Part of my professional mission is to serve others. In general, I view both teaching and the practice of graphic design as service professions. As I help individual students grow and become professionally capable, I help groups and sometimes individuals with their communication design needs. I accept being a public servant, and as a public high school graduate, I continue to be grateful to the teachers who embraced what has now become my mission: to prepare students not only to make a living, but to develop lives in which the enduring issues of an area of human interest play a significant role. In my life, that area of interest has been graphic design.
I seek ways to unify teaching and service activity. One of those ways is through service learning. Wherever possible, I have integrated real-life projects into the classroom, often in collaboration with local organizations. For two years I have been faculty adviser to Harbinger, the student journal of art and literature.
Few things are as gratifying as helping students afford their education—I have enjoyed sitting on the Scholarship Committee and the Development Committee which I currently chair. The Development Committee’s focus has been on raising scholarship money, improving the instruction areas for students, and growing graduate programs. Since 2007 I have helped the community-based organization Medici Circle with some of its print design needs. This group’s focus is on School of Art scholarship money. The Medici circle has raised nearly $40,000 for undergraduates alone. The organization sponsors community-building events such as an annual 5 x 7 art auction.
Research and service are combined in the pro-bono design jobs I have completed for the School of Art and other organizations within Texas Tech. These include free consultation on exhibitions such as the Southwest Collection/Special Collection’s “The Medieval Southwest,” or the design of an award-winning poster/catalog for a progressive printmaking show. I am proud to admit that I have not been paid for a job since 2007.
I believe that service must be taken-on willingly, and sometimes without credit. It must be genuine and habitual. Whether keeping track of alumni updates, or the daily advising of students on social media, service permeates my days and makes them meaningful.