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.
  • Review programs and services that RGD is currently offering to design educators and identify how it can make improvements to ensure RGD is furnishing the means by which educators may enhance their knowledge, skill and effectiveness as educators.
  • Identify and advise on opportunities for RGD to expand and develop its programs and services for students and recent grads and educators.
  • Identify and advise on opportunities for RGD to increase its exposure to students and recent grads and educators.
  • 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

    - 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, particularly the Student Awards

  • Design Educator of the Year

    New this year, RGD is recognizing faculty who have made outstanding contributions to student development and pedagogical research. We bestowed the Award on 2 recipients for 2018.



    At this event, design students and recent grads work in teams at creative studios across Canada to develop design solutions for non-profit clients. Each team of about 4 is led by an RGD Member acting as Creative Director and Project Manager.


    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 $200,000 to date. 


    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, RGD distributed five $500 Scholarships for DesignThinkers in Vancouver and six $500 Scholarships for DesignThinkers in Toronto.

  • Chair: Saskia van Kampen RGD, Toronto 

    Saskia is 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.


    Nadine Arseneault RGD, Toronto

    Nadine is co-principal at Bakersfield Visual Communications Inc, a full-service graphic design studio specializing in editorial design and social media strategy for education institutions, business associations and publishers. Nadine is an award-winning editorial art director with more than 2 decades of experience in leading design projects for Canada’s top brands and magazines. Currently responsible for the design of Rotman Management Magazine, published by the University of Toronto. Nadine is finishing her masters in design (MDes) at York University.


    Randal Boutilier RGD, Toronto

    Randal is founding principal of 12thirteen, a firm focused on serving the non-profit and performing arts sectors. Word-of-mouth promotion has grown his client list from small businesses and independent artists to York University and the Canadian Women’s Foundation.


    Daniela Buitrago Provisional RGD, Vancouver

    Daniela is a junior designer that loves to create friendly, vibrant and smart visuals for humans. She has a great passion for design research, branding and illustrations. Previously, Daniela worked as a Creative Director for Woo Publication during her studies at Emily Carr University. And, after graduation, she worked as a Communication Designer for a health start-up in Vancouver.


    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.


    Faron Dawe, Affiliate Member, Moncton

    Faron is the lead instructor of the Graphic Design diploma program at McKenzie College. Prior to that he spent 17 years in the creative industry as a Graphic Designer for advertising agencies, marketing and communication firms, and on a freelance basis. As an alumnus of McKenzie College, Faron's passion for design is accompanied by his new love for teaching by sharing his expertise and experiences with his students, while striving to advance the program's curriculum to exceed today's industry expectations.


    Antonia V. Goga, Provisional RGD, Toronto

    Antonia is a Senior Designer at TAXI, an ad agency that uses an integrated approach to build powerful brands. Her work has received over 70 accolades from some of the most prestigious organizations, winning the Applied Arts Young Blood Award in 2016. She is an active member of the design community, taking part in initiatives, awards judging, portfolio reviews and in panels as a guest speaker.


    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).


    Kyle Greenwood RGD, Toronto

    Kyle is an Instructor in Graphic Design and Interactive Media at Toronto Film School, teaching on-campus and online courses in illustration, typography and portfolio development. A strong advocate of social impact communications, Kyle's design work has largely focused on non-profit initiatives that provoke thought, comment and action for a variety of organizations including CAMH, ACT, and the National Ballet of Canada.


    Gillian Harvey, Affiliate Member, Calgary

    Gillian is an Assistant Professor in Design Studies, Department of Art & Design at the University of Alberta, where she teaches undergraduate students design theory, practice and research. Gillian’s work as a partner and studio owner over the last 15 years has included a diverse set of private and public sector clients. Her research focuses on information design, design for decision making and wayfinding and signage. 


    Eunice Joaquin Provisional RGD, Toronto

    Tomomi Lo RGD, Markham

    Tomomi is an Art Director at Richard Robbins International Inc. (RRI), a business coaching and events organization for real estate professionals. She oversees all design work from web, print and event spaces as well as designing custom marketing tools for RRI clients. Recently becoming RGD certified, continuing her education in design and helping young designers strive has become a strong passion of hers.


