Inaugural AIGA Philadelphia Design Continuum Scholarship awarded to Kaci Kwiatek

AIGA Philadelphia is proud to announce the recipient of the inaugural AIGA Philadelphia Design Continuum Scholarship. The 2018 Design Continuum Scholarship awardee is Kaci Kwiatek a rising senior at Drexel University’s Westphal College of Media Arts & Design majoring in graphic design. The scholarship was established in memory of Edward M. Murphy, the father of past chapter president and AIGA Fellow, Rosemary Murphy.

The AIGA Philadelphia Design Continuum Fund has been established as an annual scholarship program that supports local Philadelphia-area graphic design students through the award of financial assistance to pursue their education. With this scholarship AIGA Philadelphia hopes to build upon the foundation of community evident in the Philadelphia Chapter to provide a young designer the opportunity to share their vision with the world. The recipient is chosen on the merits of their application and demonstration of need.

Kaci Kwiatek and her two sisters were adopted from China as babies. Raised by a single mother after the death of her father when she was 10, she appreciates the challenges life presents and the support necessary to overcome them. She chose Philadelphia to study so she could experience living in a big city after growing up in Mill Hill, Pennsylvania.

Kaci aspires to visually communicate design experiences that will one day leave the world a happier and better-designed place.

Q + A with Kaci Kwiatek

Fun Fact #1: It is easy to envision a family logotype since all family members have names beginning with the letter K, even Kaci’s parents, Kurt and Kim, and her cat Kyki.

Fun Fact #2: Kwiatek means “little flower” in Polish

Would you like to share more about your family or personal story?

When I was little, I wanted to be an artist – I got so many of those little kid art packs with the hundred different markers, paints, and crayons – and I loved creating things. After taking high school computer graphics classes and having a fantastic teacher, I knew I wanted to go into graphic design. My family was very supportive of my decision, and I couldn’t have made it this far without them. I knew I chose the right path once I started my design classes at Drexel University, being taught by great graphic design faculty and learning more than I would have imagined.

In addition to my classes, I currently I work part-time at Zivtech (a web development and design agency in Center City where I co-oped) as their Junior Designer, am the Design Lead on the marketing committee of Drexel’s Campus Activities Board (a student-run event-planning organization), am involved in Drexel’s student chapter of AIGA, and freelance on the side.

What are some of the challenges you faced when pursuing your education?

A challenge I’ve faced while pursuing my education is trying to be too involved and putting too much on my plate. I was involved in many clubs in high school and that notion has carried over to college, but I found that it’s harder to balance all of the different commitments in college with a full course load of classes. I like being busy (even though I say I don’t!) and having work to do and meetings to go to. I still wish I had more time to be more involved on campus. All in all, my studies and classes come first, though.

What inspires you about the field of Graphic Design?

It’s inspiring just how expansive the field is and how there are so many people out there creating amazing work everyday. Graphic design is everywhere and it’s awe-inspiring just how powerful visual communication can be and how it can enhance even everyday experiences.

What are your professional goals upon graduation?

I would like to be a UI/UX designer or visual designer, maybe one day becoming a creative director. But, as long as I’m designing and learning new things every day, I feel like I’d be happy in any kind of creative role.

By aigaphiladelphia
Published February 13, 2020