AIGA is the American Institute for
Graphic Arts, which is an international
organization for graphic artists. It is
the oldest and largest professional
membership organization for design
and it allows for graphic artists to find
jobs, network, and discover design.
“AIGA creates opportunities for
students to learn and network in the
experiences of graphic design beyond
the classroom,” said Stuart Morris,
faculty advisor of AIGA.
Dana Vanden Boogart, a senior
majoring in graphic design and the
president of the organization, wantedto be a part of AIGA for many reasons.
“I really wanted to get as involved
as I could with graphic design, not
only because it’s my career path but
because I am also very passionate
about it,” Vanden Boogart said. “I
felt AIGA would be a good way to
further involve myself in the design community.”
Another reason Vanden Boogart decided to join was to make herself
more aware of her opportunities as a
“I get to learn about portfolio
reviews, I get feedback and network
from other graphic artists, as well as
find internships and job opportunities
all because of it,” Vanden Boogart said.
“I also chose to be an AIGA officer for
our student chapter because I wanted
to take a leadership role within the
program as much as I could to spread
my love for design to other students.”
The University of Wisconsin-
Stevens Point has one of the most
active and well known student
chapters in the Midwest.
“I think that UWSP has a very
active chapter because of the
importance we place around it.
Professors, officers, and other students
seem to have good experiences
with AIGA within our chapter and
it continues to spread down to the
newer students,” Vanden Boogart
“The officers and faculty try
to recruit students by giving them
information and letting them know
how great of an opportunity AIGA
really is, which helps keep our
AIGA holds officer meetings
weekly where they plan the events
for the year.
“As officers, we are constantly
trying to build off of and make better
what was done the year before,”
Vanden Boogart said.
The UWSP AIGA hosts two
conferences each year: Real World
Design and NowHere.
At Real World Design, alumni
come back and present on their careerjourneys so far. There are also a few
workshops and portfolio reviews
which are given to help students
improve their skills.
NowHere is an ambitious
conference that brings not only
alumni, but national and international
design professionals to campus to
create a weekend of learning and
demonstrations on how to improve
“This is also a great time to
network with professionals who have
many connections,” Vanden Boogart
said. “During this conference we do
two day long workshops with the ‘big name’ artists, listen to the artists’
presentations, ask questions, and
alumni come back to present and give
portfolio reviews, and we also have a
more local artist come and give a half
AIGA also sends a group
of students each fall to AIGA
Minnesota’s annual Design Camp,
which is located in Nisswa, Minn.
“The UWSP AIGA chapter has
been known for consistently bringing
the largest student body to the camp,
usually around 30 students,” Vanden
AIGA also coordinates fun outings with the chapter such as bowling, a
Halloween party, and more. Portfolio
reviews in Milwaukee, Appleton, and
the Twin Cities are also something
that AIGA organizes and promotes
for the students.
“It’s great to watch the growth
that happens around and through
AIGA events and activities,” Morris
Currently, the officers are
surveying the students who are in
AIGA to get a better understanding of
why exactly they are in it.
“We know some students are just
in it for the resume builder, but other students want to participate,” Vanden
Some of the students who are
in the organization don’t know
exactly how they can utilize their
membership, so the officers are asking
questions based on participation and
how they would like to learn about
“We are working especially hard
this year to promote our events in a
way that is easy for our students to
get the information, and what is most
effective in informing them about our
events,” Vanden Boogart said.