Education Committee
  • Review programs and services that RGD is currently offering to students and recent grads and identify how it can make improvements to ensure RGD is furnishing the means by which students may enhance their knowledge, skill and effectiveness as graphic designers.
  • Identify and advise on opportunities for RGD to expand and develop its programs and services for students and recent grads.
  • Identify and advise on opportunities for RGD to increase its exposure to students and recent grads.
  • Identity and advise on opportunities for RGD to help increase standards of knowledge, skill, professional conduct and ethics for all graphic designers.


  • (a) Designathon

    - Build on the success of the first event to have 2 more events in 2018 


    (b) Design Educators

    - Develop a new initiative / benefits for Educators to increase RGD's relevance to this community

    - Review and oversight of methodology to endorse new programs


    (c) Students

    - Review and revise RGD communications to students articulating the value of their Student Memberships

    - Raise awareness of RGD Programs to RGD Students

    - Keep Student Membership at current levels (given dues increase).

    - Develop new initiatives for Students to be involved in DesignThinkers


    (d) Student Awards

    - Get Committee more active in implementation of this labour-intensive program

    - Increase participation of Students from non-graphic design programs across Canada in RGD student programming

  • New for 2018 - Designathon

    The Committee is developing a new initiative which would be an event where design students and recent graduates would work in teams, lead by an RGD Member, to develop design solutions for non-profit clients. The first event is scheduled on February 24 at OCAD University in Toronto.


    Design Educators Conference

    Design educators are invited to attend to consider the future of design education at this annual event featuring keynotes, academic presentations and group discussions. 


    Student Awards

    This annual program, RGD's oldest, distributes cash prizes, supported by industry partners, in recognition of Student Excellence. The program has distributed over $190,000 to date. For 2018, 16 Award Sponsors are confirmed. The deadline for entries is May 11. 


    Automatic Student Membership Program

    RGD works with post-secondary institutions across Canada to offer Student Membership for students enrolled in graphic design and related programs as well as custom programs and services for their students.


    DesignThinkers Scholarships

    RGD works to ensure access to RGD programs such as DesignThinkers with the assistance of industry partners who provide funding to assist students and recent graduates who apply. For DesignThinkers 2018 VAN, five $500 Scholarships are confirmed.

  • Chair: Megan Oldfield RGD, Toronto

    Megan is the founding principal and creative director of Field Design Office and a design educator in Toronto. Partnering with clients in entertainment, arts, hospitality and corporate sectors, she specializes in creative direction and design spanning branding, packaging, film titling, wayfinding and exhibition design–most notably for Stefan Sagmeister and Jessica Walsh on The Happy Show in Toronto.


    Donna Braggins RGD, Toronto

    Donna is Associate Dean at Sheridan College. Previously, she served as art director of Maclean’s and Canadian Business and president of the National Magazine Awards Foundation. Her work has won widespread recognition, with many national and international awards.


    Saskia van Kampen RGD, Toronto 

    Saskia as an Assistant Professor, OCAD University. She is currently doing theoretical and empirical research that focuses on methods for nurturing intuition and tacit knowledge in undergraduate design students through experiential, transformative and Writing in the Disciplines learning theories. 


    Sean Grant RGD, Sudbury

    Sean is a Professor at Cambrian College where his primary focus is in web design, typography and print production. He has also been freelancing as a designer since 2003 after having graduated from Cambrian. He previously served on RGD's Certification Committee (formerly called the Examination Board for Registered Graphic Designers).


    Paul van Dongen RGD, Toronto

    Paul is the Design Director of Committee, a full-service design communications firm providing visual communications solutions for a range of clients. Previously, Paul held art director positions at CBC and PolyGram. Paul’s expertise includes the development of strategic branding solutions, marketing communications, editorial design, interaction design, direct mail, packaging, point of sale and advertising. He has been a Sessional Instructor at OCAD University since 2008.


    Andrea Ruskin RGD, Kingston

    Andrea is a Professor at St. Lawrence College where her teaching and research focus on interaction design, information design, user-centred research, educational media and cross-cultural design. With over 10 years industry experience specializing in digital design, Andrea has a Bachelor's degree in Fine Art, a Bachelor’s degree in Communication Design and a Master's degree in Communication Design. She has worked as a freelancer and as an employee of large and small design agencies. 

  • Presented by Karen Satok RGD at RGD's AGM on April 27, 2017


    Let me start by recognizing fellow my Committee Members: Judy Armstrong, Donna Braggins, Megan Oldfield, Tim Lum, Andrea Ruskin and Saskia van Kampen. This year saw the resignation from the Committee of three long-standing members Jessica Glemnitz, Molly Hill and Andrew McLachlan. Thank you to all for their contributions to the work on RGD’s Education Committee.


