SEGD Staff Introductions Sarah Miorelli, Communications Manager

SEGD Staff Introducations: Sarah Miorelli, Communications Manager

Read Time: 5 minutes

It takes a lot of coordination among staff members to keep SEGD running smoothly—and each one is dedicated to you, the 2,200 SEGD members from 35 different countries who gather in 34 local chapters. During the month of February, we would like to introduce you to each of the four SEGD staff, one per week. First up is Sarah Miorelli, SEGD’s Communications Manager.

SEGD
Hi Sarah! Can you give us some details about your role at SEGD?

SM
I started my tenure here in 2018, mostly creating graphics for the Annual, social media, and all of our event presentations and materials. Since last fall, my role evolved to become Communications Manager. Now I’m focused on working strategically with the team and our members to plan our content out for months in advance, as well as our outreach on social media, the weekly newsletter and the website. I’m also responsible for the “look and feel” of our external communications and that has been really enjoyable to collaborate with contributing SEGD Board Members, building a fresh new play off of our existing brand materials and the voice of the organization. All of these things are building bridges between our visual and communications for our organization and our community at large.

SEGD
When you first started at SEGD, were you only doing graphic design?

SM
Yes, my original position at SEGD was Graphic Design Assistant, so I was working purely on any graphics for the website or for our events. But now as Communications Manager, I’m helping to decide “What does this week look like in terms of social media?” “What do we need to promote this week?” "What stories are important to our community?" “Which member news can we share?” and things like that.

SEGD
What is your educational background? Did you study graphic design?

SM
Yes, I have a BFA in Graphic Design with a minor in Art History and Dance from SCAD. (Savannah College of Art and Design)

SEGD
And, so, what then drew you to SEGD?

SM
We had a brief introduction to SEGD from one of my professors, Stephan Geissbuhler, who is actually a member of SEGD. There’s one class in Exhibit & Experience Design at SCAD, and he teaches it. And Prof. Geissbuhler actually encouraged all of us to become members.  So, I had a brief introduction there.

Note: SEGD student memberships are only $30 and you get to attend all of the SEGD events for free!
 
SEGD
So you became a member, right? What was your journey to becoming part of the staff?

SM
I had a creative art direction internship at Disney, and although it was amazing, I was like “This is not what I want to be doing.” In school, I really loved art history and graphic design and I thought exhibit design was a good bridge between the two.

So, when I left California, I moved to Maryland, my home state. I was freelancing, and I was like “You know what? I’m going to become an SEGD member!” SEGD had an Exhibition & Experience event in the summer of 2018. So, I joined as a member, and I attended the event—and I could not believe how much I learned in one day! And as I was doing my job search over the next few months, I saw an opening at SEGD, and I thought “Oh, that would be a great foot in the door.” So, I applied, and here I am!

SEGD
Yes, and here you are! And in addition to graphic design and communications, I hear you are quite the organizer.

SM
Yes, I’m very detail oriented and organizationally focused—bordering on OCD a little bit—but it’s actually a good thing in this case because I can apply that strategically, helping to organize things here at SEGD. We have daily meetings, and I take detailed notes of what we need to do or the different ideas we imagine, so now we have an archive and can go back and check everything.

SEGD
How would you characterize SEGD culture? What do you like about working at SEGD?

SM
One thing I’ve always loved about SEGD is that it is warm and welcoming, almost like one giant family. You don’t often find that in the design field. My first time working an SEGD event was in 2019 at the Annual Conference in Austin, Texas. It was amazing meeting designers from firms I had admired for years. I even had a photo opp with Paula Scher, herself, after she was named that year’s Fellow. It was quite the experience for a young designer like me!

SEGD
So, outside of SEGD, what do you do for fun?

SM
I’ve been playing with watercolor painting since I graduated college. I’m definitely a hobbyist. I’m not a professional watercolor painter, but I did a small collection last year that I based on my internship in California. So, I try to do a lot of nature-inspired paintings, and I try to get outside as much as I can just to see nature or landmarks.

The collection consists of paintings inspired by Arches National Park, Joshua Tree, the Gateway Arch, La Jolla, CA, and the Colorado mountains. It was really interesting to explore each composition and the differences between the different landscapes.

I’d love to visit more museums, but I didn’t take that opportunity before the pandemic hit! I love going to museums. I love art history. I love seeing and learning about art. The Smithsonian Institution Associates offers a World Art History certificate program which I actually started; all their classes are online.

SEGD
And where do you see SEGD heading in the future?

SM
I’m really excited for the future of SEGD. I think, although the pandemic has been horrible, it allowed us to really focus on what SEGD is and almost give the brand and organization a little restart.

Because of the pandemic, I’ve been able to attend (virtually) every event we’ve offered in the last year. Instead of hearing that someone was a great speaker, I actually got to hear their session. The last several events have been of a high caliber and set a whole new goal level for our future events. We’ve been working to diversify the voices we hear from at our events, and it’s really strengthened them to have so many different viewpoints.

Another thing I’m really excited about is our Diversity Initiative. I think sometimes as individuals we see what is going on in the world, and we aren’t really sure how we can help. But our help doesn’t necessarily have to be so large in scale, even just starting to address injustices in your immediate community starts to make a change. I’m hoping with this initiative we can do our part to even make our small corner of the world better.

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Upcoming SEGD Events

2021 SEGD Academic Summit Philadelphia
2021 Wayfinding and Placemaking
2021 Exhibition and Experience Design