Graphic Design + Digital Media BFA

Graphic Design + Digital Media BFA

Faculty + Alumni



Catharin Eure

Chair of Graphic Design

RISD - Rhode Island School of Design

I was born in Washington D.C. and lived in Europe and the United States. After graduating from the Rhode Island School of Design with a BFA in Graphic Design, I headed to New York to create work for clients including CBS, Revlon, Avon, Gucci, and CBS International. I relocated to Miami to produce creative for CBS International and Columbia Records. In Miami, my focus extended to new media and video development. I was lucky to work and learn form international producers and to win a Telly Award. In addition my programs have appeared on the Lifetime Channel, Nova, and the Discovery Channel.

Prior to coming to California, I was Director of Marketing and Creative Services for Delta Airlines, responsible for all leisure division marketing and corporate media. Currently, in addition to teaching, I am principal and CEO of a brand and design firm named X-ist which developed the presidential campaign for General Wesley Clark. Other clients include DeLoitte & Touche and Honeywell Aerospace. X-ist has a long history of working with new technology companies pioneering alternate energy solutions. X-ist has been chosen as the design firm to work on the brand and identity development of hydrogen gas stations for Russia, China and the U.S.

We have also been awarded the project of creating the brand for the new restaurant at Bloomingdales/South Coast Plaza that will debut in Fall 2008, and the related product packaging that will appear in the Bloomingdale’s Home Store in early 2009. X-ist is proud to employ alumni from the Laguna College of Art and Design.

Dana Herkelrath

B.F.A. Art Center College of Design | M.F.A. California State University Long Beach

Dana Herkelrath earned a B.F.A. with honors in Graphic Design and Packaging from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California and an M.F.A. in Graphic Design from California State University Long Beach. Ms. Herkelrath has been teaching graphic design courses for over fifteen years. She has been faculty at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena and Art Center Europe in Switzerland. She has taught courses at University of New Mexico, CSULB and been a guest lecturer at La Sierra University.

Ms. Herkelrath is the principal of Herkelrath Communication Design, a boutique firm specializing in Design and Development of Corporate Identity, Branding, Environmental Graphic Design, Packaging, Retail Merchandising, Marketing, Interactive media and Public Awareness Campaigns. Her client list includes Fortune 500 companies in the field of entertainment, medical care, urban community development, education, publishing, hospitality, real estate, and international aid organizations.

Ashlyn Pentoney

My main passions in life are graphic design, teaching, and my family. I have been working as a graphic designer for over 15 years and have been with LCAD since 2001. Developing work for print has been my main focus. I enjoy the entire process, from the creation of the original concept through to the production of the final art, all aspects coming together as a tangible piece in my hands. Being a designer brings me almost as much joy as teaching does. I truly enjoy the learning environment, the students, and the knowledge I receive from them.


Xun Chi

MFA Purdue

Xun (Michael) Chi is an associate professor of visual communication at Laguna College of Art & Design.  At LCAD, Xun teaches a variety of classes including Graphic Design 1 and 2, Fundamentals of Graphic Design, Composition and Color, Internet Design 2, Maya 3D Animation, Digital Photography, and more. Xun co-taught LCAD’s NIKE-sponsored studio course, created the International Collaboration Project with the Communication University China, and curated the LCAD/CUC exhibition.

Xun Chi holds an MFA degree in Visual Communications Design from Purdue University and a medical degree from Tianjin Medical University in China, where his design works achieved nationwide academic recognition. His photography has been featured in various newspaper and magazines including Harper’s Bazaar China. Xun’s photography can also be found on LCAD’s website, catalogs, and other promotional materials.


Dan Jensen


Dan Jensen is the former Creative Director of Paul Frank Industries home of Julius the Monkey. Dan is currently running his own design company called MIXTUS where he focus on web development, motion graphics and design. He has been passionately working in design for over 20 years. Dan has produced work for Capitol Records, Warner Brother Records, Radiohead, Coldplay, Snoop Dog and many other artists.  He has held creative direction roles at Paul Frank, Stirstick Interactive, Groove Productions, and Daily Bread Magazine.  Dan has been teaching 3D, web design and motion graphics at Laguna College over the past 15 years.  He has also taught courses in Actionscripting and flash at the University of Southern California Irvine.  Dan enjoys challenging students to master different technologies and to maximize their creative potential.  Being a former alumni he can relate to the path that students are traveling.


