Bell (BFA ‘22), Jessica Burkle (BFA ’22), Marisa Dengate (BFA ‘22), and Justina McCormick (BFA ‘21).

Marissa Bell (BFA ‘22)

Describing herself as a “visual artist and an ‘arts and crafts’ artist,” Marissa Bell’s work utilizes a wide range of media and explores experiences of both a personal and global nature. When reflecting on the impact of the Giving Blueday Scholarship, Bell offers a perspective rooted in community connectivity.

“This scholarship means that there are still people who are kind enough to support others’ dreams, and that means everything to me. It allows me to focus more on my studies and creative work without worrying about how I will be able to afford it,” Bell said.

Jessica Burkle (BFA ‘22)

An interdisciplinary artist with a focus in video, fibers, and community engagement practices, Jessica Burkle reports that the Giving Blueday Scholarship has been a boost to her productivity, freeing her to focus on her creative practice.

“I can now spend less time worrying about finances, and can instead focus more on my studies and creative endeavors,” Burkle reports. “I feel honored to have received this scholarship, and will move forward in my studies carrying the pride of having received something so great.”

Marisa Dengate (BFA ‘22)

An illustrator and painter, Marisa Dengate uses art as a form of storytelling to bring awareness to critical issues and create social change. Like her peers, she expresses a sense of freedom and relief when reflecting on her scholarship — and gratitude for the gift of creative focus.

“Being a GBD Scholarship recipient means that I can focus my energy towards creating more work and exploring more topics that I am interested in, instead of worrying about how I can pay for my tuition,” Dengate states. “With the pandemic and all, this scholarship is especially meaningful, and I am so thankful to have been considered for this opportunity.”

Justina McCormick (BFA ’21)

McCormick, an interdisciplinary artist with a focus on multimedia work, is hard at work on her IP Project, an animated film that explores the American stigma surrounding discussions of mortality through a focus on expressions of grief and grieving. For her, the Giving Blueday Scholarship provides a freedom to focus on her creative work.

“Now I can fully throw myself into the work I do at the University of Michigan,” she said.


In 2021, we celebrate Giving Blueday on Wednesday, March 10. Join us in celebration and support of students just like Marissa, Jessica, Marisa, and Justina.

Make your gift and support the next generation of artists and designers at the Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design at the University of Michigan.