My passions are teaching and problem-solving in design. I look at teaching as an opportunity to constantly challenge myself to communicate well with my students, much as a designer must communicate with an audience. My goal is to make the learning process challenging yet comprehensible, while encouraging students to really utilize the exploration process. It is important for students to grasp the reasons behind the projects and to create unique solutions beyond what they think they can do at the outset. I love to watch the learning process, to be able to help enlighten and advance students’ understanding. It is amazing and gratifying to see what students in the VCD program can produce in upper level classes, with our strong core program as the foundation for their education in design.
Valora is currently a full-time Associate Professor in the School of Visual Communication Design. She has taught all levels of design classes in the School of Visual Communication Design. Her work in the design field has consisted of print and website design and creative direction of design teams for these areas as well as animation. Valora holds an MFA from Kent State, where her thesis project won the Graduate Student Senate Thesis Award for Academic Excellence for the School of Art. Under her guidance as Creative Director of Glyphix from 2007-2013, student-designed projects received three international Interactive Media Awards, an American Design Award and more than 40 Addy Awards at the local and district levels, including two out of three Judges Choice Awards in one year. Other awards for her personal design work have included a Gold Medal and Merit Award from Admissions Advertising Awards and a Silver Medal from CASE Circle of Excellence Awards Program. Valora has presented at the Association of Writers and Writing Programs Conference and at the International Conference on Design Principles and Practices and was published in Design Principles and Practices journal. She helped to create a very successful collaboration with Kent State's Wick Poetry Center, the Traveling Stanzas Poetry project. Her design work and that of her students will be featured in the new Kent State Poetry Park along the University's Esplanade near downtown Kent. Valora enjoyed a varied design experience at SCK Design, where individual account responsibilities included work for Weatherhead School of Management, Cleveland Clinic, Great Lakes Theater Festival, DANCE Cleveland, Oberlin College, Federal Reserve Bank/Cleveland, and Allen Tellecom Corporation, among others. Her most recent clients have included Sacred Ground Yoga, N.T. Ruddock Company, Karen Calandra Jewelry, Oberlin Community Services and the KSU Wick Poetry Center where she sits on the Advisory Board.