Our full-time Graphic Design faculty are listed below, along with their email addresses and links to their academic profiles or personal sites. They come from a diverse range of academic, industry and research backgrounds, bringing a variety of experiences and depth of expertise to our program.
Deborah’s faculty profile
Deborah Beardslee is a designer and associate professor in the School of Design at RIT. Her teaching focuses on design process and visual thinking, systems and information design, and cross-disciplinary collaboration. She teaches MFA and BFA graphic design and cross-disciplinary courses, and is past MFA Coordinator of the former Graphic Design Masters Program and Co-chair of the Graphic Design Bachelors Program. She has a BFA in Communication Design from Syracuse University and a Visual Communications MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University. She was an adjunct professor at VCU prior to joining the faculty at RIT.
Beardslee has been a faculty guest facilitator/participant/critic in CIAS as well as in RIT’s College of Business, College of Engineering and the Master of Architecture Degree Program. She is also active on committees and initiatives in the Vignelli Center for Design Studies.
Beardslee has spoken at other universities in the USA and Austria, and delivers juried presentations at national and international conferences sponsored by organizations such as SEGD, IVLA, SECAC, CAA, the School of Visual Arts, Common Ground and the Toronto Design Exchange. Her presentations include original photography of design examples and contexts from ongoing travels and passions. She also exhibits her photo work at galleries such as Main Street Arts, The Mill Gallery, Rochester Contemporary Art Center, Image City Photography Gallery.
Before coming to RIT, Deborah Beardslee was a designer and art director in the Boston area, working with architecture, fashion, engineering, high tech, non-profit and higher education clients.
Fall 2016 Semester
Information Design GRDE 301 / Juniors
Design Imagery GRDE 202 / Sophomores
What Deborah enjoys most about teaching:
- ▪ Working with bright, creative students
- ▪ Devising intriguing, challenging assignments
- ▪ Sharing ideas and conversations
- ▪ Creating meaningful opportunities to connect with social and community issues & needs
- ▪ Mentoring and supporting new designers
What excites Deborah about the courses she‘s teaching this fall:
- ▪ Chances to meet and work with many new students
- ▪ Immersion in imagery considerations and experimentation
- ▪ Opportunities to integrate and teach design thinking, systems design and concept development
Nancy Bernardo is an award-winning designer whose design work has been recognized by PRINT Magazine, HOW Magazine, Design Observer, AIGA (American Institute of Graphic Artists), Designers and Books, Creative Quarterly and AIGA Western New York. Her design work explores the boundaries between old and new technologies and is an interesting and often whimsical blend of analog and digital techniques.
Bernardo recognizes the need for change and expansion, and feels that designers are continually reinventing what has come before—either by evolving print design into digital technologies, or by going back to more analog techniques such as letterpress or other printmaking techniques. Her research activities concentrate on areas of print that relate to book design, image-making, book making, time-based projects and graphic design history.
Bernardo’s interest in the poetics and beauty of words has been life-long. As an English major, she learned not only to read words on the page, but also to closely examine patterns, juxtapositions, and connotations in texts. In graphic design, she applies these same skills.
Bernardo views her job as presenting content with visual interest and textual clarity in order to develop deeper and more nuanced concepts in the text. Through image-making, she uses the interplay of image and type to underscore the complexities of the book or article at hand.
She has been a practicing designer for 18 years and a professor for 10 years. She is the current Program Chair of Graphic Design. See her work here: www.nancyabernardo.net
Fall 2016 Semester
History of Graphic Design GRDE 205 / Sophomores
Typography VCD 708 / Graduate
What Nancy enjoys most about teaching:
I love working with the students and seeing them evolve throughout a semester. As a designer I find it important to be curious and experiment and I expect that curiosity from my students and love to see them push themselves and their designs to new levels. Seeing a student light up when they figured something out or are just enthusiastic about what they are doing is truly the thing that keeps me going. It’s the best feeling ever!
