Engineering & Design Honors Program Discusses Graphic Design with Alumna Mary Kate Healey '13

On Tuesday, students in the Engineering & Design Honors Program met with Mary Kate Healey '13 to discuss the field of graphic design, as well as her professional journey.
"During high school, I wanted to design anything I could, so I was designing shirts for several clubs. The more work you can showcase for your portfolio for college applications, the better," shared Mary Kate.

Mary Kate attended the University of Notre Dame, which was her reach school. "My first two years of college, I was immersed in the Bauhaus/Foundations Model of Art. I learned to weld, paint, create pottery, used textiles and other forms of media to gain experience. Because I was attending a liberal arts university, I was required to take philosophy, math and science, all which helped inform my worldview."

She shared her college extracurricular experiences, including working in campus ministry, admissions and highlighting her work with the University of Notre Dame's yearbook, which helped pay for a portion of her college tuition. "I like to focus on social justice issues and the role that design can play in ethics. I combined these two interests and created a senior thesis entitled Stitches, where survivors of sexual assault shared their words in an anonymous survey, but some of these survivors and allies came together to sew the sheets of these stories together. It was the best opportunity because it was something I was passionate about. My exhibit was featured on the front page of the University of Notre Dame's newspaper and won The Emil Jacques Gold Medal of Fine Arts, the oldest and most prestigious of departmental distinctions." Click here to watch this powerful video.

"There wasn't a straight path to a graphic design job for me," she said. "I volunteered for a year through the Change a Heart-Franciscan Volunteer Program as a Marketing and Communications Fellow for Angels' Place, a nonprofit childcare center in Pittsburgh that serves low-income, single parents that are enrolled as full-time students. Then I took school photos because I was not able to find a job. Now I am at John Carroll University as a graphic designer, focused on admission, alumni, advancement and university-sponsored events. I encourage all students to be flexible with where the path may lead them. You will eventually get to where you want to be."