MFA Com Des Design Entrepreneurship Hits the Ground Running

Presentation slide for Design Entrepreneurship class

Wow! The first weekend of the MFA Design Entrepreneurship class just wrapped up and it was amazing and intense. During the two days, we actually had 5 teachers—leaders at the intersection of design and business—communicating a wealth of information about how we can become smart, creative, and successful at innovating and enterprise. Not only were our own Alvaro Soto and Claudia Röschmann our lead instructors, we also had guest instructors Christian Helms, Debbie Millman, and Liza Willmore. During the semester, we will see Christian and Debbie again in addition to other notable guest instructors. For the nine of us students, the days were chock-full of new ideas, useful resources, helpful exercises, and invaluable insights.

Grad students in MFA Design Entrepreneurship classAll the teachers covered a wealth of information. Our first guest, Christian talked about his experiences as one of the original founders of Frank’s in downtown Austin and his varied involvement with craft breweries as a developer, founder, and brand creator. Debbie Millman offered, among many other things, insight into the interplay between courage and confidence. She explained that the language of business revolves around cultural anthropology, behavioral psychology, economics, and design. On Sunday, Liza Willmore, discussed aspects of several businesses and their unique approaches.

MFA notes from presentation in Design Entrepreneurship classWhen asked how Debbie manages to juggle so many endeavors, she replied, “You don’t find time, you make time” and said that “busy is a decision”.  She went on to elaborate that at one point in her life she realized that meaningful work is a priority and she found herself asking, “If not now, when?”

MFA students working in Design Entrepreneurship classOver the course of the semester, each of us will be investigating an area of our choosing from one of three broad topics: education for the future, Austin identity, and women in leadership, to see how we might create a beneficial enterprise to make a difference.

Alvaro Soto presenting business concepts to the Design Entrepreneurship classAll five teachers, in different ways, conveyed a common concept, but to paraphrase Debbie Millman: every designer is expected to know type, good kerning, and be a good designer, but it is those who can compellingly communicate an intelligent understanding and real value of an idea, product, or service, who are the ones who effect positive transformation in lives, business, and the world.

Isn’t that what each one of us hopes to accomplish?

MFA Student, Yocelyn Rios, Artist behind TPS & DACA Protest Signs


Yocelyn Rios, MFA Com Des student, has been busy helping activist organizations communicate their message through her posters. Yocelyn recently had an interview with Remezcla, “The Artist Behind the TPS & DACA Protest Signs You’ve been Seeing Everywhere”. She has also won the Seeding Collective Resistance Poster contest with her Basta Texas poster, which will be printed, and shared across the country with other activist organizations.

A big congratulations to Yocelyn!



MFA Com Des Entrepreneurial Design course begins!


The new MFA Com Des studio course, Entrepreneurial Design, begins tomorrow! This weekend seminar will give students the opportunity to work in a multidisciplinary setting as an entrepreneur, while researching, comparing and discussing human centered design problems.

Alvaro Soto and Claudia Roeschmann are the faculty leaders of the course and have spent many hours excitedly planning the curriculum.

We are fortunate to have experts in the field guiding our students throughout the semester. Liza Willmore will share her knowledge this weekend and Ariel Kayne will spend time with the students during next month’s weekend meet-up. I hear that more experts in the field will be popping in throughout the semester

If that isn’t awesome enough, students will get to pick the brains of Debbie Millman and Christian Helms during regular meet-ups throughout the semester.

Students in the course will report on their experience throughout the semester, so stay tuned!

Showcase Winners announced at MFA Exhibition Open House!


The weather may have delayed the opening a few days but we still had a lot of fun at 2018 Showcase + Thesis Exhibition + Student Publication Release Open House on 1/18.

At 6 pm the Texas State University J.C. Mitte Art Gallery doors opened and guests could view the MFA Communication Design student work chosen by Showcase jurors, designers Chris Wooster and Alyson Beaton.


After careful review of the work submitted, Chris and Alyson decided three MFA students, Leslie Harris, Sara Mitschke, and Thi Nguyen, should equally share the scholarship award for best of show. Thank you, Chris and Alyson, for taking time out to visit San Marcos to judge Showcase entries.
IMG_3834Scholarship Winner Leslie Harris and Juror Chris Wooster

We are grateful for the continued support of Dr. John Fleming, Dean of the College of Fine Arts & Communication. He helps fund the MFA student scholarship and is always ready to help celebrate MFA student achievements. He is an important part of the award show and students love visiting with him during the event.

