College of Fine Arts, School of Art

Claudia Molina, Class of ‘20
Hometown: Rio Rico, Arizona
Major: Fine Arts, Emphasis in Graphic Design

“Design makes me think outside of the box. We don’t always need to do the same things. We can create one thing in many different ways.”

“I loved taking photos growing up. I was always called the photographer of the family. I was being silly, it was nothing I studied for. But, I didn’t know then that years later we’d go back to them and we could remember.” Claudia Molina is from the small town of Rio Rico, just outside Nogales, Arizona. She says, “There’s only one grocery store, so we needed to go all the way to Nogales to go shopping.” Her life changed significantly when she came to the University of Arizona.

Claudia received a scholarship as part of the Arizona Assurance program. While she didn’t know anyone at Arizona when she arrived, the program helped her make connections. She shares, “I wasn’t used to a lot of people or diversity. Where I’m from is mostly a Hispanic population. Arizona Assurance scholarship provided workshops where I could talk to advisers and mentors, twice a week. And we could talk to others in a safe zone. Everyone was a freshman, homesick, we all had connections that made us closer.”

Before pursuing fine arts, Claudia started as a speech and language pathologist major. “After taking a number of courses of speech and language pathology, I soon realized I was not truly passionate about what I was doing. Then, I got a job as an office assistant in one of the dorms and they asked me to make posters. I really liked it. I used Word and Publisher,” she says with a smile. However, this first exploration helped her get the confidence to look into graphic design. She recalls, “We had a workshop for Arizona Assurance where we got to talk to other students. One student was in graphic design. She told me what I needed to do to switch majors.”

To Claudia, “Wonder makes me strong. Take chances.” In one of her classes, a client from the Arizona Lyme Disease Association tasked the students to make them a new logo. They specifically asked the students not to include a tick on their logo. “But I went for it in abstract form,” says Claudia. “It was exciting and surprising when my professor really enjoyed it.” With every chance she takes into the unknown, she’s gained more confidence and continues to set more ambitious goals. Like to work for a big company in branding or advertising after she graduates. And to explore the world beyond Arizona. “Maybe somewhere in California. Or Oregon.”