Matt Frantz

Matt Frantz received a Master of Fine Arts degree is from California State University, Fullerton and his BFA from Miami University. In a teaching career spanning over a decade, Mr. Frantz has taught classes in digital imaging, drawing, graphic design, illustration, internet design, multimedia, photography, and video. He has worked as a technical trainer for teachers, a freelance tutor and consultant, and workshop host, in addition to rewriting courses, developing curriculum, and advising. He holds software certifications from Adobe and Apple.

Mr. Frantz brings to LCAD over a decade of experience in the fine and commercial arts worlds – working with a variety of digital tools and traditional media. Most of Mr. Frantz’s personal work incorporates a variety of traditional processes and media – for example, his most recent bodies of work include ink on paper, alternate process photography, and photo transfer paintings. He also produces experimental musical compositions and soundscapes.


David Vargo

Part-time Instructor








I was born and raised in the small town of Erie, Pennsylvania. Being the son of factory workers, I wasn’t surrounded by art. However, everyone in my family had an intense creative streak. My mother decorated cakes and ceramic ornaments. My uncle Robert was my biggest art influence. He introduced me to the world of Science Fiction and Fantasy illustration. In high school I found that I could draw rapidly. This gave me the ability to fully realize all the mysterious and crazy things that dwelt in my head. In my junior year I was introduced to painting. This catapulted my visions into another realm. After serving my country as an infantryman in the United States Marine Corps, I realized that the creative side of my brain wanted to stretch its muscles. I found that my greatest love of art was as a visual storyteller. So, naturally, I set out to become an illustrator. I enrolled fulltime at the Laguna College of Art and Design. I did well in college, capturing a few awards in competitions. While in art school I supplemented my income by making and selling portraits and small-scale illustrations. I earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine arts in Illustration from LCAD. I took a year off and found that I wanted to pursue painting even further. I enrolled into an MFA program and earned my Master’s Degree in Fine Arts in Illustrationfrom from California State University at Long Beach. During this time I found another love, teaching. From all my time at school I learned that the artistic/academic environment contains an energy that is found in few places. I love seeing the “light-bulb” light up on a student when they discover an important artistic facet. Often I find myself on the receiving end of the wonderful experience of learning. This is my attraction to education: the sharing of knowledge. The materials and techniques that I use continue to evolve, but I am at heart a traditional painter. I continue to pursue illustration and continue to teach and learn from students in my classes.


Maggie Rossoni

M.F.A., M. A., B.F.A., California State University Fullerton



While completing her education in California, Maggie developed an interest in the study of symbols and their cultural significance. This experience was enhanced during Maggie’s several trips to Europe. These journeys inspired poster exhibitions where she refined her genre of poster design emphasizing in semiotics and conceptual design.

Maggie has been teaching for several years and has taught courses in visual communications, advertising, multimedia and graphic design. She has also taught students how to write dissertations, thesis, and has been a professional examination committee member. Maggie is mostly proud of the fact that her students have published their work in important design books and magazines and have won international competitions.

Maggie has worked for several advertising agencies, design and package design studios in California; including Toshiba and Pioneer. Currently she is the CEO of The Creative Spell. Working with clients like The Boy Scouts of America, Overture Displays and CFR and Co.; The Creative Spell specializes in marketing and design including packaging design, editorial design, branding, logo design, advertising, web design and multimedia.

Maggie is currently faculty member at LCAD and enjoys sharing personal and professional experiences with her students while motivating them to enlighten their lives through education.

