WHO AM I
Experienced creative director and educator with a demonstrated history of working in the graphic design and printing industries and preparing graphic design graduates for the design profession.
May 2006 Master of Fine Art in Graphic Design from the University of Notre Dame
May 2001 Bachelor of Fine Art with distinction in Visual Communications from the University of Oklahoma
ACADEMIC and PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE
- Assistant Professor, University of Central Oklahoma, Edmond, OK August 2023 - Present
- Adjunct Professor, University of Central Oklahoma, Edmond, OK August 2022 - May 2023
Professor of record for various undergraduate classes: Design Foundations 2 and 4, Computer Graphics 1 and 2, Typography, Graphic Design I, Graphic Design II and Competition Studio.
- Owner/Creative Director, Whitney Creative, Oklahoma City, OK February 2002 - Present
Clients include IWC Schaffhausen, the University of Oklahoma School of Business, Red Rock Behavioral Health, and freelance one-off projects. Focuses include Print design with an interest in digital print, Scodix variable foil/spot uv enhancements, and offering high-end, turn-key solutions for companies interested in marketing directly to their top-tier clients through gifting/promotional item sourcing and project development. My work days include a subcontract design relationship with Matt Goad, of Goad Abode, for Continental Resources' internal design/marketing needs.
- Creative Director, Price Lang Public Relations, Edmond, OK Full time: February - August 2022. Design retainer: August 2022 - Present
Worked with a dynamic team of marketing professionals who focused on the nonprofit industry.
- Director of Design and Creative Services/VP Communications, StoneHouse Marketing, Norman, OK July 2017 - March 2020
StoneHouse offers loyalty programs, direct mail and data analysis, gift cards, digital print, wide format printing, POS printing, boxes and packaging solutions, and promotional products. The client list includes Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts, Walgreens, CVS and O’Reilly’s. Responsibilities included managing StoneHouse’s internal and external communications and serving as the company's in-house graphic designer. Projects that have been completed or were ongoing: Developed and designed monthly marketing campaigns highlighting the company's capabilities—creative director and copywriter for the newly designed website, StoneHouseMarketing.com. Scodix digital foil press and HP Indigo press client educator. Advertising Specialty Institute Promotional Products ESP website leader for the company's promotional products division. Special projects director for client concepts, company events and client visits.
- Director of Creative Development, Heritage Hall, Oklahoma City, OK June 2015 - July 2017
Provide visual solutions from concept to finished product for Heritage Hall, a private school. I implemented time management, design efficiency, and creative problem-solving skill sets. Educate the Marketing department, Administration, and support staff on the importance of creating a comprehensive visual style for the school. Design projects primarily include publications, invitations, promotional items (fliers, postcards, etc.), website, and social media imagery for various campaigns. Position requirements also include developing estimates for printing and maintaining vendor relationships.
- Assistant Professor and Program Director, Southern Nazarene University, Bethany, OK January 2007 - June 2015
Developed curriculum for and taught beginning to upper-level design studio classes such as Graphic Design I and II, Typography, Color, Portfolio, Corporate Identity, etc. Director of the senior capstone experience. Maintained the computer lab and handled ordering needs as well as general maintenance. Managed department budget, all purchasing, and the Art and Design adjunct roster. Advised over 30 design students a minimum of two times a semester, where we developed their class schedules, solved financial issues, and strategized their internship and future career goals. Thirteen-time Oklahoma Student Advertising Awards (Addy) mentor for participating SNU student winners.
- Adjunct Professor, Oklahoma City University January - May 2007; January - May 2013
- Adjunct Professor, The University of Central Oklahoma, Edmond, OK August - December 2006; August - December 2007
- Creative Director, The Mid-City Advocate, Oklahoma City, OK August - October 2006
- Graduate Instructor (Instructor of Record), Univ. of Notre Dame, South Bend, IN January 2004 - May 2006
- Graduate Assistant, University of Notre Dame, South Bend, IN August - December 2003
- Adjunct Professor, University of Oklahoma School of Art, Norman, OK August - December 2002
Honors and Awards
TEACHING AND ACADEMIC HONORS
- Nominee, Excellence in Teaching Award, Southern Nazarene University, 2015
- Nominee, Excellence in Teaching Award, Southern Nazarene University, 2014
- Fellowship to the University of Notre Dame, 2003 - 06
AWARDS AND GRANTS
Bronze Tenth District American Advertising Award, Direct Marketing & Specialty Advertising 2020
Gold American Advertising Award, Advertising Industry Self-Promotion Collateral: Direct Marketing & Specialty Advertising, OKC Ad Club 2020
Gold American Advertising Award, Advertising Industry Self-Promotion Collateral: Special Event Materials, OKC Ad Club 2020
Gold American Advertising Award, Advertising Industry Self-Promotion Collateral: Special Event Materials, OKC Ad Club 2020
Silver American Advertising Award, Advertising Industry Self-Promotion Collateral: Direct Marketing & Specialty Advertising, OKC Ad Club 2020
Pewter Printing Impressions Gold Ink Award, Digital Enhancement Printing 2019
Pewter Printing Impressions Gold Ink Award, Digital Enhancements Printing 2019
Pewter Printing Impressions Gold Ink Award, Commercial Printing 2019
Bronze Tenth District American Advertising Award 2019
Gold American Advertising Award, Sales & Marketing: Advertising Industry Self-Promotion Collateral: Special Event Materials, OKC Ad Club 2019
Gold American Advertising Award, Elements of Advertising: Illustration Series, OKC Ad Club 2019
Certificate of Excellence, HP Inkspiration Awards 2018
1st Place, PR Magazine, Society of Professional Journalists/Oklahoma 2018
Achievement Award, Full-length feature story, Oklahoma College Public Relations Association 2016
Gold American Advertising Award, Marketing Materials/Brochure, OKC Ad Club 2016
