Anya Sokolovskaya
Co-Chair, Design, Technology & Management
University of Connecticut M.F.A.
I teach theater costume design at Eastern CT State University, and the most important thing I can say about myself is that I measure my success through the success of my students. A seed is getting rooted with the first opportunity, and after that the plant grows and grows; all of its life is overcoming obstacles, droughts, excessive rain, wind, hungry animals or curious children, the list is long but irrelevant. All we see is the plant’s beauty. Everything for me starts with my parents and their absolute love for me and my brother. The intriguing story line of my life is fun to tell but not really vital. My options as a Jew in the former Soviet Union were very limited because of the social environment and active discrimination. Dance was my outlet, but I graduated as an electrical engineer and worked on the railroad in Moscow. I met my husband, had two kids, had to give up hopes of dancing career, came to the US, entered my studies as a costume designer, had two more kids, started designing for theaters and teaching in the Performing Arts High School, became a professor. I am very grateful for the opportunity this country gave me and to many people who helped me on the way. Unfortunately, all this starts to sound as a response for some important award. What matters is whether my kids would be able to say that everything started for them with their parents and whether my students will say that they discovered the world of theater costume design. I also like when people appreciate my costumes.

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Eastern Connecticut State University