Huntington University is a Christian liberal arts college in Indiana

From stages to handbags:

Elements of design the same
Josh Scott on advantages of theater degree program at Huntington University, a Christian college.

"I grew so much in my time at Huntington because I opened myself up to it. I chose Huntington because I wanted an environment that would nurture and encourage (spiritual growth) – and it did."

The transition from stage to window displays may seem like an unusual one, but for Josh Scott, the same skills apply.

Josh, a 2005 graduate, worked as a merchandiser and visual design specialist with Vera Bradley, a leading manufacturer of handbags, travel bags and accessories. In his position, he trained retailers on design and display techniques to boost sales and best showcase merchandise in store layouts.

“My degree in theater technology and design prepared me in many ways,” Josh said. “For theater, your design has to function alongside the designs of others – it has to be collaborative. That is a great skill to have in a company because it helps me find solutions that support both a merchandising initiative, as well as sales and marketing. Each area is working toward the same goal, just like lights, costumes, sets, etc. My designs need to support their initiatives and still fit within the vision of Vera Bradley.”

While Josh’s job keeps him extremely busy, he has found time to engage in extracurricular theater opportunities. He has done freelance work painting backdrops for photographers, and he served as the technical director and designer for the Fort Wayne Youth Theatre. He also did technical work for the Civic Theatre in Fort Wayne and has appeared in productions there. In the spring of 2007, Josh served as a guest designer for Huntington University’s rendition of “Crimes of the Heart.”

At Huntington, Josh had several opportunities to experience theater in different environments. He spent a January Term in Los Angeles, attended Southeastern Theatre Conference events, met regularly with Christians in Theatre Arts and spent a semester in Spain.

“SETC was great because you met and worked with other students in your field, working through design competitions, auditioning and interviewing for summer stock jobs, and attending workshops,” Josh said.

Josh appreciates the close knit Huntington community that gave him both personal attention and room to grow academically.

“At school there was mutual respect in the learning environment, and it was that kind of ‘give-and-take’ in the classroom that was important to me,” Josh said. “I wouldn’t have had that at a larger school. There was more of a sense of community within the student body as well – I think we all felt we were part of this thing called ‘Huntington’ together. We were what made it what it was. It wasn’t so big and segmented that you lost that intimacy.”

Huntington also gave Josh an environment to develop spiritually.

“I grew so much in my time at Huntington because I opened myself up to it,” he said. “I allowed myself to be sensitive to the Spirit, and had a desire to be transformed during those years. I chose Huntington because I wanted an environment that would nurture and encourage that – and it did.”

Josh recognizes his career and extracurricular success would not have been possible without God’s leading.

“I had all the skills I needed to be successful, but the biggest advantage I had was faith that God put me where I was supposed to be – so no matter how much I had to adapt to a new thought process and environment, I knew God had prepared me as much as I needed to be in order to be a success,” he said.

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