Graphic & Web Design

Graphic &Web Design

I'm ready to prove myself.

Nobody has to tell you that visual communication is becoming more and more interactive. And as the lines between graphic design and web design become less defined, employers are starting to look for both graphic designers with interactive skills and web developers with solid design skills. If you’re considering either direction, our Graphic & Web Design degree programs is the place to start. We’ll guide you through the fundamentals of visual communications in both disciplines. Then you’ll choose either a print or interactive concentration as you begin to work toward a future where you can do what you love. You’ll be surrounded and inspired by other talented, creatively driven students. And you’ll be and pushed, challenged, and, above all else, supported by experienced faculty* who know what it takes to succeed in the real world.

*Credentials and experience levels vary by faculty & instructors.

Degrees Offered

Associate of Applied Science in Graphic Design

Quarter Credit Hours:
90
Timeframe:
6 Quarters

Gainful Employment

Outcomes

Associate of Applied Science in Graphic Design

Outcomes

See ge.artinstitutes.edu/programoffering/250 for program duration, tuition, fees, and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info.

1. Design: Graduates apply aesthetics and formal concepts of layout and design, including spatial relationships; communication effectiveness; interrelationships among imagery and text; balance; typography; and color theory.

2. Concept: Graduates apply design concepts to produce successful visual solutions to assigned problems.

3. Communication: Graduates articulate the vision behind their creative work and explain and defend their solutions.

4. Technical: Graduates apply skills in industry-specific computer software programs to produce concrete projects.

5. Professionalism: Graduates demonstrate an understanding of industry standards, professional practices and ethics in their work and self-presentation.

View Academic Catalog

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design

Quarter Credit Hours:
180
Timeframe:
12 Quarters

Gainful Employment

Outcomes

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design

Outcomes

See ge.artinstitutes.edu/programoffering/249 for program duration, tuition, fees, and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info.

1. Graphic Design Principles: Students will apply learning outcomes from foundation courses to graphic design problems.

2. Problem-Solving: Students will develop original, professional-level solutions to graphic design problems based on appropriate research and within specified parameters such as, deadlines, audience, budget, construction and output considerations.

3. Technology: Students will use appropriate technology to produce professional examples of their work.

4. Critical Thinking: Students will demonstrate the ability to analyze and critique graphic design.

5. Images: Students will generate original images in support of their design work.

6. Professionalism and Professional Practice: Students will develop an understanding of design business practices and professional expectations.

7. Communication: Students will use visual and verbal communication to present content and meaning effectively; they will possess oral and written skills to present concepts to employers, clients, and others; they will possess teamwork, collaboration, and negotiation skills.

8. Context: Students will understand the broader context of their work: social and historical, language, information systems, and finance.

View Academic Catalog

Classroom Experience

I have the talent and the intensity. I just need the tools.

Both graphic design and web design are really about coming up with new approaches to solve problems. So you’ll start with the basics of both in areas like color, illustration, and image manipulation, then explore concept development and implementation courses. After your first year, you’ll choose a concentration. In Graphic Design, you’ll take a more traditional approach, studying product packaging, posters, art direction, and layout design. You’ll work on product packaging, posters, and interactive media, including web page design. You’ll work with professional technology, including image manipulation software and computer-aided design, then progress to art direction and strategies for designing a product, service, or message. If you choose Web Design, you’ll work across media platforms from mobile devices to desktop computers. This is screen-based visual communication involving interactive design and development using industry software, authoring systems and web scripting. You’ll explore emerging technology, work with audio and video, and more. See our gainful employment pages for possible careers that match the program that interests you.

Meet our Alumni

  • The Illinois Institute of Art - Schaumburg alumni Alex Lesus

    Alex Lesus

    Graphic & Web Design , 2010

    "[My education showed me how to take] a project from concept to completion and how to talk about or sell my work in a value added way."

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    Alex Lesus

    Alex Lesus is a lead designer for Bloomingdale, Illinois-based Envision3, a company that helps clients to communicate their vision. He’s responsible for print, packaging, web design, web development, photography, client interaction, project management, copywriting, and marketing strategy. “Graphic design is a field that is very competitive and requires a broad range of skills. I felt an overwhelming amount of stress lifted from my shoulders when Envision3 asked me to join their team,” he says.

    Alex finds creative inspiration in the bold, beautiful, changing world around him. He’s also inspired by artists. “We live in an age where creative work is at our fingertips and designers are continuously sharing their work online more than ever.” Alex enjoys helping businesses to create an identity and to tell their story visually. He recommends that current students stay positive during the job search. “The industry is competitive but there are plenty of opportunities. Keep an open mind on your search. You never know what skills you will pick up. Never stop learning.”

