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Join the MFA in Graphic Design program for our upcoming Alumnx Talk featuring Jimmy Henderson (GD ‘19), Shruthi Manjula Balakrishna (GD ’19), and Kyla Paolucci (VCFA ’23). Each Alumnx will share their current work and reflect on both their time at VCFA and how their experience in the program helped shape their current creative pursuits. We will conclude with Q+A and informal conversations with all attendees. The session is open to the broader VCFA Graphic Design program including current students, faculty, and alumnx and will offer an opportunity to get to reconnect with our vibrant community. Moderated by: James Chae, Faculty Co-Chair, MFA in Graphic Design.
Featured artwork by Jimmy Henderson (GD ’19)
About the Panelists:
Jimmy Henderson (GD ’19)
Jimmy Henderson is a designer, educator, and craft beer lover whose professional and teaching career have spanned more than a decade. His work and research focus on branding, packaging, beverage design, craft beer, and the human experience. He is currently writing a book that seeks to categorize and document the visual culture of craft beer in order to share and preserve this topic with graphic designers and beer lovers alike. His research and writing have been shared both nationally and internationally and he has presented research at over 20 universities throughout the United States. He has won awards for his design work from Graphic Design USA, Creative Quarterly and The Society of Typographic Arts and had his work featured in those publications as well as on The Dieline and Logo Lounge.
Jimmy is currently an Assistant Professor of Art and Design at Susquehanna University in Pennsylvania. He teaches design courses at all levels that include Computer Applications, Packaging, Typography, Interactive Design, and Conceptual Illustration. Prior to joining Susquehanna University, Jimmy worked professionally as a graphic designer at advertising agencies Mullen Lowe and The Variable in North Carolina as well as part of an in-house design team at Liberty Hardware Manufacturing. He earned his MFA in Graphic Design from the Vermont College of Fine Arts as well as a BS in Marketing Management and a BFA in Studio Art from Virginia Tech.
Shruthi Manjula Balakrishna (GD ’19)
Shruthi is the legitimate love-child of strategy and creativity. With more than 15 years of experience, Shruthi’s background is as multifarious as the work she produces. Since 2006, she has been many things: a strategist, a brand manager, a student, an educator, an award-winning designer, and a creator of acclaimed projects for Google, Colorado Lottery, eBay, University of Texas, Austin FC, Odell Brewing, Houston Symphony, TOWWN, and Kevita—to name a few. Her diverse portfolio of work has been recognized by Dieline, Lürzer’s Archive, GD USA, Graphis Design Annual, The One Club for Creativity, Art Directors Club, and AIGA.
Today, Shruthi has evolved into a creative who observes, listens, investigates, and experiments through design. Her design sensibilities are heavily inspired by human-centered design and a deep love for behavioral psychology, philosophy, and anthropology. Having partaken as a speaker and judge at multiple festivals, conferences, and schools, Shruthi is also a Doctor of Design scholar at North Carolina State University, investigating the influence of design on consumption patterns during and post-crisis through theory and empirical evidence from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Kyla Paolucci (VCFA ’23)
Kyla is a graphic designer based in New York City. She received her undergraduate degree from Rhode Island School of Design in 2011. She has worked for companies including World Wrestling Entertainment and HBO. After years of designing on-demand aesthetic formulas for specific audiences, she has become interested in reconstructing her design practice to make space for critical approaches by investing in her relationships. As a design educator at St. John’s University, she encourages students to define their own approach to design through durational making and experimentation. She believes that design is like a Sunday dinner — a labor of love that can transcend commercial placements and where everyone can belong. She always saves room for dessert.