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Graphic Design Majors Earn Scholarships for Portfolios

Graphic Design Majors Earn Scholarships for Portfolios

Posted: June 11, 2018

Two graphic design majors recently earned high praise and scholarships for their work. Junior Cassandra “Cassie” Chu (inset at top) and sophomore Emma Roberts (inset on bottom) were awarded top honors from the Buffalo chapter of the American Advertising Federation (AAF) during its annual Portfolio Review.

On April 7, 15 professional art directors, graphic designers, freelancers, and other visual communication professionals from across the region reviewed the work of graphic design students from Buffalo State, Daemen College, Rochester Institute of Technology, Villa Maria College, and University at Buffalo.

"The AFF portfolio review is an opportunity to get an objective critique from working design professionals in Western New York,” said Richard Ross, associate professor of art and design. Of the many students who submitted work, only three were recognized with scholarships. “Emma and Cassandra are hard-working, serious-minded students with strong learning agendas," added Ross.

Student work from Ross’s Visual Communications I, II, and Advertising Design classes, as well as from graphic design classes taught by associate professor Stan Friesen, assistant professor Brent Patterson, and other instructors, was submitted for review.

“My senior seminar course was a huge help in preparing me for the review since I already designed business cards and a resume for class and would later go on to present my work to my peers,” said Chu.

The portfolio review consisted of one-on-one interviews to assess the students’ work and provide critiques. Students not only gained interview practice but also learned about how to effectively talk about their craft.

“The critiques were helpful, with some designers pointing out things I never noticed, or interpreting my work differently,” said Chu. “The review definitely made me more comfortable with networking and talking about my design work, while giving me valuable feedback on what industry professionals are really looking for in a portfolio. I'm really glad I took a chance and put myself out there…it was a great experience and gave me some insight beyond the classroom.”

“The positive feedback that our majors have garnered over the years has helped them transition successfully into the professional field,” added Ross.

Pictured at top: Portion of Chu's ad for the American Museum of Natural History. View full image. 

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