"The super trio! Alana, Catherine and Michelle have done a fantastic job at developing the Certification Sprint and making the RGD Certification process more approachable for aspiring candidates. They are a dream to work with; goal oriented, always ready to take initiative and never out of great ideas to help in achieving the Committee's goals. We are very grateful and proud to have Members like them on our Committee." — Victor Szeto RGD, RGD Treasurer & Chair, Certification Committee
How long have you been volunteering with the RGD and in what capacity?
Catherine: Since I joined the RGD in winter 2021, I realized that the strength of the Association is the commitment of its Members to share knowledge and support with the community. I joined the Certification Committee in January 2022 and worked on the Certification Sprint with Michelle and Alana and advocated for a French version of the RGD Certification process. I also participated in a few portfolio reviews and most recently, as a Student Awards judge.
Michelle: Since 2014, almost 10 years, I've been participating as an in-person and webinar panelist moderator, Accessibility Advisory Board Committee Member, Student Awards and In-House Design Awards judge, Designthinkers speaker and Certification Committee Member.
Alana: I was invited to join the RGD Certification Committee shortly after becoming a Certified RGD in October 2021. It was long-time goal to join the RGD and I saw serving on the Committee as a way to support other designers on this path.
What contribution are you most proud of?
Catherine: I am really proud of helping designers to get their RGD Certification through the Certification Sprint.The process of getting Certified can be daunting. Being part of a study group helps to refresh the knowledge you already have, in a fun and stimulating way. Furthermore, I am happy with the progress of the French Certification application. Language should not inhibit creators to present work in their best light.
What is the most surprising/unexpected thing to come out of volunteering with the RGD?
Catherine: I never expected to create a weekend-long event when I joined the Committee. I realized that there is a lot of qualified designers that are postponing their Certification because they struggle to take the time. This is why the Certification Committee is working hard on tools and support programs to smooth the process.
What have you learned about the industry since volunteering for the RGD?
Catherine: The design industry is in constant flux. It has only been 10 years since I finished my degree, but I know design education looks completely different today. The much-needed shift in societal values is pushing design to evolve towards wonderful frontiers of diversity and accessibility. I am so glad to be part of the industry at this time.
Based on your experience volunteering with the RGD, how would you describe the role of the organization in the industry?
Catherine: Being a designer in this day and age can be pretty tough on your self esteem. With over abundance of content and resources, it can get a bit overwhelming. The RGD helps to get you grounded. Having a community that can support your work and help you grow your craft is essential.
What have you gained from being an RGD volunteer and why would you recommend it to other members who might be thinking of getting involved?
Catherine: Volunteering is a never-ending opportunity to discover and learn about yourself. It is not just about helping others. You receive as much as you give. Volunteering is a wonderful and unique learning opportunity.
Do you have thoughts on what you might like to do as a volunteer with the RGD in the future?
Catherine: I wish to work more on French content for the francophone designers. I would love for all the tools and resources the RGD offers to reach the francophone designers as they help us become better designers and entrepreneurs.