9 UA seniors will be first to graduate with Bachelor of Fine Arts in graphic design

by Talk Business & Politics staff (staff2@talkbusiness.net) 446 views 

The first class of the Bachelor of Fine Arts in graphic design program will graduate from the School of Art at the University of Arkansas on Friday (May 10). Nine students will receive a Bachelor of Fine Arts in graphic design.

In fall 2016, the former Department of Art in the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences established the degree program, showing the importance the UA has been placing on artists and designers, according to a news release. The degree program creates opportunities for students to specialize in professional graphic design. The degree offers enhanced focus on human-centered and interaction design, typography, branding and design research.

“We are so proud of this first class of graduates from the new Bachelor of Fine Arts in the graphic design program,” said Tom Hapgood, associate professor and head of the graphic design program. “Their hard work and dedication to the curriculum and faculty has set the standard for future graduates.”

The faculty described the nine students who are graduating as collaborators and a new class of problem solvers. Over the past three years, they have mentored peers from upcoming classes, engaged the schools registered student organization and worked with the design community in the area — all of which contribute to the success of the program, the release shows.

Graphic design is one of the fastest growing areas within the School of Art. The program started with nine students and has grown to accept 30 graduates annually, with a capacity of 90 students in the program at a time. Additional faculty have joined the program as a result of the high demand. Courses in the program are taught by Hapgood, associate professor David Charles Chioffi, interim associate director of the School of Art and associate professor Marty Maxwell Lane, assistant professor Bree McMahon, assistant professor Ali Place and visiting senior instructor Ryan Slone.

“The future is bright,” Maxwell Lane said. “This first graduating class is incredibly talented, diverse and deeply kind. We cannot wait to see how these designers will thrive in their careers and communities.”

The 2019 graduating class will share their work one last time as students Saturday (May 11) at senior show SHIFT. The nine graduating seniors will show their work in Pecha Kucha style presentations from 6 to 9 p.m. at Modus Studio, 15 N. Church Ave. #102.

Following are the seniors along with the presentations:

  • Jackie Aguilar-Vega, Making Sustainable Choices
  • Tarren Cox, Advocating for the Silent Majority
  • Eric Henderson, Finding the Language of Objects
  • Karen Hessing, Encouraging Healthier Eating Habits in College
  • Alejandra Rubio, Career Oriented Service Learning
  • Alejandro Sanchez, The Importance of the Education of Gender Pronouns
  • Maria Scott, Using Community to Create a Better Tourist Experience
  • Gina Smith, Machine Learning and Money Management
  • Madeline Triola, Integrating Creativity in K-5 Classrooms

They will present their degree project, which is a culmination of their design education of the past three years applied to an area of personal interest. Topics range from design interventions in public education to environmental concerns, to social issues and personal finance.