Meet Rebekah Hanover Pettit —MFA student

Hello. My name is Rebekah Hanover Pettit.

After a previous life in audio visual production, I went back to school to become a designer. I’m an obsessive learner, and now work as a senior graphic designer at a D.C. cultural site and non-profit.

Why I decided to go back to grad school…

I decided to go to grad school for two reasons. I’ve taught as an adjunct and LOVE it. But I also believe in design and designers. Because design is experience and perspective and interaction it has the potential to bring positive change to individuals and communities.

I wasn’t sure I’d ever get the chance to pursue my MFA. Most programs require you to go full-time, uproot your family, or take on astounding amounts of debt. Finding KU is helping me fulfill a dream I didn’t think would ever be possible.

Tell us about/describe your KUCD MFA journey thus far…

So starting, actually starting, has been and emotional rollercoaster. I already had a full life with work and family, and the week before I started I was given some big, additional responsibilities at work. So I really questioned if I should perhaps delay another year, but I decided to not let circumstances and surprises derail my plans. It’s going to be a lot of work, and I’m carving out every minute I can find. I’ve also discovered a lot of support, from coworkers who share research or offer to assist with editing to artists I’ve commissioned who just provide that extra boost of encouragement and reassurance.

Honestly, Journey Week might be a little bit of a blur. It’s a lot of work. It’s exhausting, and it’s a bit of a shock to the system. But it’s also about getting your head in the game at the level you want to be and pushing each other to dig deeper and go further. I just need to remember to bring a much larger refillable mug for my coffee refills.

What has been your favorite project to date? Please tell me why.

I’m currently examining how experiential design can include or exclude cultural diversity, as well as taking a deep dive into non-Latin-based typography. Both are topics that are important to me and immediately relevant to my day job.

Fun fact about you.

  • I can’t whistle. Although I try, frequently, when working out a problem. I’m surprised none of my co-workers has complained…yet.
  • I have far too many interests for any one individual: I like to pretend I have a green thumb, and so far the blueberries have survived to year 2. I’ve tried to make most everything from scratch at least once. The crackers still need some work. I’m great with bread. Yogurt continues to be a complete failure.
  • I also play or played several instruments. Although those skills have been getting a bit rusty prepping for this program, they have served me well. I am able to make up silly songs for my preschool daughter on command.

  • And I don’t care what anyone says, the “old fashion” or “cake” donuts are the BEST. I consume a fair amount of coffee (don’t we all!). I prefer it black and keep a remarkable amount of equipment at home to make it…none of which require electricity.