POE: Graphic Communication
I currently study Graphic Communication which is an individualized Program of Emphasis. Into one unique program I incorporated all aspects of visual communication that I love. I’ve been able to combine aspects from the Communication Department and Integrated Media Arts Program to create the unique education that I want to study which includes project management, social entrepreneurship, and branding for community engagement.
From the Communication Department I am learning how to be visually literate through classes like Media and Message Analysis, as well as Visual Literacy. I want to know how rhetoric in media functions so that when I design a message, I understand what the most effective and persuasive methods are. Pulling from the IMA program, I get to strengthen my fine arts skills through core classes like Beginning Drawing and Design and Color. Also, I’ve had the chance to be involved in the IMA Lab course where we help a community client develop and implement design efforts. I’ve solidified my dream of wanting to design for companies that focus on Community Engagement.
One key experience I’ve had was working on a thesis film project led by Matthew Gaynor’s titled ‘Find the Pennies’. He needed a marketing manager and I agreed to help as it was a great opportunity to gain professional experience. This project allowed me to practice applying the persuasive techniques I learned from the various Communication courses, as well as the design fundamentals from IMA to the movie posters I created. By participating in Matthew Gaynor’s project, I was able to see the worth of my design in a real-world setting which lit a newfound passion for my career choice.
Another experience that I am currently involved with is the IMA Lab course where we are working on branding materials for the Huntingdon House, a local nonprofit focused on helping victims of domestic violence. Community-engaged projects and social entrepreneurship are especially important to me as I have been the recipient of those who give back when I attended the Hershey Milton School. This school helped underprivileged kids receive an education and obtain scholarships.
My goal is to give back to those companies who need it, such as non-profits who might not be able to afford design and promotional materials. To me, this is much more gratifying work than getting paid by a corporation who won’t appreciate the work because it is just another expense for them. Thanks to Juniata, I’m learning the skills I need for community engaged design so I too can give back.