HERRON: Like most IUPUI Top 100 students, you are a leader in your community. What has getting involved with campus groups taught you?

MENDOZA: If it weren't for my campus involvement, I wouldn't be creating the artwork I'm making today. The conferences and workshops that I have been able to attend through these organizations have helped me come to terms with my identity as a Filipinx-American woman, providing me with the research that I needed to develop my work. The roles I've held taught me resilience, responsibility as a leader, and the power of both my words and actions. These experiences have also taught me that my voice has the power to be used for social change and empowerment.

HERRON: What advice would you give to students who are nervous to present at conferences?

MENDOZA: The best advice I have ever been given is advice that I will give: "The best kind of artist is one who is sure of themselves." If you know yourself and know your material, you have nothing to fear."

HERRON: What has been your most memorable experience at Herron?

MENDOZA: The biggest takeaway I have gotten from my educational experience at Herron would have to be the support of my professors. It means a lot to have professors who are willing to learn from you as much as you learn from them, and I love being able to have open dialogues in class regarding issues I am passionate about.

HERRON: What does being an IUPUI Top 100 student mean to you?

MENDOZA: Being in the Top 100 means that all the work I have done as an Filipinx-American on campus and in the community has the ability to make moves and be heard. It means representation for my people and that I am a force to be reckoned with.

HERRON: What's next for you after graduation?

MENDOZA: This fall, I will enter the M.A. in art therapy program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. I also intend to continue working closely with the Filipinx-American community in Chicago, whether by digital or physical means. And I will continue pushing my painting practice.