Sauman Chu

Professor, Design, Housing & Apparel

Sauman Chu poses against a backdrop of design projects

As director of the Graphic Design program, Sauman Chu gives future designers real-world experience before entering the job market.

She has forged relationships between student designers, community organizations and university clients, and brought industry professionals to campus to evaluate student portfolios. She increased the program’s visibility and is credited with raising its enrollment from 240 in 2013 to 349 in fall 2018. Chu also led a pilot program where students completed their BFA degrees in three years.

“One of her greatest feats was encouraging students to attend and participate in Portfolio 1-on-1, sponsored by the American Institute of Graphic Designers,” says a colleague. “At this event, students get feedback from professional designers and learn to talk to others about their work.”   

I model an open-minded and positive attitude during critiques, and believe it is extremely important to provide students with ongoing feedback and encouragement.

Chu spearheaded efforts to improve the curriculum review process, strengthened ties with adjunct faculty, and fostered a supportive and respectful learning environment. She listens to students, and, to help them listen to each other, she started an annual assembly where upper level students share their experiences with new students.

Once, at the end of a newly structured course, Chu gathered feedback from students. The following year, one noted that “changes to the course were made, and we could see the direct impact of our input and the positive effect it had on the students and their projects.”