What excites Nancy about the courses she‘s teaching this fall:
I am always excited to teach the History of Graphic Design class. It gives me a chance to meet all of the majors in the program and to show them visual awesomeness and hopefully get them excited about things they have never seen before.I am particularly excited to teach the Graduate students since I have never taught a grad class before and look forward to the challenge.
Carol’s faculty profile
Carol Fillip is an Associate Professor at Rochester Institute of Technology in the School of Design. As a design educator, she strives to foster critical thinking to allow students to develop problem-solving strategies and life-long learning skills as she guides them to become thoughtful designers whose work is appropriate, functional, impactful, adaptable, distinct, and timeless. Experiential education combined with socially responsible design are important to her as she leads by example involving herself and her students with many community and culturally minded initiatives.
Fillip’s scholarship and research interests are diverse and collaboration is a high priority. She has always been a project driven person who excels at solving a wide range of problems. Creative processes and techniques using design thinking, as well as improving design education, can be seen throughout her work. Making the visual and performing arts available for all, especially young minds, is very important to her. Fillip’s other research interests are in the area of typography, literacy and letterforms with preschool and early school-aged children.
Design and working with nonprofit organizations has been an area of involvement as Fillip has sat on the Board of Directors for Music is Art since 2008, while also working with other community organizations. Prior to teaching at RIT in 2005, she was the president of her company, Fillip Design Group Inc for over 10 years in Las Vegas Nevada, Atlanta Georgia, and Buffalo New York— with national clients including Hard Rock Properties, the PGA, Serious Skin Care and Turner Entertainment.
Lorrie’s faculty profile
Lorrie Frear is an Associate Professor in the School of Design in the College of Imaging Arts and Sciences, where she is committed to creating collaborative learning experiences for students representing different departments in the college, other colleges at RIT, other universities, and external organizations. In all of Frear’s classes, there is an emphasis on current design issues and challenges, creativity, critical thinking, individual growth, and life-long learning, in a challenging, engaging, and fun learning environment.
Frear’s scholarship commitments include transdisciplinary learning experiences, design thinking strategies, literacy, and contemporary calligraphy and hand-lettering. In addition to conference presentations on these and other topics, her scholarship pursuits include invited calligraphy lectures and workshops, writing for publications and blogs, creating calligraphic commissions, and engaging in juried and invitational exhibitions.
In addition to her teaching responsibilities, Frear serves on the Marketing Committee of Music is Art, a not-for-profit organization, and is the faculty advisor to the RIT Hand Lettering Club and Keep Rochester Club. Prior to teaching at RIT, she was a graphic designer in a variety of organizations, including corporations, design consultancies, design firms, and an advertising agency in Boston, San Francisco, Buffalo, and now with her own company, Underwraps.
Fall 2016 Semester
Editorial Design GRDE 418
Packaging Design GRDE 431
Typography GRDE 201
Calligraphy ITDI 216
What Lorrie enjoys most about teaching:
I provide students with complex design problems that are conceptual, creative, challenging, collaborative, competitive, and current. In every course I teach, my objective is to share my passion for design in ways that are engaging, enjoyable, emerging, entertaining, educational and enlightening. encourage concept development, independent thinking, creativity, research, in-depth analysis and evaluation, objectivity, ethics, interpersonal communication skills and personal, professional, and societal responsibility. I am dedicated to collaborations with other professors, classes, departments, schools and colleges within RIT, other universities, and external organizations in order to give students the most realistic, challenging and competitive experiences to prepare them for the design professions. It is my responsibility as a teacher to provide the opportunities, strategies and tools necessary for each student to grow, learn and succeed as an individual and as a designer. I try to get to know each student individually in order to help him or her find his or her own visual language and creative voice.
