Featured Colleague: From Archaeology to Graphic Design, Jennifer Pelham Shares her Valencia Story

By Dani Moritz-Long

Today a graphic designer for Public Affairs and Marketing, Jennifer Pelham didn’t exactly plan to pursue a career in design. On the contrary, the third-generation Floridian initially planned to travel the world as an archaeologist. But, upon graduating from the University of Central Florida in 2009 with a bachelor’s degree in anthropology, she found an already limited professional field even more limited thanks to the economic crash.

So, she decided it was time to go back to school — to Valencia to be exact — and find a new career (one with available career opportunities).

“I didn’t want to commit to another degree until I knew for certain that I both enjoyed the work and could find jobs in that field,” Jennifer said. “I took the introductory graphic design course with Christine Dupont [adjunct professor, graphic design] and loved it.”

Fortunately, upon graduation, a position was open in Valencia’s Marketing department, and Jennifer found herself relieved to be employed in her field.

“Valencia represents a second chance, or third or fourth,” Jennifer said. “Valencia gives you the opportunity to change careers pretty quickly and easily. It certainly helped me.”

In her role at Valencia, Jennifer enjoys working on an array of print and digital projects, like Vitae, collateral for the arts campaign and so much more.

“Vitae is always a fun project,” she said. “The magazine gives us a chance to experiment and break away from the standard brand guidelines. Although, finding ways to push the boundaries of the Valencia brand is also interesting.”

Likewise, she’s also been enjoying working on the arts campaign. “We just got approval on the new concept,” she said. “It’s always exciting when your favorite concept is picked. We’ll be using vivid colors in the shape of VA (for Valencia Arts) over imagery. It should help our shows stand out from other productions in the community.”

According to Graphic Design Supervisor Mustafa Aguenegou, no matter what she’s working on, Jennifer executes her work with skill and passion.

“Since Jen joined our team, I’ve been witness to her exceptional talent and tireless dedication to delivering amazing work in both print and digital media,” he said. “Her keen attention to detail, creative skills and well-informed insights ensure that every project – big or small – is always a success.”

Mirroring Mustafa’s compliments, Traci Bjella, assistant vice president, marketing, said, “Jen is a Valencia grad who embodies our mission and brings bright, progressive creativity to our work.”

In her free time, you can find Jennifer “collecting new hobbies” or traveling. Currently, she’s trying her hand at leather-working and learning German.

Know of someone who embodies one of Valencia’s Values (learning, people, diversity, access or integrity), who has been an employee for one year or more? Send the colleague’s name to us at The_Grove@valenciacollege.edu. He or she might be one of our featured colleagues, subject to supervisor’s approval.


  • Traci Bjella said:

    Congrats Jen – so wonderful to work with you!

    PMTue, 22 Aug 2017 19:55:14 +0000Tue, 22 Aug 2017 19:55:14 +0000pm17,7:55 pm

  • Melissa Faris said:

    Congrats Jen!!

    PMWed, 23 Aug 2017 17:10:34 +0000Wed, 23 Aug 2017 17:10:34 +0000pm17,5:10 pm

  • Heather Fontaine said:

    Go Jen!! I agree with all of Mostapha's comments. So happy to have you on the team!!

    PMThu, 24 Aug 2017 15:17:17 +0000Thu, 24 Aug 2017 15:17:17 +0000pm17,3:17 pm

  • Carol Traynor said:

    Great to learn more about you, Jen.

    PMSat, 26 Aug 2017 14:16:39 +0000Sat, 26 Aug 2017 14:16:39 +0000pm17,2:16 pm

  • Steven Sobel said:

    Jen is such a great teammate, we are lucky to have her!

    PMSat, 26 Aug 2017 14:38:39 +0000Sat, 26 Aug 2017 14:38:39 +0000pm17,2:38 pm

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