Five Minutes With Hannah Mellino ’19, Lover of History and Graphic Design

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Hannah Mellino ’19 serves as the archive administrative and communications assistant at The University of Olivet. This new position was made possible through the generous support of Bob ’57 and Sarah (Engle) ’56 Lawrence and other donors, and it was created to assist with the administration of the newly renovated Hosford History Center and Lawrence Archives. Hannah recently graduated from OC with a degree in graphic design and visual arts with a concentration in biological illustration. As a student, Hannah worked with both the College’s archives and Marketing Department, and she is especially excited to learn more about OC through her role on the staff.
Why do you love OC?
I love OC because of the people and the environment they have created. Whether you’re working with staff or taking classes in biology or business, they all see you for the person you are and will do everything in their power to assist you. For instance, in every single one of the 11 classes I’ve been in that were not part of my major, the professors customized their lectures to include parts that would be easier for art students and visual learners to understand. They didn’t just teach their lectures; they first learned about their students and then taught to that class of individuals specifically. OC is authentic in every sense of the word.
What is your favorite memory from your time at OC?
One semester, Associate Professor of Art Thia Eller brought rescue kittens to the art building, and students would hold and play with them in between our classes. My favorite time, though, was taking care of one small, black, sick kitten wrapped in a blanket as I worked on some paintings early on a cold fall morning.
Where do your passions for working in the archives and graphic design stem from?
I think my passion for history was developed as a result of being deprived of history for so long. Growing up in California, everything is new and modern. Through the influence of media and movies, I noticed others who had an appreciation and respect for history. This helped me have a love for history as well. By the time I got to the archives here at OC, I was completely blown away by our history and the items that I could tangibly see and touch. At that point, I knew I had to somehow become a part of it and get involved.
My love for art and design is directly related to my family. My family in Mexico is comprised of painters and sculptures, and many of my family members here in the U.S. are painters, designers, animators and editors — and my dad is Italian, so being artistic just comes with the blood.
What’s the average day in your role, or some of the unique things you are responsible for?
One might think I work with the “dead” past, but in reality, it’s pretty lively. Having a supervisor like Assistant Professor of Social Sciences and Archivist Nikki Magie, Ph.D., helps create an exciting atmosphere. In my position, I’m an extension of Professor Magie, so I assist her in keeping the archives running smoothly with the constant flow of students and archive materials. I also have the added benefit of working with OC’s Marketing Department as a graphic designer. With this job, there are always new faces, new projects and new discoveries, so it keeps life fast-paced, interesting and challenging.
Why do you encourage students to attend OC?
I encourage students to attend OC if they’re interested in becoming the best version of themselves. Your environment has a lot to do with who you become, and Olivet has a unique and diverse culture that is able to connect you with many wonderful opportunities and people in a positive atmosphere. If you face challenges, the people on campus will help you work through it and make you stronger.
What do you look forward to in your role?
I am looking forward to forming networks and helping students become connected with the College archives. I am also very excited for Homecoming, where we can reconnect with alumni and friends and show off the incredible Hosford History Center and Lawrence Archives.
What is an interesting or little-known fact about yourself?
Thanks to a scholarship from The University of Olivet’s art program, I was able to live in Florence, Italy, for five weeks in 2017 and study figure drawing at the Florence Academy of Art. It was an incredible life-changing trip, and I can’t wait to make it back there again someday!
Learn more about The University of Olivet by contacting the Office of Admissions at 800-456-7189 or admissions@uolivet.edu.


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