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Getting to STLCC Creates a Future with MO Opportunities

Thursday, May 13, 2021


Allie Haycross“Well, like most people, my path was not what I envisioned.”

Raise your hand if you can relate.

Allie Holycross, a graphic communications student at St. Louis Community College-Meramec, is days away from graduating with an associate degree, yet her path to this moment began some time ago.

Her interest in graphic design started in high school when she was on the yearbook and newspaper staff.

“I originally joined because I enjoyed writing, but soon realized I was actually more interested in page layout,” she said.

Holycross, who is from Kansas, explained that she “started out by majoring in graphic design at the University of Kansas for a few years,” followed by a few jobs in production art. She left college, returned to her hometown for a time, then eventually moved to St. Louis.

A desire for a career that will allow her to create and design led Holycross to STLCC to finish college.

Holycross enrolled in January 2020, pre-pandemic. She was able to transfer credits from her previous college experience. A few weeks into the semester, STLCC transitioned to online learning for the health and safety of students, faculty and staff in the early days of uncertainty about COVID-19.

She was “unsure” about learning online. She describes herself as quiet and shy; yet said she was able to adjust to the online setting and found herself speaking up more.

Missouri Bicentennial
A class project in Graphic Design IV, taught by Michael Swoboda, challenged students to create a logo for the Missouri Bicentennial. As the state recognizes its 200th year, special events will be held through spring, summer and fall 2021, organized by the State Historical Society of Missouri.

Holycross’ designs caught the attention of the society.

“After the project was done, they contacted Mr. Swoboda and me with the hopes of using my designs to help promote the events this August,” said Holycross.

“My designs feature ‘punny’ slogans based on the state abbreviation for Missouri. It started with ‘200 years and MO to come’ for the main logo,” she explained. “My designs are full of bright colors because it is a birthday celebration.”

Holycross’ designs are on the bicentennial website to promote Statehood Day events in Columbia, St. Charles, Jefferson City and Sedalia. There are banners and save-the-date postcards, as well coloring sheets, stickers and bookmarks featuring her creativity.

State Fair logo design“I haven’t worked on anything to this scale,” Holycross said. “It’s an opportunity to have my work out there to be seen.”

Achieving a Goal
Now that Holycross is close to accomplishing her goal of a degree, she can reflect on what it means.

“I honestly don’t know if I can put it into words. I was very hesitant about going back to school, but I have loved my time at STLCC and I cannot say enough good things about the college,” Holycross said. “STLCC has been so welcoming at every step and such a positive experience. All of my teachers have had such positive attitudes and have been so supportive.”

What’s next for Holycross?

“I’m going to be applying for jobs, fingers crossed I will be able to land something creative with my new portfolio (full of STLCC projects) and previous work experience.”

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