The University of Florida (UF) College of the Arts has appointed Maria Rogal as interim director of the UF School of Art + Art History. A professor of graphic design who has been on faculty at UF since 1997, Rogal will serve a two-year appointment beginning July 1, 2015. She succeeds Richard Heipp who is stepping down as director after serving in that position for five years to rejoin the faculty.
“Professor Maria Rogal is an internationally respected educator in graphic design who will bring her artistic skills and humanistic interests to this position and the college leadership team,” said Lucinda Lavelli, dean of the College of the Arts. “Students will enjoy getting to know her while, through her leadership, faculty and staff will continue to develop curriculum, projects and experiences to prepare our students for success upon graduation.”
The School of Art + Art History plays an important role in the academic life of the university and in the community. The school has 34 full-time faculty, 320 undergrad students and more than 120 graduate students. Degree programs include the B.A., B.F.A., M.A., M.F.A. and Ph.D. Areas of study include visual art studies, art history, art education, museum studies and studio art (art + technology, ceramics, creative photography, drawing, graphic design, painting, printmaking and sculpture). University Galleries—University Gallery, Focus Gallery and Grinter Gallery— also provide laboratories for professional and student artwork. The University of Florida is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges and is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design. The art education program is accredited by NCATE.
“Beginning with my interview almost two decades ago, I have been impressed with the quality and dedication of students, faculty and staff in the SA+AH and what a unique and vibrant place this is,” Rogal said. “It is such an honor to be the Interim Director because I get to work with everyone as we explore the possibilities and shape our future."
Rogal’s trans-cultural background and perspective influences her work, in which she explores the potential of design and visual communication to positively shape the human experience. She is the founder of Design for Development (D4D), an initiative in which graphic design faculty and students work with indigenous entrepreneurs in rural Mexico on grassroots economic development projects. By working collaboratively in rural communities they design products and business strategies relevant to the context and constituents. In integrating her research and teaching, her intent is to orient the graphic design discipline toward methods and socially conscious outcomes that are sustainable and responsible with people in their communities.
Rogal is the recipient of several grants to support her work in Mexico, including a 2014 Sappi “Ideas That Matter” grant, the inaugural American Institute of Graphic Arts Design Research Grant and three Fulbright grants. She shares her process and findings at numerous conferences, including the AIGA H3 Biennial Conference, GLIDE ‘10: Global Interaction in Design—where she was awarded best paper—and at MX09 Design Conference: Social Impact of Design (Universidad Iberoamericana, Mexico City). Her article “Identity and Representation: (Yucatec) Maya in the Visual Culture of Tourism” was recently published in the Latin American and Caribbean Ethnic Studies Journal and she was one of 24 international educators to contribute to the Icograda Design Education Manifesto Update. Her creative design work has appeared in national and international juried exhibitions in the UK, Hungary, Cuba, Venezuela, Mexico, and the U.S.
Rogal received her MFA in Design and Visual Communication from Virginia Commonwealth University and her BA in Political Science from Villanova University. To learn more, visit mariarogal.com and design4development.org.