    Alex, who in 2010 earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design from The Illinois Institute of Art—Schaumburg, says that his education gave him a true awareness of the industry. “[It showed me how to take] a project from concept to completion and how to talk about or sell my work in a value added way. Not only did I learn a lot about design and marketing, but [the school] also helped me open up to be a more outgoing and involved individual.”

    See http://ge.artinstitutes.edu/programoffering/249 for program duration, tuition, fees, and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info.

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  • The Illinois Institute of Art - Schaumburg alumni Courtney Falconer

    Courtney Falconer

    Graphic & Web Design , 2012

    "Having teachers that know the industry and work in the industry is extremely helpful."

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    Courtney Falconer

    Courtney Falconer is working as a senior associate designer II for Discover in Riverwoods, Illinois. She’s responsible for conceptual ideation and overall experience design. “My team and I do a ton of concept work that we present to leadership, in hopes that we can push boundaries and improve user experience. We are problem solvers, focused on making every card member's experience easier,” she says.

    Courtney is excited to be the first member of her immediate family to earn a bachelor’s degree. “This is a huge accomplishment for me,” she says. Courtney took a risk after graduation that’s paid off in her career. After graduation, she was offered two positions—a full-time job doing packaging at a travel accessory company and a three-month internship at a package design firm in downtown Chicago. “I really didn't think I was going to get the internship because they were known to be hard to impress. But, crazily I turned down the full-time position for the three-month internship. If I had to go back and do it again I wouldn't change a thing. It was a risk I had to take and it definitely paid off for me.”

    Courtney, who in 2012 earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design from The Illinois Institute of Art—Schaumburg, says that the school’s career-focused education helped her to transition into the design industry. “Having teachers that know the industry and work in the industry is extremely helpful,” she adds. Courtney recommends that current students work hard and network. “You get what you put into it. Keeping the contacts you have from your time in school is important. Create a good name for yourself and watch the possibilities open up.”

    See http://ge.artinstitutes.edu/programoffering/249 for program duration, tuition, fees, and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info.

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  • The Illinois Institute of Art - Schaumburg alumni Danielle Brust

    Danielle Brust

    Fashion Marketing & Management , 2013

    "I was able to experience so many different classes, work for different internships, and meet so many different people who, like me, were creative."

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    Danielle Brust

    Danielle Brust is an advertising designer for The Bradford Exchange in Niles, Illinois. “I design layouts and backgrounds for advertising packages featuring our jewelry and apparel collections. I handle everything from the envelope creative to the brochure design,” she says. Danielle also creates advertisements placed in magazines and other publications. She adds that she’s now the go-to employee for photo shoots regarding new products. “Since I brought visual design skills with me when I was hired, it gave me a leg up to be more involved with how our products, especially our handbags, are photographed for brochure layouts. This allows me to be involved from start to finish when creating marketing packages.”

    Danielle adds that it’s always been her dream to create advertising that many people would see. “It is so cool to design brochures that inspire and connect our customers to us as a company.” She recommends that current students learn as much as possible and not limit their knowledge. “It is so helpful to know about the other parts of the fashion industry and how they work together because chances are, it will affect you too. Having that knowledge allows you to see the bigger picture and understand how your company works.”

    Danielle, who in 2013 earned a Bachelor of Arts in Fashion Merchandising & Management from The Illinois Institute of Art—Schaumburg, says that her education opened her eyes to the possibilities within the fashion industry. “I thought my options were so limited, when in reality they were endless. I was able to experience so many different classes, work for different internships, and meet so many different people who, like me, were creative. My instructors challenged me and pushed me to be better than I thought I could.”

    See http://ge.artinstitutes.edu/programoffering/247 for program duration, tuition, fees and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info.

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  • The Illinois Institute of Art - Schaumburg alumni Dayton Remmers

    Dayton Remmers

    Web Design & Interactive Media , 2013

    "[In my classes], there were strict deadlines that couldn't be missed, you had a certain number of days that you could miss class, you had to work in teams, and many more similarities to a real job."

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    Dayton Remmers

    Dayton Remmers is a front end developer for BFC Print in Batavia, Illinois. He’s responsible for maintaining all client portals and building HTML emails. “I work closely with our designer to build beautiful and functional HTML emails for marketing. I also get requests to change/remove/add features or design elements to client portals,” he says. Dayton enjoys the challenge of discovering how a feature works and how to add or change it in the company’s portals.