Bronze American Advertising Award, Special Event Campaign, OKC Ad Club 2016
Bronze American Advertising Award, Digital Media/Invite, OKC Ad Club 2016
Gold Hermes Creative Awards, Design/Marketing Materials, Association of Marketing & Comm. Professionals 2015
Honorable Mention Hermes Creative Awards, Design/Logo, Association of Marketing & Comm. Professionals 2015
Gold American Advertising Award, Special Event Campaign, OKC Ad Club 2012
Silver American Advertising Award, Publication, OKC Ad Club 2012
Silver American Advertising Award, Publication Cover, OKC Ad Club 2011
Silver American Advertising Award, Publication, OKC Ad Club 2011
Silver American Advertising Award, Publication Spread, Oklahoma City Ad Club 2011
3rd Place Public Relations Publication, The Oklahoma Society of Professional Journalism Award 2011
2nd Place Publication Cover, The Oklahoma Society of Professional Journalism Award 2010
3rd Place Best Publication, The Oklahoma Society of Professional Journalism Award 2010
My teaching philosophy encompasses three main goals:
1) Creating an environment where students from diverse backgrounds can feel included and comfortable in the classroom while building a solid graphic design foundation based on the design process and the development of technical and analytical skills;
2) Fostering a passion for design and becoming a “lifelong learner;”
3) Creating emerging leaders in the design field who are involved in their community through active employment and volunteer service.
Creating an environment where students can express themselves is part of the unique teaching profession per professor. My main goal is to create a comfortable environment where students feel secure enough to push their current abilities and be open to critical analysis in a group setting and one-on-one with the instructor. This comfortability occurs when mutual respect is established between the professor and students and through managing the many diverse personalities/ backgrounds of the students who join my classes. I create this respect through interactions with each student by engaging them in conversation, getting to know them… where are they from? What do they enjoy? Etc. I want them to know that I care about who they are as a person, that I want them to perform well in class and generally achieve in life…. that I SEE THE INDIVIDUAL UNIQUE PERSON THAT THEY ARE. For example, a military veteran who has seen combat and been out in the world and a traditional student coming in straight from high school have entirely different life experiences and sometimes expectations. Both are essential individuals in a classroom, students with a unique perspective from which the entire class can learn.
I firmly believe that “active learning” in the design studio is the only way to help students become independent thinkers who actively use the design process (concept to finished product) to reach their learning outcomes. “Active learning” is learning through “doing”: conceptualizing, creating, critiquing, and revising while implementing time management skills and being deadline oriented. Design graduates will be actively applying this process once entering their practice field. Based on the diverse experiences that each student brings to class (whether the student is advanced for their level or faces particular physical/learning challenges), “active learning” offers a sense of inclusivity that traditional lecture-style classroom formats sometimes struggle to meet. During “active learning,” students can adapt to work at their own pace within the designated class period while receiving classmate and instructor feedback as they work. Each individualized approach can meet the class period and project requirements but be unique and specific to each student. I emphasize that we, as a class, are competing against ourselves and not each other. We strive to be the best individual designer we can be… a teamwork approach.
Studying and pursuing a career in graphic design is one of the most exciting career paths of our current time. Our culture has awakened in recent years to the importance of graphic design and how well-designed products and branding can help influence our lifestyles. To be a successful designer, becoming a “lifelong learner” allows a student to embrace design and innovation wholeheartedly. Design is everywhere, and as a designer, you must take notice: relish the opportunity of a graphic design education, read magazines (design and others), attend galleries and museums, study fashion and interior design, travel, be engaged in your community, embrace technology, pay careful attention to the design details that companies implement to catch the viewers attention when you browse your local retailers. Plus, design is constantly in flux, and by not being a “lifelong learner,” you will be left behind in creating archaic design solutions, either conceptually or aesthetically.
The final key component to creating successful graduates is to instill a desire to be leaders in their community through active employment and volunteer service. Many organizations need educated designers to contribute their knowledge base, whether graphic design or community service oriented. I highly encourage students to join local community service projects that interest them and to actively network in design organizations for internship/employment opportunities that can propel them to reach their potential. The local American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) and local Advertising Clubs need strong leaders passionate about design and contributing to the design education of clients and the overall community. Volunteer service opportunities are plentiful, and that doesn’t always have to mean giving your graphic design services pro bono. It can simply mean volunteering your time. The problem-solving and aesthetic skills students develop in a design program are not commonplace and much needed in our community.
Visit WhitneyVH.com to view student work, professional work, creative interests, and various student design resources.
The views expressed by UCO faculty and staff on their personal websites and social media pages do not necessarily reflect the positions of the University of Central Oklahoma. UCO faculty and staff are advised to follow the university’s social media guidelines and are expected to conduct themselves in accordance with policies outlined in UCO’s Employee Handbook and/or Faculty Handbook.