Student Stories

Travis Erickson 1

Seizing Opportunity: Travis Erickson '11 MSL '16

Travis Erickson ’11 MSL ’16 found opportunities at Hamline that he never dreamed possible. As a studio arts major, Erickson studied in Europe and in New York’s Manhattan and received the kind of personal attention and mentorship that “students dream of.”

Doors continue to open for Erickson because of his Hamline experience. He is a successful studio artist, local musician with a recording and performance studio, and student in Hamline’s Master in the Study of Law program, all while working full-time as an assistant project manager in Hamline’s School of Education

While at Hamline, Erickson received the support to pursue ideas he may not have otherwise have sought out. “Projects that I may have written off as far-fetched were met with enthusiasm and a confident response of ‘That could be really interesting—let’s run with it.’ I was lucky with the connections I made through the fine arts department. Professor Leonardo Lasansky vested confidence and resources in my work. His support and trust have paid dividends to this day."

Buffeted by this support, Erickson pursued several high-impact experiential learning experiences. Following his sophomore year, he spent the summer in a European art history and architecture program that took him all over Europe, “tapping into the best of England, the Netherlands, France, Switzerland, and Italy.” He then stayed an additional month in Rome, where he completed an independent study.

Erickson completed his senior seminar by working in a printmaking studio in Manhattan, living and working there while preparing for his senior exhibition. That experience gave him great freedom and great responsibility, which, he says “was the best way to structure a learning experience.”

Erickson also remembers the personal attention he received from a professor that was entirely “off the books, off my transcript, and entirely unforgettable.”

Professor Navid Mohseni, who Erickson describes as “an economist, a sociologist, and a painter that had me by miles—you’ll see one of his 2010 oil paintings near the Bush Library on campus,” and Erickson first met in a social theory course. “What started as casual conversations after class turned into conferences throughout the summer and guided readings on painting, perception, and ways of seeing,” Erickson recalls. “It’s the personal approach most students only dream of—romantic stuff really. I’m still touched by it.”

Erickson has taken his passion for learning and the arts forward from there. Erickson studied classical guitar at Hamline with “the patient and powerful” professor David Crittenden.  After graduating, he “fell into a tight community of musicians."

Erickson and his newfound community of musicians, in turn, opened a music performance and production studio in Saint Paul in 2014. Erickson now spends his weekends both writing and recording music and continuing to pursue his work as a printmaker. 

As if that wasn’t enough, Erickson is currently pursuing his Master in the Study of Law (MSL) at Hamline. Why pursue the MSL? “The curriculum is intriguing, relevant, and flexible. Hamline’s Dispute Resolution program is rated third in the nation, it’s something we have a track record for being seriously good at. So, naturally I wanted to be a part of it.”  

Erickson’s advice to students is to “be curious and make mistakes. You can pocket some unforgettable experiences during your time here, but you have to take the first step. Ask questions and reach out to faculty—go get it.”

Find out more about Hamline’s studio arts major or Master in the Study of Law at Hamline. Contact Hamline's Undergraduate Admission Office to learn more about joining the Hamline community.