    Dayton is proud to have earned the Student Ambassador position while studying at The Illinois Institute of Art — Schaumburg. “Through that position I met many friends in different fields, learned what kind of leader I am, and how to give better speeches.” As an ambassador, he helped new students adjust to college life and answered questions about his field of study. Dayton’s creative inspirations include websites that spark his imagination. “I start to wonder how the developer coded the site and why the designer choose the layout they did. I start to think of ways to improve the website.”

    Dayton, who in 2013 earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Web Design & Interactive Media from The Illinois Institute of Art — Schaumburg, says that his instructors treated classes like jobs. “There were strict deadlines that couldn't be missed, you had a certain number of days that you could miss class, you had to work in teams, and many more similarities to a real job.” He recommends that current students keep pushing forward. “In the web field, technology and trends are changing every day. If you don't work hard to keep learning you will fall behind.”

    See http://ge.artinstitutes.edu/programoffering/251 for program duration, tuition, fees, and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info.

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  • The Illinois Institute of Art - Schaumburg alumni Haley Wubs

    Haley Wubs

    Digital Photography , 2013

    "My classes helped me to interact with other students and teachers as though I was in a work setting."

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    Haley Wubs

    Haley Wubs is a studio assistant for RRDonnelley/Omega Studios in Elgin, Illinois. She assists photographers, builds and takes down sets, prepares clothes and products for set, and organizes photo shoots. Each day begins with a team production meeting to ensure that everyone is ready for the day and week ahead. Haley is proud to have turned her dedication into a career with a company that she enjoys working for. “After only being at my job a short time, I was quickly trusted with many tasks and projects that were very important and involved some of our biggest clients,” she says.

    Haley finds creative inspiration in travel and culture. “I also love to browse online portfolios of photographers. I have a list of some that I’ve admired for a while, [including] Rus Anson.” Haley’s career allows her to work alongside people who have a love for art and creativity. “Being able to work in a creative atmosphere is so inspiring. I also enjoy when I’m assigned to a special project, especially where the photographer and the stylists have some creative flexibility.” She adds that it’s rewarding to see a finished layout and know that she played a role in creating it.

    Haley, who in 2013 earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Digital Photography from The Illinois Institute of Art — Schaumburg, says that her education prepared her to grow as a professional individual. “I really felt my classes helped me to interact with other students and teachers as though I was in a work setting. Knowing how to act professionally in a work environment is very important.” She recommends that current students keep an open mind as they grow within the industry. “Don’t stop learning. Technology and methods are always changing.”

    See http://ge.artinstitutes.edu/programoffering/246 for program duration, tuition, fees, and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info.

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  • The Illinois Institute of Art - Schaumburg alumni Joe Olivera

    Joe Olivera

    Visual Effects & Motion Graphics , 2011

    "The [courses I took] help me today as I write scripts, email corporate figureheads, and propose ideas and concepts to marketing and legal teams within my company."

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    Joe Olivera

    Joseph A. Olivera is working as a media creations specialist for LG Electronics in Buffalo Grove, Illinois. He creates, produces, and manages video content for the company’s home appliance division. “Not many people can say they’re doing what they went to school for, or that they have followed their passion and become successful. That puts a smile on my face every time I walk into work,” he says.

    Joseph is proud to work for a Fortune 500 company. “[They trust me] to help increase the quality of their media and production process. My work is distributed and viewed globally to help our consumers and affiliates.” Joseph is also thankful for the support of his parents, who encouraged him to follow his passion but to keep his ambitions realistic. He recommends that current students stay ahead of the competition and keep themselves educated about what’s trending in the industry. “Always learn new, practical ways to do something and be open for criticism.”

    Joseph, who in 2011 earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Visual Effects & Motion Graphics from The Illinois Institute of Art—Schaumburg, says that his education prepared him for his current position. “The English courses help me today as I write scripts, email corporate figureheads, and propose ideas and concepts to marketing and legal teams within my company.” He adds that he also uses math and spreadsheets, proving that even the courses which were not completely focused on visual effects have benefitted him in his career. “It goes to show you that every course you take could be used in your profession, so all should be taken seriously.”

    See http://ge.artinstitutes.edu/programoffering/255 for program duration, tuition, fees, and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info.

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  • The Illinois Institute of Art - Schaumburg alumni Kyle Mcdonald

    Kyle McDonald

    Game Art & Design , 2014

    "The teachers at The Illinois Institute of Art - Schaumburg prepared me for the professional world."

