Alumni Spotlight Archive
Coordinator of Visual Communication Triton College, Freelance Photographer and Graphic Designer.
I received a bachelor's degree at National-Louis University in Computer Art Education, and a master's degree at DePaul University in Digital Art Production.
I have been a member of the Triton College faculty for 28 years. In my time at Triton, I have developed curriculum for many new programs. I am currently developing a New Media certificate and Photography Associate's Degree to be offered in the fall semester of 2011. In the past I have developed the curriculum for the Visual Communication Associate's Degree, the Mass Communication Associate's Degree, and over 50 other certificates and online courses.
I am the author of two books: Graphic Arts Production, 1990, American Technical Publishers and Designing for Success, 2000, Dodt Design and Publishing. I am also a published photographer Trout Valley, the Hertz Estate, and Curtiss Farm, 2008, Arcadia Publishing.
What would you describe as your strong suit?
I am very creative and have been told I am a visionary. I am not so sure about the visionary description, but I am good at taking on big projects, planning them and getting them done.
What have been some obstacles you've had to overcome in pursuit of your educational and career goals?
As a leader, I think in the early days of my career it was more difficult than it is today. Women were struggling to be accepted as leaders in the 1980s and 1990s. Today we expect strong women to become leaders.
As a mother of four, the challenge was always the balance between work and home. I wanted to be a role model for my family and also be available to them. I was able to complete many of my accomplishments by having a strong home life, and the perseverance to be writing, studying and planning when everyone was sleeping!
As an artist, I still struggle to find the balance between my responsibilities and my creative time. Over the years, I have been creative through a variety of media from drawing, painting, beading, sculpture and creative writing. My greatest form of art is and always will be photography. When I am shooting, early in the morning, I am in a quiet creative space.
What has served as a source of inspiration both in your career and in your life?
The work and creative vision of others inspires me. I have learned so much from seeing through the eyes of my students. I am a better teacher and artist because of my students. In my Advanced Photography and Photography Safari courses we spend a great deal of time on location shooting. The class travels throughout the Chicago and suburban area to photograph a variety of settings and capture moments on time. I am always inspired by how students can all photograph at the same place and see things so differently.
How has Triton College impacted your life?
I really cannot begin to describe how my experiences at Triton impacted my life. One early memory is of an English writing course I took my freshman or sophomore year at Triton. I had always struggled with formal writing; I much preferred poetry or creative writing. My instructor, Phyllis DeLuggage, taught me how to think and write from a formal, technical perspective. Years later when a textbook company asked me to write a book, I felt confident as a technical author. Although textbooks do not allow dedications, I would have dedicated the book to Mrs. DeLuggage.
Triton also impacted my life as a leader, supporting my visions and allowing me to develop programs that I believed best met the needs of the community.
What advice would you give to someone who would like to pursue a career in your field?
I look at my profession in two ways; I am a teacher and an artist. In both career aspects, my advice is to never stop learning and stretching your boundaries. I grow as a teacher daily as I strive to meet the learning needs of my students. I am constantly learning new software and techniques to share. As an artist and photographer I am fortunate to have a creative need to always be developing my technique. Currently, I am working on portrait photography in natural settings. It is a struggle to work with a model and nature to have both create a work of art.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I like to spend time with my family, travel and create artistic environments. Last summer, in addition to my photography, my daughter and I painted a 7-foot 3D mermaid using a variety of media including mica that I had mined in New Hampshire not far from my grandparents' home. This mermaid now hangs over my hot tub and looks out over the woods. This is a creative environment!
What are your plans for the future?
I plan to continue to develop as an artist - I do not believe any artist ever stops learning. I plan to show my work in more galleries. It is very rewarding to show your work and hear how it is seen by others.