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The big design on lifelong creativity

Sturgeon County student preps for graduating exhibit Wednesday

By: Scott Hayes

  |  Posted: Wednesday, Apr 30, 2014 06:00 am

CREATIVE GRAD – Ashley Hoffman is set to graduate from the design program at MacEwan University. Along with other grads, she's participating in a design show on April 30.
CREATIVE GRAD – Ashley Hoffman is set to graduate from the design program at MacEwan University. Along with other grads, she's participating in a design show on April 30.
APRIL BARTLETT/St. Albert Gazette

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Design Studies Portfolio Show 2014
Wednesday, April 30
The public is invited to view the show between 7 and 9 p.m.
Robbins Health Learning Centre at the City Centre Campus
For more information, contact Dianne Nicholls at 780-497-4312 or visit www.macewan.ca/wcm/SchoolsFaculties/FFAC/Events//DESIGN_STUDIES_SHOW_2014.

The end of April means final exam time for most post-secondary students. MacEwan University design student Ashley Hoffman is instead breathing a sigh of relief that all she has to do is get through the Portfolio Show, taking place on Wednesday.

“There are no exams: only large projects!” she exclaimed. “That’s really nice!”

The Sturgeon County resident has been in the three-year design studies program since she graduated from Bellerose High School three years ago. Ever a doodler in class, she admitted that she received a bunch of awards during her secondary school years. This included the media arts award of excellence that she picked up during her senior year.

Choosing a post-secondary program was pretty easy, she admitted. She calls herself “a creative,” after all.

“I wanted to do something creative and I didn’t want to be stuck with something I didn’t want to do with my life, something I didn’t enjoy. I want to share my creativity with people.”

Now that she is graduating as a digital media major, she is looking to get out into the workforce. She might not have to go far as her family owns two companies, one of which is a sign business. She said that that will give her some experience but she will also be picking up some freelance work around the metropolitan Edmonton area, possibly working through an agency.

Her display for the exhibit is her own website: www.ashleyahoffmandesign.com.

Carol Charette chair of the design department with the faculty of fine arts and communications, explained that there are multiple streams of study including graphic design, video, photography, new media and interactive design.

The overall program is geared toward real world practical knowledge.

“What we’re trying to do is have our students ready for work. We’re really focusing on industry standards. On top of problem solving and problem identification, they do also learn about techniques and software. It’s a good mix between the doing and the creation.”

Administrators are currently working on a new degree. Currently, students get a certificate after the first year but can continue on for another two years to earn a diploma. There are an average of 90 students in Design every year.

The success rate, she continued, is improved because of this graduating show where students meet with industry professionals. That’s where the real results of their education show.

“This is a great opportunity for students to actually meet and have multiple scenario interviews in a very short time. They can really talk about their projects, which are most often industry-oriented. They do real projects and they get into what the industry is going to expect.”

She ended by mentioning that she always looks forward to this exhibit. It is the culmination of the students’ work throughout their education careers but also because the quality of the projects is outstanding.


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