VCD Awards $30,000 in Scholarships

The School of Visual Communication and Design at Kent State University held its Scholarship Award Dinner on Thursday, May 5 at Laziza Restaurant in downtown Kent. Select students, alumni and faculty were rewarded for their contributions to the field of visual communication design.

During the evening, the School of VCD awarded 17 scholarships totaling more than $30,000 to exceptional students and recognized three alumni for their significant achievements and contributions to the field of visual communication design with Walker-Buchanan Founders Awards, the highest honor given by the School.

Last year, the School of Visual Communication Design honored its founders and legendary industry professionals, j.Charles Walker and John Brett Buchanan, with a fundraiser to endow the prestigious Walker-Buchanan Founders Award Scholarship and presented them with the inaugural Walker-Buchanan Founders Award. 

Walker began his teaching career at Kent State University in 1964. He would later become the founder and first director of Kent State’s School of Visual Communication Design. In 1973, Walker created the student-run design firm Glyphix.

Buchanan began teaching at Kent State in 1975. He became creative director of Glyphix for 25 years, replacing Walker in 1980. Buchanan also founded VCD’s internship program and developed several courses that helped to shape the school’s curriculum.

Walker-Buchanan Founders Award Recipients:

  • Lewis Williams received the Lifetime Achievement Award. He received a BFA in Graphic Design from Kent State University and later obtained a master’s degree from Syracuse University. Williams currently works as a Chief Creative officer at Burrell Communications in Chicago. He is a creative advertising leader with experience planning and executing compelling traditional and non-traditional TV, digital, print and radio campaigns for leading general market and multicultural advertising firms.

  • Mikey Burton received the Distinguished Alumni Award. He earned a master’s degree from Kent State and currently works as a part-time illustrator and designer in Brooklyn, NY. He has worked with clients such as Converse, ESPN, Target, The New York Times, Time Magazine, and Esquire, among others. He has won awards from organizations such as the Art Directors Club, Communication Arts and Print Magazine.

  • Penina Acayo received the Outstanding Young Professional award. Acayo earned an MFA in Visual Communication Design from Kent State University and currently works as an assistant professor in visual communication design at the Sam Fox School at Washington University in St. Louis. Her research is centered around topics that utilize a human-centered approach to solving social problems. In 2013, she collaborated on an award-winning project that used simplified iconography to communicate ailments associated with the spread, prevention, and treatment of malaria in Kibera, Kenya.

Spring 2016 VCD scholarship recipients:

  • Courtney Klesta  - Richard Sweet Memorial Scholarship in Art and Design 

  • Emily Thomas VCD Emeritus Faculty Scholarship 

  • Hamidreza Sohrabi  - Walker Buchanan Founders Award Scholarship

  • Zuzana KubisovaVCD Scholarship

Fall 2015 VCD scholarship recipients:

  • Kara Wellman and Lesley TeaterAmerican Greetings Endowed Scholarship for Excellence in Design

  • Emma Devine 2015 VCD Honors Show “Best of Show”

  • Jenna Myler Glyphix Scholarship

  • William SharlottThe Lewis and Dona Williams Endowed Scholarship

  • Nicole SauterVCD Alumni Scholarship

  • Dana McKinney - Wallace J. Hagedorn Scholarship (Freshman)

  • Alyse Nelson - Wallace J. Hagedorn Scholarship (Sophomore)

  • Talia Hodge - Wallace J. Hagedorn Scholarship (Junior)

  • Gina DeSimone - Wallace J. Hagedorn Scholarship (Senior)

  • Michelle Weissman - Christopher and Judith Everett Scholarship

Finally, three faculty members were recognized for their outstanding contributions as educators and professionals in the School of VCD. Assistant Professor Doug Goldsmith, Assistant Professor Jessica Barness and Associate Professor Gretchen Rennert received excellence awards for their research, teaching, university service and dedication.

About the School of VCD

The School of Visual Communication Design at Kent State is a NASAD accredited program and is nationally recognized for outstanding quality in design education, with emphases in visual design, illustration and photo-illustration. The school provides a comprehensive professional preparation, the development of conceptual and aesthetic skills, knowledge of design history and tradition as a basis for individual style, and the transformation of theory into practice through professional example and experience.

About Glyphix

Glyphix was one of the first such programs in the United States and the prototype for many student work-study design groups now existing on university campuses. Glyphix has a deep portfolio of work ranging from identity and branding, print, web and multimedia and environmental graphic design. The student designers’ work consistently wins regional and international awards, such as a Best in Class in the Interactive Media Awards, a Third Place American Design Award, an Award for Publication Excellence (APEX) and a Merit Award for Art/Design Schools from Admissions Marketing Report.



POSTED: Tuesday, May 24, 2016 09:58 AM
Updated: Tuesday, August 23, 2016 12:13 PM
Kara Taylor