Yousif Del Valle is preparing to start his fourth year as an instructor at ACC. He was initially hired to help drive innovation and is doing just that within the Art Department. This past year, Yousif received an email regarding ACC’s Innovation Grant; with his background in metal casting and “wanting to create more methods of ‘making’ available here at ACC,” Yousif applied for the grant to help bring an Aluminum Pour to the school. He explained, “Even if it’s just a tiny bit of exposure, it’s enough for a student to get curious about exploring other things.” With the help of Sara at the Innovation Grant, Yousif got to work on the application. He created a plan for acquiring the aluminum pour, including a budget and an unveiling date. Knowing “the power of the flame,” he wanted to reveal the aluminum pour at an ACC event to help cultivate community and generate buzz.
After he won the grant, he and the Innovation Grant team got to work on making this dream a reality. But that was no easy feat; coming off the back of Covid, they ran into supply chain issue after supply chain issue. Specifically, they had trouble finding materials like aluminum, sand and acquiring the travel trailer. Some problems he was able to solve by making the items himself, like the ingot molds. Having overcome almost every obstacle that could be thrown their way, Yousif and the Innovation Grant team accomplished everything with just one week to spare before the big unveiling at the Fashion Showcase on April 29th, 2023. The aluminum pour debuted to huge success, cultivating a community for those involved and the spectators.
Yousif has several plans for the aluminum pour in the near and far future. He plans to integrate the aluminum pour into his 3D Design and Sculpting classes, whether as a new assignment or an extra credit option. With the help of the travel trailer, Yousif plans to take the pour to other ACC campuses and work with other colleges and universities in the greater Austin area. He also would like to use it as a means of fundraising to send students to metal pouring events around the state and to inspire that sense of community Yousif wanted to cultivate all along.
Yousif would like to say a big thank you to the people at the Innovation Grant. They not only allow opportunities like this to exist but also strongly desire to help people succeed and develop new things.
Photo and authorship credit: Tori Haddox