New Student Organization of the Year

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On Wednesday April 26th at the Annual SOAR Awards sponsored by the Southern Miss Office of Leadership and Student Involvement, the Creative Collective, our newest organization in SMAD was awarded The New Student Organization of the Year Award. The Creative Collective is a group of designers whose goal is to provide a community for design students outside of the class, to provide opportunities for trips to see art and design, bringing lecturers to campus, arrange workshops, and perform community outreach. The organization is known for its social events such as laser tag and useful workshops on topics such as bookbinding and handlettering.  

This year the group was instrumental in helping bring students to the DSVC National Student Show and Conference in Dallas, as well as aiding students beyond the classroom with weekend workshops. If you’re a design student or prospective student interested in joining the Collective please email Asst. Professor Jacob Cotton for details. 

DSVC National Student Show and Conference


On March 29th, 21 design students and one faculty member from the Southern Miss Art + Design Department traveled to Dallas TX. to take part in the 13th Annual National Student Show and Conference hosted by the Dallas Society of Visual Communicators. The conference, the largest of its type for students, boasts keynote speakers who are design and advertising industry leaders along with studio tours, breakout sessions, portfolio reviews, a job fair, and an educator’s forum.

Students were lead to the conference by Asst. Professor Jacob C. Cotton. Cotton, is no stranger to the conference, he was awarded a gift set in the welcome ceremony for having been the one in attendance to have attended the most conferences to date, and was selected at the 11th Annual National Conference as Educator of the Year. This year Professor Cotton took on a more elevated role by being one of only three speakers in this years Educator’s Forum. His presentation entitled “Motivating Millennials: Sport of Design” was selected after a national call for abstracts and was well received by those in attendance.

Visiting Artist Series: Peter Christian Johnson

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February 6-8th SMAD welcomed visiting artist Peter Christian Johnson for a 3 day workshop which included lectures, demonstrations and workshops for students and visitors. The interactive projects included a team project in which students developed a large totem based on three words, synchronized wheel throwing, and a senior critique.

Congrats! Dr. Ventura

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A big Congratulations is in order for SMAD’s very own Dr. Cathy Ventura who was recognized as Staff Member of the Year by the University for her outstanding work. We are very proud and feel very privileged to have her in our department!