Preparing Art Students for Job Placement Using Real-World Experience
“I am constantly surveying the industry to learn about the newest technologies and industry trends within the design field in order to best prepare my students to enter the real world.”
Chair of the Department of Art
There’s No Place like UE
Frasier heard about the University of Evansville while in high school. Her art teacher explained UE’s strong reputation within the arts, and Frasier immediately jumped at the chance to apply. She explains, “I think that the reputation of the program really interested me here as a student.” Frasier earned her Bachelor of Science in art with a concentration in graphic design. Frasier has since returned to UE as a faculty member and is now the department chair. She expresses, “Being a part of a program that gave so much me really drew me back to UE. Being able to work alongside some of the faculty members who mentored me in my undergrad was an exciting opportunity.”
Bringing Skill Sets Together to Solve Problems in the Field
Frasier finds being the department chair for University of Evansville’s Department of Art incredibly rewarding. As an instructor, she loves watching her students become fully engaged in the classroom. She reflects, “To really see the students pull all of their skills sets together in order to creatively and innovatively solve a problem within the visual communication field makes my career worthwhile.”
Frasier’s students complete projects for nonprofit organizations including the Lampion Center and Big Brothers, Big Sisters as well as for global organizations such as Berry Global Corporation. Her students recently worked in an interdisciplinary team with engineering students on package redesign for Berry Global Corporation. These students worked with a wide range of Berry employees diversifying their experiences to include research and development, marketing, graphic design, and many other fields. These type of experiences strengthen the students’ creative, innovative, technological, and aesthetic skills.
Industry Experience Applied in Class
While an undergraduate student at UE, Frasier interned at an agency that offered her a full-time position. Upon graduation, she worked her way through several advertising agencies up to the level of senior art director. During her agency employment she worked on national and international accounts such as Microsoft, Motorola, Mead Johnson/Bristol Myers, Kimball International, Papa Johns, and many others. Her work has won numerous awards including a prestigious Addy Certificate of Excellence.
As senior art director, she spent a lot of time mentoring and educating other associates in the firm. Eventually, she decided to consider teaching full-time. She explains, “The desire to teach has stayed with me since I completed my undergraduate. I felt that being able to share my passion for design, my knowledge, and my experience with others would be extremely rewarding.” She really values the experience that she gained while working in the field as she now has the opportunity to impart those skills in the classroom. She uses real-world application problems in her curriculum and in her advising sessions with students, and she incorporates the newest technologies like 3-D printers in her experiential learning projects.
Frasier uses lectures and demonstrations to show her students how to use specific software. She implements a creative process in her curriculum wherein her students research, brainstorm, and conceptualize many aspects of graphic design before working in the software program in order to fully develop a concept to reach an intended audience. Her students must prove to her that they know their audience and understand the objective of the project before trying to produce work on the computer. This solid structure really assists in the production of their design so that the intended audience and effective outcomes will be reached.
Exposure to All Mediums of Art is Imperative for a Successful Artist
Frasier values the opportunity to help all of the students in the art department become successful in their chosen career path. Frasier says, “Exposing them to many different opportunities within art whether in art therapy, fine arts, art education, or visual communication design is important.”
She invites visiting artists to campus for her students to discover new perspectives of how to excel in the field. By hearing first hand testimonials from real world artists and by listening to alternative creative approaches opens doors for her students. Frasier’s students are exposed to all mediums of art throughout their undergraduate. They have an opportunity to prepare and develop their own individual art work to be showcased at the end of the year student art exhibit as well as at the senior art exhibit.