Meet Our Graduating Seniors

An Art History degree at St. Thomas culminates with a semester-long senior research paper and presentation. This opportunity not only gives our students the opportunity to reflect on their coursework and produce sustained independent research, it also ensures students leave St. Thomas with a substantial research project that will better prepare them for a career or graduate school. 

Learn more about our senior art history majors, Madie Ley and Annie Vitale, who will graduate in May 2018. We are very proud to say that both of these women were Tommie Award nominees, scholars, active in clubs, service work & athletics, participated in study abroad or VISION trips and are leaders on campus. Both of these women also worked in the Art History Department as Visual Resource Assistants in our Visual Resources Library.

We are very excited for what's to come for both of these women and look forward to attending the Senior Research Forum on May 4, 2018 where we will celebrate the accomplishments of both of these young women. 

Madie Ley

Major: Art History
Minor: History

What were your favorite art history classes?

My favorite art history classes were Intro to Art History in London and Native American Art History. The London class was an exciting way to start coursework as a first-year student, and having class in museums, galleries, and churches exposed me to a multitude of ideas and histories of art. Taking Native American Art History from the grad program as a third-year student challenged me, but it ultimately led to an internship and research grant, all of which inspired my passion for representation in the art world. 

What does an art history degree from St. Thomas mean to you?

An art history degree from St. Thomas doesn't just set me up for a career in a museum. It means that I understand the visual world and am equipped to interpret it and write about it both for academic and general audiences. It means I can identify the roots of contemporary culture and the implications of those historical roots.  

What are your plans following graduation? 

After graduation, I hope to work in collections maintenance for any type of institution, be it a museum, library, or private collections. I also have an interest in "WWOOFing"traveling through the World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms organization. A long-term goal is to attend graduate school to study contemporary art history. 


Madie Ley - Madie Ley
Spring 2016 – Visual Resources Assistant, University of St. Thomas Art History Department
Fall 2016 – Spring 2017 Gallery Guard, American Museum of Asmat Art
Fall 2016 Curation Intern, Art of Africa and the Americas, Minneapolis Institute of Art
Spring 2016 Exhibitions Intern, Banfill-Locker Center for the Arts
Spring 2015 Social Media & Marketing Intern, Audience Engagement Department, Minneapolis Institute of Art
October 2015 – August 2015 Freelance Journalist, Minnesota Public Radio, Local Current Blog
  • Collaborative Inquiry Research Grant, University of St. Thomas, 2017
  • Good Sister Award, University Advocates for Women and Equality, 2017
  • Stanley Ryan Fine Arts Scholarship, University of St. Thomas, 2017
  • Phi Alpha Theta National History Honor Society, member since 2016
  • Activist Digest Newsletter, Co-Founder, 2017 
  • Washington, D.C. Women’s March Scholarship, Luann Dummer Center for Women, 2016
  • University of St. Thomas VISION participant, three volunteer terms 2015-2018

Annie Vitale

Major: Art History
Minors: Italian, Graphic Design

What were your favorite art history classes?

absolutely loved both of the courses I took with Dr. Victoria Young — American Architecture and Sacred Space.

What does an art history degree from St. Thomas mean to you?

Graduating with an art history degree from St. Thomas means a lot to me. I know that this degree will open many doors and provide many opportunities for me.

Not only will I carry with me the knowledge I have gained from my time in the St. Thomas Art History Department but also the connections I have made with faculty and fellow classmates. I will forever be thankful all those in the department who have helped shape my journey here and contributed to my positive experience at St. Thomas.

What are your plans following graduation? 

I would eventually like to go back to school for my Master's in Architecture. 

Annie Vitale - Annie Vitale
December 2016 – Intern, olliePop Design, LLC
Fall 2015  Digital Asset Assistant, University of St. Thomas Art History Department
Summer 2015 Intern, Student and Teacher Programs, Minneapolis Institute of Art
  • Dean's List, all semesters
  • Department of Art History Travel Grant Recipient, Spring 2018
  • Dance Team Member and Senior Captain, April 2014 –
  • Sunday School Leader, Eagle Brook Church, September 2015 –
  • Italian Club Member, November 2015 –