Associate Professor of Fine and Performing Arts Hilary Walrod received two awards of excellence for the logo she designed to represent Colby-Sawyer’s Sustainable Learning Initiative (SLI) at Franklin Falls. The work was recognized in the Identity Program and Green–Message categories at the annual University & College Designers Association (UCDA) Design Competition and will be on display at the UCDA Design Conference in Baltimore in October.

The SLI is an experiential learning opportunity for Colby-Sawyer students in the state’s smallest city, which is dedicated to using the principles of permaculture and sustainability to revitalize its downtown community. Since 2016, students have explored, designed and innovated solutions that promote positive and resilient change. Sustainability studies majors apply principles of permaculture and sustainability to address evolving community needs, while students in other disciplines put their classroom learning into action by helping to create business models, marketing plans, branding strategies and more, all while gaining hands-on professional experience.

“Like the Sustainable Learning Initiative itself, the logo is modular and replicable. It is a whole made up of parts,” said Walrod. “It can be seen as both a ladder and an exchange between partners. Its upward trajectory implies improvement, revitalization and hope for the future. It represents the collaborations inherent in and central to this localized, community-based initiative. The four rungs reference the four facets of whole systems sustainability: economic stability, environmental balance, personal wellbeing and social justice.”

Much of Professor Walrod’s creative work is motivated by her interest in the intersection of visual communication and environmental consciousness, bringing her passion into her work and inspiring students to do the same. Her teaching style draws on her background in experiential education and her commitment to interdisciplinary learning. She emphasizes the importance of hands-on experiences and continuously develops opportunities for students to work directly with clients and collaborators to develop the skills necessary for career success.

Professor Walrod received the college’s highest teaching award, the Jack Jenson Award for Excellence in Teaching, in 2016. A resident of Hopkinton, N.H., she joined the faculty in 2012 with a B.A. in studio art and environmental studies from Williams College and an M.F.A. in Studio Art: Graphic Design from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville.