Barry graphic design alumna earns place in unique graduate program

Barry graphic design alumna earns place in unique graduate program

With a focus on her future, Barry University alumna Karina Davila recently returned to college to pursue an advanced degree in visual arts at the School of Visual Arts (SVA) in New York City. A 2010 Barry graduate with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in graphic design, Davila is working toward her Master of Fine Arts in SVA’s Design for Social Innovation program.

“This is a very impressive achievement,” said Thomas Rockwell, associate professor of graphic design at Barry. “This new degree will put Karina ahead in the field of design.” Design for social innovation (DSI) is an emerging discipline that teaches design as a tool for social and environmental impact, and explores how design can affect a range of social issues.

“I hope to learn how to identify and navigate the complex problems we face today and learn how to find the leverage we need in order to address them,” Davila said.

At Barry University, Davila used her design skills to further social justice as a freelance graphic designer for an undergraduate conference on ending poverty. It is one of many achievements that prepared her for her master’s program.

Davila came to Barry as a transfer student in 2008 and made the dean’s list two consecutive years. In 2010, she presented her senior show in the Andy Gato Gallery, creating a series of handcrafted artist books that contained personal poems. Through it all, she appreciated the fine arts faculty’s student-first mentality.

“Their attentiveness to all the students and the one-on-one attention I got was incomparable,” Davila said. “They were always there when you needed help or someone to talk to, and their love for what they did really made me fall in love with the curriculum.”   

Just before graduating magna cum laude, Davila landed a graphic design internship at Walt Disney World. She has since worked on marketing and design teams at Allie Munroe, Valencia College, and the 92nd Street Y.

Following her graduation from the School of Visual Arts, Davila plans to find a position in the social design field. “I hope to work in a nonprofit or design firm geared toward social projects,” she said.