Congratulations to CCAD’s 2019 Outstanding Seniors!
Each year, Columbus College of Art & Design faculty select Outstanding Seniors based on their academic and artistic accomplishments. Congrats to the 2019 Outstanding Seniors. We can’t wait to see what you do next!
Advertising & Graphic Design
Originally from Lima, Ohio, Audrey Stemen has followed a creative path from the start, welcoming new artistic challenges as she grew and strengthened her creative eye. It eventually led her to CCAD—where she first attended CCAD’s College Preview as a high school student in 2014. As an undergrad, Stemen later served as the Director of the Advertising & Graphic Design Student Collective and was a designer for the Student Agency for about two years. She was a camp leader for CCAD’s first CampUs program and volunteered for a number of various CCAD events. She also studied abroad in London for six weeks and learned about game design, media, culture, and communications. Stemen is an award-winning designer, receiving six ADDY (American Advertising Awards) awards, three Columbus Society of Communicating Arts Creative Best Awards, and a featured spot in Graphic Design USA 2019 “Students to Watch” list. She’s grateful for all of the support and guidance from her professors, friends, and family.
Currently, Stemen is continuing her fulfilling internship at Spacejunk Media as a designer. After graduation, she wants to pursue a career in art and creative direction for film, video game, and TV entertainment. But most immediately, she’s continuing her experience at Spacejunk Media and pursuing a call to serve her country in either the United States Navy or Air Force.
Born in New York City and raised in Dayton, Ohio, Francis Amisola has always been inspired by the artists around him and the stories of his family and friends. From an early age, Amisola has been inspired and mystified by animation, always pausing and examining the drawings in each frame. But it wasn’t until his junior year of high school when he decided against his previous path of going into medicine and seriously considered being an artist. He started to take CCAD’s community education courses and applied to the CCAD College Preview program, where he met many extremely talented and amazing teachers and students.
During his time at CCAD, Amisola has worked to develop a unique style and push his skills in experimental animation and motion design. As a student, he was recognized as a President’s List honoree for all but one semester. He directed the film Temple of Psych and worked with fellow students Halle D’amico, Sabrina Truong, Lexi Cooper, and Trent Lindsey to create a film that was showcased at the Chroma: Best of CCAD animation screening in 2018. Amisola is currently a Giphy Verified Artist, and spent time at Adult Swim working as an intern for the Williams Street Headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, where he designed animated bumps for adultswim.com and various other online content. His work has also been shown in the local animation screening Malt Adult Animation Nite. Upon graduation, Amisola hopes to find work as a motion designer and continue his passion of creating animated music videos for local musicians.
Kristen Wyant grew up in the suburbs of Indianapolis, where she graduated with honors from Zionsville High School. A love of sewing runs in her family, and her grandmother taught her not only how to sew, but also the importance of craftsmanship.
During her time at CCAD, Wyant worked in the fashion labs, and minored in Industrial Design. She has made the President’s List every semester and has also won several awards for her costume and prop work, including Best in Show at Indiana Comic Con. She also placed fourth nationally in the “Make it With Wool” contest. Upon graduation, Wyant plans to pursue a career in costume design.
Film & Video
Joshua Smukal was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio. He first started making videos with his friends at the Westerville, Ohio, skate park where he spent the majority of his childhood skating and scootering. It wasn't until his senior year in high school when Smukal saw the 2013 film Gravity, shot by Emmanuel "Chivo" Lubezki, that he decided that he wanted to pursue learning cinematography.
In his first year at CCAD, Smukal developed a strong interest in creating documentaries, especially after watching the short film Last Minutes with ODEN, directed by Eliot Rausch. Smukal has been working at the CCAD Student Agency as a videographer since his freshman year, and he has created award-winning videos for the series CCAD Stories. Throughout his time at CCAD, he has interned for Up Periscope Creative and Spacejunk Media and worked on numerous short and feature films. After graduation, Smukal plans to pursue a career in documentary filmmaking, focusing on environmental topics and animal rights.
Nicole Massy was born and raised in Indianapolis, Indiana, where she grew up watching her mom, a self-taught artist, drawing for pleasure. Her entrance into the world of art was in high school, drawing portraits commissioned by patrons of their horses boarded in the same barn where Massy spent time riding her horse Chance.
Massy entered CCAD with the intention of being an illustrator, but soon realized that independent research and the realm of material studies were more compelling to her. Massy has been on the President’s List all four years and has received numerous awards and scholarships, including her initial Illustration scholarship, the Cecil Head Fine Arts Scholarship, the President’s Scholarship, the Polly “Bunny” Alexander Scholarship, the Workman Prize for Painting, the Gamblin Paint award, and the Dale Metternich Memorial Scholarship for the Ox-Bow Residency program. She has been represented twice in the Sean Christopher Gallery Young Hearts exhibition and was recently nominated by the faculty to represent CCAD in the prestigious International Sculpture Center Award competition. Her work is rooted in her obsession with plants and the urgencies of environmental degradation. At the moment of this writing she has been applying to residencies in some of the most bucolic locations as the natural next step in her research and studio practice.
