Chowan’s Graphics Department Hosts Virtual Alumni Talk
On Tuesday, November 10, 2020, Assistant Professor of Graphic Communications, Professor Jennifer Newton, was accompanied by colleagues Dr. Michelle Surerus, Professor of Graphic Communications, and Dr. Hunter Taylor, Dean of the School of Business and Design Assistant Professor of Business, as she hosted the virtual GC Alumni Talk. At the event, fourteen Graphic Communications alumni shared their experiences since graduating from the University and discussed the importance of participating in internships before employment. The experience was not only nostalgic for the alumni speakers but useful for the student audience as they witnessed the rich diversity of opportunity within their field of study. The following list contains the names and graduated class of each alum present for the lecture: William Metcalfe (‘05), Anna Parker Eure (‘10), DJ Nichols (‘13), Lauren Baker (‘14), Vanessa Council (‘14), Malcolm Roberson (‘14), Macaulay Chilaka (‘15), Lee Duncan (‘16), Sarah Ervin (‘16), Shelby Barlowe (‘18), David Cross (‘19), Aleeza Walker (‘19), Keeana White (‘19), and Kendall Butler (‘20).
All fourteen guest alumni were addressed with specific questions posed to them by the attending professors and students. Each began with an introduction detailing their current place of work and the company where they completed their internships prior to employment. Then, the alumni took turns sharing their opinion on the most important aspects one should know when going into an internship or first career-related job. This discussion was followed by questions relating back to each alum’s time in their Chowan undergraduate career. Each guest answered the hypothetical question if they could go back to their freshman year as a Graphic Communications major, what might they change. The main session concluded with each alumni remarking on the most important piece of advice a Graphic Communications major should know in order to be successful in the field.
Fourteen current Chowan University students, most of whom major in Graphic Communications or Design, made up the majority of the lecture’s audience. Afterward, many students responded with honest, heartfelt reflections about their experience, noting that they appreciated the alumni’s candor and advice. Sophomore Graphic Design major, Telly Hawkins, commented on how she, “liked how [the alumni] talked about not giving up on your vision for what you want to do.” She especially connected with a remark 2020 graduate, Kendall Butler, made about starting this new chapter in life, as he very recently landed a job as a CAD Designer for Packrite LLC in High Point, NC. He affirmed that the first step is the hardest part of the process and pushing through this difficulty is key to arriving where you want to be. In her final remarks, event host, Dr. Jennifer Newton commented that “having recent graduates, [who] students recognized, share their work and internship experiences was a great opportunity for students to learn about possibilities for their future.”