Nichols College News

Nichols Junior Turns Animator

Junior Melanie Gajewski, has had an animated existence at Nichols, not just because she has a lively interest in so many fields, but because she is becoming an accomplished videographer and animator.

The junior has been hired by Nichols to make videos of such events as student “move-in day” at the beginning of the academic year and parent orientation. But the creation that has made the biggest splash is Gajewski’s animated rendition of a Rubik’s Cube, famous for decades as a colorful and challenging puzzle.

The finished work—which also involved solving that puzzle—contains 400 still shots of different color configurations on the cube, which come to life in a 15-second, rapid-fire sequence. The animation became the centerpiece of a television and Web ad for Nichols last year.

“When (Vice President for Enrollment and Marketing) Tom Cafaro said, ‘We’re going to use the Rubik’s Cube for a commercial,’ my jaw dropped,” Gajewski recalls. “And I’ve had other students say to me, ‘I saw your commercial.’ Being seen is life-changing.”

While Gajewski has recently taken up drawing, taking the Digital Communication course taught last year by Professor Mauri Pelto marked a turning point. Her main project relied heavily on video. “I saw that I had a real interest in it,” she says, adding that she has come to prefer animation even more.

“It’s more rewarding,” Gajewski explains. “You can turn something regular into something really cool. I could videotape a student coming out of a building, and then draw the scene in a series of pictures which become the animation before finally turning into the actual video shot of the subject.”

Gajewski says that she’s looking at a wide horizon of career possibilities. “I love Nichols so much because the people here were able to draw out the abilities I have,” she says.

One option would be to continue her parents’ business of owning and managing apartment buildings, starting her own business—in particular, a bakery specializing in cupcakes, or heading to graduate school with the aim of becoming a college professor.

Of course, there’s the lure of taking her talents as a videographer and animator back to Worcester-based Vision Advertising, where she is working part time. “I have a job waiting,” she says. “My boss made me promise to work there.”

“I’m passionate about so many things,” Gajewski admits. “It’s finding that one career where I can do everything. I feel like something great is going to happen.”