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Four finalists named in search for ISU graphic design department chair

March 20, 2014


AMES, Iowa — Four finalists have been named in the search for the next chair of the Iowa State University Department of Graphic Design. They are:

  • Bernard Canniffe, graphic design department head, Ringling College of Art and Design, Sarasota, Fla.
  • Kate LaMere, associate professor of graphic design and assistant director of the School of Art and Design, East Carolina University, Greenville, N.C.
  • Debra Satterfield, associate professor and interim chair of graphic design, Iowa State University
  • Rob Wittig, assistant professor of graphic design, University of Minnesota, Duluth


LaMere visited campus March 10-12. The remaining finalists will be on campus during the last two weeks of March. Each candidate will speak and answer questions at a public presentation followed by a reception. Visit dates are:

  • March 24-25: Debra Satterfield; presentation 12 – 1 p.m. Monday, March 24, in room 130 Design
  • March 26-28: Robert Wittig; presentation 12:30 – 1:30 p.m. Thursday, March 27 in 130 Design
  • March 30 – April 2: Bernard Canniffe; presentation 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. Monday, March 31, in 130 Design


In addition, candidates will meet informally with faculty, staff and students in the Design building during their visits. Evaluation forms will be available at each session and also online; completed forms should be returned by 5 p.m. Friday, April 4, to Betty Kepley or Jenn Wiederin in room 156 Design.

Bernard Canniffe
Canniffe currently is head of the Department of Graphic Design, Advertising Design and the Business of Art and Design at Ringling College of Art and Design, Sarasota, Fla. He also is a cofounder of Piece Studio social design studio and its academic arm, Blue Collar Design Theory. And he serves as an adviser on Project M, an intensive summer program for young graphic designers, writers, photographers and other creative professionals at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design.

Canniffe earned a bachelor of arts in graphic design with honors from the University of Wales, Newport, United Kingdom, in 1984, and a master of fine arts in graphic design from the Savannah College of Art and Design, Savannah, Ga., in 1999.

He taught graphic design at Savannah College of Art and Design (1995-2001) and Maryland Institute of College of Art, Baltimore (2001-2009), where he co-chaired the graphic design program (2002-2009), and was design chair at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design (2009-2013). Canniffe also held freelance design positions from 1993-1995, 1995-2001 and 2001-2007. He previously served as creative director for Dragonfly Design Consultants Ltd. in the United Kingdom (1989-1991) and Pritchard Corporation in Davenport, Iowa (1992-1993).

Canniffe's award-winning work has been published in Baltimore Style, Communication Arts, Good, Graphis, How, Print and Print Regional Design Annual, Step and Step Regional Design Annual, and design magazines in South Korea and Indonesia, among many others.

Kate LaMere
LaMere currently is an associate professor and area coordinator of graphic design, and associate director of the School of Art and Design at East Carolina University, Greenville, N.C. She earned a bachelor of fine arts in graphic design from Iowa State University in 1996, and a master of arts (2004) and doctorate (2006) in design from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.

LaMere was a graphic designer and webmaster for David Evans and Associates, Inc., Portland, Ore., from 1996 to 2000. She served as editorial director of AIGA Raleigh in 2007 and as the organization’s education director from 2007 to 2009.

LaMere's work has been published in The Big Book of Green Design (Crescent Hill Books, 2009), Creative Quarterly 15, American Graphic Design Awards and Packaging Design. She is a member of the Design Research Society, Design Studies Forum and AIGA (American Institute of Graphic Arts).

Debra Satterfield
Satterfield currently is an associate professor of graphic design and interim chair of the graphic design department at Iowa State University. She also is a faculty member of the ISU graduate program in human computer interaction. She earned a bachelor of science in computer science and graphic art from Morningside College, Sioux City, Iowa, in 1986, and a master of fine arts in graphic design from Iowa State in 1991.

Satterfield previously taught at Arkansas State University, Jonesboro (1991-1998); Memphis College of Art, Memphis, Tenn. (1994-1998), and Simpson College, Indianola, Iowa (1998-1999).

Satterfield is founder and co-director of the Design Information Research Group and In-Site Research Group at Iowa State. She has received funding from the American College Health Association Koster Insurance Grant for Innovative Practices in College Health and Frito Lay Corporation as well as numerous ISU sources. She is a member of the Design Research Society, Association for Computing Machines Special Interest Group in Computer Human Interaction and International Society for Autism Research.

Rob Wittig
Wittig currently is an assistant professor of graphic design at the University of Minnesota, Duluth. Since 1994 he has served as a communications design and strategy consultant with clients including Chicago Public Radio, Detroit Institute of Arts, Houghton Mifflin, Incognito Design, International Development Research Council and Detroit Institute of Arts, among others.

Wittig earned a bachelor of arts in Russian language and literature with a concentration in art history from the University of California, Santa Cruz, in 2003 (coursework completed in 1978), and a master's degree in digital culture (equivalent to a U.S. master of fine arts) from the University of Bergen, Norway, in 2011. He received a Fulbright Scholarship to Paris in 1987 to study technical, artistic and theoretical aspects of creating visual/verbal literary works with online publishing technologies.

Wittig has been a visiting professor at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (1997-1998) and North Carolina State University (2001), and an instructor at the University of Illinois at Chicago (1998) and Illinois Institute of Technology (1993 and 1999). He was a founding partner of TANK20_studio (1998-2003), a strategist/designer with Thirst Design (1997-1998) and creative/research director with Ligature, Inc. (1988-1996).

Wittig is the author of Rude Trip: The Hamburg Chicago Literary Expedition (2001), Invisible Rendezvous: Connection and Collaboration in the New Landscape of Electronic Writing (Wesleyan University Press, 1994), and Invisible Seattle: The Novel of Seattle (Function Industries Press, 1987), as well as numerous "netprovs" (networked improvisational narratives), a new category of online collaborative authorship. He is a member of the American Institute of Graphic Arts, Electronic Literature Organization and Modern Language Association.

David Ringholz, Industrial Design (search committee chair), (515) 294-0454,
Jenn Wiederin, Design Human Resources, (515) 294-5703,
Heather Sauer, Design Communications, (515) 294-9289,