A woman stands at the front of a classroom and shows enameled buttons to people seated at tables.
Jenn Stucker, chair and associate professor of the BGSU Graphic Design Division, displays logo buttons that represent BGSU graphic design majors. (BGSU photo)

BGSU recognized as a top design school in the nation for second year running by Graphic Design USA

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Two BGSU students also named among the top emerging graphic designers in the U.S.

Graphic Design USA (GDUSA), a leading news magazine for graphic design professionals, recognized Bowling Green State University as one of the top design schools in the nation for the second consecutive year. This recognition is part of GDUSA’s annual list of favorite graphic design schools and programs.

The selection process for this prestigious list is both objective and subjective, influenced by GDUSA’s long-standing relationships with designers, educators, hiring managers and recruiters. The list includes a unique mix of venerable institutions dedicated to art and design, notable university departments, programs, majors and select innovative and flexible online or hybrid programs for graduate, undergraduate or continuing education.

"We are honored and delighted to be included on this list as we admire and respect many of the fellow institutions sharing this space. We are in good company with our competitors," said Jenn Stucker, chair and associate professor of the BGSU Graphic Design Division and graduate coordinator of the Master of Design Integrative Design program.

The BGSU graphic design program, housed in the School of Art in the College of Arts and Sciences, has been recognized for its excellence in teaching the hard and soft skills necessary for success, nurturing talent and expanding minds, and preparing the next generation of creatives for a dream career in the real world. The program is consistently recognized among the country’s best, earning honors in 2023 with its No. 21 in the Midwest and No. 5 in Ohio by Animation Career Review.

Recognition by GDUSA underscores the BGSU commitment to providing a high-quality education that equips students with the skills they need to succeed in their careers and is a testament to the hard work of the faculty and students in the graphic design program. 

Two named 'Students-to-Watch'

The overall program recognition comes on the heels of two BGSU graphic design students being named to the GDUSA distinguished annual list of the country's top emerging graphic designers.

Portrait photos of two women next to each other
Maria Penler '18, left, and Daisy Schwind were both named 2024 GDUS Students to Watch.

In the Students-to-Watch feature in April, master's design student Maria Penler '18 and undergraduate graphic design student Daisy Schwind were recognized alongside 113 other student graphic designers as poised to significantly impact the graphic design scene. BGSU was one of only three Ohio universities on the annual list, which comprised public and private colleges and universities nationwide.

Penler emphasizes thoughtful design and reducing barriers for people by simplifying complex systems. She graduated with a BFA in Digital Arts from BGSU in 2018 and is pursuing a Master of Design degree in the Integrative Design program, expecting to graduate in December 2024. Since her undergraduate studies, she has been actively contributing to the real estate industry, collaborating on projects that explore the intricacies of housing and promote equitable and inclusive practices. Her design interest extends to healthcare, where she focuses on enhancing accessibility and transparency for patients and consumers.

"Design school at BGSU has taught me a lot about taking ownership of not only my work but the process of that work," Penler said. "At the end of the day, the output doesn’t matter if the process to get there was not sustainable or growth-minded."

In her design mindset, Schwind is passionate about creative problem-solving, the usage of colors and geometric shapes, the exploration of aesthetics and the history of graphic design. Her involvement in the BGSU graphic design program has encouraged growth and confidence in her abilities with each experience.

"While a BGSU design school student, I have absolutely learned to be confident in my craft. As a new designer I often feel insecure about my designs or get in my head about an idea, but, ironically, the work I tend to be most insecure about turns out to be the most distinctive and successful that I’ve made," she said. "It has taught me to follow my intuition about artistic integrity and not allow my insecurities to limit my creative process."

She intends to specialize in multimedia design after graduation, noting she enjoys incorporating various media into her work to make it nimble and nuanced, drawing in a broader audience.

Penler and Schwind are the second set of students from BGSU to be recognized by GDUSA. In 2023, Eddie Santiago Vázquez, a first-generation college student and senior, and alumna and graduate student Lindsy Buser ‘09 were recognized as Students to Watch and were the first students from the University's Division of Graphic Design to make the list.

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Media Contact | Michael Bratton | mbratto@bgsu.edu | 419-372-6349

Updated: 05/29/2024 08:47AM