Living Learning Communities gather at the Getty Villa

The Concordia Courier

Concordia Irvine

By Madison Zuniga | 2/10/2023

Two of Concordia’s Living Learning Communities collaborated to visit the J. Paul Getty Villa Museum last Saturday. Creative Edge and Polis Plaza, led by Dr. Chris Hauser, Associate Professor Director of Music Education, and Dr. Bryan Santin, Associate Professor of English, transported over 40 students to Malibu to experience the Getty Villa’s ancient Greco-Roman art and architecture.

“It's amazing that Concordia University encourages students and faculty to participate in learning experiences that occur beyond the classroom.” said Hauser, faculty in residence for Creative Edge. He described the valuable intersection of the arts found between the two LLCs. “At the Creative Edge we do music, visual arts, and that’s linked with Polis, the forum, in terms of talking about debate and other issues. Being able to take a group of students to the Getty Villa or Getty Center not only helps break down the professor/student barrier, but also greatly adds to the college experience for both faculty and CUI students.”

The elegant and sophisticated setting provoked positive and thoughtful reactions among the students. “It was just cool to see the pairing of beautiful architecture mixed with beautiful nature. Comparing those two made me wonder what we should be focusing on,” said John Trinklein, junior. 

“I appreciate the architecture of the Villa itself,” said Ariel Spilman, sophomore. She described tranquil pools of water, bright courtyards and graceful statues. “There was a room that showed how it was designed purposefully after a real Roman Villa, so there was a lot of authenticity behind the design – designed it intentionally – which I liked.”

“I really loved how dualistic it was,” said Aris Howsepian, sophomore. “The fusion of light and dark, nature and man-made, and all of the dichotomies that were experienced while walking through the space.” 

Seniors Julie Straube and Miles Gunnet serve as Resident Assistants for Creative Edge and Polis Plaza, and they initiated and organized the event. “It just takes you back in time, walking out and seeing the pool and all the statues and the beautiful gardens,” said Gunnet. “We love doing these kinds of events, and we want more student input on what we should do in the future.”

“I really loved planning this event, I’m so glad so many people came,” said Straube. “We were able to have the opportunity to explore and learn more about history and culture and art. That’s really what the LLCs are all about.”

For more information about Creative Edge and Polis Plaza, reach out to the faculty in residence, at and 



About Madison Zuniga

More articles by Madison Zuniga

Related Stories