hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA

February 20, 2014

Meet a graduating 'super hero'

College adopts image created by student

By Bruce Amaro

---- — It has everything that Angel Augusto aspires to.

It bears the image of a student graduating from Northern Essex Community College. A diploma is tucked under the silhouetted figure’s arm and a graduate’s cap is atop its head.

The figure appears poised to rush forward — ready to take on the world and whatever career path is presented.

Augusto, a NECC student, had the image in his mind. He made it tangible by entering an art competition at the college — the Class of 2014 T-shirt Contest.

His image won and will be displayed on T-shirts mass produced by the school in hopes of inspiring students to achieve their goals.

NECC is selling the shirts for $10. They will be will be available in March through the school’s alumni office. Lindsey Mayo at 978-556-3621 or at lmayo@necc.mass.edu will accept orders.

Augusto said he designed his graduate “super hero’’ because it best represents his enthusiasm and willingness to work for goals.

“It has color, action, movement and excitement of character,” said Dyan Gulovsen, Augusto’s visual communications professor at NECC.

Augusto, 28 is an art and design student. His winning image gives the impression of a student heading into his future. The image includes the words “Knowledge is Power” attached to the shape of a student moving toward a career made possible by a better education.

That education was supplied by NECC, which is known for reshaping the lives of people like Augusto, an immigrant from the Dominican Republic.

Augusto said he has long wanted to develop his interest in design and art work and work at it professionally. With no English language training and limited resources, he came to America four years ago with his family and they settled in Lawrence. He enrolled in English classes and is able to speak the language well enough to work several part time jobs and attend school full time.

“I worked in a factory,’’ he said. “When you come here with no English you go to a factory. Then after I learned English, I worked at a Panera Bread in North Andover and now I’m at The Gap.’’

When Augusto came to the United States, he brought more than latent talent with him. Earlier, he put his design talent to work in the Dominican Republic, where he entered commercial art competitions. Now he wants to develop that talent. A lifelong artist, Augusto wants to attend a four-year school where he can complete his degree work.

“That will help me show what I can do in the real world,” he said.

Augusto was one of five finalists and the eventual winner of the contest, which was judged online with votes from Facebook. He won a Dell Tablet with a stylus.

Each semester, when Gulovsen teaches this class, she has each student create a design project for a client in any industry or business of their choice. They then create and produce the designs and art work necessary to complete the project.

“I want them to begin thinking like professionals in the work place, to get the feeling for what they’re doing,” Gulovsen said. “It’s important that they begin to develop a standard process of steps and criteria that they can follow to get through a project. They need to have a set of personal rules about how to work a project.’’

“They are entering a demanding business,’’ Gulovsen said, “and I try to structure that particular class to help them build a competence in their work methods.’’