Life-Long Learners

Sarah-Anne Marraffino and Meridith Coen are two second-year master’s students about to graduate from the Master’s in Advertising program here at Moody College of Communication. However, there is much more to them than just fantastic Art Directors in the Texas Creative Sequence. Upon graduation from the same program at the University of Florida, the close friends lived parallel lives as art teachers before reuniting in the town of breakfast tacos and music. 

“It’s been great to have a support system and someone who I can relate to throughout this experience,” Meridith mentioned when asked about reuniting with her friend. “We’ve also been able to work together on some really fun campaigns and explore Austin together,” Sarah added. 

With their creative background as art teachers, we were super interested in learning what fuels their creativity. “Working with students as an art teacher was proof that there are endless creative solutions to any problem,” Meridith said when asked how being an art teacher fuels her creativity. Sarah added that “brainstorming with [her students] will often lead to new ideas and unexpected connections.” 

People don’t always realize that graduate students are often individuals that want to dive into higher education after a few years in the industry. With this in mind, we asked Sarah and Meridith what it’s like being back in a classroom on the other side of the desk. “I love being a student again! I always considered myself a life-long learner,” Sarah said. “Learning about new ways to approach creativity has been challenging but fun and has really fueled my creative spirit!” Meridith responded, “I empathize that everyone has multiple things they’re dealing with: People have a school life and a personal life. [Being a teacher] has taught me to be patient and understand different perspectives. 

Of course–this article wouldn’t be complete without asking them about their experience in the Master’s program and Texas Creative! “Texas Creative activates all parts of the brain and requires you to think analytically, artistically, and creatively,” Meridith explained. “It’s challenged me, but having a workable portfolio with thoughtful campaigns is essential to break into the industry.” Sarah mentioned, “the professors and other students really push you to make your ideas the best they can be. It’s incredible to see how my work has grown from P1 to P3!”

What’s next for these incredible creatives? We are very excited to find out! Follow their journey at

Max Harberg