From the president

Since arriving on campus as a transfer student at MassArt, Heily Rivas, has quickly become an active leader and community builder active in multiple student organizations and cultural projects. Working as a student leader in MassArt’s Student Government Association and the MassArt Activities Council, Heily has worked alongside community stakeholders to collaboratively organize the Latin American Heritage Celebration, the Lunar New Year Festival, West African Celebration, and Dabke night at MassArt. This work reflects her commitment to engage her fellow students in centering the cultural richness of their community. Heily’s commitment to forming connection and building community extends beyond the college. She has been working with her fellow Fashion Design majors to create policies and actions to reduce waste in the department and connecting this practice to an international humanitarian.project with her grandmother in Colombia. In her time at MassArt, Heily has committed herself to fostering a sense of connection among students, faculty and staff, advocating for her peers, and exemplifying the sharing of culture where it is the center of the MassArt community.


Personal Statement

My journey began through international mission volunteer work. Annual trips to Colombia to provide toys, clothing, and other items to children and families in need inspired me to continue helping others at a grander scale. My interest in culture and the arts was first sparked by my experience performing in my family’s musical band. As I grew, I fell in love with sewing and fashion design, but once I learned about the harm the industry inflicts on the environment and those it employs, I knew I had to dedicate my career to enacting positive change from within the fashion industry. Throughout my college experience, I have been gathering knowledge on garment production and sustainable techniques, which I have already put to work. I initiated a textile collection program to divert scraps from the waste stream which was recently expanded to three studio spaces. I actively seek to learn and celebrate cultures from around the world, inviting all of MassArt’s campus community to share the beauty of our planet. My belief is that cultural education and appreciation are the key to inclusion and harmony. Learning from and caring for each other is what will lead to a more environmentally sound future.

Heily Rivas

Fashion Design

Massachusetts College of Art and Design