Spotlight on Carole Maugé-Lewis: Shepherding KSU's graphic designers
By Gina Gareri-Watkins
Carole Maugé-Lewis accepting the 2006 Distinguished Teaching Award from Dean of the College of the Arts Joseph Meeks
Artists often look to social issues for inspiration, and Kennesaw State University Professor of Graphic Design Carole Maugé-Lewis brings her talents and compassion to KAREnet, KSU’s AIDS Research Education Network. An award-winning graphic designer, Maugé-Lewis was presented KSU’s 2006 Distinguished Teaching Award in part as recognition for her ability to involve students in socially conscious projects. “My students were involved in the design of the logo for KAREnet,” she said. “It is now copyrighted and serves as the branded identity for the university’s AIDS/HIV research.”
A native of Trinidad, Maugé-Lewis often displays a graphic style that reflects the Caribbean island’s vibrant colors and expressive communication. Maugé-Lewis’ work has won numerous awards, including a 2004 Award of Excellence from the Printing Industries of Georgia for the premier issue of KSU’s arts magazine “Flourish.” Maugé-Lewis also serves as sponsor to collegiate design entrants, and her students have earned several accolades. Graphic design student Nicholas Voss won second place out of 1,000 entries in the Yellow Pages Association 2006-2007 Creative Competition and KSU students Carol Craig and Allison Timbs took first and second place, respectively, in 2005-2006.
Maugé-Lewis completed her Bachelor of Fine Arts and Master of Fine Arts in graphic design at Howard University in Washington, D.C., where she was an assistant professor of art before being hired by KSU in 1995.
Maugé-Lewis encourages graphic design students to master the art from both a business standpoint and as an art form. “I encourage my students to refrain from limiting themselves, to look at everything for possible inspiration, and to take the ‘creative leap’ to take their designs a step further,” said Maugé-Lewis. Her students agree. “She helps us remember why we are designers and not just desktop publishers,” says Rose Prewitt, a BFA candidate in graphic communication. “She’s very professional, very inspiring and pushes us to apply our skills to develop ideas. She looks at all our thumbnail sketches to help us pick out which ones communicate, and which ones don’t, but if there is something you feel very strongly about, she will listen.”
In the spring semester, Prewitt was enrolled in Electronic Illustration and Dreamweaver, two popular classes from nearly a dozen taught by Maugé-Lewis. Students learn not only creative and visual expression in those classes, but real-world applications. “I’ve been learning how to use Adobe Photoshop to create a design and then apply it to an actual website and get it up and running,” says Prewitt. “Computers and the Internet have changed the way I conduct my classes,” noted Maugé-Lewis. “I added several new courses and revised a few, the latest being two classes in web design.”
“The one class I believe to be an all-around favorite is the Advertising and Packaging class,” said Maugé-Lewis. “The competition in the class is contagious, as students design entire campaigns from a company’s logo and then its application to the other touch points of the brand. The level of excitement is visual as students engage in typographic voice, imagery and structural exploration—they make everything from shopping bags to can and bottle labels, boxes, interior and exterior signage—and they engage in a tremendous amount of research in the history and evolution of packaging materials.”
Maugé-Lewis shepherds KSU students in both the classroom and the professional arena, advising approximately 50 undergraduate students each calendar year. Prewitt enjoys having Maugé-Lewis as both an advisor and a teacher. “I’m happy that she’s my professor, and that she’s also my mentor in graphic design. She makes herself available all the time.”