Ahead of this year’s graduating class is a job market still recovering from COVID-19.

Many departments host senior showcases for students to network with industry professionals.

Here’s a preview of some of the showcases that are happening or have happened this year.


Theatre and Dance

In the past, the Theatre and Dance Department held two live showcases, one taking place in Los Angeles and the other in New York City.  Due to COVID-19, the department chose to make their showcases digital. 

The department held streams April 21 and 22, with the Acting Showcase taking place first, followed by the Musical Theater Showcase the next day. According to Theatre and Dance Department Head Joseph Price, the streams acted like a virtual venue.

“This year we teamed up with a group called Broadway Unlocked, which creates these virtual venues to show off what we’ve filmed,” Price said. “Every student has a prerecorded video showcasing what they’ve been working on and people in the industry can pop in, view it and even chat with the student.”

Price said the Theatre and Dance Department had been working since the beginning of the fall 2020 semester to develop the showcase after figuring COVID-19 restrictions would still be in place by the time April came around.


Interior Design

Because the showcase to display 3D designs, the department chose to host their showcase April 16 in person but move it to a larger space at the University Plaza Convention Center.

According to Technology and Construction Management Department senior professor Nancy Asay, the showcase didn’t have food and an open bar like it has in the past.

“Each student was given an equal section to display their work as well as their digital portfolio,” Asay said. “We were able to have about 350 people come and view the showcase, and some students have already had job offers.”

According to Jolean Hackney, senior interior design major, who took home the “Best of Show Award,” the event allowed for a plethora of offers for jobs and internships for her.

“The MSU Interior Design Senior Showcase was a great success this year, and the hard work that us seniors put into our show really paid off, and it made the night very enjoyable,” Hackney said. “My booth showcased custom-built furniture created by my dad and me, as well as many projects that I have completed throughout my time in the Interior Design program.”


Fashion and Merchandising

This year, the Fashion and Merchandising Showcase is May 12 at the Glass Hall Atrium with limited guests. The event comprises the seniors’ collections, which they have designed over the course of the spring semester and have been advertised and promoted by their merchandising senior partners.

Associate Dean of the College of Business Elizabeth Rozell said despite challenges posed by COVID-19, this year’s seniors have “persevered and showed great talent.”

“Our students have stepped up to the challenge of continuing with their dreams of being merchandisers and fashion designers,” Rozell said. “We have the same expectations of our students as in years past.”

Tiffany Ivie, senior fashion and merchandising major, received the Outstanding Senior Fashion Design Award for this year, and her collection “Dauntless” will be one of the many collections displayed at the showcase this year. Ivie said her collection took her a total of 250 hours to complete.

“I work a full-time job, and I’m also in a full semester of classes, so time was definitely a big part of the challenges I faced while designing and sewing my collection,” Ivie said. “I can definitely say I’ve learned more this semester than I have in any other semester. I’m much more confident in myself when it comes to creating anything I want, and it’s a great feeling.”



This year, the Design Department Showcase will be held at the Student Exhibition Center May 3 through 14. A limited number of people are allowed to view the showcase at a time.

According to assistant art and design professor Masha Gerasimchuk-Djordjevic, the showcase was originally going to be virtual, but as vaccination rates in Missouri increased, the department decided to host it in-person.

“During the showcase, students get to display the work that they have completed for a client as part of their design practicum class, as well as to select four pieces from their portfolios,” Gerasimchuk-Djordjevic said. “On the community level, it allows visitors to see what our students are capable of and that they are ready to go into the field of graphic design and illustration.”

The showcase will be a walk-in event for any member of the community.


Follow Todd Dearing on Twitter, @mtodddearing

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