Fernando Claire and Mary


Fernando Rojas’s career choices evolved during his time at Brookdale. The West Belmar resident studied architecture, earning an associate’s degree in science. However, his passion for art always remained steadfast.

He decided to pursue his interest in art as a potential career, enrolling in Brookdale’s computer animation program. After completing his second associate’s degree, Fernando enrolled in the Fashion Institute of Technology in fall 2019.

“Brookdale offered a quality education, was affordable and allowed me explore options,” said Rojas. “I was able to grow and to get hands on experience. Brookdale professors were friends and mentors, always encouraging questions and available.”

“I was so pleased to have Mary and Fernando studying with me at the same time.  They fed off of each other’s energy to create a classroom atmosphere that was competitive, but in a friendly way.  They made each other better, and all of the other students in the class as well.”

-Professor Claire Smuga

His fall semester at FIT was rigorous, with eight classes and a four-hour roundtrip commute. Fernando said his classes in 3D animation put him ahead of his peers in that area.

Fernando plans to pursue a career in the motion graphics field in Manhattan. If his commitment and perseverance to date are any indication, he will meet his ambitions in the coming years.

Fernando has a creative spirit,” said Professor Claire Smuga. “He was always willing to work a little harder or push a little farther if he thought it would make his piece more unique.”