Graphic Design Major Wins First Prize in Prestigious Design Contest

December 11, 2103-


Mount Ida College senior Molly Sheppard, recently won first prize at this year’s Grand Circle Gallery’s Annual Student Travel Poster Design Contest and was honored at a December reception held at the Grand Circle Gallery in Boston, Massachusetts. The contest, which attracts top design students from the Boston area, challenged designers to create a vintage-inspired travel poster based on a destination and tagline chosen from a preset list.

Sheppard, a graphic design major, sought to challenge herself by choosing a travel destination that she was unfamiliar with. Selecting Burma (now the Republic of the Union of Myanmar), she drew inspiration from the tagline “Land of floating gardens and golden temples,” and from her own research on the area.

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Hailing from Brookhaven, NY, Sheppard has always had an interest in design.  She began her college search by bringing her portfolio of work to a number of portfolio days at schools in New York where visiting professors could asses her work. It was at one of these portfolio days that Sheppard met Mount Ida Professor Alison Poor-Donahue.  Sheppard recalls that “Poor-Donahue stood out from the other professors.”

“Professor Poor-Donahue provided personalized attention and helpful feedback on my portfolio.  After she told me about the graphic design opportunities at Mount Ida, I ultimately made the decision to attend,” noted Sheppard.

In fact, it was Professor Poor-Donahue who encouraged Sheppard to enter her winning design in Grand Circle Gallery’s annual contest.

“It is very exciting to win this contest as a senior.  It is validating to see that I have potential as a designer,” says Sheppard of her win.

Sheppard is looking forward to a bright future and credits Mount Ida’s challenging coursework, career services and attentive professors for helping prepare her for the workplace.

Sheppard has already secured several internships related to her field; last fall, she interned at Affinity Marketing Group in Natick, MA and currently interns at both Mount Ida, assisting with promotional materials, and at Boston Bakes for Breast Cancer.

To learn more about the Mount Ida graphic design program, contact department chair Allison Poor-Donahue at or (978) 407-3121.