School of Art + Art History

MXD — Master’s in Design & Visual Communications

People / Current Students

Dina Benbrahim
graphic design, civic design, design thinking, female empowerment, photography

Dina is an Arab multidisciplinary creative and advertiser focusing on finding sustainable solutions to empower women in the Arab world, along with studying how society—being an industry of manipulation— affects our lives. Through her human-centered approach, she seeks truth using design thinking, photography, illustration, painting and graphic design. Dina has a 4+ year copywriting and art direction experience with  J. Walter Thompson New York, J. Walter Thompson Casablanca, Shem’s Publicité, and as an entrepreneur. Today, she teaches Graphic Design at the University of Florida while pursuing her MFA. | instagram

Rachel Brintnall
social justice, politics, equity

Rachel is a multimedia artist, freelance illustrator, and graphic designer with a background in fine art, computer graphics, and education. Her current work focuses on educational opportunities for underfunded communities. Through co-design processes and design thinking methods, she seeks to define ways to empower underserved populations in small towns across the US. Before pursuing her MFA, Rachel lived abroad for 3 years and traveled to over 20 countries, where she discovered the power of cultural immersion.

Shaza Mustafa
social issues, cultural understanding, educational media

Shaza completed her Bachelor’s in Arts degree at American University of Sharjah, College of Architecture, Art, and Design at United Arab Emirates. She has worked with Bidaya Media, an educational media company, developing educational children programs. She has worked as a graphic designer for "Iftah Ya Simsim 2", the Arabic version of the long-running American children’s educational show Sesame Street. Shaza is very passionate about design, especially in branding and packaging. She loves teaching and implementing design in education. She enjoys her time painting, cooking, and hiking. When she is not working on a design projects, Shaza spends her time, traveling and learning about different new cultures.

Marjorie Shropshire

Marjorie is an artist, designer and activist who is interested in the natural world and the intersection between art and science. Two decades of experience in the design field as an advertising agency creative director provided her with the opportunity to work on a variety of national accounts relating to the travel, aviation and banking industries. Later she established her own design practice to work with environmental non-profits, concentrating on educational materials and interpretivedisplays for nature centers and natural areas. Her work focuses on nature, specifically the ecosystems of Florida. She is fascinated with botany, has illustrated several books on sustainable and climate-wise gardening, and co-authored the book A Step-by-Step Guide to a Florida Native Yard, published by the University Press of Florida in 2018. Marjorie holds Florida Master Naturalist Certificates in Coastal Restoration, Habitat Evaluation, Coastal Systems, and Upland Systems and am a member of the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators. She leads workshops and lectures on nature drawing, field journaling and transitioning home landscapes to incorporate regionally appropriate Florida native plants. In addition to creative work, she participates in various citizen science initiatives and is interested in exploring how design can be used to facilitate citizen science participation. Marjorie is concerned about Florida’s declining water quality. In 2013 she began documenting algae blooms and fish kills, and became a clean water advocate, speaking out about the need to address Florida’s water quality issues. Recently she has become interested in how home landscapes in Florida contribute to poor water quality and what actions can be taken to address this situation through the use of design thinking and co-design.    

Marissa Volk
equity, participatory development, social justice, civic literacy, co-design

Marissa is an interdisciplinary designer with a background in architecture and graphic design. She uses design and actionable research to create more equitable systems in our urban context. She considers design as a human-centered tool to both identify and solve issues that are adversely affecting some of the most vulnerable people in our modern society. Issues she is currently exploring include financial and racial inequity, gentrification and displacement, and the reflexivity of community. In her work she aims to celebrate the human in many forms: solitary, within groups, and as the most important part of an urban fabric as a whole. Marissa is in conversation with the urban environment that we as a society have built for ourselves, and our behaviors and interactions within it.

instagram | website

Erxuan Xu
human-centered design, design thinking, storytelling, detail-oriented, sense and sensibility

Erxuan is a 3rd year MFA candidate pursuing Design. She has a multifaceted background in package engineering, interior design, and graphic design. She received her Bachelor of Engineering from Shanghai Ocean University in 2015 and worked for Joseph Wong Design Associates (JWDA) in Shanghai as a junior architect. In her works, she focuses on using details to represent the design concept. She is passionate about creating things, and she believes that design will lead and bring people a better life. 


Jingyan Yu
human-centered design, interaction design, design for social innovation, design thinking

Graduate Fellow & Graduate Teaching Assistant / Instructor, Visual Methods and Processes

Jingyan received her BA in Communication Design from Hubei Institute of Fine Arts, and now she is in her third year of graduate study. She is interested in human-centered design and she believes design can make a better life. For her, a successful design will generate surprising cultural and commercial values to the society, and that what she works with now. Currently, her work focuses on senior people and parental care, especially in China. Jingyan also teaches Graphic Design at the University of Florida.

email | instagram

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