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    Kyle McDonald

    Kyle McDonald is a 3D paper engineer for the start-up company Dreaming Tree. He works from his home office in Illinois and is responsible for design, engineering, and illustration. Kyle mentions that he is always learning and that his current job has been particularly challenging. “I had to reverse engineer and teach myself to create the designs used for Dreaming Tree. I pulled resources from online and my mentors to find the most efficient way to create the projects.”

    He’s very dedicated to his craft—as evidenced by his work hours. “I could [spend] 40-65 hours a week to complete a project, cleaning up designs and ensuring that Dreaming Tree files would be the best—the best in the paper craft industry. All of those things lead to clean cuts and easy assembly of our projects.” Kyle says that the best compliment he can get is positive feedback from a customer. “We post our projects on [social media] and get shares, comments, and likes. All of that shows that our hard work is acknowledged and loved.”

    Kyle, who in 2009 earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Game Art & Design and in 2014 earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Illustration & Design from The Illinois Institute of Art—Schaumburg, says that his education helped him to step in to a new job and fulfill the responsibilities. “My 3DS Max knowledge helped in the engineering of paper projects and my Illustrator knowledge assisted in creating illustrations and designs when needed.” He adds that his professional instructors also provided support and advice that have benefitted him in his career.

    See http://ge.artinstitutes.edu/programoffering/248 for program duration, tuition, fees, and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info.

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  • The Illinois Institute of Art - Schaumburg alumni Tyler Geiwitz

    Tyler J. Geiwitz

    Graphic & Web Design , 2014

    "[The school] offered clubs, extra activities, and design competitions to participate in, which I could list on my résumé."

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    Tyler J. Geiwitz

    Tyler Geiwitz is a senior graphic designer and social media manager at Green Ivy Publishing in Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois. He’s responsible for distributing and revising projects and overseeing social media accounts. Tyler explains that it’s important that he works hard and meets deadlines. “You're going to have to work longer hours if you need to accomplish and meet deadlines. You have to remember when you're sitting there with ‘nothing to do’ that there's always something for you to do to better yourself and your environment.” During work downtime, he ensures that his computer is cleaned up and files are backed up.

    His hard work has helped him to stand out within this company. “I felt very new and at the bottom of the totem pole when I first started working. It definitely felt weird when my boss would just walk past me without ever needing anything from me. I worked harder and harder each day, taking on more responsibilities to prove I was a great employee. Now, my boss, the CEO of company, comes to me to solve problems and jump start production for authors. It's a great feeling having built that trust with a higher ranked executive.”

    Tyler, who in 2014 earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design from The Illinois Institute of Art—Schaumburg, says that his education pushed him to be faster in his work. “[The school provided] awesome advisors that helped me to find interviews [that led to] employment. It also offered clubs, extra activities, and design competitions to participate in, which I could list on my résumé.” He recommends that current students keep a positive attitude, especially during challenging situations. “Working for a small company can be tough sometimes. We can get behind in production. If one person gets sick, we all get sick. If someone's having a bad day, we all turn into grumpy people. I always tried to be the most fun co-worker, and I always tried to make others happy. Happy people make happy designs that are often better designs.”

    See http://ge.artinstitutes.edu/programoffering/249 for program duration, tuition, fees and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info.

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What Will I Study?

Graphic & Web Design Study

I'm a visual problem solver. Let's get started.

The curriculum for each concentration is hands-on, rigorous, and well-rounded. It was designed by experienced industry and education innovators to emphasize the skills you’ll need to start you career. Beginning with common classes, then exploring concentration-specific areas, you'll study:

SHARED COURSES:
  • Color & Design Fundamentals
  • Image Manipulation
  • Traditional Typography
  • Layout & Concept Design
  • Web Page Scripting
  • Digital Illustration
  • Interactive Motion Graphics
GRAPHIC DESIGN CONCENTRATION:
  • Advertising Concepts
  • Form and Space, including Advanced Layout Design
  • Package Design
  • Business of Graphic Design
  • Publication Design
  • Art Direction
WEB DESIGN CONCENTRATION:
  • Information Architecture
  • Interface Design
  • Audio & Video
  • Design for Mobile Devices & Emerging Technologies
  • Web Page Design

I'm looking for my proving ground.

