Paideia: My Independent Study Experience

Last semester I got an email from the Art Department asking for advanced-level graphic design students to participate in the first-of-its-kind Graphic Design Independent Study. And because of my passion for art and design, I registered right away! Essentially, I, as a graphic design student, am the designer for all of the illustrations and visuals that the senior-level chemistry students need for their senior project. Instead of relying on blurry pictures pulled from Google Images for their presentations and posters, I am able to create graphics tailored for each of my chemistry “clients’” specific needs. It has been a really neat opportunity that I am glad I did not pass up!

I was assigned to work with three chemistry students for the duration of the semester. I was to meet with these students to figure out what their project is on (most of which was difficult for someone non-science minded to understand) and how I can help them create the exact visuals they need for their project presentation. At the end of this semester, each chemistry student is to complete a scientific paper with my visual illustrations. My illustrations are also necessary for their PowerPoint presentation at Paideia. Paideia is an event where students from all different majors have the opportunity to present on a topic of interest, with help from faculty mentors, in front of an audience of professors, students and other interested individuals.

This course was challenging and time-consuming but also extraordinarily rewarding. Because the course is an independent study, that means that there is no set class time to meet with my professor. This also means that all of the work is to be completed on time per my own schedule. The independent study taught me how to better manage my time, as well as how to rely more on myself to complete projects.

In support of my clients, I attended all three of their Paideia presentations. It was nice to see how their chemistry work and my design work all came together in the end. On top of being praised by my chemistry clients both throughout the semester and in their presentations, three of my designs were printed on a poster and displayed in the library for the entire school to see! The Graphic Design Independent Study was simply a trial run and I would claim that it was a huge success!

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