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Student Spotlight

Sabra Cantu: Designs on the Future

April 16, 2013

Thanks to the efforts of students like Sabra Cantu, the Civil War came alive during a spring 2013 celebration in nearby Christoval.

A senior communication major and member of ASU’s Graphic Design Club, Cantu joined with fellow club members and other students from graphic design classes to create Civil War-themed posters and publicity materials to help Christoval celebrate the dedication of a monument at a city park first known as the Confederate Reunion Grounds.  For decades after the Civil War, the park hosted reunions attended by both Confederate and Union veterans and their families.

“It was to recognize the last gathering of Civil War veterans, both Confederate and Union sides, which reunited brothers who were against brothers,” Cantu said.  “For them to come together like that was kind of jaw-dropping.”

“That’s something that the Graphic Design Club members, as well as the students in the graphic design class, have been privileged to be part of,” she added.  “It’s been interesting to look at some of the old photos from Christoval and that era, and to build the posters.”

The materials created by Cantu and the other students helped the Revitalize! Christoval group promote the celebration, while the posters debuted in the community’s Pioneer Museum the afternoon of the dedication.  The project also gave the students valuable experience to put on their résumés.

“It’s so great to be part of any kind of collaborative group of people, because you never know who you are going to meet.”

Sabra Cantu

Similar projects assigned to his students by Edwin Cuenco, assistant professor of art, to help out other local nonprofit groups actually led to the formation of the Graphic Design Club.

“We love working on projects,” Cantu said.  “Professor Cuenco had us doing a lot of nonprofit organizations projects, like producing materials for the animal shelter and for a contest from a nonprofit organization in Italy.  About four or five of us said we would love to do this on a continual basis outside the classroom, so we passed around a sign-up sheet for the club, and here we are.”

Initially drafted as the club’s public relations officer, Cantu is thrilled she took the position.

“I didn’t want to dedicate myself to something I wasn’t sure I had the time to do,” Cantu said.  “Now that I have, I am really starting to see my time and efforts pay off.  It’s always an incredible feeling to see your artwork around campus and even around town.”

 Though she was first exposed to graphic design in a class at San Angelo Central High School, Cantu did not seriously consider it as a career option until she had already been studying advertising and public relations at ASU for a couple of years.  Now, she has found something she enjoys that is also a pathway to her future.

“I always tell people I fell into it a little late,” she said, “but I didn’t really because I hit it right at a good peak in my college career.  I decided I really needed to pursue it, and since I already had too many hours in communication to change my major, I changed my minor to graphic design.”

A six-week internship with a San Angelo advertising agency and a lot of time spent on projects in the ASU graphics lab have further confirmed for Cantu that graphic design is what she wants for a career.

“I took off with it,” she said.  “It had been three or four years since I had taken that class in high school, and everything I had learned was gone.  I didn’t know what I was doing, but it just kind of came naturally.”

Working on projects for classes and the Graphic Design Club is also helping Cantu and other students make valuable contacts, including San Angelo’s chapter of the American Advertising Federation, that could help them after they graduate.

 “Life is a big world of connections,” Cantu said.  “It’s so great to be part of any kind of collaborative group of people, because you never know who you are going to meet.”

At a Glance

  • Hometown
    San Angelo

    Major
    Communication
    Graphic Design Minor

    Classification
    Senior

    Graduation
    Spring 2014

    Activities
    Graphic Design Club
    Zumba Instructor

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