At The Art Institutes system of schools, creativity is our core, our calling, our culture. Our Graphic & Web Design degree programs are built on that creative foundation. It’s also built on our knowledge that a creative career is not for the faint of heart. Because it’s tough out there, it’s tough in here. But we temper the tough with the support you need to make your creativity marketable. We provide the mentoring and real-world experience you need to prevail, with faculty* who’ve worked in the field and internship possibilities at successful businesses. Here, you’ll be encouraged and expected to be bold. To take risks. To push yourself and the people around you. So if your heart is telling you that you belong in a creative field, you belong here. It’s the hardest thing you’ll ever love.

*Credentials and experience levels vary by faculty and instructors.

 

Meet our Faculty

  • Graphic Design Instructor Daniel Hanners

    Daniel Hanners

    Graphic & Web Design

    "This is a lifelong learning journey. You have to continually experience new things, learn from other people, and observe what's happening in the world around you."

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    Daniel Hanners

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

    I took a graphics technology in class in high school, and when I completed the entire production process—not only generate the design on the computer, but take it into the darkroom, on to press plates, and eventually print it myself, I knew I wanted to pursue design as a career.

    Can you describe your teaching philosophy?

    I try to offer a well-rounded class to provide a framework around which students can grow their experiences and develop intuition. I work to help motivate young designers to continue to grow and evolve—and develop their own identities. This is a lifelong learning journey. You have to continually experience new things, learn from other people, and observe what’s happening in the world around you.

    Can you share an example of your approach to teaching and mentoring?

    For students to compete in the business world, they have to become creative problem-solvers. I assign projects that are rich in design methods to encourage students to develop a problem-solving process. Many students find themselves on unexpected paths. The project leads the students to new thought processes, and you can see them developing as young professionals. To be a part of mentoring that process and watching students grow, there’s no greater excitement in the world.

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

    Collaborative assignments are opportunities for students to work closely with peers from other disciplines. They apply their various skills and knowledge toward a common goal, sharing in the team’s success, learning from other students, and taking leadership in their own area of expertise.

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

    It takes real motivation and dedication to the profession to succeed. I tell my students to think of themselves as junior professionals. Be persistent at being the best they can be, and to take advantage of every opportunity to gain support from their peers.

    What’s the most critical advice you would offer any student embarking on a creative career?

    Take every opportunity to go to conventions, lectures, special workshops, and events in your profession. Find a mentor and start creating a professional network of people who can support you.

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  • Fashion Instructor Jennifer Lezan

    Jennifer Lezan

    Fashion Design

    "I believe that dreams can come true if you're willing to follow through on your goals, put in the hard work, and never give up."

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    Jennifer Lezan

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

    Whether it was designing on my Crayola Barbie Fashion Plates or painting portraits and sewing garments, I found joy in creating and working with my hands. If I had to pick one moment, it would be as a junior in a high school that offered a slew of Fashion courses that allowed me to learn more about the industry. We took a field trip to see a Chicago fashion designer in her studio. Listening to her experiences as both a business owner and creative, I knew I’d found my calling.

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

    As an adjunct, I stay active in the fashion industry. I run a digital fashion & lifestyle publication and design an indie kids wear label, so I am able to bring real-life case studies and scenarios into the classroom. I also have great working relationships with other industry professionals I can call on as guest speakers and for helping students find internships—even jobs. I like to keep it real with my students...the industry can be rough, but with enough hard work and drive they can do great things. I’m passionate about teaching, and I work hard to impact my students and inspire them as they follow their dreams.

    What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?

    In my Lookbook and Fashion Styling course, I use my experience in the magazine world to combine styling, art direction, photography while teaching programs like Photoshop and InDesign. This is a great opportunity for them to get out there and see the big picture—and actually create something that has their voice. I truly believe that without experience, real-world practicum and hands-on work, theory is of no use.

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

    I constantly push my students to experiment within their work, and to question my ideals and theories I teach to solve a problem on their own and find their voice. I use my story—as scary, gritty and imperfect as it is—as a way to inspire others. I hope it instills hope in the hearts of students who are working to connect the dots and need a path to follow.

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

    I urge my students to network—most importantly outside of their department. Fashion designers work with photographers, advertisers, marketers, graphic designers and so on. I believe collaboration makes their experience on campus much more robust. Our annual charity fashion show is an incredible example. Students in nearly every discipline come together to execute a show that raises thousands of dollars for charity. Culinary Arts students provide food & drink, branding is created by Graphic & Web Design students create branding and update our website and social media, Audio Production students coordinate the music, and Digital Film students produce a live feed—they all work together in a coordinated fashion.