IMG_3843Dean John Fleming and Scholarship Winner Sara Mitschke

We are also fortunate to have the support of Michael Niblett, Director of the School of Art & Design. He donates to the scholarship fund and is always ready to talk design with our students.

IMG_3851Scholarship Winner Thi Nguyen with Director Michael Niblett

A big thank you to MFA faculty who guide our students and help them achieve outstanding design work.

IMG_3863Assistant Professor Molly Sherman and Student Thi Nguyen

Our Open House also included a new student publication. Thanks to Instructor Shelley Jackson and students in the Issues and Criticism course for their hard work in producing the publication and the installation in the gallery.

IMG_3884Student Publication Installation

MFA students, Cameo Chattin and Hector Marroquin, took time out from writing their final thesis to share their research.

Cameo’s research focuses on assisting the visually impaired and how they dress through a mobile application.

IMG_3891Student Cameo Chattin Thesis Installation

Hector’s research is contesting the anti-immigrant meta-narrative through storytelling artifact.

IMG_3890Student Hector Marroquin Thesis Installation

A big thank you to all of our students who work so hard in the MFA program!

IMG_3924Students Palak Modi and Mikaela Buck

IMG_3902Students Stephanie Long, Erin Yu-Chuan, Margot Shields, Flor Barajas, Leslie Harris, and Sara Mitschke

IMG_3865Alumni Andrea Weissenbuehler and Student Cameo Chattin

Thanks to Associate Professor Claudia Roeschmann, who mentored students, Palak Modi and Flor Barajas, in designing the environmental graphic design installation (post-it note craziness!) for the exhibition. Claudia is the power house behind the success of our MFA Communication Design program!




MFA Showcase + Student Publication + Thesis Exhibition Open House 1/16

Showcase2018_inviteCome join us at the MFA Juried Showcase Exhibition Open House where best of show will be awarded scholarship monies. MFA students in the Issues & Criticism course will also release their student publication and two thesis students, Hector Marroquin and Cameo Chattin, will share their thesis research projects.

The fun starts on (Tuesday) 1/16 at 6 pm in J.C. Mitte Art Galleries.

Showcase 2018. MFA’ers submit your entries!


Dear MFA students.

Hopefully you have been pondering since orientation what to submit to SHOWCASE 2018!!
We decided to extend the due date for submissions to 12/14/2017 at 6 p.m. so that projects from this semester can be finished + considered for submission as well :-)

Please note that all pieces have to be submitted as physical pieces, to size, mocked up + accompanied by the submission form as well as a PDF of the piece to use for reproduction in the brochure if selected for the show.

The PDF(s) can be submitted to your named DropBox on the MFA TRACS site, or, via external hard drive/memory stick as long as it has your name on it so we can return it.

Let us know if you have any questions + good luck in prepping your work to take home $1,500 on January 16, 2018 at the opening!

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Claudia Roeschmann
Associate Professor + Graduate Advisor + Coordinator
Communication Design :: School of Art + Design
Texas State University

3 questions – cross disciplinary community as a Texas State Student

Dear MFA friends.

Please help us collect important data for our IBM workshop
How to build a better cross-disciplinary community as a Texas State student?
by answering only three questions today / tomorrow via this link.
Thanks for your input!

‘hope to see you at the Bauhaus // Jay Rutherford talk this Thursday at 6 p.m.

: : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : :
Claudia Roeschmann
Associate Professor + Graduate Advisor + Coordinator
Communication Design :: School of Art + Design
Texas State University

CHANGE: MFA Orientation Saturday, September 2

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Hurricane Harvey’s landing in Texas means we are changing our Orientation Meeting to next Saturday, September 2.

Let’s meet in the MFA Studio for coffee and munchies and then onto the big meeting in JCM 2121. Claudia will fill us in on the past year’s events and what’s planned for this year.

Sign-up sheets for special events will be available.

See you at 10am, Saturday, September 2.

Stay Safe, Ya’ll.