RIT designers honored as 'Top Talents' in global Adobe Awards

Jesse Wolfe

Visitors to Imagine RIT: Creativity and Innovation Festival 2019 interact with "Dröm," a collaborative rhythm experience RIT designers and developers were recognized for in the Adobe Design Achievement Awards.

A large group of students and recent alumni of RIT’s College of Art and Design were recognized for their design excellence as a global design competition honored the next generation of creative talent. 

Twenty-one RIT designers from five different programs, in addition to developers from Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences (GCCIS), achieved Top Talent status in the 2019 Adobe Design Achievement Awards. All Top Talent honorees — a selection of the top 5-10 percent of entrants from a pool of students from around the world — received a prize package to help launch their careers: a one-year subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud, A “Top Talent” badge to display on social media platforms, an Adobe website feature and yearlong opportunities to connect with Adobe. 

RIT’s Top Talent recipients were from Graphic Design, Industrial Design BFA, Industrial Design MFA, New Media DesignVisual Communication Design MFA and GCCIS programs Computer Science and New Media Interactive Development.

“From individual efforts and team-based projects to interdisciplinary capstones, the New Media Design (NMD) BFA and Visual Communication Design (VCD) MFA students strive to create solutions that meet the needs of our users through emerging technology,” said Adam Smith, associate professor and director of the NMD and VCD programs, which combined to see 18 students and recent alumni recognized as a Top Talent. “The Adobe Design Achievement Awards is a fantastic platform that selects and highlights the best of creativity from around the world and we are proud of our students for their achievements.”

RIT’s Top Talents created, as teams or individually, and submitted interactive experiences and products, animations, graphics and illustrations that solve complex design problems. The honored students/alumni and their projects are below:

Digital Products and Experience

“Ally: An App for Refugees”

Morgan Merrick ’19 (Industrial Design BFA) 

Description: An app aimed at empowering refugees and providing assistance for refugee relocation.

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A shot of the Ally app in action
The "Ally" app by Morgan Merrick

“Confront your Microaggressions” 

Feifei Guo ’19 (Visual Communication Design) 

Description: Leverage technology to help people notice and rethink their microaggression behavior in real time and educate and inform them to interact better with each other.

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A look at Confront Your Agressions
"Confront Your Aggression" by Feifei Guo

“Dröm: A Collaborative Rhythm Experience” 

Grant Adams ’19 (New Media Design), Julia Epprecht ’19 (New Media Design), Matthew Lombardo ’19 (New Media Design), John Martel '19 (New Media Interactive Development), Cathryne Szczepanik ’19 (New Media Design), Ben Thorn '19 (New Media Interactive Development) and Maria White (New Media Design student)

Description: A percussion rhythm game that heightens the musical experience through stunning visualizations and engaging physical interactions. 

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“Embark | A Journey of Cultural Discoveries”

Dina Deng '19 (New Media Interactive Development), Haley King ’19 (New Media Design), Aditi Khazanchi ’19 (New Media Design), Justin Moniquette (New Media Interactive Development student), Lauren Schneider (New Media Design student), Sky Wan (New Media Interactive Development student) and David Zhao ’19 (New Media Design)

Description: An interactive experience that aims to inspire people to recognize and value diversity around them.

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Imagine RIT visitors enjoy Embark
Imagine RIT: Creativity and Innovation Festival 2019 visitors enjoy a turn on "Embark." By Elizabeth Lamark.


Colleen Albert ’19 (New Media Design), Amanda Ho ’19 (New Media Design), Stephen Cerbone (Computer Science student), Zoe Kniskern '19 (New Media Interactive Development), Andy Kukielka (New Media Interactive Development student), Luka Schulz ’19 (New Media Design), Bennett Schoonerman '19 (New Media Interactive Development) and Rebecca Wengert ’19 (New Media Design)

Description: A collaborative augmented reality experience that combines nostalgic game mechanics involving movement and teamwork.

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“Outfix Application”

Isha Mehta (Graphic Design student) 

Description: An app that improves one’s style in the most efficient way by making assembling outfits easy and fun.

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“Wooden Toy - International Dolls”

Yueyue (Zoey) Zhang ’19 (Industrial Design MFA) 

Description: Sets of wooden children’s toys inspired by different cultures. 

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Motion Graphics and Animation

“Jacked In”

Will McCloskey (New Media Design student)

Description: A short animation that aims to capture the essence of a futuristic style known as “Cyberpunk.”

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Huzehui Xia ’19 (Visual Communication Design) and Rundong Wang ’19 (Visual Communication Design)

Description: A surrealist, animated short film expressing satire and self-examination on Beijing’s typical social issues by depicting the illusion future of the city.  

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Print and Graphic


Shuaiqi Xiong ’19 (Visual Communication Design) 

Description: An experimental project based on the dynamic posters of the six developmental stages of self-awareness as they unfold from the moment of birth.

Learn more >

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