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VisCom Ambassadors

Our students, our program

Every year, a handful of VisCom students are selected to represent the school at on-campus events and for tours. These students are our ambassadors — and they will be more than happy to answer your questions during your campus, and school, visit. Below, each ambassador talks about what drew them to VisCom and what they've learned from their experience here.

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Anne Baker

Ever since I was a kid, my parents would bring me to Athens, since they had attended OU, had many friends there, and couldn’t seem to stay away from the Athens atmosphere. I grew to find my own love for the city and the campus. I developed a love and passion for design and knew Ohio University was the right choice for me. Through VisCom, I have had the opportunity to meet so many kind, intelligent, and creative peers and professionals, all while strengthening my design skills and feeling right at home in such a great community of supportive individuals. Outside of working on projects for my classes, I love hiking, traveling, and simply spending time with my cat Liam. Ohio University and the School of Visual Communication is such a great place, and I look forward to showing others all that VisCom has to offer!

Anne is a junior majoring in Interactive Information Design.

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Madison Bryant

I always knew what I wanted to major in, I just didn’t know where to go. It only took one visit to Ohio University. After meeting with the School of Visual Communication staff and students, I instantly knew this was the right path for me. Everyone was very welcoming and focused on every student’s success. My decision to attend VisCom is one of the best decisions I have ever made. In this short time, I have gained new opportunities and connections through this program. Currently I am a photographer for The Post, a student-run media outlet. I am also an active member of the OHIO chapter of the National Press Photographers Association. 

Madison is a junior majoring in Photojournalism.


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Erin Burk

When I was trying to decide what school to attend, I wrote up a list of all of my favorite photographers and tallied up which school came up the most, which was Ohio University. After looking more into it and visiting the campus, I found myself in love with its beauty and all of the people that I met. Being a part of this community has given me so much support in working towards goals of mine, such as applying for contests and scholarships to attend conferences. This year I am excited to continue being involved with this community as the secretary of our chapter of the National Press Photographers Association, as well as continuing to work as a photographer for The Post. 

Erin is a senior Photojournalism major and is pursuing a minor in History. See her work at erinburk.com.

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Mary Kate Dewees

I’m hoping to get a job in the sports world, either as a social media manager or graphic designer. I am originally from Cincinnati, though I plan on finding a job outside of Ohio after college. Besides being a Scripps Ambassador, I am also the Fundraising Chair for Women’s Club Volleyball. My favorite things to do outside of the classroom are cooking, photography, finding the best coffee in Athens, and golfing.

Mary Kate is a junior majoring in Interactive Information Design, and is also pursuing a Marketing minor.

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Ellie Habel

I have always been passionate about photography, but it was not until I came to Ohio University in high school for a journalism camp that I discovered my passion for visual storytelling. I knew I wanted to study at Ohio University once I saw all the opportunities and connections that can be made through the VisCom program. You will never meet professors more passionate or inspiring than those here in the VisCom program. I am the current photo editor for Backdrop magazine here on campus, and outside of school I enjoy hiking, camping, and anything outdoor-related. I have a passion for the environment and plan on using my skills to bring light to environmental issues around the world. 

Ellie is a junior Photojournalism major. Check out her work at ellie-habel.format.com


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Sarah Houpt

Ohio University was the perfect fit for me for many reasons — the biggest reason was how well VisCom is put together. There are countless opportunities this school offers all the students. We have a small community of students within the Commercial Photography major, allowing for more personal interactions with the professors. Unlike larger schools, I feel that VisCom has allowed me to gain connections through my professors in the field of photography. We also have updated equipment to check out, as well as access to on-campus studios. This is one of the aspects that stood out the most to me when comparing Ohio University to other schools. 

Sarah is a junior majoring in Commercial Photography.

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Natalie Isaacs

In the Interactive Design major, I have the opportunity to learn how to do all different types of design and use lots of cool software. It really has given me the opportunity to explore my interests and help me decide what I want to pursue for a career. I chose to attend Ohio University because this school provides an exciting and diverse environment with lots of opportunities to learn and have fun (and not to mention the campus is beautiful). I chose VisCom because I wanted to be able to apply my artistic abilities to something that is more modern and technology-based. My favorite part of being in the VisCom program is being in smaller classes, often with people I know and am comfortable with. I can get help from my professors directly and always have other students to work with. VisCom provides a great learning environment where I have created great work and made friends along the way.