Patti’s faculty profile
Patti Lachance is an Associate Professor of graphic design and was the Administrative Chair of the School of Design in the College of Imaging Arts & Sciences for eleven years. Now in her 30th year of teaching design, her professional career has spanned over 40 years and included many years as an art director for Bausch & Lomb and Leica Microsystems. Her work has been published in numerous books and journals including Print Magazine’s Design Annuals, Print’s Best Posters & Billboards, Print’s Best Letterheads & Business Cards, American Corporate Identity, and Innovative Low Budget Design.
Lachance continues to produce work for clients but now prefers to direct her creative attention to projects for non-profit organizations and causes. These have included the United Way of Greater Rochester, Big Brothers and Big Sisters, Planned Parenthood, Strong Memorial Hospital, Kidney Foundation of Upstate NY, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, and The Billings Foundation. She holds a BFA in Visual Communication from the Herron School of Art and Design, and an MFA in Medical Illustration from RIT.
Fall 2016 Semester
Design Imagery GRDE 202 / Sophomore level
Branding and Identity Design GRDE 402 / Senior level
What Patti enjoys about teaching:
Everything! Sharing what I know, sharing what I’ve learned, sharing what I’ve experienced as a professional designer; learning from my students; and hanging out with the coolest young people ever!
What excites Patti about the courses she‘s teaching this fall:
These courses are right in my wheelhouse! I’m a designer who loves to illustrate, and an illustrator who loves to design. Making images is my thing! And my professional experience as an art director in corporate design for branding and marketing is the perfect fit for the branding course. I love the potential that the discipline of branding holds to positively influence and impact our lives.
After a self-tailored MFA study in Visual and Verbal Communication in Graphic Design and Technical Writing at Carnegie Mellon University, Bruce Ian Meader began teaching graphic design at the University of Michigan in 1983. In 1993 he began teaching at RIT and is now Full Professor of Graphic Design in the School of Design.
His specialty is typographic problem-solving, information design, publication design and wayfinding design. After completing a major commission to redesign Michigan Bell’s telephone bill, he co-wrote an article, Redesigning a Telephone Bill, in the 1990 issue of Information Design Journal.
Meader plays a major role in academic and programmatic activities in the Vignelli Center for Design Studies. He designed the interior wayfinding system, an identity, and all publications and promotional materials for the Vignelli Center.
He has designed wayfinding systems for Kaleida Health, Monroe County, and RIT. He designed the exterior wayfinding system for RIT, and for Monroe County Parks and the Hall of Justice and Civic Center.
Meader has also designed numerous publications for the RIT Press and the Cary Graphic Design Archives Chapbook series. In 2012, Professor Meader designed Vignelli Transit Maps, which received a 2013 American Association of University Press design award.
Fall 2016 Semester
I am on sabbatical this Fall Semester preparing my book, Field Guide to Typography: Typographic Problem-Solving for Everyone as an RIT Press publication. I am excited to return Spring semester 2017 and will likely be teaching Advanced Information and Experiential Graphic Design.
What Bruce enjoys most about teaching:
What I enjoy most is teaching young designers to be critical thinkers capable of designing on the highest level of excellence with an uncompromising demand for functionality, relevance, appropriateness, precision, and integrity.
I Love to teach Typography!
Kelly Murdoch-Kitt came to RIT from the San Francisco Bay Area, where she worked in user experience design, strategy and research. She teaches and works primarily in the areas of user experience, interaction and service design.
For the past 5 years, Murdoch-Kitt has involved several of her classes in a series of intercultural design collaborations with Prof. Denielle Emans at Virginia Commonwealth University’s campus in Doha, Qatar. Another area of research interest involves the benefits of integrating sustainability challenges into project-based design courses.
Murdoch-Kitt recently presented research at Spaces of Learning: AIGA Design Educators Conference and the 2015 Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) Conference and Expo, “Transforming Sustainability Education.”
Murdoch-Kitt was recently appointed to serve on the national Steering Committee of the AIGA Design Educator Community. Locally, she and Prof. Lorrie Frear collaborate annually to organize EUREKA!, an interdisciplinary social innovation design workshop that partners with Rochester organizations to benefit the community through good design.
