Dunwoody Pre-Media Principal Instructor Pete Rivard has taken on a new leadership role as the Director of Education for the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) of Minnesota.
The American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) was founded in New York in 1914 and has since spread across the nation, boasting 70 chapters and over 25,000 members. The organization is the oldest and largest professional membership association for graphic designers and professionals in related fields like printing, prepress, photography, illustration, paper manufacturing/distribution, and writing.
AIGA Minnesota with 1,300 members ranks as the fourth largest chapter in the nation. It’s also known for being among the most active chapters, holding monthly networking events, an annual Design Camp, and more.
“During this year’s Design Camp, I met people from Connecticut and Montana,” Pre-Media Principal Instructor Pete Rivard said. “They’re designers whose chapters apparently don’t feature that ambitious of an event, so they just jump on a plane and join in on what we’ve got going on here.”
Rivard accepts AIGA MN Board of Directors position
Along with this large and active membership body, there comes a need for a strong board of directors made up of members from across the Minnesota design profession. These board members each take charge of an area specifically suited to his or her talents and interests in order to benefit the full membership.
And there’s no question why Rivard was chosen to take over as Director of Education.
Along with his 13 years working in prepress technician and management roles and five years in technical support and training, Rivard has spent the last 17 years teaching at Dunwoody. And he’s made a big impact at the College in that time. He is constantly developing the Pre-Media Technologies program curriculum to meet industry needs, training future designers and packaging technicians, and helping students build their networks and find internships.
And now Rivard hopes to bring his experience to AIGA MN.
“I feel like there’s way more opportunity for collaboration among high school and college faculty regionally,” Rivard said. “And especially in terms of getting kids from middle school and upwards aware of the thousands of jobs in the graphics industry in this state, and how much need there is for fresh talent.”
In an effort to promote this collaboration, Rivard will be responsible for organizing educational events for all three of AIGA MN’s constituencies–students, faculty, and practicing professionals–throughout the year.
Rivard raises the profile
Rivard is also excited to have the chance to get Dunwoody’s name out there.
“We have a real opportunity to raise our profile in the design community through this,” Rivard said. “Some creative studios still don’t recognize the Associate of Applied Science degree as well-rounded preparation. They’d like to see a BFA. But at the same time, our students are just killing it in terms of technical chops and landing design jobs upon graduating.”
These students are doing things like earning first place in national design competitions and designing and producing POS displays for real-world clients.
Rivard is committed to the valuable, hands-on experience and education that Dunwoody provides. And he hopes he can continue to increase the Design & Graphics Technology program’s visibility throughout his two-year term as Director of Education at AIGA MN.
Learn more about Dunwoody’s design programs.