The creative Williams Honors Scholar: Samantha Fazio


Photo of woman in blue shirt and white coat against interior background.

Samantha Fazio

The Spanish artist Pablo Picasso once said, “Everything you can imagine is real.”

For daydreamers wanting to hit the lottery jackpot, that logic might be a bit of a stretch. But for artists, it’s reality. By opening one’s mind, ideas and creativity will flow, just like they do for Samantha Fazio, a graphic design student at The University of Akron (UA).

Fazio is in her junior year in UA’s Myers School of art studying graphic design, something that has always been in the back of her creative mind as a career choice—specifically working as an illustrator and eventually teaching design at the university level.

“I took every art class offered at my high school and have always been a creative person,” says Fazio, from Akron. “I also really like the idea of getting to work in a creative environment, so graphic design was a natural fit for me.”

UA’s Drs. Gary B. and Pamela S. Williams Honors College (WHC) is, in part, empowering Fazio to turn her imaginations into reality.

As part of this, Fazio recently started her Honors research project, which is a requirement of all Honors scholars. She’s researching the impression of public art in society.

“My research will be about the community impact of murals and public art, and I’m planning to paint a mural as part of this project,” says Fazio. “I chose this topic because I am really interested in street art, and I have helped paint a few murals in the past and loved it.”

The Honors project is one of the unique ways in which the WHC prepares its graduates for careers anywhere in the world. The WHC’s Honors Distribution program requires students to complete courses in several disciplines; likewise, the college’s Honors Colloquia courses bring together honors students from various majors to discuss timely topics in the sciences and humanities. Such programs offer Honors students a different perspective on the discipline they’re studying.

“Being an Honors Scholar gives you academic opportunities to take unique classes,” says Fazio. “I took a class about creativity that was taught by one of my design professors and it was really cool to learn more about creativity outside of a strictly visual arts context.”

Plus, another perk of being a student in the WHC is schedule flexibility since Honors students are not required to take some of the required general education classes. In lieu of that, Fazio has taken advantage of this valuable time by indulging in more art classes or topics that pique her interest.

“Having flexibility in my schedule has given me the opportunity to take extra classes that I'm interested in just for fun,” says Fazio. “So far, I’ve taken a Spanish class and a mural painting class and really enjoyed both. I plan to take more art studio classes as electives in the future to learn about new mediums I’m interested in, such as printmaking.”

“I have enjoyed being a student in the Williams Honors College,” Fazio adds. “I’ve made some really great friends through Honors and have enjoyed all the Honors classes I’ve taken. An assignment from my Honors English Composition class that I took is even what gave me the final nudge to declare my major as graphic design. I would tell a high school junior or senior to consider UA and its Honors College because the people here are very genuine and want to help you succeed, and Honors gives you a community at UA.”

Media contact: Cristine Boyd, 330-972-6476 or