The Graphic Design Program’s adjunct faculty bring a wealth of knowledge from their industry experiences to the classroom, along with a passion for connecting their students to the world of professional practice. The program is enriched by their perspectives and expertise!


Keli DiRisio


After completing her undergrad in graphic design from RIT, Keli spent years in the design industry, either in the capacity of owning her own design studio or teaching design. In addition to starting her own studio, Keli has also owned a video production company, making educational materials for children. Recently, she received her Masters of Fine Arts in Visual Communications to add to her Masters of Science, both from RIT.   

Keli has been teaching at RIT for about six years, sharing what she knows about the theories of design and also what to expect out there in the big and exciting world of visual communication. Keli has also taught design classes at Nazareth College and Keuka College.

Fall 2016 Semester
Time-Based Design | GRDE-107
Information Design | GRDE-301
Graduate UI/UX

What Keli enjoys most about teaching:
I truly love my time in the classroom. I remember the first class that I taught, being so nervous! Now, I am excited every time I step into a class. I love being able to share what I know with others and seeing their faces when they grasp a concept. Being able to share my passions for type, design, color, and theory and seeing the students develop their own passions, this is what makes me excited to teach.

What excites Keli most about the classes she’s teaching this fall:
I’m excited for the fall classes! I am teaching a wide range of topics: time-based design, information design and a grad level UI & Web class. Being able to teach all of these classes keeps me up-to-date on these topics as I am always looking for information and new techniques to share. In addition, being able to teach a wide range of diverse ages and skills allows me to really dive into the coursework.


Brandon Kelloway

Fall 2106 Semester
Web and User Interface Design | GRDE-302

Design is not an object, idea or a tactic, but rather a recognition of the quality and purpose of our daily interactions with the world.

This statement epitomizes the weight Kelloway believes design has in the world—the importance of every interaction and the purposeful consideration of intent for every design.

He chiefly enjoys the Web & User Interface design course for this very reason. It is the perfect application for understanding and maintaining continued awareness of how others interact with design and how, as  designers, it falls to us to execute and control their interaction as a means to accomplish their goal.

As a designer turned creative solutionist, Kelloway has held critical roles in a very different business and agencies and has been involved in design projects ranging from Branding & Ad design to video & animation. Be it brand language and messaging, identity, web, print, publication, or campaign design, his experience in design for marketing in both an agency environment and internally within a company has given him a wealth of skills and knowledge that have shaped the young communications designer that he is today.

His experiences have transformed him into something so much more than a designer. He uses design to solve problems—a creative solutionist!

What Brandon enjoys most about teaching:

It’s the chance to give back. There was so much he has learned since graduating in May of 2011 and sees teaching as a way to share everything he has learned. He love breaking down complex concepts and processes so that others can understand them and most importantly, learn and grow.

After all, isn’t that the whole point of life?


Chris Lyons_8_16chris_lyons

Chris Lyons

Growing up with parents who were artists, Chris Lyons was always surrounded by art, music, and “creative magic.” His artistic childhood inspired him to study communication design and illustration at the University of Buffalo, where he graduated with a B.F.A. in 1981.

Lyons gained his first professional experience as an intern for iconic graphic designer Milton Glaser in New York City. From there he launched a career in freelance design and illustration, working with clients such as The United States Postal Service, The Wall Street Journal, The U.S. Open Tennis Championships, TIME, Target, and The New York Times. He describes his artistic style as “idealized and optimistic, with a slightly painterly feel to it.”

Lyons loves teaching and is an adjunct professor in the Schools of Design and Industrial Design at the Rochester Institute of Technology. “It is one of my favorite pursuits and a hugely satisfying and rewarding piece of my life,” he says. In his spare time, Lyons plays pick-up basketball, which fuels his competitive spirit. Lyons lives in Rochester, NY.

Fall 2016 Semester
Senior Portfolio Development | GRDE-411
Professional Practices | GRDE-306

What Chris enjoys most about teaching:
Helping my students become successful professionals and developing life-long relationships with them. I stay connected well after graduation and it brings me great joy.

What excites Chris about the courses he’s teaching this fall:
Professional Practices lecture to the entire junior class in the School of Design is a wonderful course that introduces the students to the potential of real careers as  creative professionals—and it is limitless! And Senior Portfolio class enables our seniors to develop a comprehensive portfolio piece that is a culmination of all that they’ve learned in their 4 years at RIT. So great to see them blossom and start shaping their careers.



Mike Minerva

Mike Minerva founded his graphic design studio, Minerva Design, in 1994 in San Francisco after studying design at American University in Washington, D.C. His small design studio quickly gained large clients including Wells Fargo, Intuit, HP and Palm as well as non-profit organizations such as The California Academy of Sciences and the San Francisco Ballet. In 2002, Mike relocated the studio to Rochester where he proudly added Sun Microsystems, Nalgene, Serotta Bicycles, Thermo Scientific, NEMO Equipment and others to the client roster.  Today, Minerva Design offers an expanding list of design services including brand strategy, hand-lettering, digital design, user experience and complex database solutions.

Mike stays busy outside of the studio by spending his time with his wife and three children, repairing (swearing at) his 1920’s Tudor, racing his bicycle and lifting heavy-ish barbells.

Fall 2016 Semester
Senior Portfolio Development | GRDE-411

What Mike enjoys most about teaching:
I love pushing students to their potential and showing them a process to get there and beyond.

What excites Mike about teaching Senior Portfolio this fall:
It is very rewarding to help students create their final portfolio which tells a story of what the student has done in the past and demonstrates their potential for the future.



John Ragone

John takes pride in being a multi-faceted designer, with 15 years of professional design experience in Rochester area advertising agencies, supported by an additional 5 years of print production background prior to that. He specializes in design for corporate identity and strategic branding. Professionally, he has won several design awards including 4 ADDY Awards in 2011, and 2 public relations PRism Awards in 2006 and 2008.

He has earned 3 degrees from the Rochester Institute of Technology—most recently completing a Master of Fine Arts degree in Graphic Design in 2015.

His personal interests include an endless fascination for classic automobiles, growing an ever-expanding music and movie library, and a deep interest in history including American Civil War and 20th Century pop culture, Frank Lloyd Wright architecture, PIXAR and Looney Tunes animation, comic books and NFL football.

Fall 2016 Semester
Typography | GRDE-201

What excites John most about the courses he’s teaching this fall:
I am teaching 2 sections of Foundations 2D and Typography 201. Part of being an artist means constant growth and learning everyday, and the same is true as an educator—I’m learning at the same time I am developing student talents. I enjoy sharing stories of my experiences and the things I learned in the field. Probably what I love most, though, is the surprised ‘look what I did!’ expression on students’ faces as they begin to realize their potential and capabilities.

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