Excellence in design education for 25 years

book cover

The Celebration

The atmosphere at the 25th Anniversary party at was filled with a sense of goodwill and excitement as old friends reunited and reminisced about the past. The bar was fully stocked and the food kept coming. As the night went on, the DJ played a mix of hits that made the dance floor come alive. It was a celebration of not only the past 25 years but also of the future of the Design department, and everyone left feeling grateful for the memories and friendships that had been created over the years. Many thanks to Pentagram for being gracious hosts, and to the all the students over the years that brought us to this moment.

a group of women standing and posing for the camera
three people sitting on the couch with yellow flowers in foreground
four people at cocktail party chatting
three people at cocktail party, one holding a book
Two people sitting on couch  laughing
three people at cocktail party smiling for the camera
two people sitting at a cocktail party  looking at the camera
four people at a cocktail party looking at the camera holding wine glasses
three people at a cocktail party looking at the camera
three people at a cocktail party looking at the camera
four people at a cocktail party looking at the camera
two people at a cocktail party looking at the camera
five people at a cocktail party looking at the camera
two people at a cocktail party looking at the camera
two  people at a cocktail party looking at the camera
many people dancing at a party
Three people signing books, sitting on a couch
two people at a cocktail party looking at the camera
animated gif of book spread with different pages


Providing a comprehensive look at the department's history, accomplishments, and contributions, this commemorative book highlights the department's growth and development over the past 25 years, featuring current and former faculty members, staff, and students. It also showcases the department's innovative design projects, research, and collaborations with industry partners. Under the direction of Tim Cohan, this book captures the essence of the department's culture and its impact on the design community. It serves as a testament to the creativity, hard work, and dedication of the design department, inspiring future generations of designers to continue pushing the boundaries of what is possible. Alumni can request a copy: mfadesign@sva.edu

logo for 25th Anniversary in yellow and red

Good news!

In honor of the 25th Anniversary of MFA Design, alumna Claudia Atencia Linares (MFAD 01) has generously donated $2500 to be awarded for an outstanding 2023 Venture. The winner will be announced during the final week of classes. We are grateful to Claudia for her continued commitment to the program and its community.

blue and black poster announcing Jennifer and Bobby guest lecture

Jennifer Kinon and Bobby C. Martin Jr. – 2003

Jennifer and Bobby spoke to the MFAD students to finish the Milton Glaser Spring Lecture Series. When you put a group of designers-in-formation in front of the people behind the development of brands and experiences at MTV, WNBA, the Hillary Clinton Campaign, Apple and even our own MFA Design program, you get a room full of people with their jaws on the ground asking for a napkin.

two men smiling at the camera

Tarek Atrissi – 2003

I BUILT A NETWORK IN MY TWO YEARS AT SVA THAT LASTED ALL MY CAREER. Tarek runs the studio, Tarek Atrissi Design, with offices in Barcelona (Spain) and an office in The Netherlands, focusing on branding and cross-cultural communication. He stopped by to give a lecture to the second year students.

man standing at podium in front of class
group of students and instructors holding MFAD prop letters
Man and woman smiling for the camera
man with glasses with arms folded

Jeffrey Everett – 2004

SVA MFA DESIGN AS AUTHOR/ENTREPRENEUR TAUGHT ME TO BRING MY PERSONALITY AND THOUGHTS INTO MY DESIGN WORK. Currently, Jeffrey is a designer at The National Institutes of Health, as well as running his studio Rockets are Red where the focus is on designing and illustrating concert posters for bands big and small.

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illustrative poster
illustrative poster
portrait of woman with hand on head

Jessica Lin – 2018


two green sneakers
an american express credit card
colorful large street poster
three people on a bridge in a city
portrait of a man in a blue shirt looking at the camera

Sebastian Ebarb – 2012

THE PROGRAM HELPED ME TO ACCELERATE MY LEARNING AND MY CAREER. Sebastian is a professor of design at Northeastern University, and runs a design studio named Nahi, meaning We in Apache with co-founder Reilly Martin. Full interview here

design on fabric with the words Water Remembers
Flame icon with the words The bridges I burn will light the way written on it
decorative stickers with different slogans
portrait of a woman with long hair

Mira Khandpur – 2017

ONE OF MY FAVOURITE PIECES OF ADVICE I GOT AT THE STUDIO IS SOMETHING I STILL TRY TO APPLY TO MY WORK. IT IS TO 'KILL YOUR DARLINGS'. Mira is currently an Associate Partner at Pentagram New York (team Oberman), where her focus and area of interest is brand identity design. Full interview here

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mosaic of images
a series of book spines
group of four people at a bar holding drinks

MFA Design West Coast Visit

An SVA team from Alumni Affairs was in San Francisco, CA on February 23rd, including MFA Design’s Director of Operations, Veronika Golova who brought together some of our West Coast designers in celebration of our 25th Anniversary. There was a dinner followed by bowling at Lucky Strike. A few of the attendees had never met before, so new connections, networks, and future collaborations are in the air. These superstars are working on exciting projects and improving the world as we know it.  Included were: Mary Swenson ‘00 (Creative Director, Brand Consulting, Grafish Designs), Lara Mccormick ‘07 (Service Designer, Square), Diana Haj Ahmad ‘14 (Senior Design Lead, IDEO.org), Bobby C. Martin ‘03 (Design, Apple), Julia Marsh ‘19 (Co-Founder & CEO, Sway), Masood Bukhari ’07 (Design Lead, Unagi Inc.)

