Island University Art Department Students Learn Cutting Edge Design Techniques at National Conference

Published: November 09, 2015

Island University Art Department Students Learn Cutting Edge Design Techniques at National Conference

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Five undergraduate students, two graduate students and one professor from the Art Department at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi attended the American Institute of Graphic Artist (AIGA) National Conference from October 7-11 in New Orleans. During the conference, the Islanders were exposed to leaders in the design industry and learned about cutting-edge design techniques.

“Each day of the conference I was inspired,” said Samantha Casanova, a junior art major. “I saw so many works of amazing designers and I was moved by their speeches. We were reminded how much power design really has in the world.”

The group was supervised by Amanda Garcia, Associate Professor of Art.

“The inspiration the students received at AIGA was invaluable,” said Garcia. “Students walked away with a renewed sense of wonder and belief that graphic design is so much more than the printed page.”

The AIGA Design Conference brings the design community together each year to experience provocative speakers, local culture, exhibitions, professional development sessions and face-to-face roundtables with leading design heroes.

“The trip gave me confidence in my skills and helped me grow as a graphic designer and a future teacher in graphic design,” said Sarah Gamez, senior art major.

Each student received a $400 Parents’ Council scholarship to attend the conference. Additionally, the Graphic Design Operations Fund contributed a total of $1,000 to assist students with travel expenses.

For Tina Lenz, a senior English major, the trip was especially important because of her limited background in graphic design.

“I made so many connections with people that believed in me and what I am doing,” said Lenz. “I learned not to fight my English major, but instead, to embrace it in my design.”

Students say they left New Orleans with a renewed spirit and are looking to the future to implement what they learned.

“This trip inspired me to bring my design work up to the next level,” said Sarah Odom, a senior art student. “It's encouraged me to push myself harder now that I've seen what kind of community awaits after graduation. I want to be a part of that so badly.”

Founded in 1914, the American Institute of Graphic Arts remains the oldest and largest professional membership organization for design. There are more than 70 chapters, including four in Texas, and there are more than 25,000 members. Learn more about AIGA at