Tag Archives: Student Leadership Award

What is design? asks Transportation Systems and Design grad and Student Leadership Award recipient Russell Singer

Russell Singer

Russell Singer

Each term, Art Center has the great honor of presenting the Student Leadership Award to a graduating student. This award fulfills Art Center’s vision of educating artists and designers who are not only leaders within their professional fields, but leaders in their communities. Based on recommendations from faculty, staff and students, this award recognizes a student who has provided leadership through participation in Art Center’s campus life, community outreach, student organizations and department initiatives.

This past Saturday, Graduate Transportation Systems Design grad Russell Singer accepted Art Center’s Student Leadership Award for the Spring 2015 term. He then listed his thank yous and fired off a question that appeared so seemingly simple it almost appeared to be pandering the crowd gathered in the Pasadena Civic for Art Center’s Spring 2015 Graduation ceremony.

What is design?

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Student Leadership Award winner Hugo Pilate extols the art of listening and being heard

Student Leadership Award winner Hugo Pilate. Photo: Chuck Spangler

Student Leadership Award winner Hugo Pilate. Photo: Chuck Spangler

Who ya’ gonna call? Hugo Pilate, apparently.

This past Saturday, as Product Design graduate Hugo Pilate made his way to the stage to accept Art Center’s Student Leadership Award for the Summer 2014 term, Ray Quirolgico, the College’s Associate Provost for Student Affairs, offered the following caveat: “Hugo has asked me to affirm that he is known for run-on declamations so you may need to brace yourself,” said Quirolgico. “I was also informed to give you his number in case you get lost in what he has to say at any point.”

He then read off Pilate’s phone number not once, but twice.

Lest you think the French-born graduate was just having a laugh, Pilate gave out his number again as he capped off a speech that focused on the importance of being heard and, even more importantly, listening to others. Continue reading

Photography and Imaging graduate wins Student Leadership Award

Photography and Imaging graduate Katie Buntsma. Photo: Chuck Spangler

Photography and Imaging graduate Katie Buntsma. Photo: Chuck Spangler

“I came to Art Center from a tiny town in Iowa and I thought I was going to be a big deal,” said Photography and Imaging graduate Katie Buntsma last week as she received Art Center’s Student Leadership Award for the Summer 2013 term. “I was certain of it.”

That certainty, Buntsma shared with the audience, didn’t last long.

“I broke my arm the first day of school,” she said with a laugh, recalling the most dramatic example of how reality put her ego in check. “I ran my scooter into a cement pylon and spent my first class in the Huntington Hospital emergency room.”

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Product Design Graduate Vladimir Almonnord Wins Student Leadership Award

Vladimir Almonnord

Product Design graduate and Student Leadership Award recipient Vladimir Almonnord.

“There’s nothing more pleasant than helping someone in need and watching them achieve success,” said Product Design graduate Vladimir Almonnord, recipient of Art Center’s Student Leadership Award for the Spring 2013 term. “It’s the fuel that keeps me going and that motivates me at times I feel defeated.”

Each term, Art Center presents the Student Leadership Award to a deserving student from the College. The award is a distinguished honor granted to a graduating student who exemplifies leadership qualities and accomplishments that stand out above their peers.

“He has a passion for the process of designing meaningful products, is a superb visual storyteller and produces exceptional results on a grand scale,” said one faculty nominator of Almonnord, a student who forged a unique path that fused product design, illustration, entertainment design and transportation design.

“What surprised me the most about him was how he shares his time and thoughts with almost anyone and everyone that approached him,” said a student nominator.

“He reminds me of what kind of growth is possible, not just in skills, but in character, professionalism and attitude,” added another faculty nominator of Almonnord who, as a team leader for the Designmatters Change on the Streets transdisciplinary studio, helped address two critical issues facing the city of Pasadena: homelessness and panhandling.

“Perhaps his most important leadership achievement while at Art Center is how he willingly nurtured the talents of his peers,” said Dean of Students Jeffrey Hoffman when introducing Almonnord to the stage at last week’s graduation ceremony.

