Jervontae Thurman

Jervontae Thurman

Art Major at Indiana State University

When freshman art major Jervontae Thurman was a child, he was intrigued by animated films. Not only did he enjoy the storylines, he was also fascinated by the animation design. As a high school student in Chicago, Thurman considered his career options, and he frequently returned to animation and art.

Upon visiting Indiana State University, he realized the University’s art program best suited his interests. In the program, students explore art history, art theory, and art criticism. Through workshops and other hands-on learning, Sycamores strengthen their artistic talents in their chosen art media. For Thurman, this is graphic design, and the Sycamore studies formal design values, visual aesthetics, print designs, corporate identities, typography, photo-illustration, drawn design, web design, and layout and packaging techniques.

“I enjoy meeting other artists and interacting with them. They share a similar interest in art, and I want to be even more active in art. My classes make me think about art in a new way, and this will help me pursue a career as a graphic designer,” Thurman says.

When he visited campus during a preview day event, Thurman was impressed by the professors and their passion for teaching. Professors in the Department of Art & Design provide individualized attention and mentorship. They actively create and exhibit artwork, and they guide students through experiences at museums, galleries, and studios.

“Everyone seemed to really enjoy their jobs and teaching. So, that made me realize Indiana State has a good campus environment and it’s where I wanted to attend school,” says Thurman, who acknowledged the transition from high school to college. “College is definitely harder work than high school, but I also like that it’s not as repetitive. I’m learning new material every day. I’m challenged in my classes and my professors encourage me to stay focused. It’s up to me to keep my grades up, but I still have support from my professors and other mentors.”

A Black male student wearing a white dress shirt poses in a hallway next to a railing.

Also a 21st Century Scholar, Thurman recognizes and appreciates the campus resources that help him each day in his studies and campus involvement. Indiana’s 21st Century Scholars program is an early-college promise program to make college more affordable for students. Eligible students receive a two- or four-year scholarship that can pay up to 100 percent of tuition to a partnered college in Indiana.

“Being a 21st Century Scholar has helped me make a smooth transition from high school to college – both financially and academically. I had offers from other schools, but I wanted to join the Sycamore family because of all the opportunities on campus and for my future career as a graphic designer,” says Thurman. “As a 21st Century Scholar, it keeps me motivated to work hard as a college student so I can have more success down the road.”

A Black male student wearing a white dress shirt poses in front of glass windows.

Thurman also has taken advantage of Indiana State’s opportunities for joining student organizations, including Sycamore Video in the Department of Communication, and the Brotherhood of Successful Scholars (B.O.S.S.). The program, organized by the Charles E. Brown African American Cultural Center, encourages male students to strive for academic excellence and to embrace leadership in community service projects and academic programs.

“Indiana State isn’t a big school, but it’s not too small, either. It’s the right size. There are opportunities to get involved on campus. Every student group is open to new people. You can find a place to belong,” Thurman adds.

Sycamores discover more about themselves at Indiana State University. They find a place to grow, thrive, and pursue their passions. Thurman knew he belonged at Indiana State on his first visit. Because a welcoming campus environment begins with BLUE!