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

    Students are at such a pivotal point in their development when they enter college and as an instructor, it’s my job to guide, mentor and inspire them to continue on their journey—no matter how rough it could potentially get. As someone who was once in their shoes, I know what they’re dealing with. The one ideal that I share constantly is the fact that their future is in their hands.

    What’s the most critical advice you would offer any student embarking on a creative career?

    Even when times get tough, you can make a change and follow through. Find a way to meet your goals.

    Anything else you’d like to share?

    I am truly an advocate for education. It gives many people like me the opportunity to create their own future. I believe that dreams can come true if you’re willing to follow through on your goals, put in the hard work, and never give up.

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  • Physics Instructor Kenan Caymaz

    Kenan Caymaz

    Graphic & Web Design

    "I always stress the importance of creative thinking and problem solving."

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    Kenan Caymaz

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

    I’m a research physicist, and I teach two conceptual general education physics courses. I try to make them relevant so students can apply what they learn to their majors. One course deals with real-life topics like mechanics, electricity, and magnetism. I engage students by presenting each one with a twist. “Why not build indestructible cars as opposed to crushable ones?” “How does a cat survive falling from the top of the Sears tower better than falling from the second floor?” “Does a person exert the same impact force back on an oncoming train at 60 miles per hour?”

    What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?

    My students use their artistic backgrounds to turn in a creative project at the end of the quarter. I include some of the more exceptional projects in my multimedia physics lecture presentations. Stressing the importance of creativity in physics encourages students to push themselves to do better work.

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

    Students regularly collaborate on research projects in my seminar class, and different majors work together on creative projects as well. One graduating film student’s senior project included Audio Production students creating the sound recording and background music, Fashion Design students designing the outfits, and Animation students working on the script and storyboard.

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

    I always stress the importance of creative thinking and problem solving.

    What’s the most critical advice you would offer any student embarking on a creative career?

    Common sense is no substitute for education. And life-long education is important not only for your own general well-being, but your personal and professional growth.

    Anything else you’d like to share?

    Teaching here for 20 years has made me a much more creative instructor and much better lecturer.

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  • Audio Production Instructor Nia Adero

    Nia Adero

    Audio Production

    "Believe that you can do anything."

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    Nia Adero

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

    In 1985, I wrote the lyrics and melody, and provided vocals for a recorded house music song that peaked at #15 on Billboard’s Top Music Charts - Hot 100 Hot Dance Club Play. This song, "Like This," was the beginning of my career as the artist/songwriter, K.Joy. It opened some amazing opportunities, and eventually led me to audio production because I wanted to learn how to properly record and mix my own music.

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

    As CEO & COO of two independent record labels, I have a professional background in entertainment business. I provide an industry veteran's sense of the realities, challenges, and opportunities of the profession—incorporating stories from my own experiences, giving realistic advice based on challenges I've overcome as an Ai student in the audio production program, as an artist, as an entertainment business professional, connecting students with industry professionals, playing examples of my music to show the difference between good and bad audio production/engineering, bringing in guest speakers, and challenging them to work harder, aspire for greatness, and become the best audio professionals they can be.

    What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?

    In the Internship class I teach for audio, photo, film, and animation students, I give an alternate assignment to prepare them for the interview process as they begin their job searches. There are a series of questions, based on research and typical questions I've heard in my own job interviews. Students answer these questions as if they’re actually interviewing, then come up with their own questions for the interviewer. I believe this assignment builds confidence, communication skills, and professionalism as it forces them to think critically, plan ahead, and always prepare.

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

    Collaboration is vital to preparing students for the real world. At some point in almost every business, people work in teams. Students from various programs contributing to the same project is can improve communication skills, idea exchange, and success.

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

    I tell my students that perseverance is key to success, so it’s imperative not to give up. With determination, it’ll be easier to succeed in school—and in the real world.

    What’s the most critical advice you would offer any student embarking on a creative career?

    Believe that you can do anything. Say out loud that you can do whatever you set your mind to. Write down your goals as constant reminders. Seek out ways to continually improve yourself and hone your skills. Network and learn from other creative professionals, Stay on the cutting edge of technology in your field. Do all those things and you’ll be virtually unstoppable!

    Anything else you’d like to share?

    I strive to give, inspire, and truly make a difference.

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Miami International University of Art & Design alumni Marlon Munoz I'm challenged by the opportunity to take my ideas and bring them to life. Marlon Munoz
Visual Effects & Motion Graphics, Miami International University of Art & Design, 2008