Photos by Lydia P. Robles
There is one thing the senior design students had in common at the Design Showcase on Tuesday.
They all were inspired by something.
Some showcased their skills through clothing brand startups, 3-D print work, stickers, web design, photography and more. The showcase is a requirement and is part of their capstone project, the last step before they walk the stage at Commencement and start their hunt for jobs.
Graphic design and advertising student Keagan Leach wants to find work that aligns with her core values and ordeals. She has found her calling at GCU.
“I grew up knowing all the Bible stories but didn’t really see what it was to live for Christ until I came here and realized there was something different about having a relationship with Christ," she said. "I felt fed everywhere I went.”
It’s the blueprint of what her ideal work environment in the design field looks like. She aspires to involve God and intertwine Him into her work life.
“I don’t necessarily have to do faith-based work, but it's more about honoring God in how I work and standing up for my beliefs. I won’t do projects I don’t believe in or work for companies I don’t necessarily agree with.
“I know we don’t always have that choice, but I just trust that God will make it work and take me where He wants me to be.”
Her loyalty to God and dedication to faith is already in practice. On Leach’s table alongside her design portfolio and resume was a Bible scripture, Romans 1:16-17, highlighted in neon yellow ink.
For I am not ashamed of the Gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed — a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”
“I really hope to work for an organization that aligns with my beliefs, and I am very thankful that GCU cultivated that environment for me,” Leach said.
Another graphic design student, Rathana Muth, found his way back to his faith at GCU and, like Leach, made sure God is evident in his work.
Muth grew up in the church but struggled with the concept of Christianity after his younger sister was diagnosed with a genetic disorder, Prader-Willi syndrome, and his grandfather was afflicted with dementia.
All the unanswered questions and anger drove a wedge between Muth and his relationship with God until he met a group of friends at GCU -- Sam Franklin, Jordan Stephens and Armani Brooks -- who restored his faith.
“Just seeing how they believed in God more strongly made me more open to God again,” he said. “I prayed for the first time in five years, and I felt my prayers were answered.”
Many of his designs showcased hoodies, T-shirts and mesh shorts embellished with the inscription Yesterdays Tomorrow. Inspired by Matthew 6:34, Muth wanted the quote to be a reminder of how we should live life to the fullest.
“A lot of times our days tend to blend together, but once we start to make changes in our life, we start to see progress in our lives,” he said. “Yesterday’s Tomorrow is just a reminder not to do the same things over and over again and fall into a pattern.”
While industry workers roamed the booths of the students in pursuit of future employees, it also was an opportunity for Assistant Professor of Design Chris Murphy to see all 45 senior design students take a leap into their careers.
“It’s always a very proud moment,” he said. “They’ve all worked really hard for four years at this point, and just for them to have this moment where they can actually have people see what they’ve been working so hard on is really rewarding to see as a professor.”
Contact staff writer Lydia P. Robles at 602-639-7665 or [email protected].