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Art & Design’s Young Alumni Lecture Series to engage students with professionals during Homecoming Weekend

September—This year’s Young Alumni Lecture Series, sponsored by the department of art & design and the AIGA/ONU student chapter, will be held Sunday, October 5 at noon on the campus of Ohio Northern University.

The lecture, presentation and portfolio review engages students with Ohio Northern art & design alumni. Based on recommendations from the faculty, the lecture series brings to campus two or three alumni each year to share personal career challenges and successes since graduation with current students.

For current students, knowing how to navigate the job market can be a little confusing and hugely daunting. Thankfully, various art & design program alumni have dedicated their time this fall to give students a little peace of mind by participating in the Young Alumni Lecture Series.

Andrew Adams, Emily Jay, and Rachel Pioch will venture back to Ohio Northern during Homecoming to discuss their career paths, challenges, and secrets to success with current students. These lectures will allow current students to see how others have gone from student to professional and to connect with young alumni.

• Andrew Adams, BFA/graphic design ’12, works as a graphic designer for Orange Barrel Media in Columbus, Ohio. Previously, he was a designer for Winking Fish, an identity and branding firm located in Washington, D.C. As a student at ONU, Andrew was involved with the AIGA/ONU student chapter and served as president, Kappa Pi national art honorary, Phi Mu Alpha national music fraternity, Phi Eta Sigma national honor society, jazz band, and rugby. He also was accepted to the Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars and interned for Winking Fish.

• Emily Jay, BFA/studio arts ’10, is currently an adjunct instructor in art at ONU. This semester she is teaching digital photography and visual literacy. While a student at Ohio Northern, Emily was involved in Kappa Pi and the Student Art League. She was also a Shelley C. Petrillo Scholarship recipient. She earned her MFA in painting from Bowling Green State University in 2013. Since graduation, Emily has exhibited nationally and internationally, most recently at the Jules Maidoff Gallery in Florence, Italy. An exhibit of her work is currently on display at the Elzay Gallery of Art on Ohio Northern’s campus. I Dream of All Things explores the relationship between promise, breaking, and beauty. It is a photographic exploration of slipping into and out of dreams, as they come to be and as they come to fall apart. Emily’s latest work uses painting, photography, and installation as she attempts to catalogue remnants of aesthetic experience encountered in the mundane.

• Rachel Pioch, BFA/graphic design ’12, is a packaging designer for American Greetings in Cleveland, Ohio. As a student at Ohio Northern, Rachel was involved with the AIGA/ONU student chapter, Kappa Pi national art honorary, and served as a resident assistant. During her senior year, she interned as a graphic designer for the Museum of Contemporary Art in Cleveland.

The Young Alumni Lecture Series will be held at the Stambaugh Studio Theatre Gallery in the Freed Center for the Performing Arts. The panel of alumni will discuss what it was like to work in a professional setting, send résumés and cover letters to employers or/and graduate schools, to have a portfolio reviewed in hopes of getting a job, and a personal perspective of the current job market.

Prof. Brit Rowe, associate professor in graphic design at Ohio Northern, acknowledged, “Students will be able to engage in an open dialogue with our alumni about the importance of specific classes, skills and how the students might best position themselves for employment or graduate school. This also will be a great opportunity for alumni to contribute to the educational process at Ohio Northern. We can’t thank them enough.”

The goal of the AIGA/ONU student chapter is to get students involved in the local design community, create a community of their own and help them build leadership skills that will be valuable as they move into the professional world.

The mission of the Ohio Northern graphic design program is to prepare undergraduate students to become socially and environmentally aware leaders in the field of visual communication. Focusing on development and mastery of conceptual and technical skills in graphic design, illustration, and advertising as well as studio electives, cross disciplinary courses and collaborative experiences prepare students for the convergence of the design fields and for positions as creative directors across a broad spectrum of increasingly media-based careers. Graduates from the program have gone on to work at companies such as Wunderman Design, Foothold Design, Smithsonian Institution, Milan Historical Museum, NiSource, Bubbles Academy, and Recess Creative.

Originally designated as the School of Fine Arts and later the College of Fine Arts, the art & design program was first established as an independent academic unit at Ohio Northern in 1878, largely as an outgrowth of course work in engineering and architectural drawing. Today, Ohio Northern offers both the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees with majors in advertising design, art education, graphic design and studio arts with concentrations in two-dimensional, three-dimensional and pre-art therapy. The department of A&D holds memberships in national organizations such as the National Art Education Association, College Art Association, Foundations in Art: Theory and Education, AIGA: The Professional Association for Design, and the National Council on Education of Ceramic Arts. The department is recognized in the “Creative Colleges: A Guide for Student Actors, Artists, Dancers, Musicians and Writers” as one of the best creative programs nationwide. For additional information about the department of art & design or the University’s 2014–15 Arts Exhibition Season, contact the department at 419.772.2160.

image: poster by Nicole Bregar, senior graphic design major