Vanessa Cruz, a former Fulbright scholar to Ireland and Austria, has won our logo competition! Her design (shown above) will be used for the rest of the year to celebrate the 70th Anniversary of the founding of the Fulbright Program.
Vanessa has had a prestigious creative career, earning an MFA in Experimental Animation from the California Institute of the Arts as well as a BFA in Film, Video and Animation from the Rhode Island School of Design. After ten years working for studios such as 20th Century Fox and Film Roman (in addition to producing her own independent films), Vanessa is now a Professor of Graphic Design and Digital Media at the University of North Florida.
“Both Ireland and Austria have changed me as a person, an educator, and an artist. I will be forever grateful to the Fulbright Program for choosing me to be a part of it all”
Vanessa received the Fulbright scholar award in 2012 and went to Ireland to conduct research for her media project “RUIN.” She describes the experience of living in Dublin and traveling through the remote countryside as having brought about a major shift in the focus of her research, leading her to forge close friendships with the local people and hear their personal stories. Vanessa now conducts a biannual trip to Ireland for her North Florida students.
A second Fulbright specialist award in 2014 took Vanessa to Austria, where she taught MFA and BFA students at the Fachhochschule in St. Pölten. While there she taught new techniques and ideas to her students and returned to UNF with new ideas and pedagogies of her own.
Vanessa describes her Fulbright experience as changing her as a person, educator and artist. We’re thrilled to have her talents on board to help us celebrate this important milestone in the Program’s history.