Academy of Art University Graduate Wins Eminent AIGA Enrichment Scholarship
Known for being dynamic leaders in the world of graphic design, Academy of Art University students
have been named winners of the prominent AIGA SF Enrichment Scholarship five times since
2000. More impressive is the fact that Academy students have secured this top spot for the
last three years in a row, with this year being no different. Proud of the caliber of artists
trained, the School of Graphic Design is pleased to announce that this year’s high honor was
awarded to recent graduate, Sumila Mehta.
Hailing from Bombay, India, Sumila moved to the colorful city of San Francisco in August of
2003. With a desire to deepen her studies in art and experience “life on the other side,” she
chose to pack up her belongings and head west to California and to the Academy.
“It was the work that came out of this university that really made me come here. All
the classes that are offered in the Graphic Design program seemed intense and it constituted
exactly what I was looking for,” shared Sumila.
With a passion for photography and the constant urge she felt to create design within her
photography, Sumila chose to pursue a BFA in graphic design. Knowing that the course would be
challenging, Sumila followed her dream with steadfast dedication, hard work, and hopeful optimism.
“I am very grateful for all the teachers that taught me through the whole process. I
found a mentor in both Mary Scott and Ed O’Brien. The knowledge I gained from them will always
remain with me no matter where I go.”
Her mentors’ influence was definitely apparent these last two months when not only did she
clench the impressive $3,000 AIGA award, having been selected for excellence in her work and her
strong academic achievement, but also garnered the Hallmark Award for Design Excellence at the 2008
“The Spring Show was an amazing experience as we got to talk about our work and get feedback
from designers working in the industry. It made the education as real as it can get,”
commented Sumila on her experience participating in the Spring Show.
Drawing on her real life experiences and inspired by the work of Paul Rand and Mahatma
Gandhi, Sumila created her senior portfolio with the intention of communicating a visual language
that could be understood across the world all the way from the East to the West and back.
Fortunately for her, the West understood her perfectly: she just recently accepted a job as Junior
Designer at the San Francisco-based design firm, Hybrid Design, where she will be working
side-by-side with her mentor, Ed O’Brien.
A radiant future shines ahead for Sumila, who encourages aspiring artists to “put your mind
and soul into whatever it is you find you love.” She certainly has.