Designing Success: Reece Quiñones Recognized by AIGA DC and GD USA

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School of Art students, faculty, and staff already know that adjunct professor Reece Quiñones is an award-worthy teacher, mentor, and colleague. Early this year, two major design organizations decided to make it official, with Reece being named the recipient of the Fellow Award by AIGA DC and one of 2021’s People to Watch by Graphic Design USA (GDUSA).  

Through visual communications, designers have a powerful voice in speaking with and for those who have not yet been heard.

Reece Quiñones
Reece Quinones with School of Art students
Reece Quiñones with some of her School of Art students around 2019 Commencement ceremonies.

Reece cultivates this idea in the courses she teaches at Mason, which include Design Theory and Methods, UX Design, and Motion Graphics, among others. Acting as instructor, mentor, and coach, she motivates her students to critically review the design challenges and projects they encounter in class, thinking about how access and inclusion can be addressed from all aspects of their design process. Speaking about her approach in the classroom, Reece encourages her students to “build a strong foundation in the elements, principles, and theories of design and you will never wonder if you can solve a design problem—the question will be, how you will solve it.”

AIGA DC, the DMV-area chapter of the American Institute of Graphic Arts, was established in 1984 and now includes more than 800 registered members. The Fellow Award, which is given only once every few years, is designed to recognize the involvement and efforts of an awardee who truly goes above and beyond in their commitment to AIGA DC and mentorship and leadership in their field. Of choosing Reece as the 2021 Fellow Award recipient, the committee noted her extraordinary commitment to education and mentoring, design excellence, and supporting initiatives that build better designers and lives. Reece is an active member of AIGA DC, and has been a member of the AIGA DC Design Continuum Fund for more than 13 years. The Design Continuum Fund awards merit-based scholarships developed for minority and economically disadvantaged students studying art and design in colleges and universities in the Washington, D.C. region.

Reece Quinones with fellow School of Art and School of Theater faculty.
Reece Quiñones with fellow School of Art and School of Theater faculty from 2019 Commencement.

GDUSA’s recognition of “People to Watch,” published at the beginning of the year, highlights professional in the graphic design field who “embody the spirit of the creative community.” Since their founding in 1963, GDUSA has provided information and insights to the professional graphic design community and is one of the most well-respected publications in the industry. Their selections for inclusion in the annual “People to Watch” and “Students to Watch” lists rely on a combination of leadership, community service, talent, newsworthiness, influence, and success. GDUSA notes that the people recognized on their 2021 were able to “navigate an unprecedented and uncertain environment with grace, dignity, and intelligence.

Reece structures her teaching schedule around her full-time role as Senior Vice President/ Creative Director with The Hatcher Group in Bethesda, MD. Reece has more than 25 years of experience in the field, working with a vast range of clients to deliver compelling messages thorough brilliant creative work. On any given day, Reece can be found coordinating with client managers across 42 offices, mentoring and inspiring the creative team, and developing strategy to advance the goals of The Hatcher Group and their clients. Her expertise and professional experience make her an invaluable resource for Mason students in the School of Art, giving them access to of-the-moment, real-world industry knowledge and practices. In her free time, Reece also provides pro-bono design work for local organizations dedicated to advancing social justice issues. Please join us in congratulating Reece on the well-deserved recognition of her talent, dedication, and hard work!

By Emily Schneider