Valery Morales-pasten

Valery Morales-Pasten
Major: BFA New Media & Design


Winston Salem, NC

High School

Parkland Magnet High School

If you were a transfer student, from where did you transfer?

Forsyth Technical CC


BFA New Media & Design

Career Plans & Goals

My goal has always been to create something meaningful that eventually helps make life easier for others. I will be pursuing a career in UX/UI design after graduation.


I am a Mentor with the UNCG Mentor collective. I am the executive editor for The Coraddi. I am the Graphic Design intern with Greensboro Project Space. I do volunteer graphic design with non-profits. During my free time I enjoy baking, hiking to all the near by mountains. (My favorite is Stone Mountain.) I also like watching Korean dramas.

Why did you choose UNCG and specifically UNCG for the Arts?

I applied to UNCG 1 year after graduating from FTCC. I didn’t plan to continue my education, but as I scrolled through Instagram one dayI saw an ad for UNCG. I remembered an instructor from FTCC who said UNCG was a great place I was in a low point in my life. In that brief second looking at the ad, I decided to make a change to follow my dream of being an artist. I already visited Greensboro monthly to eat Korean food, and Greensboro always felt like home. I was pleased to see a focused program in multiple areas of digital arts. I already had animation education at FTCC, but I knew my design skills needed to be improved so I figured UNCG could be a the next chapter.

Are you where you thought you’d be when you first came to campus?

I am not. I tend to be reserved and a modest person. I honestly thought I would come in learn some skills and leave as quietly as I came. But I have found myself growing each semester more, not just in my skills but my personality. I have found my voice, and have slowly become more confident and gained leadership skills I never felt capable of.

Peak experience?

My peak experience was participating in the Reading Race exhibitions with upperclassmen. For weeks we read through Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man. This experience was the stepping stone that brought out a landslide of opportunities and taught me to be free with my creativity.

What surprised you?

I was surprised by how open the staff and faculty were, they don’t just treat me as a student but as an equal. I was fearful of coming into to a university getting told HOW to make art, HOW to interpret art, how to decided what is or isn’t proper art. But to my delight all of my professors encouraged me to explore art in my own terms, and experiment as I found my voice.

Who helped you get to where you are now?

My family and friends have been a great support system. All my professors have supported me in one way or another, I am grateful for all of their advice and pushing me when I felt lost or discouraged.

What do you think you will miss the most after you graduate?

I will miss walking around campus. I went out for a daily walk no matter the weather.

Advice for the incoming class?

Don’t give up! Trust the journey, and celebrate all the small victories.

Describe the moment you knew you UNCG was for you (or alternatively the moment you knew you were in the right major):

On my first day at UNCG as I sat through the transfer student welcome introduction, I remember my imposter syndrome kicking in and thinking “What am I doing here? I don’t belong here.” Suddenly an acappella group walked to the stage. They began singing Valerie by Amy Winehouse.This was a happy coincidence. But I took it as a sign that I was in fact in the right place at the right time.

Your favorite place on campus and why?

My favorite place was the Kaplan Center’s Sleeping pod area. Every semester I took 15-21 credit hours with a busy schedule to keep up I made sure to recharge in between classes.

Your favorite professor or class and why?

Lindsay Metivier, Digital Darkroom ART 344 – Through her class I learned to be loose, and allow myself to experiment without fear of judgement. She was always so positive in our late night class, she inspired me to expand my creativity.

Anything else you would like to share about your experience at UNCG and in your major that you think prospective students should know about?

Learn to love your Art History classes, even if you are not a history major. Find something to make a connection so the info sticks more. I for example watched Medici on Netflix to get me excited about Italian art.

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