Student Profile: Mal Otten
When Mal Otten is stressed, she turns to her tried-and-true therapists: her paintbrush and sketchpad.
“I really enjoy the creativity of art,” she says. “Making a great piece of art can take a long time, but it helps me get through things if I’m struggling. I’m in the art building a lot, but I like being there!”
The Holland senior has liked art since elementary school, but not until middle school did she develop a real passion for it. By her freshman year of high school, Otten, an art major, was sure that her career path was pointing toward art.
“I knew that I wanted to share my love of art with younger students and help them see that art is exciting and can be something to do for the rest of your life,” she says. “After Alma, I would love to go to graduate school for art therapy and become an art therapist who works with traumatized children or children with cancer and other illnesses.”
Otten rarely sets down her art supplies, but when she does, it’s to be involved in the Chapel and Fellowship of Christian Athletes. She is also a resident assistant, community mentor and volunteer.
“We all know that balancing academics and everything else you’re involved in can be really challenging, so we all really look out for each other at Alma,” she says. “I was really nervous about college at first, but Alma has really helped me break out of my shell. We have a supportive environment here.”