Break the rules. Be different. Don’t follow a preset convention. Innovate. Don’t think. Don’t settle. Drive. Explore. Learn. Climb higher. Fall. Design for fun. Work for money. Curse. Don’t just hear, listen. Compliment. Compromise. Love. Live. Stand true. Recognize good. Accept failure. 

N. McMillan, Assistant Professor of Art Texas A&M University–Corpus Christi

N. McMillan, Assistant Professor of Art
Texas A&M University–Corpus Christi

What is a Designer?

Place a designer in a room of people who know very little about design and you will find yourself in a room filled with graphic designers. With the proliferation of the personal computer and the availability of the Adobe Creative Suite and other desktop publishing software, everyone believes they are a graphic designer. However, remove the word “graphic” from the title and you become a specialized individual who focuses on multiple tasks and works to deliver smart and precise solutions. For design is much more about the process than it is about the actual artifact that is produced. In percentages the artifact accounts for, at most, five percent of the creative process. A designer must approach each design as a creative challenge and work his or her way through the task. It is designer’s responsibility to be an expert in every field; we take on the role of investigator, asking questions and researching until we have found all the necessary answers. We must be an anthropologist, understanding the sensitivities of different people and cultures. A designer is much more than an individual who creates logos and brochures; we are active participants and interpreters of life.

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Savannah College of Art and Design [SCAD] :: Savannah, GA 
08/2010 :: MFA in Graphic Design
Thesis :: Through the Eyes of Another: The Role of Multiple
Perspectives in Graphic Design Education

James Madison University :: Harrisonburg, VA
05/2000 :: BFA in Graphic Design

Savannah College of Art and Design [SCAD] :: Savannah, GA
01/2012–03/2012 :: Relevant Coursework
SDES 704 Applied Theory in Design
BUSI 710 Principles of Financial Management and Marketing

Academic Experience

Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi :: Corpus Christi, TX
Assistant Professor of Art, Graphic Design :: 01/2013–Present

Plan and coordinate lectures, projects, and schedules for up to six undergraduate and graduate level graphic design courses per academic year. Currently serving on the Instructional Technology and Distance Education Committee (ITDEC), as the faculty advisor to TAMUCCs AIGA student chapter, and have served on faculty search committees. Coauthored and conducted research for the recently approved Bachelor of Arts degree in Graphic Design as part of the School of Arts, Media and Communication (SAMC). Collaborating with university colleagues to write grants, essays, and other journal articles (all in progress) as well as continue to advance student development and involvement. Attend University, College and Departmental events.

Art Institute of Houston :: Houston, TX
Instructor of Graphic Design :: 01/2011–09/2012

Planned and coordinated lectures, projects, and schedules for five courses per 11 week quarter. Oversaw student development and involvement in the graphic design community at the Art Institute of Houston (AiH) and served as the associate sponsor to the AIGA student chapter. Wrote and oversaw the development of the curriculum for Sustainable Design Issues and Topics studio course. 

Courses Taught
Corporate Identity :: Studio
Graphic Design 1 :: Studio
Graphic Design 3 :: Studio
Interactive Design :: Studio
Package Design :: Studio
Typography :: Studio

Art Institute of Houston
Corporate Identity :: Studio
Digital Imaging 1 :: Studio
Digital Portfolio :: Studio
Graphic Design Capstone :: Studio
History of Graphic Design :: Lecture
Layout Design :: Studio
Sustainable Design Issues and Topics :: Studio
Typography 1 :: Studio
Web Design 1 :: Studio
Web Design 2 :: Studio
Independent Studies :: Corporate Identity, Web Design 1 & 2

Student Accolades

Sydney Sanders :: 2015 Gold ADDY
2015 District 
Silver ADDY
American Advertising Federation-Corpus Christi
American Advertising Federation-District 10

Cyclone of Finesse Typeface Poster (Typography)

Second Floor Creative :: 2015 Gold ADDY
American Advertising Federation-Corpus Christi
University Galleries Redesign (Graphic Design 3)

Thi Nguyen :: 2015 Gold ADDY
American Advertising Federation-Corpus Christi
Eagan Typeface Poster (Typography)

Tina Lentz :: 2015 Gold ADDY, Special Judges Award
American Advertising Federation-Corpus Christi
Seasons Typeface Poster (Typography)

Monica Viveros :: 2015 Gold ADDY
American Advertising Federation-Corpus Christi
MOSAVI Typeface Poster (Typography)

