CUAA Special Election 2015 for Alumni Trustees


Victoria Sobel

VictoriaSobelSchool of Art, 2013
Brooklyn, New York

Relevant Skills:

Community Organizing, Fundraising and Crowdfunding, Public Speaking, Media Coordination, Event Planning, Content Strategy

Personal Statement:
Victoria Sobel, a 2013 graduate of the School of Art, is a New York-based artist and activist. As a student, she co-founded Free Cooper Union, helping coordinate the lock-in, occupation, and other creative actions which framed Cooper’s crisis as part of a national debate on education. In 2013, Victoria helped negotiate between community members and trustees to create the Working Group, and was later elected to serve as an alumni representative, co-producing the beginnings of a plan to keep Cooper free without tuition. Victoria speaks regularly about Cooper Union and free education to mainstream media around the world, and was featured in CNN Films’ Emmy-nominated 2014 documentary Ivory Tower, surveying the state of American higher education. In 2015, she worked closely with interim president Bill Mea to create the Nonstop Cooper: Community Residency, which served as a springboard for discussing and envisioning a new phase of community organizing. She continues to work with students, faculty, alumni, administrators, and trustees across groups and generations to improve the opportunities offered at Cooper. If elected as alumni trustee, Victoria is most excited about leveraging the position to shift Cooper’s culture towards one of distributed and active participation.

Professional Qualifications:

Co-organizer of “Nonstop Cooper: Community Residency,” 2015; Recipient of CUAA Young Art Alumni of the Year Award, 2014; Art Alumni Representative, Working Group, 2013; Cooper Union Service to the School Award, 2013; Recipient of Yip Harburg Foundation scholarship for political art, 2012-13; Participant in Institute for Social Ecology two-week intensive, 2012; Participant in Manifest Change leadership and capacity building program with Dr. Monica Sharma, 2011-13.