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GIT students turn project into real-world experience

February 07, 2014 8:30AM

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L-R: Jeremy Martinous and Chuckie Payne Hessong, of Naked Fruit Company, with student Sherissa Callarman and assistant professor Andrea McConnaughey.

Sherissa Callarman was done with Page Layout Software.

It was a fall semester course. She completed the projects, took the tests and earned the credits. She was done.

“And here she is still working on a project we started last November,” said assistant professor Andrea McConnaughey.

That’s because what started as a class project has turned into real-world design experience for Callarman and her fellow graphic design majors, Kaitlynn Casaert and Audrey Dighans. Together, the students are designing a professional brochure for the local Naked Fruit Company.

“They do great work,” said Naked Fruit Company’s Jeremy Martinous. “We were pleasantly surprised by the quality of the product developed by the students. We couldn’t help but ask them to work with us and design our Fruitorama Fundraising brochure.”

Callarman, who had never used Adobe InDesign before taking the course, said she was happy to continue working on the project even after the semester ended.

“It’s not good to start something and not finish it,” she said. “Yeah, the class was over and we could have just quit and focused on other things. But this was a great opportunity for us to gain actual, professional experience.”

McConnaughey said the opportunity came about after she assigned class groups a project to design different products for local business “clients.”

“Naked Fruit Company was one of the companies that worked with us, and after they saw the students’ work, they wanted to make it more than just a class project,” she said. “They liked what the students developed and wanted to use it.”

Dighans said she was “excited” for the chance to work more on the project.

“I thought we were doing a nice job with it, and it’s really cool that Naked Fruit Company liked our work so much that they wanted to use it,” she said. “It’s a great feeling to get actual real-world experience while still in college.”

Casaert said she and the other students felt a slight bit of added pressure after learning that the brochure would be used by the company.

“It’s one thing when you’re doing something for a grade,” she said. “It’s totally different when you’re working on something and you need to please the customer. Your focus changes, and you get a little more serious about the work.”

©2014 Pittsburg State University