New Faces: Virginia Patterson 

Compiled by Kashvi, Communication Specialist Student Assistant

The College of Arts and Humanities at Fresno State encompasses nine departments, and the Armenian Studies Program. Each year, new faculty are brought on to elevate the academic offerings here at Fresno State. These new faculty members bring innovative research, diverse fields of study, and technical expertise to our college, inspiring fresh ways of thinking throughout our many disciplines.

We are excited to welcome Virginia Patterson as she joins the Department of Art and Design as the Assistant Professor in Graphic Design. Patterson is a graphic designer with a background in packaging design and food communication. She teaches Packaging Design, Graphic Systems, and an introductory Graphic Design course. Her research explores food knowledge, access, culture, and consumption, with a focus on food literacy through packaging design and food labeling policy.

Q&A

What are you most looking forward to here at Fresno State?

Engaging with students and helping them prepare for, and navigate, career or post-graduate opportunities within Graphic Design.

What do you love about graphic design?

I love that graphic design is everywhere but isn’t always noticeable. The designer can play a distinct role in shaping visual culture, while also contributing to routine tasks like the swipe action you make within an app or the nutrition facts you read on a food label. I also love that graphic design has the ability to influence or generate critical positive change when a designer is engaged with ethical and responsible design.

Where do you find your inspiration?

Not on the Internet. I find most inspiration in my activities that are not related to design: running, hiking, gardening, spending time with family and friends, and resting.

What will your unique background do to enhance Fresno State’s Art and Design  Department’s offerings?

I join the Fresno State community with a past and active career in professional design practice (the design industry), as well as national and international work and life experience. I hope these varied experiences offer industry/career perspectives for students and experiential perspectives for activities within the department. 

What is a fun fact people might not know about you?

When I was young, my dad taught me how to pick out the perfect cantaloupe at the supermarket. I think this partially influenced my creative path focused on food. I also look suspicious when buying produce—and it’s quite unpopular right now to touch and smell everything.

When are your office hours?

M 10:00-12:00; W 1:00-2:00; Th 11:00–1:00

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

Nearing the end of my first semester at Fresno State, I am so encouraged by my students’ enthusiasm for social and environmental equity through design, as well as their and my colleague’s welcoming spirit. I feel both welcome and challenged to make a difference by my students and colleagues.

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The College of Arts and Humanities provides a diverse student population with the communication skills, humanistic values and cultural awareness that form the foundation of scholarship. The college offers intellectual and artistic programs that engage students and faculty and the community in collaboration, dialog and discovery. These programs help preserve, illuminate and nourish the arts and humanities for the campus and for the wider community.

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