Brad Farrell

Next week Brad Farrell will step on a plane to New York City, a one-way ticket clutched in his hand.

After four years at Winona State University, this Prior Lake, Minn., native is off to chase a lifelong dream in the City that Never Sleeps. But first he must don cap and gown and officially graduate with a degree in advertising and a minor in professional studies.

“I am proud to graduate from WSU because of the quality educational and social experiences,” Farrell said, “I was able to study and pursue my passions of advertising and photography, get involved in clubs with people who shared those passions, and make some incredible friendships that will certainly last a lifetime.”

The WSU Mass Communication program provided a great foundation for his educational experience, said Farrell, and working with assistant professors like Tanya Ryan and James Bowey helped guide and mold his future.

“Each and every class I took with Professor Ryan turned out to be incredibly rewarding,” he said. “She had such a positive impact on my education and overall experience here and I’m fortunate to have had her, while Bowey’s studio photography course completely opened my eyes on how to think and execute creatively.”

While Farrell has enjoyed making connections both in and out of the classroom, his favorite WSU memory is when Dan Savage spoke on campus about his “It Gets Better” campaign.

“I remember looking around the crowded auditorium and sensing that I was part of history that could be compared with the civil rights movement,” he said. “It was a powerful moment for me that made me proud to be a part of this community.”

Farrell also believes WSU taught him what it takes to achieve his dreams.

“Even before college I considered myself a dreamer,” he said. “Attending WSU helped me to realize in order to achieve those dreams, I have to push myself and continue to pursue things that scare me, no matter how difficult they may be.”

After graduation, Farrell is excited to continue pursuing his dreams. In New York he will be working as a sales and marketing intern for a menswear designer.

Farrell offers this advice to his peers:

“Challenge yourself,” he said.  “Set goals and dreams for yourself and strive to achieve them by doing things that scare and push you.”

Click for information on Spring 2013 Commencement Viewing Options.

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Eric Hawkins

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