Chabot College Students Win Inspire Oakland

Chabot College Students Win Inspire Oakland Design Challenge

Gwen Thompson and Gracie Ramirez designed billboards for a nonprofit, BRIDGEGOOD. Judges include designers with Salesforce, Twitter, Etsy, and Facebook.

Written by Bea Karnes, Staff. 

HAYWARD, CA — Chabot College students Gwen Thompson and Gracie Ramirez were selected as winners of BRIDGEGOOD‘s billboard design challenge, along with four other students from other colleges.

Their designs will be displayed on billboards and bus benches across Oakland, plus each will receive a certificate of achievement and a cash award.

Designs were judged by a panel of creative professionals from around the Bay Area, including designers with Salesforce, Twitter, Etsy, and Facebook, among others.

Thompson said it was an honor for her to participate in the competition and to represent Chabot College and the instructors and staff who have helped her along the way.

“For me, this win highlights the hard work I’ve been able to do during the pandemic as things slowed down, which allowed me the space to focus solely on my graphic design coursework,” Thompson said.

“Chabot College has an amazing group of instructors who push us as artists to dig deeper, which enables us to take our work to the next level. I’m forever grateful to Chabot’s Graphic Design program for challenging my creativity in a way that has allowed me to make work I am super proud of.”

Ramirez agreed, and added that the college has supported her and made it possible for her to grow in her creativity.

“Winning the BRIDGEGOOD design award is one of my biggest accomplishments in life,” she said. “Chabot has been a vital place for me to continue dreaming and working to achieve my goals.”

Tim Jonas, Digital Media Arts instructor at Chabot College, said the college is invested in these emerging fields and finding ways to help students succeed within them.

“I think our program is special, because it not only provides students with the technical and theoretical skills, but an opportunity to really apply those skills and express ideas through hands-on, creative projects,” he said. “Classes like Chabot Design Studio help provide ‘real world’ problem-solving experiences for students. We offer certificates and associate programs in graphic design and film, and an animation certificate, too.”

Jonas said all of the Digital Media Arts students at Chabot “really showed dedication and heart and I’m really proud of them.”

“It doesn’t matter where you come from or your background,” he said. “We all have a voice and can express it and connect with one another through digital arts and design.”

Four other Chabot College students —Jessica Romick, Elisa Feng, Simran Singh and Gail Martinez — were named in BRIDGEGOOD’s top 22 finalists out of more than 500 entries.

Gwen Thompson's "Solidarity & PRIDE" Inspire Oakland Design (2021).
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