Meet the 2020 CCAD Alumni Award winners

Columbus College of Art & Design graduates make work that changes the world. They create businesses (and make significant contributions to existing ones), lead nonprofits, excel in their creative practices, and help guide the next generation of artists and designers. (That’s just the start, of course.) Every year, we honor a selection of our outstanding alumni with Alumni Awards. Members of the CCAD family and general public can nominate an alum for the recognition in the categories of Joseph V. Canzani Alumni Award for Excellence, Arts Educator, Commitment to Service, Creative Entrepreneur, and Emerging Leader. The 2020 Alumni Award winners, who will be honored in a private, online event in November 2020, are: 


william potter portrait
Photograph taken by Iman Pirzadeh

Arts Educator Award

William Potter (Fine Arts, 1995) is the Associate Dean of Faculty Affairs and Professor of Foundation Studies at the Herron School of Art and Design at Indiana University and Purdue University (IUPUI) in Indianapolis. He received his BFA in Fine Arts from CCAD in 1995 and his MFA in Painting from the University of Cincinnati in 1997. He has exhibited his work throughout the United States and internationally in the UK, Germany, and Australia. Potter regularly lectures nationally on teaching methods especially as they relate to foundations curricula. He was the Vice President for the Biennial Conference for the 2015 FATE Biennial conference, “Tectonic/Shifts.”

What advice do you have for current students? For recent alumni?
There is said to be a curse, “May you live in interesting times.” And we are all living definitely in interesting times. As a creative ask yourself, how can you face this moment with tools you have gathered from CCAD? Your skills are needed now more than ever! The creative act can heal, restore and reveal.

Cultivate your community of fellow creatives. CCAD has a creative community built into its DNA. Right now, the CCAD creative community might be dispersed either due to moving online (for current students) or graduation (for alumni). Make attempts to reach out to one another and to keep nurturing your community.

Click here to learn more about William Potter.

Follow him on Instagram or visit his website


krista sison working

Commitment to Service Award

Krista Sison (Fashion Design, 2013) runs Multitudes Studio, through which she leads sustainability initiatives, and works full-time as a Digital Designer for the trendsetting lingerie line Savage X Fenty, founded by singer, actress, and entertainer Rihanna. A multidisciplinary designer living in Los Angeles, California, Sison designs creatively for brands during the week, and works to protect people and the planet on nights and weekends.

What does it mean for you to be recognized with this Alumni Award?
I was really surprised, but very honored. It gets exhausting having a side hustle to your side hustle, so it was uplifting too! Especially when you're talking about ideas that are very challenging to the human conscience. No matter how much it might be "trending" right now, sustainability is currently counter-cultural and confrontational. And I'm not talking about grocery totes, organic tees, surface-level sustainability, I'm talking about deep-rooted consumption issues and systemic sustainability.

When I think about it, this is how my parents raised me. I'm Filipino and grew up Catholic, so servanthood has ALWAYS been ingrained in me since I came into this world. I'm really thankful for it, honestly. Because my goal is to flip the world on its head and make people think about what they do, not just go along with was everyone else is doing.

Click here to learn more about Krista Sison.

Follow her on Instagram or visit

emily and brian portraits

Creative Entrepreneur Award

Emily Kellett (Industrial Design, 2016) and Brian Kellett (Media Studies Still-Based, 2007), co-owners and co-founders of STUMP, a retail store specializing in houseplants and plant accessories. The pair launched STUMP in 2015, starting with one location in Columbus’ Italian Village neighborhood. In the years since, they’ve opened up a second location in Columbus (German Village) and added STUMP locations to Philadelphia and Savannah, Georgia, bringing their total number of stores to five. Their background in art and design has helped them create shops that are a fresh take on a retail garden store. Through building a system of training employees, who in turn educate each customer, they find much of their success comes from passing on accurate plant care information to their customers.

What lessons or experiences from your time at CCAD influence the work you create today?
Emily: The most influential experience for me was the SHIFT project via the MindMarket (now known as Corporate & Community Partnerships) for AmericanHort (led by Doug Sapp). This project directly opened our eyes to the many areas of potential growth and change in the horticulture industry. During this project I was able to apply skills I learned from Industrial Design Assistant Professor John Youger’s design research course, which are some of the same skills we use today in our business.

Brian: When I studied at CCAD one of the most powerful lessons I learned from my professors was the importance of networking and actively seeking criticism from those who have more experience or a different perspective from my own. I still recall feeling out of my “comfort zone” when I volunteered to be a photo assistant for the late fashion photographer Scott Cunningham, who was then an adjunct faculty member at CCAD. His brutal honesty pushed me to work harder and I still value that today as a leader.

Click here to learn more about Emily and Brian Kellett.

Follow STUMP on Instagram or visit

Lalese Stamps portrait

Emerging Leader Award

Lalese “Lolly” Stamps (Advertising & Graphic Design, 2017) is a multidisciplinary designer with a focus in ceramics. In September 2019, Stamps embarked on her 100 Day Project, which saw her make 100 mugs, each with a different-style handle, over a 100-day period. The challenging project brought her attention for innovation in approach and stylish designs. In addition to mugs, Stamps, Founder of Lolly Lolly Ceramics, makes bowls, plates, and planters; her work has caught the attention of such major publications as Architectural Digest, British Vogue, Sight Unseen, Dwell, and many others. Stamps designs objects that are functional at their core, simple in shape, and capable of withstanding the test of time.

What lessons or experiences from your time at CCAD influence the work you create today?
Efficiency is really important in the work that I do. It's something that was implemented constantly during my studies at CCAD. Learning shortcuts and delegating tasks to help streamline my process was so important when I was studying graphic design and it's something that I practice daily in my ceramics business.

Click here to learn more about Lalese Stamps.

Follow Lolly Lolly Ceramics on Instagram or visit



douglas bell portrait

Joseph V. Canzani Alumni Award for Excellence

Douglas Bell (Illustration, 1989) was born in 1967 and grew up in Vandalia, Ohio. After receiving his undergraduate degree from CCAD in 1989, he began an art career providing illustration for Harley-Davidson licensed apparel. He moved to Kansas City in 1997 and began a successful 22-year career at Hallmark Cards, Inc. Now self-employed, Bell’s desire to begin more intensive learning has prompted him to begin working towards an MFA in Illustration at the University of Hartford Art School under the direction of C.F. Payne.

What lessons or experiences from your time at CCAD influence the work you create today?

“The only thing taking a risk in your work is the paper.”—late CCAD Illustration Professor Mark Hazlerig

“Execution always follows vision.”—the late CCAD Illustration Professor Mark Hazlerig

What advice do you have for current students? For recent alumni?
A music student opens up to their instructor about their own frustrations with music. “The music always sounds so much better in my head than when I try to play it.” The instructor responds simply, “What makes you think that ever changes?”—Art & Fear by David Bayles and Ted Orland

Don’t worry too much about finding your style. Style is a result of habit.

Never stop being a student of art, most people stop making art when they stop being a student.

Click here to learn more about Doug Bell.

Find Doug Bell on Instagram, Facebook, and Behance; visit his website.