Designer, Writer, Educator
Sherry is a published, award-winning designer who, in her current role, serves as Assistant Professor of Graphic Design at Lamar University (LU). While at LU, Sherry has taught all levels of graphic design including topics in typography, brand identity, history of graphic design, web design, and user experience design. She has received the honor of being an LU Presidential Fellow to create new courses in design thinking and user experience design, which included a student trip to Austin, TX to complete a design thinking at the IBM Studios offices. Sherry is currently an LU Distinguished Faculty Fellow, where she is working to develop informational videos about creative teams in graphic design.
Additional Portfolio Work
Click here to see more of my work including a gallery of 20 professional design works and a gallery of 20 student works both with a downloadable PDF.
Design & Research Statement
In my experience, designers are naturally curious and versatile. People who love art, problem solving, and technology tend to be drawn to graphic design because it satisfies this wide range of interests. In my work, making creative work and building a professional graphic design portfolio has been critical in how I work as an educator and researcher, but in the university setting, I am not constrained to working on client based work. I feel most free in the academic environment because I am encouraged to explore my interests in both creative work and research practice.
Before transitioning to my role as an assistant professor position at Lamar University in 2012, I worked as a professional graphic designer. My undergraduate training led me to a coveted position creating graphics for the City of Boston and its various local agencies. While this position allowed me to grow and develop my skills, my curiosity and inquisitive nature inspired me to pursue graduate study at Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD). I learned many of the research skills I utilize in my work today while studying with my mentors at SCAD, and I discovered I have both creative problem-solving skills, as well as analytical research skills, and my goal was to use both in my professional career. After graduating from SCAD, I achieved my goal to work for a large agency by getting a job as a graphic designer at Discovery Communications where I created work for their in-house advertising agency. I worked in a department with over eighty creative professionals to create graphics for brands such as Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, and Science Channel.
Although working as a professional designer was a great career, I found that academics was where I could really work with both the creative and analytical skills that I developed in graduate school. In the past seven years at Lamar University, I have created a range of paid and pro bono client based work, received a national level grant to establish a new local professional design community, published written work, made personal design work that has received award recognition at a national level, presented as a keynote lecturer, presented at conferences averaging two presentations per year, presented my own custom workshop at various venues, and shown my work in juried and invited art and design exhibitions.
I feel this wide range of accomplishments has led to the next phase of my research and creative activity. As I draw from my professional design experience as well as my work leading a local professional design group, I have discovered an unexplored research area in my field: the creative team. While teaching, I learned there were limited texts about the types of creative teams in the design industry, and no texts aimed at the emerging designer focusing specifically on what makes a great creative team in the field of design.
I am currently under contract with Bloomsbury Publishing to write a book about creative teams. Surviving the Creative Space: Teamwork techniques for designers, uses case studies, interviews, and practical exercises to investigate modern challenges and opportunities facing all members of a creative team. By exploring a range of design related fields such as graphic design, advertising, motion graphics and user experience, I offer readers an inside peek into how top creative teams achieve success, deal with failure, work with clients, etc. This is a topic that doesn’t get written about often, and my qualitative approach will allow for various points of views to be heard. Currently out for peer review, I’m in the finalizing and editing stages of the book and await new feedback when my peer review process is over. The book is scheduled for publication in late 2020 and will be a great asset to my students who need to better understand the professional world of design they aspire to work in. This topic is so rich, that my goal is to explore and disseminate research about creative teams in other exciting new ways.
My design philosophy is to define design broadly and follow your curiosity in order to improve the world around you. For myself, this means improving my environment through sharing knowledge and building community. My students have equally diverse interests and I encourage them to pursue their passions—whether it’s design for social good, creating design for aesthetic beauty, or pushing the limits of design through technical innovation. There’s room for each unique point of view, and I intend to nurture emerging designers and facilitate the dialog for future exploration.
Coding As Craft: Evolving Standards in Graphic Design Teaching and Practice
Savannah College of Art and Design | Savannah, GA | MFA Graphic Design | 2011
Emmanuel College | Boston, MA | BFA Graphic Design, Communications Minor | 2007
GRAPHIC DESIGN EXPERIENCE
Assistant Professor of Graphic Design | Lamar University | Beaumont, TX | 2013–Present
Visiting Assistant Professor of Graphic Design | Lamar University | Beaumont, TX | 2012–2013
Graphic Designer | Discovery Communications | Silver Spring, MD | 2011–2012
Graphic Designer | Boston Redevelopment Authority | Boston, MA | 2007–2009
Distinguished Faculty Fellow | Lamar University | Beaumont, TX | Fellowship Award for Research and Creative Activity | 3 Year Term | $35,000 | 2018–Present
AIGA Leadership Retreat Attendee | Raleigh, NC | Travel funding from AIGA National to attend AIGA Leadership Retreat | $1000 | 2016
Presidential Fellow | Lamar University | Beaumont, TX | Award for Teaching Innovation | $15,000 | 2016–2017
AIGA Innovate Grant | AIGA Houston East Satellite | Houston, TX | Start a new AIGA Chapter Satellite program through the AIGA Houston chapter | $5000 | 2015–2017
Special Project Grant | Lamar University | Beaumont, TX | Funding Supported Graphic Design Exhibition Featuring Golden Triangle Designers | $5000 | 2015–2016
Co-Presenter | LU Digital Ticket Learning Technologies Conference | Beaumont, TX | Presentation Topic: Technology in Classrooms Large and Small | 2018
Discussion Panelist | College Art Association Conference | Los Angeles, CA | FATE Round Table Discussion | Topic: Dialogue, Empathy and Inclusion in the Classroom and Beyond | 2018
Presenter | College Art Association Conference | New York City, NY | Paper Title: Hands on History: Learning the History of Typography with a Letterpress Workshop | 2017
Presenter | Southeastern College Art Conference | Roanoke, VA | Paper Title: Transforming Web Design 101 | 2016
Workshop Facilitator | AIGA Design Educator Conference | Bozeman, MT | Workshop Title: Anonymous Failures | 2016
Keynote Speaker | Lamar Institute of Technology All College Day | Beaumont, TX | Lecture Title: Branding 101: Challenges and Opportunities in Higher Education | 2016
AWARDS AND HONORS
Writing Resident | Design Incubation Writing Residency | Chicago, IL | 2018
Writing Workshop Fellow | Design Incubation Fellowship | New York, NY | 2017
Gold ADDY Award and Best in Print Design | Publication Category | Lake Charles, LA | 2017
Oso Bay XIX Design Symposium, Piece titled Attract was selected by juror James Victore | Corpus Christi, TX | 2016
Honorable Mention | Press Club of Southeast Texas Special Events Collateral Category | Beaumont, TX | 2015
First Place | GraphicStock.com Design Competition for Welcome to Beaumont Poster | Featured on Graphic Stock blog | 2015
Gold ADDY Award | Poster Category | Lake Charles, LA | 2015
Finalist | Connecting Threads Fabric Design Contest | 2013
Merit Award | Textiles Category, 3x3, The Magazine of Contemporary Illustration | 2013
Bronze ADDY Award | Advertising for the Arts and Sciences | District 10 | 2013
Gold ADDY Award | Advertising for the Arts and Sciences | Lake Charles, LA | 2013
SECAC Members Exhibition Merit Award | SECAC Exhibition Juried by Dan Cameron | Savannah, GA | 2011