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VisualDesign

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Your vision, realized.

Design is more than art for art's sake. It grabs attention, tells a story, persuades, and inspires action. Here, you'll have the opportunity to learn how to make design work hard.

Program Areas

Graphic & Web Design Program

Graphic & Web Design

Prepare to become a graphic designer with interactive skills or a web developer with design skills. You can learn the basics and then choose a graphic design or web design concentration.

Web Design Interactive Media Program

Web Design & Interactive Media

You can develop the creative and technical skills to design content for traditional and mobile web devices, including responsive websites, mobile apps, and e-books.

Meet our Faculty

  • Culinary Instructor Gregory Stroker

    Gregory Stroker

    Culinary Arts

    "My goal is to teach students to think for themselves."

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    Gregory Stroker

    What does creativity mean to you?

    I have a constant need to need to be moving, doing something constructive. I channel that energy and creativity through food; this growing and evolving industry demands creativity every day.

    How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience?

    My professional culinary experience lets me share what I’ve learned, and I do my best to keep students current on industry trends and market demands. Working at a bakery, I’m always interacting with colleagues and managers who demand accountability and have real-world expectations, and that’s the kind of reality I pass along in the classroom.

    How would you describe your approach to teaching?

    I believe every student needs to feel they’re engaged in an individual learning experience. I focus on the needs of each student, coaching them as to why they need the course competencies and how to put them into practice. I have high expectations, which prompts them to accept the responsibility and accountability they’ll need to excel in today's culinary workplace.

    How do you inspire students to push themselves beyond their perceived limits?

    My goal is to teach students to think for themselves—and bake or cook accordingly.

    Pushing them outside their comfort zone is a big part of that. In my chocolate & sugar class, for example, I assign chocolate centerpieces in teams and sugar centerpieces as individuals. The project is designed to create a sense of accomplishment by pushing students further than they think they can go.

    What’s the most important thing you impart to students to help them succeed in class and the real world?

    Success is up to each student. How much success do they want, and how hard are they willing to work for it?

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  • Lead Faculty, Design Ken Michalik

    Ken Michalik

    Graphic & Web Design

    "Every project can become a great portfolio piece."

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    Ken Michalik

    Was there a defining moment when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?

    My second grade teacher liked one of my crayon drawings so much that she placed it on the outside wall of the classroom for parents to see. That gave me the confidence to keep experimenting with color and design. Years later, a local art college that specialized in graphic design put on a presentation for my high school art class. That was the turning point. I was so impressed that I decided that I decided to pursue a career in graphic design.

    How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience?

    For over 30 years in the advertising and design field, I listened to the client, to my bosses, account executives, co-workers, the mat room employees, suppliers, field personnel, everyone. And I knew that, in their own unique way, they were teaching me some great and valuable lessons, which I make a point to teach to my students.

    What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?

    I tell every student I teach that every project can become a great portfolio piece. I challenge students with real-life projects as a way of giving them them actual work experience. I invite design professionals to speak, co-teach, and interact with students. And I bring students to the professional workplace through field trips so they can gain first-hand knowledge of some of their career options.

    How does collaboration contribute to students’ success—particularly when students from various programs work together?

    The collaborative process teaches compromise, listening skills, adaptive learning, and creative enhancement. Students learn to listen to different ways of solving the same problem—that finding the answer may be a collective process. One of my favorite classroom assignments is having students bring a product to market. One student designs the branding, another designs the logo and identity, another designs the packaging, and another puts together the tactics to reach the target market. It’s all about building character and team spirit throughout the creative process.

    What’s the most important thing you impart to students to help them succeed in class and the real world?

    The most important thing I bring to class is real-world examples. Every project I assign is relevant. I do my best to ensure that the students have the skill set, the knowledge, and professionalism to become an active and participating member of the global economy.

    Anything else you’d like to share?

    My students typically produce at least three professional portfolio samples they can use in interviews with prospective employers. Creating, developing, and managing a student’s portfolio is a huge responsibility that I take very seriously.

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  • Audio Instructor Michael Shellabarger

    Michael Shellabarger

    Audio Production

    "Learn how to learn. You'll never learn every single thing you'll need for your entire career in the short time you spend here."

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    Michael Shellabarger

    Was there a defining moment when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?

    When I was a kid, trying to record sound-on-sound using an old tape deck, I saw myself doing this for a living.

    How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience?

    Some students come in thinking they have everything already figured out. So when I relate class projects to real-world situations, it’s eye-opening for them. I try to hone the energy they have for their chosen profession without stifling any of the enthusiasm.

    What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?

    One of my favorite assignments is having students record as many sounds as they can from just one item. They then use these sounds to create a sound collage or musical piece. It’s one of the most surprising and rewarding projects to be a part of.

    How does collaboration contribute to students’ success—particularly when students from various programs work together?

    Adding a fresh perspective is always a good way to expand your outlook on a creative project. And that’s especially the case when you’re working with students from more than just your own discipline.

    What’s the most important thing you impart to students to help them succeed in class and the real world?

    Learn how to learn. You’ll never learn every single thing you’ll need for your entire career in the short time you spend here. Knowing how to pick up where we leave off is a skill that’s priceless.

    Anything else you’d like to share?

    It's fun to see how, as everything changes around this school through out the year, the passion of the students stays the same.

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