Outside of design life, Murdoch-Kitt is a certified yoga instructor and is working on certification to become a birth doula. She also enjoys cooking, traveling, gardening, and backcountry camping, and is trying to figure out how to keep doing it all with her new baby boy in tow!
Fall 2016 Semester
Web & User Interface/UX Design GRDE-302 / Juniors
Advanced Web & Interaction Design GRDE 422 / Juniors/Seniors
What Kelly enjoys most about teaching:
I love connecting students with the ideas that design can be meaningful and influential in positive ways, and that they can harness that potential to create change on local and global levels and make lives better for individual people. At the same time, I also enjoy making for the sake of making: helping students use design—and the process of making—to explore, play, learn and grow. Design is such a rich, multifaceted field, and it’s so inspiring to follow students’ journeys as they realize the richness of design through history, theory and practice, and hone their critical thinking capabilities. I truly enjoy crafting open-ended projects and encouraging students to take them as far as they can imagine! It’s always thrilling to see the outcomes at the end of the semester.
What Kelly enjoys about the classes she‘s teaching this fall:
Teaching user experience design is my absolute favorite thing! There are limitless possibilities. My senior class will be working with an inner-city farm and experimenting with augmented reality! My juniors will be doing two deep-dive UX projects that explore information, systems thinking and human needs in drastically different ways. The best part of both courses is getting students engaged with actual “users” in terms of generating ideas and testing concepts and prototypes. I can’t wait to see where it all leads.
R. Roger Remington
Roger Remington has spent his formative and adult life in upstate New York (the Adirondacks and Rochester). His professional education in graphic design was in non-establishment settings, having studied graphic design at Rochester Institute of Technology and art history and printmaking at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
In September, 2016 he will begin his 53rd year on the faculty at RIT. He considers himself primarily a teacher who has critical interests in design studies (graphic design history, theory and methods), research, writing and graphic design practice. His teaching quality was acknowledged with receipt of the Eisenhart Annual Award for Outstanding Teaching, RIT’s highest recognition of teaching excellence. He is RIT’s Massimo and Lella Vignelli Distinguished Professor of Design, the first endowed chair in the School of Design. Over the years he has maintained a professional practice in graphic design with several partners.
At RIT, for the past 30 years, Remington has developed a unique scholarly resource, the Graphic Design Archive. This project involves preserving and interpreting the original source materials of 35 Modernist design pioneers such as Lester Beall, Will Burtin, Cipe Pineles, Rob Roy Kelly, William Golden and Alvin Lustig among many others.
A major career accomplishment has been the realization of the Vignelli Center for Design Studies at RIT in 2010. This facility houses the archive of Massimo and Lella Vignelli and is the centerpiece of bringing design excellence to innovative educational programming at RIT. As recipient of the Vignelli Endowed Professorship in Design, Remington administers the programming and functioning of the Vignelli Center for Design Studies.
Fall 2016 Semester
20th Century Editorial Design GRDE-326 / Juniors
What excites me about teaching this course is making certain that students have understanding of historical basis for their design solutions.
What Roger enjoys most about teaching:
Ensuring that students have mastered the integration of formal visual aesthetics in their design solutions; working closely with students on the refinement of their visual solutions; Achieving course objectives through the qualitative course deliverables.
Stephen Scherer has taught in the Graphic Design program at RIT for 11 years. His courses include; Advertising Design, Branding & Identity Design, Professional Practices, Senior Capstone, Design Production and Design & Imagery. Scherer oversees multiple independent studies with his students and volunteers for several committees within the College of Imaging Arts and Sciences. He calls his position at the School of Design his “dream job.”
Prior to RIT, Scherer worked as an art / creative director at some of Rochester’s largest advertising agencies and design firms. He also teaches Design & Production at St. John Fisher College in Pittsford, NY. Stephen has won numerous awards for advertising art direction, including ADDYs and Telly awards. He and his wife, Gale, operate a marketing design firm, Studio West Design in Pittsford, NY.