    Richard Plantt RGD, London

    Richard is a Senior User Experience Designer at SchoolBundle, a scalable, unified communication platform geared toward the K-12 education market. Richard’s expertise includes a user-focused approach to design with an emphasis on creating digital experiences that are easy and delightful to use. He is also involved with the Hope for Rural Children and Orphans (HORCO), a charity aimed at clean water, sanitation, education and HIV/AIDS awareness projects in developing nations.


    Ryanne Spies RGD, Kitchener

    Ryanne is the coordinator and full-time professor of the Bachelor of Design program at Conestoga College. Her main teaching focus in BDes are Studio courses, which integrate learning and theories from concurrent courses throughout each semester, as well as implementing pedagogy that scofoldes throughout the four-year program. Ryanne has been teaching at Conestoga College since 2008 and has been an RGD member since 2006.


    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.


    Michelle Wiebe RGD, Victoria

    Michelle is an Assistant Professor of Art Education at the University of Victoria. Prior to joining the faculty at UVic she taught Graphic Design in Toronto, Ontario. Currently, her primary research foci are design education, creativity, design thinking and self-assessment. She is also a producing artist in watercolour and acrylic and is a Registered Graphic Designer.

  • Presented by Megan Oldfield RGD, VP of Education at the Annual Meeting April 25, 2018


    Committee Mandate

    The primary mandate of the Education Committee is to develop programs and services by which students may enhance their knowledge, skill and effectiveness as graphic designers. As the future of our profession, they are imperative in our efforts to raise professional and ethical standards in our industry and subsequently, increase awareness of RGD and the RGD designation. It is our collective mandate to identify and advise on opportunities for RGD to expand and develop programs and services, for students and recent grads. Additionally, to help increase standards of knowledge, skill, professional conduct and ethics for all graphic designers.


    Committee Members

    The Education Committee is the smallest of committees currently in terms of membership but definitely not by initiatives. Before I highlight the committees list of accomplishments this past year, I’d like to thank my fellow committee members, Donna Braggins RGD, Sean Grant RGD, Gillian Harvey Affiliate Member, Andrea Ruskin RGD, Paul van Dongen RGD and Saskia van Kampen RGD for their hard work, energy and commitment to the committee.


    Automatic Student Membership Program

    Currently RGD has approximately 2,100 Student Members, 1,800 of these Student members were enrolled this year in our Automatic Student Membership Program, a collaboration with Colleges and Universities wherein the participating institutions cover their students’ RGD Membership dues.


    Our goal for this program continues to be the expansion of RGD’s reach and subsequent increase in numbers in participating schools and programs, particularly outside of Ontario. Fall 2017 saw 19 schools confirmed with 5 schools outside of Ontario. For the 2017/2018 academic year, we welcomed new participating schools: McKenzie College in New Brunswick, Red River College in Manitoba and Durham College in Ontario.


    We now have 3 different Student and Provisional awards available.


    RGD Grad Show Student Award

    The committee put forth a new award of a 1 year RGD Provisional Membership available to 1 graduating student from each participating RGD automatic enrollment program. The recipient is to be chosen and awarded by the program chair or faculty from participating schools.


    DesignThinkers Scholarships

    We distributed four scholarships for DesignThinkers Vancouver in May 2017 sponsored by 123w, Carter Hales Design Lab, Cause+Affect and Pound & Grain and six scholarships at DesignThinkers Toronto in November 2017 sponsored by Pound & Grain, Davis, Design de Plume, Arcane and Blue Ant Media. Each sponsor gave $500 that went directly to the students who also received free registration to the Conference in their respective city. In order to be considered for the scholarship,


    Student and Provisional Members were asked to submit a short video to Instagram outlining their desire to attend DesignThinkers and the committee chose the scholarship recipients. We have 5 sponsors 123w, Cause & Affect, Engine Digital, Pound & Grain and Will Creative, all on board for the second edition of DT VAN next month.


