Wendy Shapiro, assistant professor of art and journalism, brought graphic design to Franklin College four years ago. Although she began her liberal arts education as an elementary education major at Millersville University in Millersville, Pa., she quickly switched over to commercial art.
Between earning her bachelor’s degree from Millersville University and her master’s degree from San Diego State University in California, Shapiro worked as a graphic designer for eight years. She started at a school district in Pennsylvania and then worked in advertising and marketing for a newspaper when she moved to California. After five years at the newspaper, however, Shapiro felt there was no longer a challenge so she pursued more schooling.
During grad school Shapiro realized she could combine teaching with graphic design, so she applied at schools across the country to teach.
“It’s funny because I wanted to work at a large school, but when I came to Franklin College it felt so right,” Shapiro said. “I had never actually been to Indiana until coming to Franklin for my interview.”
Shapiro teaches classes within both the Art Department and the Journalism Department. Interest in the classes has increased to the point some graphic design classes now have a wait list. Shapiro hopes increasing numbers will lead to the addition of a second graphic design professor.
“Graphic design is very popular at the moment and I think it’s a field where you can be creative and produce things but also get paid to do it,” Shapiro said. “Graphic design encompasses so many fields and there are so many ways to introduce it into a company, like advertising small businesses. There are so many areas of design and art, and this is a way to apply it.”
Outside of the classroom, Shapiro dedicates much of her time to her position as the education director of the Professional Association for Design, AIGA. Although graphic designers don’t typically present at conferences, Shapiro has attended many workshops. She recently attended one this fall and will attend another this upcoming year.
Shapiro has work shown in San Diego, including a hand-made bound book in Mingei International Museum’s special collections, which is a permanent collection. She also has had work in temporary exhibitions in Illinois, Indiana and Michigan. She recently submitted work to show in Indianapolis and occasionally produces logos, posters and book covers for clients.
Her proudest Franklin College contributions, however, are obtaining a small etching press, scanners, cameras and money for the art lab through grant writing.
“My happiness is part of others’ happiness,” Shapiro said. “By getting these things I’m helping students gain more opportunities and exposing them to more concepts. It’s nice to win something, but I don’t like to boast; my happiness is knowing someone learns from and enjoys graphic design.”
For more information about what a degree from Franklin College can do for you, contact the Office of Admissions at (800) 852-0232.
Founded in 1834, Franklin College is a residential, liberal arts institution with a scenic, wooded campus, spanning 207 acres, including athletic fields and a 31-acre biology woodland. Students enjoy the comfort and safety of suburban living, while also experiencing the many opportunities Indianapolis has to offer with a short 20-minute drive to downtown. The college prepares students to think independently, to lead responsibly and to serve with integrity in their professions, their communities and the world. The college offers its more than 1,000 students Bachelor of Arts degrees in 51 majors from 25 academic disciplines, 42 minors, 11 pre-professional programs and five cooperative programs. In 1842, the college began admitting women, becoming the first coeducational institution in Indiana and the seventh in the nation. Franklin College maintains a voluntary association with the American Baptist Churches USA. For more information, visit www.FranklinCollege.edu. Find Franklin College on Facebook and follow @FranklinCollege on Twitter.