Academics and Research / Campus & Community / Magazine Feature

DU students design for local nonprofits

When local artist Matt Jenkins was asked to teach a course on designing social awareness, he thought the DU Electronic Media Art Design (eMAD) students should do just that.

Jenkins, an adjunct professor for the School of Art and Art History, had his students work on design projects for two nonprofit agencies.

“It just made sense to me that we should do something different and challenge the classroom,” Jenkins says. “The DU students have tremendous skills and imagination and are ready to work.”

The students had a choice to work with The Other Side Arts (TOSA), an agency that provides art instruction to historically underserved populations, or the Bienvenidos Food Bank.

Junior eMAD major Jen Schneider helped design buttons that Bienvenidos can give to donors as a small gift.

“My hope is that donors will really appreciate the buttons and they will continue to contribute to the food bank,” Schneider says.

Bienvenidos board President Martina Torres says the food bank relies on donations to feed between 225 and 250 families each week.

“We like the ideas that the students gave us,” Torres says. “We are very excited because we are in the process of revamping and growing our organization.”

Torres expects delivery of the 1,000 buttons in the coming weeks and hopes to work with other DU students in the future.

While Jenkins was very pleased with the design of the buttons, he says the education students receive is not always reflected in the final product.

“This class was about process and experience, and the students were thrown into unexpected and often challenging situations,” he says. “They all handled it really well, with maturity, which I think is a reflection of the university.”

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