While working a graphic design internship with Fight Colorectal Cancer, Leigh Stracener experienced firsthand how art can make an impact. The internship gave Leigh an outlet to use design skills to spread important awareness for a life-saving organization, and it also happened to included an opportunity to travel across the country to share the message.
Fight Colorectal Cancer is a health advocacy organization headquartered in downtown Springfield. The organization works to spread awareness, provide funding for research, and offer support and encouragement for current patients and survivors of colorectal cancer. Fight Colorectal Cancer actively recruits advocates and hosts events that support all aspects of their initiative. “Back in March, I had the privilege to fly to Washington, D.C. to participate in the United in Blue flag installation on the National Mall,” Leigh shares. United in Blue is an installation of small blue flags across the lawn of the National Mall to both pay tribute to those impacted by colorectal cancer and to spread awareness of the disease. As Fight Colorectal Cancer describes, “The installation is a visual representation of more than 27, 400 people under the age of 50 estimated to be diagnosed with colorectal cancer in 2030.”
Leigh’s designs were used as promotional materials throughout the event. “I designed stickers that we handed out to volunteers, social media graphics and geofencing ad GIFs to promote the ‘more campaign,’ [and took] photos of volunteers setting up the installation,” Leigh adds, “It was a really cool experience!” Leigh’s application of graphic design expertise in the industry of health advocacy is just one example of the many ways internships can expose students to important causes and allow them to use their creative voice to promote positive change.
Taylor Ladd is a graduate assistant for the Department of Art + Design. She is working towards her master’s degree in writing at Missouri State University with professional interests in writing about art, culture, and food.