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Fifty-Ninth Commencement



Meet Members of the Class of 2024



Class of 2024
Sable Spellman

Born and raised in New Jersey, Sable Spellman spent half her life in Georgia before moving to Brooklyn. Her first attempt at college (at Middlesex County College) was challenging. “It was really rough, and the lack of public transportation in New Jersey didn’t help either. I was excited when I moved to New York City because of how easy it was to get around and all the things you can do here. I wanted to elevate my socioeconomic status, break out of my artistic stagnation, and learn how to navigate the art world. My goal was to hit the ground running, do the best that I could, and get the guidance I was so desperate to have.”

Artistic by nature, Sable has been drawing since she could hold a crayon. “From childhood, I was introduced to a lot of books and loved to look at the illustrations and mimic what I saw, like in the Peter Rabbit books by Beatrix Potter and “Harold and the Purple Crayon” by Crockett Johnson,” she recalls. “I liked to create my own characters and worlds and get lost in them. I was encouraged by my mom, uncle, and aunt to keep at it.”

When it came time to choose a new college, she did her research and found that Kingsborough had the types of art classes she had been looking for. “Plus, the campus is beautiful, and the location is super close to where I live. You can't beat being next to the ocean!” Enrolling at Kingsborough Community College turned out to be life-changing.

An introvert who was shy due to social anxiety, she decided she didn’t want her mental health to hold her back anymore. “I got therapy, forced myself to be more outspoken, and sought to be honest with professors and faculty I trusted,” she shared. “Because of that, I made connections with people who became the support beams that would help me build a strong foundation so I could keep growing. I will never have enough words to express my thankfulness.”

She named professors John Aaron, Avri Beard, Kristin Derimanova, Brian Hack, Jonathan Macagba, Caterina Pierre, Madeline Sorel, Valeria Sokolova, and her mentor, Deborah Anderson, as being among those who helped mold and transform her into the person she is today. "I could write a whole 10-page essay about all the professors who influenced me, and it wouldn’t be enough! My world has been so changed by these professors; they really have become my sunlight.”

The graphic design and illustration major threw herself into various activities at KCC to make use of her new skills. “I joined the yearbook because I was trying to figure out what else I could do to interact with other designers while trying to work with “clients,” learn how to work with printed designs, and add more to my portfolio. I joined college newspaper Scepter after spending time in their office, meeting everyone, reading the amazing stories other students wrote, and seeing the stunning photography! Because of my Digital Publications class with Professor Levy, I felt comfortable working in InDesign, which helped a lot.” In addition to putting her stamp on the yearbook, she helped rebrand Scepter and created print and digital materials for the Dean's List ceremony. She also wrote and illustrated a children’s book as a class project.

Kingsborough afforded Sable opportunities to discover new interests and explore where else her love of the arts could take her. A work-study job as a gallery assistant at the Kingsborough Art Museum put her in contact with the museum director, Brian Hack, and art history professor Caterina Pierre, who reignited her love for art history. “I was very inspired by them. I applied to museums for an internship and luckily got one at the Metropolitan Museum of Art as a design intern. Before that, I interned one summer as a graphic designer at the accessories company Stoney Clover Lane. I was also able to make some designs for the role-playing game company, Wizards of the Coast. I didn’t get a full-time job, but it was a fun experience!”

Sable also received career training through the FirstGenU program, where she volunteered as an ambassador after completing the program and found time to volunteer doing arts and crafts projects at senior centers with Professor Sorel.

She graduates in June with honors and a perfect 4.0 GPA. Looking ahead, Sable plans to continue her education, possibly even pursuing a Ph.D. She has been accepted to the School of Visual Arts (SVA), earning a full-ride Silas H. Rhodes merit scholarship. She plans on majoring in graphic design with a minor in museum studies or art history.

“I feel like my focus in graphic design when I first started here was a bit hazy. I knew what I liked to do, but I didn’t know what spaces I could actually be in. Between classes, interacting with my professors and going through such wonderful opportunities, my goals shifted dramatically, and my goals became very clear,” she said. Her dream is to work as a graphic designer for a museum, creating exhibitions that make art accessible to everyone.

Sable’s advice for new KCC students is: "You can find what you're searching for here. It requires some work and some bits of failure, but don't give up. Seek and you truly will find."