Professor Barry Leads Team Through AIGA's Impact48

For 48 hours over a weekend, Assistant Professor Barry volunteered her design skills through the Detroit AIGA's Impact48. Barry was the Design Lead for a team of five talented graphic designers who donated their skills to the Downtown Youth Boxing Gym in Detroit, MI.

The non-profit is remarkable, with 100% of its attendees graduating from high school in a neighborhood where the average graduation rate hovers near 15-20%. Students from elementary to high school age receive athletic training, tutoring, a meal, transportation and a support system all for free. The non-profit was struggling to connect with an individual donor base, so Barry and her team developed the 100% Campaign to gain millennial constituents. Hopefully the campaign will be rolling out soon, and be sure to "Champion a Child" if you can. 

Professor Barry Speaks about Community Design at the Lorenzo Cultural Center

On November 13, 2015, Assistant Professor of Graphic Design who teaches Community Design was invited to speak at the Lorenzo Cultural Center in Macomb, MI. Barry spoke on the topic "Graphic Design as a Means for Community Engagement" about the role of graphic designers impacting social change throughout our history. The talk featured Community Design as a precedent for young designers and educators to use their design "superpowers" for good, and to be involved in causes they care about. Thank you to all the lecture attendees!

Community Design Students Featured on OU Homepage

In the fall semester, our Community Design student winners for the Organization for Bat Conservation were featured and interviewed as part of the Oakland University news. 

“We designed more than 50 deliverables that range from billboards, magazine ads, posters and exhibit information during the process,” said Sands. “This whole experience lets me know I can handle projects of this magnitude for a future employer.”

Mikho agreed, “This was a big project for a big event that utilized the many different skills we learned during school. With the variation of jobs we did for this exhibit, most future projects should be no problem.”

To read the full article, visit here.



Green Envelopes Are On Their Way!

Keep an eye out for a big green envelope to be delivered via snail mail in the next week. The envelopes are a part of our promotional campaign to raise awareness for the upcoming semester, as well as to encourage non-profits to propose a project for the Winter 2016 semester. A special thanks to the Dean's Office of the College of Arts and Sciences at Oakland University for a grant to help make this campaign happen.

If you would like to receive a green envelope delivered by your local post-human, please email with your name and address of your organization. 

Oakland University Community Engagement Funding Received

A special thanks to the College of Arts and Sciences at Oakland University, as the Dean's Office has awarded DES390: Special Topics – Community Design a Community Engagement Grant. The grant will be used to fund our promotional campaign for the upcoming Winter 2016 semester. Last year, over fifty mailers were sent to Detroit Metro Area non-profits, and this year the tradition will continue thanks to the College and University support. 

Non-profits, keep an eye out for a big green envelope headed your way! If you'd like to receive one, please send your name and organization address to

High Impact Practices Teaching Grant Received

The Oakland University Center for Excellence in Teaching in Learning awarded a High Impact Practices Teaching Grant for the curriculum development of Special Topics: Community Design. 

Oakland University Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning states:

Research indicates that certain “high impact educational practices” when integrated into the teaching and learning environment can significantly impact student engagement, learning, and retention.  The office of the Senior Associate Provost is pleased to announce grants that will allow faculty to integrate high impact activities into their undergraduate courses.  High impact practices include:  student/faculty research, learning communities, service learning, study abroad (short or long-term), internships, and senior culminating experiences.

These practices involve several key elements such as common readings, group projects, high performance expectations, investment of student effort over an extended period of time, interactions with students and faculty on substantive matters, experiences with diversity, constructive feedback, structured opportunities to reflect and integrate learning, real-world applications, and public demonstrations of competence.