Bahador Shojapour

BFA Graphic Design


UI Lead, Digital Product Design

I’ve been working professionally for nearly a decade. Early on, I worked at a design agency in Tehran, Iran. There, I focused on print and multimedia projects while also being exposed to Iranian typography. After that, I focused more and more on interactive design. I spent several years at POSSIBLE (formerly known as Schematic), making mistakes and trying to hone my skills. Currently, I’m the User Interface Lead for Product Design at DIRECTV.  My job is comprised of working with and directing a team of UI designers, and collaborating with numerous teams (User Experience, Engineering, Content, Project Management, …) to both create new and enhance current digital products for DIRECTV.

My years at LCAD were some of the best years of my life. Enjoy your time there and make sure you leave with no regrets. Get the most out of every class and connect with your instructors. When you leave, and you’re sitting at your desk at work in 4 years time, you’ll miss it.

Todd Novak

Class of 1998

BFA in Graphic Design

Creative Director


Since entering the professional world I have had the great opportunity to work on around 40 different brands, most of which have been fortune 500’s. More importantly, my role has allowed me go beyond the design by creating creative strategies and campaigns, manage creative teams, and mentor emerging designers.

I am currently a Creative Director at Resource in Columbus, Ohio embarking on work for a new set of clients after finishing a 4 year role overseeing the digital creative and strategy work for Proctor & Gamble’s hair care and color division.

5 Most important things I learned from LCAD (and am still working on!)

  • Soak it up– knowledge is all around you not just in the instructors. Learn from everyone.
  • Shake it off– failure will come but what you do with it will help define your character as a creative
  • Zag – when others are zigging provide the alternative vision
  • Show up with guns blazing– push to create things that others are trying to match up to
  • Mind yourself – if you are a jerk your talent will be overshadowed. Be someone others speak highly of and look up to. Humility goes a very long way.


I found my break in 2001 when I landed the lead creative role for an agency who nabbed the Mitsubishi Motors Account.

I left Southern California for Minneapolis in 2006 seeking a new creative ceiling and a new environment. My creative range grew as I shifted to consumer packaged goods for General Mills, Purina and Nestle.  After four years I left again for Columbus Ohio for my position at Resource. If you read this far you are probably still stuck on why I ever left So Cal.


Peiter Hergert

BFA Graphic Design


Sayer Danforth

Class of 2004

BFA in Graphic Design and Multimedia

Independent Video Director

Born and Raised in Denver CO, Sayer was a child of the arts. He caught on early at being able to draw, paint, and use his imagination. His mother enrolled him in weekend art classes which he took up until middle school. He built a plethora of skills in the arts through the years. It started with drawing and painting, which led him to metal smithing and jewelry, then to video camera and finally the computer for graphic design. Though all are still fields of art he operates in, his love for videography has been his main area of expertise. He got his first video camera at the age of 14 so he could make skate videos with his friends. Combining all of his passions together brought him into his college years where he got a BFA in graphic design and multimedia. Since college his video camera has taken him to many places in the world working for very well known clients (Paul Frank, Kawasaki, Mazda and Subaru) and still being able to design and make art. “Making art and being creative is all I ever wanted to do.”



View more of Sayer’s work at

Bryan Medway
Creative Director at Kindle – Amazon
Class of 2001


Clint Shaner
Senior Graphic Designer at NIKE
Class of 2002


Justin Arnold
Interactive Art Director at Apple
Class of 2004


Seth Cheshire
Design Consultant at Facebook 
Class of 2005


Francisco Magana
Digtial Art Director at Hurley 
Class of 2010


Vannessa Lopez
Designer at Disney Interactive
Class of 2011


Courtney Maya George
Visual UI/UX Designer at Adobe
Class of 2012


Laura Mae Findley
Designer at L’Oreal 
Class of 2012


Emily Smith
Creative Designer at Live Nation
Class of 2012


Amber Jepsen
Asst. Graphic Designer at NIKE
Class of 2013


Katherine Elliot
Brand Designer at Hurley 
Class of 2013


Renee Granillo
Designer at Column 5 
Class of 2013


Randy Lopez
Eperience UI Designer at Xperience 
Class of 2013


Christopher Sommers
Footwear Designer at Vans
Class of 2014


Victoria Boering
Brand/Business Designer at WATG
Class of 2014