WLU Design Students Share Skills with Community

Feature graphic by WLU graduate Jesse Lenz for the OCWeekly.

West Liberty University senior graphic design students are now offering their skills to non-profit groups and startup companies in the Ohio Valley.

“Every fall, for nearly 20 years now, our students have assisted hundreds of non-profits and startups with logos, posters, brochures, billboards, book covers, presentations, signage and websites. It’s a perfect outreach to our community and a chance for our students to gain vital real world experience,” said Associate Professor of Art James Haizlett who coordinates the program.

Haizlett would like to work with any non-profit organization and group that doesn’t have the funds to hire professional design services.

“It is free to apply and all design work is complimentary. The only cost to participants is for the actual production of the work, such as print materials, and website hosting,” Haizlett explained. “We value this chance to serve the community and to teach our students that they can use their talents to bring quality artwork and design into public places, making the Ohio Valley a more beautiful and interesting place to live and work.”

“Graphic Design III helped me understand how important it is to be organized and have a plan when you are dealing with clients. The group discussions really helped with resolving any issues we had while communicating with the clients. The skills I learned are used daily in my current position as a graphic designer,” said recent graduate Katrina Stewart, now working at OMNI Media in Wheeling

Groups that were helped recently by WLU student designers include: The Sport Literature Association, St. Michael Parish School, Community Foundation for the Ohio Valley, Wheeling American Legion Post 1 Baseball, Uptown Moundsville Activities Committee, Hearts Worth Healing, Cat’s Paw Art Studio, New City, MOVER’CISE, Follansbee United Methodist Church, Lazarus/Mary Martha Homes, Voces Solis, Village of Yorkville, Ohio, St. Anthony Church, Elm Grove Business Association, Employment Works, East Ohio Regional Hospital Auxiliary.

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Dalis Wilkerson, a 2015 alum of the class added, “This course gave me a hands-on-experience and understanding of working with clients to meet their requests while planning and following a timeline. The course also taught me how to utilize my skills and knowledge in a team setting, as well as collaborate with my team members to efficiently incorporate our individual talents. This opportunity gave me experience that I am now confident in using in a workplace to advance in my career.”

The program depends on local involvement for its success.

Graphic design students at WLU are ready to assist the community with creative services, from left, Elizabeth Springer, Aleece Abell, Emily Jessee, Alyssa Culp, Jenny Ball, Michael Hall, Avi Wu, Jessica Bethel and Rosalie Haizlett.

“My experience opened many doors for me. My client and I still work together to build a better community in our hometown. We now create art within the town and events for the people to come and enjoy each month,” said recent graduate Drew Gonchoff, who continues to work with Uptown Moundsville Activities Committee.

Interested organizations may contact Professor Haizlett to receive an application via email at jhaizlett@westliberty.edu or call 304.336.8077. For more information on the graphic arts program, please visit WLU’s Visual Art webpage at westliberty.edu/art.