After a semester at SUNY Fredonia where senior Joanna Duell tried her hand at music education - she described the experience as a “super exploit” of the piano students, as she was playing and accompanying for 16 hours per day - she transferred to Geneseo to pursue math education, keeping music as a hobby.
It was the music evaluation at Fredonia, where she said she “felt like it was weird to be graded on such a gray area,” that prompted Duell to choose math because of its “black-and-white” qualities.
Duell will student teach next semester to finish her education degree; however, she said her “first love” is graphic design.
She started dabbling in graphic design after a friend at Rochester Institute of Technology exposed her to various graphic design computer programs. Since her sophomore year, Duell has worked in Computing & Information Technology, interned at Student Association Graphics, taught workshops and freelanced for almost every department on campus as well as the Genesee Sun.
Her recognizable works include the “Show Your True Face” Halloween posters, Cothurnus’ “Romeo and Juliet” flyers and the Chowhound, which she helped with during its final stages. The experience, she said, taught her everything she knows now.
Duell said that, after graduation, she hopes to continue in graphic design and work alongside Keith Walters, ‘11, Geneseo’s college photographer, previous business administration major, former assistant photo editor for The Lamron and Duell’s fiancé of just short of three weeks. Walters popped the question at the Oct. 13 fall a cappella concert - appropriate, as the two joined Between the Lines at the same time in January 2011, when Duell was a sophomore and Walters was a senior.
What’s “kind of embarrassing,” Duell said, is that their relationship “started at the [Inn Between Tavern]” where Duell and Walters danced, as friends, for the first time.
Walters serenaded Duell in front of a packed and ogling crowd in Newton 202 with Ingrid Michaelson’s “You See the Light in Me,” a duet originally sung between Michaelson and her husband and a song that Duell and Walters sing together as well. Duell accepted as Walters revealed a ring containing her grandmother’s diamond. D
uell said that, although she expected a proposal sometime before Christmas, she didn’t expect it to happen that night.
“A cappella was what brought us together,” Duell said. “He couldn’t have done it in a more perfect way.”
Tying the knot between graphic design and photography, Duell and Walters designed a menu for Duff’s Famous Wings in Clarence, N.Y., one of which is owned by Duell’s brother. With statistical evidence of heightened success following the menu change, she said that they plan to present their work to area restaurants in hopes of pursuing collaborative design as a business endeavor. But Duell said she hasn’t abandoned the education route.
Considering her upcoming student teaching, Duell said, “There’s a chance that I will hate it. But there’s also the chance that I’ll love it,” the latter which she said could push her more toward education.
“What would be ideal is if I could teach graphic design,” she added. Duell said Walters hopes to continue his career as college photographer, and he also has plans to open a portrait studio to further develop his wedding photography.
“I would like to learn about photography and join him,” Duell said, adding that he gives her lessons but also admitting that her Canon camera is no match for his impressive array of equipment.