posted September 13, 2010

Stephanie Milanowski Appointed to Sluyter Professorship

Stephanie Milanowski of the Hope College art and art history faculty has been appointed to the college's Howard R. and Margaret E. Sluyter Endowed Professorship in the field of design.

Milanowski joined the Hope faculty in the fall of 2009 as an assistant professor of art.  Her appointment to the endowed professorship began with the start of the new school year, and will be celebrated with a formal investiture ceremony on Friday, Sept. 24.

Milanowski has spent more than two decades working with a variety of clients in guiding design ideas from concept to market, experience that she brings to her classroom instruction.  In addition to teaching at Hope, she currently works professionally as an art director, designer and consultant through Grand Rapids-based Stephanie Milanowski Design, which she established in 1999.  Her emphases include digital media products as well as products and design for paper and giftware industries, corporate collateral, identity packages, annual reports, brochures, books, catalogs, and commissioned drawings for corporate and private collections and exhibition displays.

She teaches introductory and advanced design classes at the college.  She has involved her students in preparing projects for local businesses and organizations to provide authentic experiences in bringing client-oriented assignments from initial planning through implementation.  During 2009-10, such opportunities ranged from a competition to design a new beverage and promotional campaign for Lemonjello's in downtown Holland to preparing the 122-page booklet for the college's annual Celebration of Undergraduate Research and Creative Performance.

Prior to establishing her own firm, Milanowski was a senior graphic designer with Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company in Grand Rapids for three years.  Her previous teaching experience includes courses in graphic design at Grand Valley State University, the University of Michigan and Wayne State University.

A West Michigan native, Milanowski enrolled in drawing and life drawing courses at Grand Rapids Community College while still a student at Ottawa Hills High School, from which she graduated in 1986.  She completed her B.F.A. in graphic design at Rhode Island School of Design in Providence in 1990, and an M.F.A. in graphic design at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor in 1995.  Her academic training also includes graduate work in graphic design in Brissago, Switzerland.

Recognition that she has received for her work includes being voted Best Designer in "Grand Rapids Magazine's" Home and Design Annual in 2003, and first place in the 1999 National Billboard Competition of the Community Action Network Media and Corporate Awards of New York City.  This year, she has had a piece included in the July 3-September 18 "Regional Juried Sculpture Exhibition" of the Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum of Saginaw Valley State University.  Fellowships and awards that she received in support of her academic work included the National Graphic Arts Fellowship in 1994-95.

The Howard R. and Margaret E. Sluyter Endowed Professorship was established in the latter 1980s by Margaret E. Sluyter.  Her husband, Dr. Howard R. Sluyter, graduated from Hope in 1928 and had a distinguished career in business, and served as a member of the college's Board of Trustees from 1971 to 1986.  Through her life-long interest and involvement in interior design, Margaret Sluyter recognized the place of design in a liberal arts curriculum.

The professorship was previously held by its original appointee, Judy Hillman, from when she joined the faculty in 1989 until she retired in 2009.