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Student 'Snapshot' — Rachel Krall

Date: 11/12/2012

Art has been an important part of Rachel Krall’s life since she was very young, despite the fact that she’d never had a formal art class before enrolling at Alvernia.

A junior English major pursuing minors in art and digital media, Krall is quickly making up for her prior lack of art education. During her first three years as an Alvernia student she’s completed seven art courses, and has no intention of slowing down. This semester, she's studying abroad in London, England.

Krall is particularly drawn to digital photography, but also enjoys graphic design and drawing. Her work was featured recently in a student art exhibit in the Miller Gallery.

“Of all art mediums, photography comes the closest to conveying an exact representation of reality, and yet it’s still possible to transform that reality into a personal expression,” Krall said.

The ability to express herself through art is what the 21-year-old from Shillington, Pa., enjoys the most.

“Art allows me an outlet to represent the world as I see it,” she said.

A homeschooled student before enrolling at Alvernia, Krall received encouragement from her family. She said the chance to interact with her instructors has provided opportunities for her to greatly improve her work.“The art classes here have enabled me to receive feedback on my work,” Krall said. “That’s important, because critique is absolutely necessary in order to improve, and it’s emphasized in the classes here.”

With plans to pursue a career in the publishing industry, Krall is for now embracing her time at Alvernia, particularly the art classes. Those classes challenge her, she said, and she has become better able to focus and immerse herself in her artwork.

“When I’m working on a time-consuming project, I love the way that time becomes irrelevant,” she said. “I can escape to a peaceful state of mind because my whole focus in on my work.”

Krall looks forward to taking additional art classes during her senior year that will enable her to continue learning and creating. It is in creating and sharing her work, Krall said, that she finds joy. For now, she is spending a semester studying abroad at St. Mary's University in London, England. 

“Instead of simply consuming others’ productivity, creating art enables me to give back,” she said. “I can take ownership of the work I create, but at the same time I don’t want to keep my art to myself; I want to share it with the world.”

When not busy pursuing her creative passions, Krall can be found giving back in other more traditional ways — helping with the children’s ministry at her church, and volunteering at the Mifflin Community Library.

>> Find out more about Alvernia's study abroad program or the the Arts at Alvernia

  • History: Established as a private four-year liberal arts college in 1958, Alvernia celebrated its 50th year by being awarded university status in 2008.
  • Heritage: Founded by the Bernardine Sisters, a Catholic religious order, the university embraces the Franciscan core values of service, humility, collegiality, contemplation and peacemaking.
  • Motto: “To Learn, To Love, To Serve”
  • Campus: The main campus in Reading is 121 acres, with two satellite campuses in Philadelphia and Pottsville (Schuylkill County).
  • Location: Our residential campus is situated three miles from center-city Reading, in the scenic Blue Mountain area of Eastern Pennsylvania.
  • Enrollment: 3,000 students attend Alvernia including 1,500 traditional undergraduates, 600 continuing education students, and 780 graduate students. Over 77% of first-year students live on campus.
  • Faculty: Our professors are accomplished scholars, experts in their fields, and supportive mentors. The student-to-faculty ratio is 14:1. Most classes are 20 students or fewer.
  • Athletics: NCAA Division III, member of the Commonwealth Conference of the Middle Atlantic States Athletic Corporation and member of Eastern College Athletic Conference, 8 men’s and 10 women’s intercollegiate sports.