    Committee Mandate

    The primary mandate of this Committee is to develop programs and services by which students may enhance their knowledge, skill and effectiveness. RGD’s success and vibrancy owes a lot to its Student Members. They are the future of our profession and a key audience in our efforts to raise professional and ethical standards in our industry and increase awareness of RGD and the RGD designation.


    Automatic Student Membership Program

    Currently RGD has about 2,200 Student Members. Approx. 1,800 of these participate in our Automatic Student Membership Program, a collaboration with Colleges and Universities where they cover their students’ RGD Member dues.


    Our goal for this program was and continues to be expanding the number of participating schools and programs, particularly outside of Ontario. Over this past year, we saw the additions of students in Sheridan’s Bachelor of Illustration and Bachelor of Interaction Design as well as graphic design students at Fanshawe College in London, Ontario and the University of the Fraser Valley in Abbotsford, BC. A total of 17 programs are participating. For 2017, we hope to expand that number to 20.


    Student Awards

    RGD has been organizing an annual Student Awards program since its earliest days and has distributed almost $300,000 in cash in recognition of student excellence. The success of this program relies on the many sponsors who contribute our $1,000 cash prizes and assist with the judging.


    In 2016, 220 students attending 33 different post-secondary schools across Canada submitted 1-3 pieces of their work. We presented 23 Awards with an additional 51 Honourable Mentions and approx. 30 additional Finalists. All recognized Students receive feedback from our over 120 judges. For 2017, we have recruited 21 sponsors.


    Our goal for 2017 is to increase the number of student entrants to 300 and increase the number of participating schools to 35. We are well on our way with over 62 student submissions a month from the May 12 deadline.


    Creative Directions - Career Development Conference

    This annual event is a favourite for the over 150 RGD Members and other industry professionals who volunteer over the course of the day to help emerging designers prepare for and develop their careers in the design industry. We had debated cancelling this program last year due to the large amount of resources that are required to undertake it but the value it provides to the community continues to overshadow this issue. Our goal for 2017 was to increase participation, which we succeeded in doing with 415 participants compared to 380 the previous year but we continue to strive for more attendees particularly when it comes to Provisional RGDs of whom only 20 attended. For 2017 will be working to develop the quality and diversity of the sessions, involving Provisional RGDs in the development of the program, with the hope that this will increase attendance.


    Other Programs for Students

    In 2016, RGD distributed four $500 DesignThinkers Scholarships, as well as providing free Conference registrations to Scholarship winners. There are four $500 Scholarships confirmed for DesignThinkers Vancouver in May and we hope to arrange an additional four Scholarships valued at $750 for DesignThinkers Montreal. To receive a Scholarship, Student and Provisional Members are asked to submit a short video to Instagram outlining their desire to attend the Conference. Some of the videos have been amazing.


    Design Educators Conference

    In 2016, RGD hosted its fourth annual Design Educators Conference, in partnership with Humber College. The one-day event took place the day after DesignThinkers. More than 30 design educators spoke on the theme, Transformation. There were 80 in attendance, compared with 100 in 2015. In 2017, our fifth annual Design Educators Conference will take place in Montreal. This year we will be integrating the Educators Conference directly into DesignThinkers with Educator sessions integrated directly into the program. Our Committee will be taking on many of the responsibilities normally taken on by our College Partner. We hope to launch the theme and issue the call for presenters in the next 2 weeks. A pdf collection of essays from RGD's 2015 Design Educators Conference organized by RGD and George Brown School of Design has been published and we hope to release a pdf of essays from the 2016 Conference in the Fall. Our goal for 2017 is to increase national and international participation.


    Finally, it has been a great honour to serve on this committee and the board in general for over nine years. It is with extreme gratitude for the gift of your friendships and for the rich experience that I turn over the chair to Megan Oldfield. The committee is in extremely capable hands. Thank you all.

  • Criteria:

    • Interest in and/or understanding of graphic design education in Ontario.
    • Experience working with students and/or attending RGD student events and/or knowledge of RGD programming for students.
    • Time to contribute to the work of the committee via email feedback, teleconference discussions and independent and group work.
    • Must be a Member of RGD


    Get Involved: 

    • Those interested in joining the Committee should fill out the online form: Get Involved with RGD.
    • Click here for a list of initiatives and other ways to get involved with the Committee's activities