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Alexandra Stepnoski

2014

Photography & Digital Arts

I transferred to Moore because I was drawn to the close-knit community of the school and I appreciated the individual attention that the faculty gives to its students. The location is also a plus because it is right in the heart of Center City, Philadelphia, which is filled with cultural events and experiences.

I was also drawn to the leadership opportunities that Moore has to offer to its students. I was part of Residence Life staff and All Student Leaders Group. As a transfer student, after admission to Moore, I was given the opportunity to apply to be a part of the Business Scholars in the Arts program. As a member of this group, I have been given a plethora of networking opportunities, one of which has resulted in a web design job. I have learned a great deal of career development skills crucial for when I start applying for jobs as a senior.

Outside of her work as an artist, Alexandra Stepnoski has an unusual hobby.

A volunteer with the Bucks County 4-H program, the Photography & Digital Arts major raised English Angora and Giant Angora rabbits for six years. She plans to raise and show rabbits now that she has graduated.

Stepnoski first learned that she could show rabbits while at a county fair at age 12. She then bought a pet rabbit to raise. A year later, while attending 4-H club meetings, she learned about the English Angora rabbit specifically, and became interested in raising and showing them. The breed is characterized by its “round, cotton-ball appearance” and the angora fiber. The rabbits typically weigh between five and seven pounds.

“I chose the breed because I was particularly interested in the fiber arts (spinning, knitting, weaving),” Stepnoski said. “I knew how to knit and when I found out I could use the angora fiber to spin yarn, I became interested in raising the breed.”

She started off raising three English Angora rabbits, and eventually developed a herd of both English and Giant Angora rabbits, which are larger, between 8 and 11 pounds. At one time, she had a total of 20 rabbits.

“It was hard work but I had family and people to help me,” she said. “I kept them all in a barn at my house. It taught me a great deal of responsibility to take care of the coats and groom them to keep them in good shape for showing.”

Stepnoski raised and showed the rabbits across the country as a member of the National Angora Rabbit Breeders Club and the American Rabbit Breeders Association. Over the years, she has given talks at various venues across Pennsylvania about the Angoras and how to harvest the wool and spin it into yarn.

In 2008, she represented the Pennsylvania State Rabbit Breeders Association as Queen and Commodity Representative. In order to get the title, she competed in a skill-a-thon contest, where she had to judge classes of rabbits and identify 25 different rabbits by breed and variety.

“[As queen] I advocated for the rabbit industry at agricultural events at the Pennsylvania Farm show,” she said. “I also gave demonstrations at county fairs and 4-H club meetings.”

Stepnoski is currently an American Rabbit Breeders Association licensed registrar, which means she can certify that a rabbit fits the standard of perfection. She is also working towards an American Rabbit Breeders Association judge's license, which involves taking a test and judging shows.

Because of her active participation in this hobby, she has developed a passion for advocating for agriculture and the fiber arts.

“I’m interested in advocating for organizations that make a difference,” she said. “As a PDA major, when I make my digital artwork….I like to tie it to a cause. I like to speak about agriculture and education through digital media, web design and animation.”

Stepnoski transferred to Moore in her sophomore year. She was drawn to the textile department and its roots. She is a member of the Residence Life staff and All Student Leaders Group. She is also part of the Business Scholar in the Arts program.