Jonathan Garza :: 2015 Silver ADDY
American Advertising Federation-Corpus Christi
Google Glass Product Brochure (Graphic Design 1)

Ben Pedley :: 2015 Bronze ADDY
American Advertising Federation-Corpus Christi
Absinthe Movie Poster (Graphic Design 1)

Alyssa Garza :: 2015 Silver ADDY
American Advertising Federation-Corpus Christi
Play Again Classic Video Games Logo (Corporate Identity)

Alexander Ramirez :: 2014 Gold ADDY
American Advertising Federation-Corpus Christi
Anti-Childhood Obesity at School Campaign (Graphic Design 3)

Diana Carrigan :: 2014 Silver ADDY
American Advertising Federation-Corpus Christi
Yogi Chai Cup Collection (Packaging Design)

Héctor Marroquin :: 2014 Bronze ADDY
American Advertising Federation-Corpus Christi
Kingston USB Data Traveler (Packaging Design)

Hillary Vallejo :: 2014 Silver ADDY
American Advertising Federation-Corpus Christi
12 Monkeys Movie Poster (Graphic Design 1)

Raven Kim :: 2013 Graphis New Talent Annual
1000 Years of Memories Calendar
(Sustainable Design Issues and Topics)

Professional Experience

Creative Tantrum LLC :: Arlington, VA
Owner, Creative Director :: 01/2008–08/2008
Specialized in providing clients with a variety of creative services. Maintained all business and creative operations. Clients included: The History Factory, Trinity Episcopal Church, Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization, Health Blogs Observatory, Croatia.

The History Factory :: Chantilly, VA
Designer :: 02/2007–01/2008
Collaborated with the directors of various departments, other designers and junior staff to organize and complete projects. Required to keep assignments on schedule and under budget. Experienced in working with external contractors on a range of projects including exhibit and spacial design, intent drawings, video interface design and corporate communications.

Don Schaaf & Friends, Inc. :: Washington DC
Senior Designer :: 09/2005–01/2006
Effectively teamed with account executives to best communicate solutions to clients.

TGD Communications, Inc. :: Alexandria, VA
Senior Designer :: 10/2002–09/2005
Executed creative direction on multiple designs for a variety of clients. Managed all correspondence with clients including conference calls, e-mail correspondence and individual meetings. Required to keep all tasks on schedule and to inform managers of the overall status of projects during weekly production meetings.

Crabtree + Co :: Falls Church, VA
Junior Designer :: 09/2001–09/2002 

Grasp Creative :: Tysons Corner, VA
Junior Designer :: 07/2000–04/2001

Freelance Associations

Designer/Art Director :: Washington DC Metro Area,
Hampton Roads, VA, Corpus Christi, TX

04/2001–08/2008, 01/2011–Present
Clients included: Harbor Playhouse, Liles Harris Law Office, Professional Aviation Maintenance Association,
Pratt & Whitney, Techbooks. 
Design firms included: Touch Creative Group, Qorvis Communications, Studio Spark, Vizuäl Inc.




AIGA :: San Antonio Chapter :: Member :: 04/2010–Present
College Art Association :: Member :: 09/2010–09/2013


Nicholas brings a fresh perspective to the teaching staff at AIH. He is always happy to share any insight on anything design related. He is an active member of AIGA and encourages students to participate. He is easy to talk to and approachable which makes him a great professor and designer to work with.
Hugo Perez, Senior Designer at Adcetera
January 24, 2012

I work with Nicholas at the Art Institute of Houston teaching Graphic Design and enjoy his enthusiasm and thoroughness to his teaching and student involvement. He is co-sponsor of the Art Institute AIGA Student Group with me and has brought a new level of awareness to this organization. Nicholas works really hard at staying in touch with design and aesthetic awareness as it applies to education and professional applications so he has been a positive influence on both students and faculty at the Art Institute of Houston. 
Larry McEntire, Instructor, The Art Institute of Houston
August 30, 2011

Nicholas has a strong sense for design layout and composition. He is meticulous and pushes himself to excel at everything he does. He engaged in active discussion and provided feedback that was encouraging and critical at the same time. Nicholas’ penchant for writing and interest in diverse cultures gave birth to an extremely relevant thesis study and will lead the education system to a more relevant method of teaching international audiences. I would strongly recommend Nicholas as a design teacher or a designer, as he would prove to be a skilled member within any organization. 
Bhumika Shah, Senior Designer, Lowe World Wide
October 5, 2010


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