Yiffy Gu is a transfer student to CCAD who began her first year of study in Ohio in the fall of 2016. Before she transferred to CCAD, she majored in Fine Art and created many traditional paintings and drawings. She didn’t know this experience would become a solid background for her future illustration study.
During her time at CCAD, Gu explored different fields like motion graphics, animation, and graphic design. She didn’t limit herself to classes only in the Illustration major and always sought after other experiences. In summer 2018, she began to work for the CCAD Student Agency as an illustrator and graphic designer. One of her art pieces for the agency was selected as part of the 2019 ADDYs competition. Through the Student Agency, Gu tackled a lot of graphic design work and learned many new ways of thinking about art. She realized that all the arts are linked—you just need to figure out how to bridge them together. This year, she received first place in the annual CCAD Art of Illustration show. After graduation, she plans to seek a full-time position that best fits her talents and contributes to her growth as an artist.
Sarah Mauk grew up in Bexley, Ohio, where she found her love for design and problem-solving. With some direction from her art teachers, Mauk found CCAD, fell in love with the Industrial Design program and decided to join the CCAD family.
Mauk has had a reading and comprehension disability, but throughout her life, she has been determined to learn how to work around it and prevent it from being a crutch in her professional life.
While at CCAD, Mauk had to pay her way through school by working two different part-time jobs. She is a member of the Industrial Design Student Collective and has interned at Nestle R&D beverage center designing packaging. While at Nestle, Mauk was able to help lead an ideation workshop in Toronto, Canada, where she helped facilitate ideation and build prototypes for the event. She also attended the International Home + Housewares Show in Chicago three years in a row, and volunteers at a soup kitchen over the holidays.
While at CCAD, Mauk has led or worked on sponsored projects for Bath & Body Works, Little Tikes, and Nexen Tire that have brought new and innovative concepts to life. Mauk has also worked on a furniture design project for the Furniture Bank of Central Ohio that benefited families in need across greater Columbus and a design project for Craftsmen for Kids developing toys to help children in need.
After graduation, Mauk plans to pursue a career in product design, with a focus on sports medicine and equipment.
Interior Architecture & Design
Rose White has always been deeply connected to her community and has put that at the heart of her design work, arriving at CCAD with a general desire to make the world a better place. She has continued to strive to connect with her community throughout her time at CCAD by immersing herself in campus life—from working at the library and the photo lab to joining student government. She has also worked on the Residence Life team for two years as Resident Advisor and later as Lead RA.
White’s keen understanding of how communities and humans connect and thrive is at the core of her work. She has been on the President’s List all four years, has participated in four different Shift camps, and has received the Aminah Robinson Endowed Scholarship, the Charles Barton Weaver Scholarship, the CCAD Interior Design Scholarship, and the Tim Reese Scholarship. Upon graduation, in addition to starting her own nonprofit, Rose hopes to work at a design firm dedicated to affordable housing.
Laura Toogood was born in Rochester, Minnesota, and in 2010 moved to Pittsburgh, where she graduated from Pine-Richland High School. Toogood arrived at CCAD ready to tackle the rigors of an art and design college. Her ambitious goal of majoring in Photography with a duel minor in Advertising & Graphic Design and Business is coming to fruition, and as Outstanding Senior in Photography, her future is bright. While at CCAD, Toogood has become a central part of the college culture. Toogood was an Admissions Student Ambassador for two years, a leader in the senior photo capstone exhibition titled Kaleidoscopic, and was on the President’s List for six semesters.
Not only has Toogood been a valued member of the CCAD family, she has also pursued her own professional development. She is a Senior Creative at Harness Magazine and has published four magazines in the last 18 months. All this hard work is in preparation for her goal to be a photographer in the commercial and editorial industry after graduation, and a long-term goal of becoming a creative director. Toogood is grateful to her family for all their support in helping her reach her goals as an artist.
Studio Art with an Emphasis in the History of Art & Visual Culture
Amber Feit grew up in Laguna Beach, California, before moving to Columbus and growing roots. Her interest in the arts was born early on as a child where she was surrounded by a community of artists, and grew as she attended an arts high school which steered her toward CCAD. Her college career fostered an interest in art history, which led her to adopt it as her major, with a fine arts focus in painting. She has spent several semesters on both the President’s and Dean’s lists and has remained active in extracurricular department activities.
Feit is a single parent who has overcome adversity while working her way through college. She intends to continue her studio practice post-graduation, and plans to attend graduate school in the fall for social work, focusing on addiction and recovery in regard to the opioid epidemic.