“I’m not reduceable to only one thing that I’m passionate about,” says the irrepressible Emily Castro (B.F.A., motion media design).

A Sun Conference All-Academic forward on the SCAD women’s soccer team, Castro came to Savannah from New Port Richey, Florida in 2018 as “the first person from my immediate family to go directly to college after high school.” Now, one quarter shy of graduating, Castro balances her athletic leadership role with her academic course load by integrating her disciplines.

Her soccer IQ — high spatial awareness, kinesthetic perception, and interactive savvy — is manifest in her work as a motion media designer minoring in art history.

“Emily demonstrates a tremendous commitment to research, and to establishing a broad framework for questioning assumptions and addressing the challenges that arise in her work,” says motion media design professor John Colette. “She’s tremendous asset to our program.”

“She’s a remarkable individual and a great motivator,” says women’s soccer head coach Rebecca Gunn. “Emily is an important part of our team.”

Emily Castro:

I started playing soccer when I was eight years old. By the time I was a senior at River Ridge High School, I was playing in three different leagues, including ECNL, and I was in all AP classes. Coach Gunn saw me play, and I received an offer from SCAD. I was ecstatic to have the opportunity to study art and play soccer here.

SCAD soccer has allowed me to grow so much. I’ve never been part of something that was so close-knit. We’re a big part of each other’s lives. Though the season was canceled in 2020, my junior year helped me understand my academic priorities, and it made me yearn for soccer again. Now, as a senior, I try to take the younger teammates under my wing and let them know, if something happens to you, it probably happened to me. I’m notorious for giving people gift baskets.

There is a tradition of women’s soccer players studying motion media at SCAD. Gabbie Garbe (B.F.A., motion media design, 2017) even went on to work for F.C. Barcelona. When I arrived, my predecessor Mikaela Heyboer (B.F.A., graphic design, 2020) introduced me to her classmate Lauren Kittle (B.F.A., motion media design, 2020) who took me to Monty Hall for my first ProjectionFest. I hadn’t taken a motion media class yet and I remember thinking, this is what I want to do.

This quarter I’m in Motion Media Projection (MOME 305) with professor John Collette. Projection mapping is experiential. You walk into it, rather than viewing it on your phone. The goal is to bring fans in and create an experience for them. Imagine being in a concert hall or stadium, and seeing moving visuals leading you where you need to go. It’s also for the athletes. When you’re getting ready for a game and you see your field or track come to life, you can’t help but get pumped to do your best possible performance. It amplifies the grandeur.

For my senior project, I’m rebranding the graphics for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. I’ll be animating the entire design package, including logo rebrands, lower thirds, and wayfinding projections. My goal is to work for a sports network like ESPN or CBS when I graduate.

Art history is also one of my passions. Studying with professor Gabriela Jasin has helped me understand why artists make choices, and why the choices I make as an artist matter. Art is a driver of the potential for social change. Soccer has the power to do so too.

Come cheer on SCAD women’s soccer for Senior Day as they take on rivals Thomas University, Saturday, October 23, 2 p.m. at the SCAD Athletics Complex in Hardeeville, SC!

Written by Peter Relic.

SCAD prepares talented students for creative professions through engaged teaching and learning in a positively oriented university environment.