Cannon describes himself as a true Blacksburg townsman, having lived in the area for 23 years. After earning a BFA in Graphic Design as well as a BA in Cello Performance, she recently started a new position at WillowTree Apps in Charlottesville as a Product Designer. She attributes her success directly to the program, saying, “I can honestly say that Virginia Tech’s Faculty and Design program is among the best. I really feel like I couldn’t have had the same precious experiences and opportunities if I had been elsewhere.
Megan Monroe is originally from Virginia Beach and came to Virginia Tech as an undecided major. After her freshman year, Monroe was introduced to the Graphic Design program and was accepted her second year. Thinking back on that process, Monroe said, “It was probably the best decision I have ever made. My favorite thing about Virginia Tech’s design program is the faculty – it’s a very small program, so every student has the opportunity to get to know the professors really well. They make the program what it is and I consider myself extremely lucky to have had the opportunity to learn from and get to know them personally.
Monroe credits her inclusion on the list of students to watch for the hard work and passion she was able to nurture during her time at Virginia Tech. “I think if you are really passionate about something and really put yourself into what you do, you will eventually be successful.” After graduation, Monroe will attend the Brandcenter at VCU to earn her Masters in Advertising with a concentration in Experience Design.
In addition to the rankings regularly achieved for Graphic Design USA, Virginia Tech’s design program was also ranked number 18 nationally by the Diploma Center in Graphic Design, as well as number 16 nationally in Niche.com’s 2017 Best Graphic Design Programs.
The design program also recently won a number of local American Advertising Awards (ADDY) awards from the American Advertising Federation (AAF). These winners move on to the regional stage where they can then qualify for nationals. Professors Dee and Patrick Finley and several of their students were also featured in the most recent Indigo Design Award and in the United Design Alliance competitions.
“I just finished my 10th year at Virginia Tech and I’m incredibly proud of everything our program has accomplished during this time,” said Dee. “We have created a welcoming and inclusive community that emphasizes design, manufacture, research and core values. One of my greatest joys has been watching our students develop and flourish at the during their time in our program.We have also developed a phenomenal alumni network, and we always love when alumni return as guest speakers or offer studio tours (or internships) to current Hokies. We hope to continue to build these relationships and expand our community, and I look forward to seeing where our program goes next. “
-Written by Michael Capocelli