Mike Ririe - SOA Outstanding Student of the Year

Every year the faculty of the Arts and Visual Communications Department at Utah Valley University meet to recognize graduating students who excelled in each of their respective disciplines. The Dean of the School of the Arts also takes this same opportunity to recognize one student from any of the disciplines within the school to single out for amazing achievements while as a student at UVU. I am very pleased to announce that Michael Ririe was selected by the Dean as the School of the Arts Outstanding Student of the Year. A very well deserved honor.

Mike truly had some amazing accomplishments while a photography student at UVU. Mike would have been recognized as the Arts and Visual Communications but the Dean overrode us and rightfully so. These recognitions are a great opportunity for faculty and administration to single out and applaud a student who realized their future is what they make of it and have done all in their power to make it a bright one. Mike excelled in his classwork but more important he sought to go above and beyond the requirements of the degree and find ways outside of the classroom to share his talent in as meaningful way as possible. This couldn't have been more evident than in his BFA project about the Now I Can Foundation. I will tell more about this but it was but one of many accomplishments that are evidence that the Dean chose correctly. Here are some of Mike's accomplishments as well as a sampling of his photography:

  • Self-published his BFA project about the Now I Can Foundation into a book
    • This is a non-profit organization that provides very intense rehabilitation for children will severe physical disabilities such as cerebral palsy
    • Raised over $13,000 through a Kickstarter campaign to pay for the printing and then donated all proceeds back to the foundation to assist families in paying for treatment of their children
    • He also exhibited this project in two separate solo shows
  • Was the SkillsUSA national championship in photography
  • President of the UVU Photo Club and started the idea of doing service oriented group photo projects. Starting with the Road Home project and exhibit that Mike set up
  • Merit scholarship recipient in AVC
  • Worked as both a darkroom lab aid and as a teaching assistant for our Photo I class for non majors where he ran labs instructing other students on how to photograph better
  • 3 Solo exhibits during his senior year as well as participating in the annual student show as well as two other group shows
  • All this while maintaing a very good GPA
Congratulations Mike and the best of luck for the rest of your career.