DAAP Student Makes Bold Moves Thanks to Donor Support

If you drive past the University of Cincinnati College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning late at night, you’ll still see students. Illuminated in the windows, DAAPers, as they’re fondly called, are hard at work in their studios. Fueled by passion – and a lot of caffeine – these students log the after-hours to distinguish themselves at one of the world’s top design schools.

Shem NyachieoFourth-year communication design student Shem Nyachieo is often one of the silhouettes.

“DAAP students work really hard and often pull off all-nighters, which is why it is so unfortunate that many of them also need to work part-time,” Nyachieo says.

A 2013 study found that nearly 80 percent of students work at least part-time to defray the cost of tuition. Nyachieo was able to secure four scholarships – including a Macy’s, Robert Lewis Hermann, Ludwig and Anna Woseczek, and Richard and Jean Coyne Scholarship – to help cover the cost of his own education.

“It’s hard to put into a few words how big of a help these scholarships are,” he explains, “Later on in my career, I hope to be able to return and help other students who are working hard and need financial assistance.”

Nyachieo has excelled at DAAP – thanks in part to the donors who allowed him to focus on his design. Scholarships have helped him pay for DAAP utilities, software, and books, and he credits these gifts for allowing him to make bold moves in pursuing his co-ops.

“The energetic atmosphere helps me thrive in the DAAP program. In addition to that, DAAP provides a major boost for getting started on your career. Through the program I have been able to work at four different internships, and I’m headed toward my fifth,” he explains.

This fall, he will work with the consumer packaged goods powerhouse P&G. Previously Nyachieo worked with Gensler in New York, the UC Foundation, the University Architect and the CADC Connecting Art Design & Community.

Nyachieo worked on a number of high profile projects during his time in New York, including one involving the Empire State Building. Currently, Nyachieo is undertaking a highly philanthropic senior capstone project that attempts to bring Kenya into the world of modern finance. He will be using his graphic design experience to get rural businesses in Kenya involved with progressive companies like M-Pesa, a mobile-based money transfer and finance service.

Philanthropy is very important to Nyachieo – he hopes to one day be able to work full time in contributing his creative talent to a company that is making an effort to make the world a better place.

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