Scherer holds a BFA in Advertising Design from Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois. He is a Past President of the Rochester Advertising Federation. Scherer remains active in the advertising, photography and design communities, reaching out to former colleagues, to speak in his classes and offer employment and internships to his students. Stephen has been a frequent guest speaker at area high schools and colleges.
Scherer is a life-long runner, having run 19 marathons. He enjoys drawing, photography, skiing, hiking and discovering nature. He hopes to design and build a tiny house one day.
Fall 2016 Semester
Professional Practices GRDE 306: This is a required course for all juniors in the Graphic Design program. I love teaching it, because it awakens our students to both the career possibilities and challenges awaiting them after graduation. Professional Practices teaches them to start now, to use the remaining three semesters and maximize their skills, build their portfolios and become true professionals.
Senior Portfolio Development GRDE 411: It’s exciting to get our seniors working on their portfolios in the fall semester so they can be better prepared to hit the ground running prior to graduation. Plus, they receive so much positive feedback from their classmates throughout the semester. I see them grow in front of my eyes.
Branding & Identity Design GRDE 421: Branding has always been a passion of mine throughout my professional career. Passing the skills I’ve learned on to another generation of designers is a wonderful task to have.
Advertising Design GRDE 428: Having spent 30 years working in the advertising field allows me to teach advertising design from a client/audience based point of view. My students come to understand that advertising design is about “consumer benefit” concepts rising above the clutter.
What Stephen enjoys most about teaching:
That moment when a student’s eyes light up and they understand the difference between what we do as graphic designers and why we do it. This is the most rewarding period of my professional career.
Prior to joining the RIT School of Design in 2015, Melissa Warp taught a variety of graphic design courses at Western Kentucky University and University of Miami, and created the graphic design program at North Cross School in Roanoke, Virginia. Along with teaching, she has worked for a variety of agencies as a designer and illustrator. The scope of her work has ranged from branding for health clinics and law firms, to print and web collateral for educational institutions and non-profit organizations. She was instrumental in re-branding the national fitness company Orangetheory Fitness, and was involved with the branding of Hilton Head Health, a fitness retreat and spa in South Carolina.
Warp’s range of clients are corporations such as Corpac Steel and Coldwell Banker, and small start-ups such as HipPOPs, a Miami food truck, or the maternity clothing store in Nicaragua, called MIMA. While living in Guadalajara, México in 2008-09, Warp helped to brand and create web presence for an indigenous women’s artisan cooperative called MNINI, and designed and volunteered for CODENI, a non-profit that gets kids off the streets and into schools in Guadalajara. Among the variety of her clients, her favorites revolve around issues that she cares deeply about – the outdoors, fitness, local food, community development and outreach.
Fall 2016 Semester
Web & User Experience Design GRDE 302 / Juniors
Typography GRDE 201 / Sophomores
Digital Graphics INDE 203
302 offers an opportunity for me to research, plan and develop projects alongside the students and discover how we can challenge existing norms in screen-based interface design, and get to the heart of who we are designing for. I am looking forward to teaching Typography, as this course allows students sufficient time to explore and understand the power behind this important aspect of design. I appreciate that we don’t have to rush through concepts in this class as we dissect letters, words, sentences and paragraphs, and bring these pieces together to form an effective layout. Lastly, Digital Graphics offers me the opportunity to get to know Interior Design majors, who I have found to be a receptive and driven group of students when it comes to learning the basics of graphic design.
What Missy enjoys most about teaching:
Each student has a unique story, and different goals– connecting with each of them and learning how I can help keep them on a successful track is something I really enjoy. This profession inspires me to continue learning alongside my students, and continually seek and create designs that have impact. If students come away from my class with a sense of pride in their work, and have reached new creative ground, I am happy.