Tell us about the organizations you are involved in outside of the classroom.
Right now I chair the accreditation committee for the Accrediting Council for Collegiate Graphic Communications (ACCGC). We accredit community college and university-level graphic communications degree programs across the nation. As accreditation chair, I am responsible for assembling the audit teams, coordinating reports, and assuring that our standards for accreditation are up to date.
I’m also chair of the Great Lakes Graphics Association Education (GLGA) Task Force. Our main work focus has been getting a new scholarship program off the ground. The Illinois Graphic Communications Scholarship Program (IGCSP) is in its second year and providing funds to over a dozen print-oriented graphic communications students.
You’ve written several industry training publications, including The New PrintScape: A Crash Course in Graphic Communications 3rd Edition. Do you plan to author any more books?
I had also authored the PIApress Bindery Training Curriculum, which is now more than 12 years old. There has been some talk of updating and converting that training program into an online learning format. That will likely be my next project.
One of your students who nominated you for this award said, “The two most important traits that Dr. Wilson possesses are his passion for the graphics industry and his dedication to his students. Nobody ever fell asleep in his class. He was able to relate everything we learned to real-life scenarios.”
How do you feel you are impacting the graphic communication professionals of tomorrow?
Recruitment of new people to make our industry a career has been an ongoing challenge. There has been a decline in print-oriented graphic communications programs at the high school and community college levels. This reduces the number of feeder schools to our university program. A student has to get “turned-on” to the industry somewhere and by somebody. Our program has a healthy enrollment. We maintain that through keeping the curriculum cutting edge with courses on cross-media technology, e-Publishing, Web development, package production, and 3D printing. Many of these topics attract new students who can see themselves having a career in our exciting industry, and we are able to admit many “internal transfers” (students already enrolled at ISU but looking for a new major).