Preparing students to get the job they don't even know they want yet. I help students become visual interpreters and problem solvers by establishing a strong foundation that consists of the principles of typography and design. When young designers have a strong understanding of typography, design principles, designing systems, and the capacity to keep up with technology they will be ready for the inevitable changes that will be part of their professional careers. 

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research statement
service statement

While sometimes it feels like Groundhog Day, being part of the process of students becoming the designers they want to be, is an honor and I am often humbled by their creativity and fearlessness.

My goal is to help students become visual interpreters and problem solvers by establishing a strong foundation that consists of the principles of design and typography as well as technical proficiency on the computer. The approach is to start with simple, rule-based assignments and proceed to more open-ended design problems that require analysis and conceptual solutions. All assignments emphasize research and process. By teaching my students the aesthetic, intellectual, and technical skills of the field, I help to set their feet firmly on the path to productive, life-long careers in graphic design.

Design students learn by doing. All assignments actively involve students in research, a lot of directed processes, feedback, reflection, and refinement. Using a variety of classroom teaching methods, including lectures, demonstrations, student-led tutorials, group critiques, one-on-one sessions, and formal hands-on exercises, I can lead them through the project and progress to an outcome that hopefully exceeds expectations.

I primarily teach sophomores typography 1 and typography 2 (VISC 202 and VISC 302). I develop the curriculum and lectures for the first-year Intro to Typography Course (VISC 200). I see the students again in their Junior or Senior year in a Type Universe elective (ADS 560) or Portfolio Class (VISC 530). To keep everything straight in my mind and for students, I  author and host a class website that outlines the projects, objectives, goals, milestones, homework, and other activities. It gives the students a place to review course materials, objectives, milestones, and deliverables as well as a living depository or current and past projects to pull from.

At the conclusion of each project, students post their project on Behance and create a process book outlining the assignment objectives, the research they conducted, concept development, consideration of the audience, and their final design outcome. The finished book (sometimes digital, sometimes physical) is an artifact that reveals their understanding of the project and the graphic design process.

I also ask students to reflect and critique the assignment itself – to openly give feedback on all parts of the project: aspects that took too long; what they liked and didn’t like; if parts were confusing; and, what they think I should do differently the next time.

In my Typographic Universe (intro to type design) course, I have the student not only write reflections after each project but again about each project at the end of the semester. I am interested in learning what they think about a project when they are in it and what they think about it after some distance. While you are learning something new sometimes all you can think about is how hard it is, confusing, frustrated it takes so long to do something.

Student feedback along with feedback from my teaching peers and design professionals who visit the class and participate in critiques allows me to assess and to rethink, rebuild or refresh projects.

In addition, major studies coursework. I lead projects or short courses where we work with community and campus partners to foster KU's commitment to a diverse, just, and global society. The transdisciplinary partnerships and collaborations further our commitment to public purpose. I am dedicated to connecting students to professionals through mentorship opportunities, portfolio reviews, studio tours, city visits, workshops, and events. I have been the faculty advisor for AIGA, Prototype (KU AIGA Student group), Kiosk Magazine, KU Design Week and served on the AIGA KC board and as an Alphabettes mentor.

Recognition. Frequently, students submit their projects to national and regional design competitions – and are often recognized. Top sophomore, top junior, top senior, Best School. Communication Arts, Ad Club, AIGA,

The graphic design profession demands that students learn to solve complex problems, handle responsibility, collaborate with others, and keep up with ever-changing technology. Students must become skilled at research. They must be able to examine the multiple ways in which complex ideas and messages are represented in visual form. Students require guidance in developing personal work habits and practicing working as a team. Finally, they need to continually build their skills and learn about design both inside and outside the classroom. Students with this strong design foundation will be ready for the inevitable changes that will be part of their professional careers.