    Student Awards

    One of the longest running program’s RGD has been organizing an annual Student Awards since its early days and has distributed $290,000 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.


    The 2017 Student Awards saw 265 entries from 44 different schools across Canada, up from 220 from 33 schools in 2016, and surpassing our goal of 35 participating schools. Of these students, 654 entries were submitted in a variety of categories with 72 judges all RGD’s with the exception of 19 (comprised of award sponsors and out of province judges) 21 winners with 52 honourable mentions and approx. 75 finalists were announced in September 2017.


    All finalists received invaluable written feedback from the judges in their respective category. This year’s Student Awards deadline is May 11, 2018 with 18 confirmed sponsors: .design, 50 Carleton, BOLD, Entro, Fjord, Forge Media + Design, Goods & Services, Gravity Inc, Greenmelon, Intent, john st., Pivot Design Group, Polyester Studio, Quarry, q30, Shikatani Lacroix, Studio123 & Zulu Alpha Kilo. Additionally the committee would like recognize and thank Ottawa based Character Creative, for their rebrand of the student awards.


    Student Posters

    To raise awareness for student focused programming, RGD has designed posters available as pdfs to send to design school programs in order to highlight the So(GOOD) awards, designed by Toronto’s Underline Studio, and Student Awards as well as the DesignThinkers Scholarships in hopes of receiving even more entries.


    Design Educator Initiatives


    Design Educators Conference

    With the theme of Learning from the World, the 2017 Design Educators Conference, hosted by Ryerson, was originally scheduled to coincide with DesignThinkers TO. Unfortunately the conference was significantly impacted by the fall College strike and the decision was made by the committee to move the conference to Spring 2018. Since that time the decision has been made to push the Conference until after DesignThinkers TO October 26, 2018.


    The 2016 Design Educators Conference Proceedings, designed by Field Design Office, highlights seven abstracts from the 2016 Conference with the intent of getting the publication, along with 2015 publication, into the collections of libraries at academic institutions.


    Educator Award

    A new award aimed at recognizing those who educate the next generation of designers has been approved by the board and is in the very early stages of development by the committee.


    Design Educators Curriculum Support Materials

    An ongoing initiative was started in the spring to organize the wealth of RGD webinars, talks and presentations into categories that could be used as teaching support materials for Design Educators.


    Letters of support for New Programs

    In response to an increase in requests for RGD support for the development of new design programs from instituions across the country, the committee developed and implemented a rubric to standardize and help determine RGD endorsement decisions on a case by case basis. By implementing a standardized practice of selecting 4 independent designers chosen in regional proximity to the school request and by using the rubric, the expected outcome is a fair and clear standardized evaluation process.


    Creative Directions, Career Development Conference, Design-A-Thon and Portfolio Review Events

    The annual Creative Directions Career Development Conference geared towards students and provisional RGD’s, was replaced by the new Designathon initiative in conjunction with additional portfolio review events. The decision was made to replace the creative directions event as it required a huge amount of resources and had leveled out at approximately 400 participants.


    The first RGD Design-A-Thon took place in February at OCAD University and was a great success with 10 teams of Student and Provisional RGDs working on projects for 10 non-profits. Teams of 3-4 participants worked together on their given brief, led by an experienced Creative Director with a real world Not-For-Profit client. It is anticipated that there will be multiple Design-A-Thon events per year, with the next one scheduled for

    June 23, to be held simultaneously in Toronto, Sudbury, Ottawa and Vancouver.


    In addition to the Design-A-Thon’s, several additional portfolio review events have been added, 5 to date so far this year. Together it is our hope that these 2 events will offer a more intensive and immersive experience than those previously offered through Creative Directions.


    Finally, after 6 years and 70 plus meetings serving on the Education Committee, both as a committee member and chair, I will be stepping down and Saskia van Kampen will serve as the new Chair of the Education Committee. Congratulations, and I wish the Committee continued success and all the best going forward.

  • 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