"Amelia and Elyssa are bright, thoughtful and passionate emerging designers. I am confident that with designers like them, the future of our industry is in good hands. The RGD Education Committee is grateful for all their contributions." — Diana Varma RGD, Chair, Education Committee
How long have you been volunteering with the RGD, and in what capacity?
Amelia: I really have to work the memory for this one! I was always involved with the RGD as a student, then made the switch to Provisional Membership in 2019. I have been volunteering on the Education Committee since I first joined as a Provisional RGD. I have worked on DesignThinkers, webinars, mentorship, panels and whatever else is asked of me. I enjoy helping in whatever capacities I can.
Elyssa: I have been volunteering with the RGD since 2019. I joined the RGD Student Committee and participated in many Designathons. I am now a Provisional RGD and recently moved from the Events Committee to the Education Committee.
What contribution are you most proud of / What experience/memory stands out for you?
Amelia: This past year, we completed a review and update of the design code of ethics and professional practices for students. This information, in the form of a presentation, helps students understand the principles that designers follow to conduct business honestly and with integrity. We provide students with the resources and understanding around spec work, project scopes and what their fees should be, so they are aware of their worth as designers. I am really proud of this work as I feel that if our students understand the ethics and value of design, they’ll go forward with this knowledge to help impact and raise the design industry as a whole.
Elyssa: I have thoroughly enjoyed participating in the Designathons. I love being able to help non-profit organizations by working on projects that make a difference. I truly enjoy working with the other designers and mentors on my team to deliver a project which we can all be proud of.
What is the most surprising/unexpected thing to come out of volunteering with the RGD?
Amelia: It's the community. It is inspiring to see how much designers care about our industry and that has made being part of the RGD even more special. One can only expect a certain degree of involvement in an organization like the RGD, but what I’ve come to see through volunteering is how deep this involvement and care runs. People are volunteering because they love it — and it’s such a breath of fresh air!
Elyssa: What I find the most surprising is how many connections I've made. When I need help, I know I have a large community to lean on, from past and current Mentors to fellow Committee Members. Volunteering has given me so many opportunities to meet designers I wouldn't have crossed paths with otherwise.
What have you learned about the industry since volunteering for the RGD?
Amelia: This feels like an unfair question because I have learned so very much, from the latest trends and best practices in the design industry to valuable networking opportunities and developing a deeper understanding of the professional standards and ethics that are crucial in graphic design — dare I go on?
Elyssa: I have learned that the design industry really stands up for each other and what they believe in. It was also interesting to see how the community comes together to plan an event the scale of DesignThinkers. Hats off to the staff and volunteers!
Based on your experience volunteering with the RGD, how would you describe the role of the organization in the industry?
Amelia: Based on my experiences volunteering with the RGD, I would describe the organization's role as instrumental in promoting excellence, fostering community and setting industry standards within the field of design.
Elyssa: The RGD is as an ever-evolving resource hub and a community for designers to lean on. There are many growth opportunities woven throughout the RGD's offerings for those who wish to use them and get involved.
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?
Amelia: I've gained valuable industry insights, expanded my professional network, become a part of an incredible, caring community and honed my design skills. Getting involved with the RGD offers opportunities for growth, collaboration and contribution to the design community's development. Highly recommend it!
Elyssa: Volunteering with the RGD has allowed me to meet other like-minded designers while working to develop initiatives that would impact our industry positively. There is something special about being able to work on resources that you wished you had as a student and now know that they will help fellow emerging designers.
Do you have thoughts on what you might like to do as a volunteer with the RGD in the future?
Amelia: I am interested in taking on a leadership role, continuing to participate in mentorship programs and contributing to design education initiatives in the future. I am excited to see how my volunteering opportunities with the RGD evolve over time.
I would love to keep working on initiatives, trying out the RGD's many different Committees
. There are so many ways to stay involved!