Megan Kunst Finds Her Place Through Experience at Edinboro University
When Megan Kunst chose Edinboro University (EU), she had no idea that Edinboro’s commitment to hands-on learning and student–faculty collaboration, along with her passion for art, math and science, would lead to a national research award, experience in cutting-edge forensic facial reconstruction and bright career prospects. As a member of EU’s Honors Program, which offers opportunities to excel through classwork, study abroad, student–faculty research and civic engagement, Kunst conducted a range of projects alongside faculty scholars. In 2015, her Visual Arts research earned first place at the National Collegiate Honors Conference in Denver. The project explored linear perspective in art through the application of mathematical formulas, merging the disparate disciplines of fine arts and mathematics. In addition to the opportunity to compete against academically talented peers nationwide, Kunst gained hands-on experience in her field and built lasting professional relationships with her faculty mentors. “I could not have asked for more supportive and generous professors,” Kunst said. “I was fortunate to find a group of other students and faculty that became my Edinboro family.” Edinboro undergraduates in fine arts, anthropology, chemistry, biology, physics, psychology and many other fields work closely with faculty and fellow students on important research into food safety, cancer treatment, social media behavior, educational best practices and many other topics. As one of the first student scholars of Edinboro University’s Institute for Forensic Sciences, Kunst worked closely with three faculty members on a major research project involving models of a human skull made with a 3D printer in an EU technology lab. The skulls were created using scans provided by the Smithsonian Institution. Utilizing advanced techniques to create an approximation of a person’s face based on skeletal features and knowledge of anatomy, osteology and physical anthropology, her research is contributing to a best-practices protocol for forensic artists to use in the identification of human remains. Kunst presented her fascinating forensic work to legislators in Harrisburg as part of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education Advocacy Days in April 2016, and again at the 2016 National Collegiate Honors Conference in Seattle. “I became aware of forensic facial reconstruction during an anatomy drawing class, and it sounded like a fascinating way to integrate my passion for art with my love of science,” she said. “I also like that facial reconstruction may allow me to, in the future, use art to help people find closure and give names to the unidentified deceased.” Launched in 2015, the Edinboro University Institute for Forensic Sciences brings together forensic activities and related academic programs in a broad range of disciplines. Its purpose is to integrate these areas of knowledge, promote faculty research, and create increased opportunities for students like Kunst to engage in community forensic projects. An active citizen of the University community, Kunst served as president of several student organizations, co-managing editor of the Chimera Art and Literary Journal and a member of EU’s Drawing and Painting Club. Before graduating Summa Cum Laude in December with dual bachelor’s degrees in Studio Arts and Art Education, Kunst capped her Edinboro journey with a teach-abroad opportunity in Ireland, spending 10 days sharing her passion for art with students in grades 7-12. The life-enriching experience allowed her to compare cultural differences between Irish and American students using a lesson plan she had executed in a previous placement in the U.S. “Being an honors student has encouraged me to look at things in an interdisciplinary way.” Kunst said. “I gained a great foundation of skills that I am very thankful for, and because of that foundation I feel very confident about my future in the classroom,” Open to majors from all academic disciplines, the Honors Program seeks to provide students with the individualized attention and opportunity for extraordinary experiences that they need to truly excel as scholars. Students qualify for admission to the program based on academic achievement, test scores, class rank and teacher recommendations. Honors students enjoy preferential scheduling, dedicated Living-Learning Floors, extended library privileges and scholarships. While every student’s path is unique, Megan Kunst’s exceptional success demonstrates the unique combination of high-quality opportunities inside and outside the classroom that are the hallmarks of the Edinboro experience. For more information about Edinboro University, visit www.edinboro.edu, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Admissions Office at (814) 732-2761 or 1-888-8GO-BORO (888-846-2676). Choose excellence, opportunity and affordability. Choose Edinboro.