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Valedictorian Roy Tatum Shares with Graduation Crowd Lessons He Learned at Art Center

Valedictorian Roy Tatum addresses the Summer 2012 graduation crowd.

At last Saturday’s Summer 2012 graduation, Graphic Design graduate and Art Center valedictorian Roy Tatum shared with the assembled crowd some lessons about life, learning and the design process that he picked up while at the College.

Here are a few highlights.

On his high school aspirations:

While everyone I went to high school was making plans for college, I wasn’t even sure I wanted to attend [college]. I hadn’t found something I was passionate enough about to devote a significant amount of time.

On something a fellow musician told him:

I had just finished playing a show and I was talking to the drummer of the band that had played after us. He had gone to an art and design school in Los Angeles and he told me about his experience and I thought, That doesn’t even sound like school. That just sounds awesome.

On Art Center’s Public Programs:

Like many of you, I started by attending Art Center at Night. I remember being so excited and eager to learn from the teacher during the first night of class. I came home and thought to myself, This is what I love, this is what I’m passionate about. I was so excited I couldn’t wait to apply to the day program.

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Meet Product Design Graduate Jenn Kuca, Winner of the Summer 2012 Student Leadership Award

Summer 2012 Student Leadership Award winner Jenn Kuca. Photo: Chuck Spangler

Each term, Art Center presents the Student Leadership Award to a deserving student from the College. The award is a distinguished honor granted to a graduating student who exemplifies leadership qualities and accomplishments that stand out above their peers.

“This person has been nothing short of outstanding,” said Dean of Students Jeffrey Hoffman when presenting the award to Product Design graduate Jenn Kuca at Saturday’s Summer 2012 Graduation. “From her very first term, she chose to be involved and to lead us all to a better place.”

During her first year at Art Center, Kuca became an officer of the student chapter of Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) (and later, its president), where she organized the first annual IDSA Clash, a mixer event that brought together design professionals and students from multiple Southern California colleges.

As president of EcoCouncil, she convinced the administration to formalize the College’s long-term commitment to an eco-friendly future by participating in the STARS/PALS sustainability programs. And as a student representative for the College’s Facility and Technology Committee, she helped strategize improvements to support Art Center’s long-term strategic plan and educational mission.

“And those are only the highlights,” said Hoffman, as he listed an impressive string of Kuca’s accomplishments as a student.

When Kuca took the stage, she shared with her peers some of the insight she gained about Art Center, design and life in general.

On the implicit challenge of Art Center:

“From my very first visit to Art Center, I’ve felt that the implicit challenge to do better and to rise above is what sets this school apart. When I became a student, I discovered the best part, which is that my fellow students had the same expectations of themselves and of me.”

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Summer 2012 Graduation Events

The creative energy around campus is kicking into high gear as the College prepares for its series of Summer graduation events.

Thursday, August 16
If you’re lucky enough to be on the invite list for Graduation Show Preview, you’ll get a sneak peak at the work of the next generation of artists and designers. Held from 6:00 to 9:30 p.m. at Hillside Campus, the preview gives potential employers, alumni, donors and industry professionals an opportunity to preview the Graduation Show and meet our graduating students.

Immediately following the preview, all guests are invited to a reception hosted by Alumni Relations to welcome our graduating students into the alumni family.

Saturday, August 18
Join us at Hillside Campus from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. as we celebrate the accomplishments of our newest graduating class and present the Art Center Student Leadership Award to Product Design student Jenn Kuca.

We will also be presenting the Great Teacher Award to: Product Design instructor Pascual Wawoe (New Teacher); Environmental Design and Humanities and Design Sciences instructors Penny Herscovitch and Dan Gottlieb (Part-Time Faculty); and Illustration and Entertainment Design instructor Will Weston (Full-Time Faculty), who will also deliver the graduating class commencement address.

Can’t join us for the graduation ceremony? Watch our live online webcast.

After the ceremony, Graduation Show opens to the public from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m. so everyone can enjoy the work of our newest Art Center graduates.

Let the celebration of our creative community begin!

Phas running shoes, designed by graduating Product Design student Jenn Kuca.