Gilroy (Gavilan College): Gavilan is the college of choice for MasamuneKaji, who attributes his acceptance into Pratt Institute — one of the nation’s top Industrial Design Programs — to Gavilan College living up to its reputation for preparing students to transfer to highest ranked universities. Masamune is an international student from Japan who paid private school prices to gain the benefits Gavilan provides local students for a fraction of the cost.
Graduating with a 3.9 GPA, Masamune’ decision to attend Gavilan College was the product of thoughtful determination. In 2008, after deciding to study industrial design in the United States he decided to begin at a community college would enable him to further develop his English skills while taking courses necessary to transfer to a top American design school.
The Internet helped Masamune discover – from Japan – that the Bay Area had much to offer and Gavilan stood out among community colleges in this area; he was especially impressed with Gavilan’s excellent transfer rates and the potential for a superior immersion experience. Upon his arrival he was quickly struck by Gilroy's sense of community and small-town charm. After staying at the Motel 6 for almost a week he met with Gavilan College Administrator Joy Parker (since retired) to discuss his educational plans and was invited to stay her house until he found a place to stay.
Many of his nearly 60 units at Gavilan include courses that dovetail with his career choice. Computer Graphics and Design (CGD) instructor, Colette Marie McLaughlin noted Masamune’s passion for excellence is inspiring and is thankful that Gavilan was able to help him achieve his goal. Digital Media Instructor Kevin Power’s project-based PhotoShop class that Masamune is taking prepares students for the rigors of design studio. Dr. McLaughlin added, “Gavilan’s CGD program supports students such as Masamune, by giving future industrial designers, architects or engineers an opportunity to gain competencies in SolidWorks and other computer technologies while gaining proficiency in applied design, engineering, and marketing.”
Masamune looks forward to attending Pratt Institute in the fall. He was able to choose Pratt from other highly competitive programs in Industrial Design where he also was accepted including, The School of Art Institute of Chicago, Arizona State University and Rochester Institute of Technology. Gavilan truly was Masamune Kaji’s college of choice.