Suffolk’s Sophomore Job Shadowing Program

Are you a NESADSU alum willing to share your work experiences with a sophomore wondering whether the major program you followed would be a good fit for them? Do you have a day or a half-day, or even a couple of hours, to be “shadowed”? For sophomore students trying to learn more about their chosen professions, you could make the difference between “I think this is the right major for me” and “I know it is”.

For more information on the shadowing program, check out, then contact Sara Chadwick at NESADSU ( and she’ll connect you with the Office of Career Services.

1995 – Matt Ohnemus

1995 – Matt Ohnemus (Graphic Design) sent us an email recently with a couple of updates. First, Matt is still working in New York as Art Director for the two local Fox stations in the city. He and his wife Phyllis live in Long Island City with their three-year-old son Jackson. Matt had recently had an email from classmate Matt Riva (Graphic Design 1994), passing along the news of the death of another NESADSU alum, David Watts (also Graphic Design 1995). Dave, below, who was a graphic designer for the Boston Fox affiliate, Fox-25, and who lived in Fairhaven, MA, died on July 10th of this year after a short illness. An avid music lover and gardener, he is survived by his wife Marilyn and two children, Danica and David, as well as a brother and sister and one grandchild. As Matt Ohnemus remembered, “I had very fond memories of going to school with Dave on Newbury Street. Dave, Jay [Shippole] and Carol Conquest were a great group of classmates and I learned a tremendous amount from Dave and the others who were starting new careers by going to NESAD.” You can get in touch with Matt at

2008 – Clara Wolverton

2008 – Clara Wolverton (Fine Arts), who earned a graduate degree from Goldsmiths in London, is now living in Cleveland after a short stint in East Africa. She’s been working for a jewelry company for the past two years ( but has shifted her focus to art conservation and restoration, so may be returning to school once more (“…[conservation and restoration] involves a lot more schooling!”). Check out Clara’s website at and get in touch with her at

Interior Designers Point the Way

On Thursday, November 1st, three Interior Design alumni from NESADSU presented a panel presentation to current students as part of Suffolk’s Career Fest 2012. Presented by the Interior Design program in conjunction with Career Services, and billed as the “inside scoop on … projects, firms and career paths”, Dora Elliott (Interior Design 2009), Rebecca Goldstein (Interior Design 2012) and Danielle Meeker (MA in Interior Design 2012) talked about their experiences and showed slides of their firms’ work.

Dora, who is now an interior designer with the residential firm of Wells & Fox, with offices in Boston and Chicago, began her career there with an internship, a fairly common path from NESADSU to a career. Rebecca, on the other hand, parlayed her Senior Studio project directly into her current position at Winter Street Architects in Salem (MA). One of her exit portfolio reviewers, a Senior Principal there, was impressed enough by her senior project to offer her a job.

Danielle Meeker, the only Masters degree graduate in the group, had a very different path to success. With an undergraduate liberal arts degree and teaching background, she started her career in a residential firm but quickly decided that was not where she wanted to be. Landing a job with Gensler in Boston (and with offices across the world), she started out doing research for the firm, then morphed into design. Now she does a bit of everything and loves it all.

A question-and-answer period after the presentations yielded questions on a number of topics, one of which concerned the salary levels that entering designers can look forward to. The consensus seemed to be that commercial design firms pay between $40,000 and $50,000 to starting workers, often with generous benefit packages attached. Residential firms pay a bit less, perhaps in the high $30’s to the low $40’s, and all agreed that the smaller the firm, the nearer they would be to the low end of the scale.

The three designers, all with fulfilling careers, provided an interesting, humorous, helpful and encouraging look at “the real world”. Other alums interested in taking part in similar panels should contact Sara Chadwick at to be connected to the appropriate Program Director.


2006 – Courtney Mitchell

2006 – After living and working in New York City since graduation, Courtney Mitchell (Graphic Design) has returned to the Boston area and is now working as the Senior Marketing Designer at Affinnova (, a high-growth software and services company, with clients such as Bayer, Kraft Foods, Citibank, P&G, Nestle and Walmart. Headquartered in Waltham, Affinnova also has global headquarters in Paris. You can get in touch with Courtney at


2007 – Jake Grauds

2007 – Jake Grauds (Graphic Design) has left Anthem Worldwide in New York and has returned to the Boston area, where he quickly found a position at Rue La La in Boston’s Fort Point neighborhood. Rue La La is an on-line boutique/flash sale website and he is the Senior Designer on a new partnership with EBay. As Jake says, “It’s great to be home, and the work is challenging and fantastic.” Get back in touch with Jake at


2006 – Kayla (Hicks) Schwartz

2006 – Kayla (Hicks) Schwartz (Graphic Design), “typography teacher extraordinaire” as Graphic Design Program Director Laura Golly calls her, gave birth to a daughter, named Betty, on November 12th. Weighing 8 lbs., 15 oz. and at 20” long, she’s also beautiful, as you can see. As Laura says, “Now if we can only get her to gurgle in picas and points….she’ll be on her way to becoming our youngest graphic design recruit.” Send congratulations to Kayla and her husband at


2001 – Laura Granlund

2001 – Laura Granlund (Fine Arts) has a new collection of fabric art creatures on display at FOE Store & Gallery in Northampton, MA from November 9th to December 9th. FOE is a “destination for subculture art and designer toys”, from “custom-painted monsters to tiny cute things” (FOE website) and this show represents the work of 14 fabric artists. For more on Laura’s work, check out and contact Laura at


1999 – Gracyn (Robinson) Whitman

1999 – Gracyn (Robinson) Whitman (Interior Design), who for years has carried on a thriving design business as Gracyn R. Whitman Design, has opened a new interior design atelier on the North Shore. Located in Wenham, A Casa Design ( specializes in “project management, procurement and a destination point for the ABC’s of Interior Design: Architects, Builders and Clientele”. (A Casa Design website) With 15+ years experience as a designer, coupled with her academic training at NESADSU and three years studying and working in Italy, Gracyn is well placed to provide client-centered design services for any taste. In addition to a thriving business, Gracyn is busy raising three daughters, now 5, 8 and 10. You can get in touch with her at



Interior Architecture MA Program Nationally Ranked

For the 3nd year in a row, our MA program in Interior Architecture is ranked in DesignIntelligence magazine’s list of the top 10 architecture and design schools in the U.S. The programs were ranked by practitioners drawn from leading firms throughout the U.S., who have direct experience in hiring and evaluating the performance of recent design graduates. Read more about the DesignIntelligence rankings.