Majoring in graphic design has taught Nicole Cassano that drawing is not just fun. It is also a career.

by Cecil Harris

“From drawing stuff out of the newspaper to working at Redbook and saying, ‘Yeah, I can actually do this.'”––Nicole Cassano


Nicole Cassano smiles when she reflects on her journey, from drawing sketches of Garfield and other comic book characters at her kitchen table to landing an internship through Adelphi University at the venerable women’s magazine Redbook in midtown Manhattan.

“It’s funny because I didn’t start off wanting to do graphic design––I had the wrong idea of it,” said Ms. Cassano, a senior from Deer Park, New York. “I thought graphic design was just people sitting in a cubicle all day, staring at a computer. But it’s a creative process. I love it.”

Majoring in graphic design in the Department of Art and Art History at Adelphi has taught Ms. Cassano that drawing is not just fun. It is also a career in which she can find her niche.

“I’m glad I chose Adelphi instead of an art school because Adelphi gives me more options,” she said. “I didn’t want to go to Fashion Institute of Technology and take only art courses. I wanted to learn other things and be well rounded. Adelphi has helped me do that.”

Adelphi’s two-year intensive graphic design program requires students to apply for an internship in their senior year. Ms. Cassano searched online and secured an internship for Spring 2014 at Redbook, which is published in the iconic Hearst Tower on West 57th Street.

“I knew I wanted to do something in the editorial field because that’s my design style,” Ms. Cassano said. “The first time I walked into the Hearst Tower, it felt surreal. From drawing stuff out of the newspaper to working at Redbook and saying, ‘Yeah, I can actually do this.’”

Dale Flashner, M.A. ’84, the director of Adelphi’s graphic design program in the College of Arts and Sciences, has no doubt that Ms. Cassano will continue to learn and grow.

“Nicole has dedication and drive and, above all else, an amazing work ethic,” Ms. Flashner said. “I know I can always count on Nicole.”

Ms. Cassano, who interns at Redbook on Thursdays and Fridays, is making valuable contacts that should serve her well after college.

“Everybody collaborates at Redbook—you see every step of the creative process,” she said. “And working in New York City is exciting. That’s where the action is. I’m glad Adelphi’s program makes internships a requirement. Being able to network and collaborate with people in New York City is the best thing for an up-and-coming artist.”

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