Natalie is a junior majoring in Interactive Information Design.

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Sarah James

I tell my friends I came for the well-known program and stayed for the people! I immediately felt like family from day one, like the staff were truly there to help me succeed. When I first came to OU, I had no idea what I wanted to do for the rest of my life — I came into portfolio review without even choosing a major. Now that I’ve settled into my major of choice, I can’t imagine doing anything else. I’ve also been involved with Thread Magazine and AIESEC for a couple semesters now, and my participation has really helped me to build a community here on campus. I am so grateful for the opportunities that have been opened up to me through VisCom and through the people I’ve met throughout my college career. After college, I’d love to land in the publishing industry, illustrating and designing for books and magazines!

Check out Sarah's work as sarahellenjames.com.


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MacKenzie Kress

I am currently working remotely as a User Experience Design Intern at Dick's Sporting Goods on the Search and Browse team for their e-commerce sites. I also worked as a summer intern for DSG with a team of designers that redesigned the website for their non-profit sector, The Dick's Sporting Goods Foundation. VisCom has supported me since my freshman year and guided my discovery of different disciplines of design. I feel the faculty is truly invested in my success and has pushed me to develop my design skills in and out of the classroom. This summer I felt I was well-prepared not only for my design duties, but to communicate with my engineers and product managers efficiently. I wouldn't trade my time at the school of VisCom for anything!

MacKenzie is a senior majoring in Interactive Information Design. See her portfolio at mackenziekress.wixsite.com/portfolio.


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Patricia Porter

I’m very passionate about sharing stories of the people who don’t have a platform to do it themselves. I love photography for that reason — and also because it can also be very expressive. At Ohio University, I’m involved with a few different magazines. I am also a Young Life leader at Logan High School, which has been one of the best decisions I’ve made while being in college. VisCom is a place where people gather and share ideas on how to cultivate stories, with help from creative classmates and knowledgeable professors. I have fallen in love with this school, and it has turned into my safe place. There’s no judgment. With photojournalism and Young Life, the common theme is that I just want to help people, so at the end of the day I don’t mind whatever medium I use, I just want to make as much of a difference in this world that I can! 

Patricia is a junior majoring in Photojournalism, and is also pursuing a certificate in Diversity, as well as minors in Business and Marketing.

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Megan Syer

I knew I wanted to pursue graphic design while searching for the right college. I chose Ohio University because VisCom allowed me to gain hands-on experience from the beginning through the many opportunities provided. The faculty here create a safe and supportive space for students to be creative and explore their interests, which has helped me grow in design. Outside of the classroom, I have been involved with Backdrop Magazine, a student-produced publication, and Ohio University Multimedia Society, a professional networking organization. I also work as a student graphic designer for The Patton College of Education. 

Megan is senior Information Design: Publication major and is currently part of the Scripps Semester in D.C. program. Check out her work at megansyer.myportfolio.com.

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Allison Weis

The reason I chose to attend Ohio University was for the VisCom Program. From my first visit, I could see the potential this program had, and I knew it was the place I needed to be. VisCom is a program of highly motivated students and passionate teachers. Being surrounded by this community, I have grown so much already and can’t wait to see where it will continue to take me. I've learned so many new skills and technical things, but what I am most grateful for is the mentality they have taught me: To go above and beyond to exceed expectations. Adapting to this mentality has helped me greatly throughout my classes and internship. My most favorite thing about VisCom is the community. The teachers challenge you to do better, while supporting you in every way they can. My classmates are often an even bigger motivator, they challenge me because they also want to see me succeed. I can confidently say that I will land a job doing what I love, thanks to the support of the VisCom staff and students. 

Allison is junior majoring in Commercial Photography.


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Harley Wince

When I first started at OU, I was still figuring out my career path. With guidance from the wonderful professors at VisCom, I found my niche in Commercial Photograph and haven’t looked back. I have been able to become trained in all aspects of my field and have become more confident in my abilities as a creative. Through VisCom, I have been able to meet and work with many of my talented peers in classes and in student organizations. I’m excited for what my last year in VisCom has in store for me, and feel free to reach out if you have any questions! 

Harley is a senior Commercial Photography major with minors in Psychology and Fine Art. Check out her work at harleywince.com.