Alexander Winakor, a Connecticut native, knew he wanted to go to school in a major city. After researching schools in both NYC and Boston, he landed at his current home at Emmanuel College. He recalled hearing about Colleges of the Fenway during an Accepted Students Day, but admitted when he arrived on campuses he “didn’t fully grasp all the perks that came with COF because [he] was so excited to finally be in Boston.”

With the ability to create an individualized major, Winakor selected Design and Animation as a focus. During the spring semester of his first year he would meet frequently with Eric Doubek, Associate Professor of Art, to analyze work from Winakor’s favorite artists and designers. With an interest in animated elements, Doubek mentioned the possibility of taking some animation classes at MassArt through cross-registration. The suggested courses would “allow [him] to further develop that skillset and to capitalize on the ability to add new and dynamic elements to [his] portfolio.”

“The whole experience of cross-registering is easy, although it can be challenging to find a class with open seats,” he shared. However, there have been people a few key people who helped Winakour along the way, including Flip Johnson, the Animation Department Chair. “You just need to reach out and be personable! Resources are everywhere around us.”  From that first meeting, Johnson played a crucial role in advising him towards certain sections that were likely to have more open seats. This allowed Winakor to keep those course offerings in mind when he was registering for classes at Emmanuel.

“If not for cross-registering, I’d be missing out on classes that cover an integral part of my creative interests. I’m a designer first, but pairing my Emmanuel classes with motion and animation studios has allowed me to create work I’m completely happy with,” Winakor explained. The MassArt Animation Department has even invited him on the department’s annual trip to the Ottawa Film Festival. Winakor jokes, “I don’t like missing class at Emmanuel, so I’ve never gone, but I have one more year to take them up on the offer!”

When asked about his biggest piece of advice to other COF students, Winakor confidently shares, “Cross-registering is a way to meet new people, personally and professionally, and working hard is the easiest way to be taken seriously, especially as an artist!”