Student in Fairfield University's University College wins Connecticut Art Directors Club scholarship for Computer Graphics


Image: FroggieAs a traditional illustrator and designer in advertising and publishing, Laura Jacques has been earning praise for years. She has won many awards and honors for illustrations she's created for children's books about wildlife and the environment. But Laura was truly gratified when she recently won a scholarship that credited her ability to create both traditional and digital artwork.

Jacques was chosen to receive one of two $500 scholarships awarded by the Connecticut Art Directors Club (CADC) at its annual Advertising and Design Awards competition. The CADC is a non-profit group of professionals, educators and students of advertising and design in Connecticut. The Club held an awards ceremony on June 8 at the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Conn.

Jack Tom, Jacques' instructor in a digital illustration class offered by University College at Fairfield University, quickly recognized her talent and encouraged her to submit her work to the competition. For Jacques, who is working to earn a University College certificate in Computer Graphic Design, the scholarship was a validation of her efforts to add computer proficiency to her repertoire.

"I was thrilled," said Jacques, a Danbury resident. With a degree in illustration from Hamden's Paier College of Art, Jacques has worked professionally for more than 20 years. However, she has found that in this job market, companies prefer to hire artists who not only have impressive illustration skills, but also computer expertise. While Jacques had developed functional ability with computer illustration and design programs on the job, she had never been formally trained in that area until now.

"You really need to be able to do both well," said Jacques, who was laid off from a design job in New York. With the help of the Workforce Investment Act, Jacques is pursuing the Computer Graphic Design Program Certificate at Fairfield University to close the gap she previously had in that area.

The Program entails five courses to complete a Software Application Certificate and to complete a Print or New Media Certificate, students continue with two Design courses and a final Portfolio class.

"Being fluent in the software that the marketplace is currently using is crucial," Jacques said. "Just getting the 2004 spring semester under my belt has already landed me choice freelance work that was out of my reach a few short months ago. Completing the program at Fairfield University will only further enhance my marketability and position me for future prime illustration and design opportunities."

"One of the most important resources that students and some professionals are not aware of are professional organizations, like the Connecticut Art Directors Club," said Jack Tom, Jacques instructor. "The CADC believes in the future of graphic design and encourages serious students to continue to do good work. It was perfect timing when my Digital Illustration class was winding down from the semester and the CADC Annual Student Conference was about to begin. I was very pleased that Laura and a couple of her classmates did attend this event and I was even more thrilled that Laura was one of the scholarship winners. Talent is a dime a dozen, it's what you do with it that counts...and Laura has demonstrated that she will continue to create great art with her talent."

For more information about the Computer Graphic Design Certificate Program, please contact University College at (203) 254-4307.

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Media Contact: Nancy Habetz, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2647, nhabetz@fairfield.edu

Posted on June 9, 2004

Vol. 36, No. 297