GCC Student Awarded $25,000 Scholarship to Hartford Art School at the University of Hartford

Monday, February 25, 2019

A Gateway Community College (GCC) student was awarded a $25,000 scholarship Thursday night at the Community Transfer Student Exhibition at the Hartford Art School.

Wurood Mahmood of New Haven learned she received the scholarship to the art school at the University of Hartford based on the merit of her submissions.  Mahmood, who is originally from Iraq, learned about the exhibition from her professors at GCC and had to prepare her submission while traveling in Panama.  She said that the opportunity to study at Hartford Art School would fulfill a goal.

“Art is everything to me,” she said.  “I could tell my stories and tell how I feel through art.”

Mahmood said that she was excited and relieved to hear the news that she was selected to have artwork displayed in the Donald and Linda Silpe Gallery at the University of Hartford.  Students chosen to show their artwork in the Community exhibition were eligible to compete for scholarship awards, including full tuition worth approximately $36,000 per year, and partial tuition scholarships. “Last night was amazing,” Mahmood said after learning about the scholarship. 

"I commend Wurood on her talent and on her success in winning this scholarship," said GCC President, Paul Broadie II. "I know I speak for the faculty and staff in expressing how proud we are of her achievements."

Students eligible to compete for the scholarships must be enrolled in any state community college or one of three Massachusetts community colleges and must declare, or plan to declare, a fine art/studio major.  Portfolios, artist statements, letters of recommendation, and unofficial transcripts were reviewed.

Since 2011, Mahmood has had her work featured in a number of exhibits.  Her art was included in an annual exhibition at the Art Institute in Baghdad, Iraq.  She also took part in the second annual exhibition at the Institute of Graphic Arts in Baghdad, Iraq.

Mahmood’s artwork appeared in the Faces exhibit at the Bandak Art Gallery in Amman, Jordan.  More recently, she was part of Refugees:  Stories of Life’s Dreams and Scars at Yale University and Wounded Memories at Albertus Magnus College.

GCC Professor Vincent Baldassano, who recommended Mahmood, said that he feels that she would do well at the University of Hartford and is an example of a student who “strives for perfection.” He noted that Mahmood is already quite accomplished, having had her work exhibited wherever she has lived.

Mahmood and her family left Iraq as refugees.  She volunteers with Integrated Refugee & Immigrant Services (IRIS), a federally recognized resettlement agency in New Haven.