Lucky Strike bowling alley
group of 6 people in a restaurant
two people talking at a bar
portrait of a person outside

Najeebah Al-Ghadban – 2015

SVA HELPED ME OPEN UP THE PATHWAYS TO MY CAREER. Currently Al-Ghadban is an Art Director at Apple, working on the Books app. She also continues to work on collage-work be it commissioned illustrations or book covers, exhibition-work, or various personal projects. Full interview here

illustration collage
illustration collage
illustration collage
group photo of three people at a restaurant

Valentine’s Day Brunch with Alumni

MFA Design is celebrating 25 years, so we gathered some alumni for a Valentine’s Day brunch. Yifat Anzelevich ‘02, Deborah Adler ‘02, Laura Gunther ‘03, Rohan Rege ‘21, Wiebke Meyer-Lüters ‘23, Doga Bircan ‘24, Nigel Sielegar ‘09, Alex Cho ’00, and Juan Diego Soto ‘06 got together with Lita Talarico and Veronika Golova to catch up and connect. The group spans the full 25 years of MFA Design graduates and many of them were meeting for the first time. Yifat Anzelevich was visiting from Israel and it quickly became apparent how global the MFA Design family is. Around the table, we represented Israel, India, Germany, Turkey, Indonesia, China, Venezuela, Canada, and the Czech Republic.  Turns out that the world is small and we have much in common. Some of them live in the same New York neighborhoods and never knew it, and some of their children even attend the same school! It was a triumph in forging bridges across 25 years and bringing the community together.  For the latest news coming from SVA MFAD, visit our Instagram @svamfadesign

group photo of two people at a restaurant
group photo of two people at a restaurant
man with a hat pointing and holding a script

Jared Barel – 2005

"WHEN I GRADUATED FROM MFA DESIGN, I WAS BITTEN BY THE BUG TO BE A DESIGNER AS AUTHOR." Barel is currently the branding and art director at MetaTope, a web3 tech and entertainment company headquartered in Los Angeles. Full Interview

illustrated poster for movie
illustrated poster for movie
portrait of a woman with shoulder length hair

Alex Cho – 2000

"I BELIEVE THE PROGRAM AND GREAT INSTRUCTORS HELPED ME KEEP THINKING DEEPER." Cho currently works on healthcare brands for Havas Health Plus. Full Interview

vaseline stories
website page with diagram
website with black and white photo
portrait of a serious man with a beard

Shawn Sprockett – 2013

"SVA MFA DESIGN OPENED COUNTLESS DOORS FOR ME." Last May I decided to pursue my own design practice: SSPROCKETT. I’ve been able to take on more strategic product work, more academic research, and exchange more design services with local queer businesses and non-profits–rather than focusing on profits!  Full Interview

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illustrated map
jetBlue Maps highlights article
typography development
smiling blonde lady holding plastic film

Julia Marsh – 2019

"I LOVE FINDING OPPORTUNITIES TO COLLABORATE WITH MY FORMER CLASSMATES." Alumna, Julia Marsh raised $2.5 million for Sway, her exploration into seaweed-based multi-use plastics that was introduced at Venture 19. Congratulations on the next step in an exciting journey. Full Interview

Sway website
sway logo
Sway branding
Sway packaging prototype
portrait of a woman with long hair looking at the camera

Donica Ida – 2014

She is the former Creative Director of HuffPost Highline and Design Director of Mary Review, and is currently an ACD at Google Creative Lab. After the MFA Design program (Class of 2014) Donica lived in New York and Portland but recently relocated to Seattle. Her spare time is split between road trips, hikes and spoiling her dog, Billie. Interview

digital tetris shapes
black screen with small icons and white typography on top with the title Hacking Google
two people holding signs that say 2003 and 2004


Laura Gunther and Sam Eckersley from the 10th Anniversary Decadance event in 2008.

portrait of a man with a beard

Albert Pereta – 2012

"DON'T LET AMBITIOUS IDEAS SCARE YOU." Albert Pereta (class of 2012) is the Executive Creative Director of Product Design and Head of Design at TwoTwenty at Pinterest after his own startup, Icebergs, which was also his senior project at SVA, was acquired by Pinterest.  Portfolio: albertpereta.com Full Interview

creativ work desktop with drawing material and computer
mobile screens on purple background
mobile screens on white background
four people holding signs

Blast from the Past

Scott Suiter, Gustavo Garcia, Nigel Sielegar, and Kimiyo Nakatsui from the class of 2009, at a book publishing event for Steve Heller.

portrait of a man with glasses

Thai Truong – 2013

"MFA DESIGN REALLY SET ME UP FOR MY CAREER." Currently, Truong works at Slalom doing some user experience consulting for Delta Airlines. Previously, he worked as a visual designer at Google, specifically at Google Cloud, and then at Product Design for Android. Full Interview

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