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Faculty visit NRCC to discuss graphic design program
Professors Ken Smith and John O’Connor (graphic design) met with students taking graphic design courses at New River Community College in late April to discuss prospective careers in the burgeoning field. The meeting was facilitated by Donna Oliver, Director of Advising for the College of Visual and Performing Arts. She arranged for the two CVPA faculty members to join instructor Wonjung Jung’s Computer Graphics II course at the community college. “Our faculty wanted to meet New River Community College students to present some of the great things happening in our graphic design program,” said Oliver. “Students had a chance to present their professional portfolios to our faculty for feedback and to learn how our program can help them expand on their design skills. It was a great way to enhance our guaranteed transfer agreement.”
Professor Smith began his presentation to Jung’s students by discussing the scope of the profession and its impact on our day-to-day lives. Afterward he transitioned to an overview of the impressive list of successful alumni from Radford University’s graphic design program. “Graphic design demands life-long learning. Styles change often and cultural trends change continually. And today even the tools change and evolve on a continuing basis,” Smith said. “It’s not a career for the timid, so we try to ensure that our students are prepped and ready to go when they step into the workforce with their fresh, new degree.”
Once the classroom presentation was finished, Smith and O’Connor met individually with a group of prospective students who expressed an interest in continuing their education in Radford University’s graphic design program. The students brought portfolios of their work for the professors to review. This session gave prospective students a chance to see how their work would measure up.
“Success in our program requires level of competence in software programs used by graphic designers as well as a demonstrated level of basic graphic design principles,” said O’Connor. “I was pleased with the talent shown by the students as well as their interest in the craft.” Professor Smith was also pleased with the work presented to them by the students. “The New River Community College students’ work was outstanding. They were very engaged and interested in all the possibilities that a degree in graphic design could provide them in both the work force and their life,” said Smith.
Oliver hopes to continue this type of outreach to other community colleges. “I thought the response was overwhelmingly positive,” said Oliver. “The students really liked meeting us in person and we made it easy by visiting their campus. We hope they can make a trip to our campus soon to see some of our student exhibitions.”