Wonderful visits from Colleges, Universities and Conservatories this Fall and Winter with Fairfax Academy

By Kimberly Orr
January 26, 2023

Check out some of the presentations in action!

Ms. Maria Martin, Fairfax Academy Counselor, has led a wonderful schedule of college visits this fall and winter, sharing many University and Collegiate academic departments specifically representing major programs that match with the classes and curriculum taught at Fairfax Academy!  Ms. Martin has been creating this schedule of visits since she began at Fairfax Academy in 2012.  During these visits, representatives talk specifically about their college programs for American Sign Language, Fashion, Music, Photography, Dance, Theatre, Film Studies, World Languages and more, depending on the institution.  The admissions representatives genuinely kept the attention of our students through various slide shows; class activities; sharing alumni success stories in the arts, fashion, music and theater; and sharing the details of their programs.  Admissions representatives and professors both shared details of program success and reviewed admission requirements for students who are interested in applying for specific programs. 

Our very first visit was with Mr. John Reid at Rochester Institute of Technology/National Technical Institute for the Deaf (RIT/NTI). During Mr. Reid’s visit with our American Sign Language (ASL) classes, he described the experiences hearing students would have with RIT/NTI in Rochester, NY; along with Gallaudet University and McDaniel College who shared the same endeavor within their visits, painting a picture of a freshman experience as an ASL major.  The George Washington University was very proud to share their Arabic language program with all of the students in Mr. Ford’s Arabic classes.  These sessions really focused on the use of the language in other fields, and how the language is in demand in the United States.

Radford University and VCUArts shared their Fashion Design faculty that hones in on design methodology and merchandising themes in fashion careers classes to show students what they are learning from their class in college curriculum. The students participated in activities the professors shared covering aspects of fashion.  Columbia College of Chicago also had a passionate admissions representative that went over the specifics of the Music Computer Technology (MCT) program that focuses on the science of sound. Additionally, our MCT students heard from representatives from Belmont University and Frost School of Music zoomed in virtually, to share their expertise in music composition, audio engineering, music business and more. 

The students from Dance, Fashion Careers, MCT and Musical Theatre classes had direct exposure to the rigorous admissions processes of Berklee College of Music, The Boston Conservatory, SCAD, Pace University and the Juilliard School, learning exactly what they need to prepare to apply to these top fine arts and production programs.  Lastly, Mr. Pardo from James Madison University taught a master class for our dance students and shared the freedom that JMU affords their dance majors and how certain students would be chosen for the Virginia Repertory Dance Company. He even offered scholarships to many of our dance students for the summer and collegiate programs.

We finalized our college visits this year with Marymount University’s School of Design and Art (SODA), who visited our Fashion Careers classes December 12th, before transitioning for holiday break.  The presentation shared by the faculty of SODA at Marymount about the bachelor of arts in fashion design and the program colliding with interdisciplinary programs that partner with fashion, including entrepreneurship, business, marketing and web development.

The various liaisons the Fairfax Academy students were introduced to since the beginning of the school year is program specific and more in depth, adding to the general admission visits that already take place at their base high schools.  Fairfax Academy shares students with 18 high schools within Fairfax County Public Schools, so the schedule of visits for Colleges, Universities, and Conservatories adds to the uniqueness of the Fairfax Academy programs.  The goal of these visits is to disseminate valuable information and guidelines with our students who are choosing to continue their education from the programs and classes they take at Fairfax Academy.  

Rochester Institute of Technology/National Technical Institute for the Deaf - RIT/NTID 

  • Academy Class: American Sign Language, Representative: John Reid

Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU)Arts - Fashion and Merchandising 

  • Academy Class: Fashion Careers, Fashion Professors: Patricia Brown and Rudy Lopez  


  • Academy Classes: Photo,TV/Media,Fashion Careers,Pro Photo, Representative: Angelica Kim

Columbia College of Chicago 

  • Academy Class: Music Computer Technology, Representative: Gemini Wadley 

Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD)

  • Academy Classes: Fashion Careers, Pro Photo and TV/Media, Representative: Taylor Mathis

Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) (Virtual Visit)

  • Academy Class: Fashion Careers, Representative: Isabelle Sanchez 

Belmont University - Nashville (Virtual Visit)

  • Academy Class: Music Computer Technology, Representative: Natalie Peterson 

Frost School of Music (Virtual Visit)

  • Academy Class: Music Computer Technology, Representative: Chris Bennett 

Pace University 

  • Academy Classes:  Musical Theatre and Dance, Representative: Morgan Theze

Berklee College of Music 

  • Academy Class: Music Computer Technology, Admissions Representative: Josh Garcia 

Boston Conservatory at Berklee

  • Academy Class: Music Computer Technology, Representative: Ronte’ Hardy

The Juilliard School (Virtual Visit)

  • Academy Classes: Dance and Musical Theatre, Representative: Kathleen Tesar

McDaniel College 

  • Academy Class: American Sign Language, Representative: Kelsey Kirkman

The George Washington University  

  • Academy Class: Arabic, Professor: Dr. Mohssen Esseesy, 

Gallaudet University

  • Academy Class: American Sign Language, Representative: ReNelle Baker

James Madison University

  • Academy Class: Dance, Professors: Matt Pardo & Adam Anderson 

Radford University

  • Academy Class: Fashion Careers, Professor: Holly Cline

Radford University (Virtual Visit)

  • Academy Classes:  Musical Theatre, Music Computer Technology, Dance, TV/Media, Pro Photo and Fashion Careers, Professors: Richard Dunhamn (Theatre & Cinema), James Robey (Dance) & Stuart Robinson (Fashion, Photography, Music)

Marymount University

  • Academy Class: Fashion Careers, Professors: Jennifer Yang, Julian Ravindran, & Nina Thirakul