Lane Ellefson of the Rapid City YMCA Youth Institute works on a spider graphic during a workshop at Black Hills State University.
 Lizzy Black Cloud, left, and Chloe McLaren, students in the Youth Institute, create their own designs during the workshop presented by Gina Gibson, assistant professor of digital communication, and Dustin Hinson, assistant professor of mass communication.
Two Black Hills State University communication professors recently presented a hands-on graphic design workshop to community youth giving the students a glimpse into the University program and University life.

Gina Gibson, assistant professor of digital communication, and Dustin Hinson, assistant professor of mass communication, presented the workshop for the Rapid City YMCA Youth Institute which youths ages 13 to 17.

The program, originating in Long Beach, Calif., engages youth through technology and art, according to Nik Aberle, the former youth institute site coordinator for the Rapid City YMCA. “The ultimate goal is to guide them toward college and to get them to enjoy the act of learning.”

Hinson and Gibson met Aberle through their involvement with the Dahl Fine Arts Center and the Rapid City Arts Council. “(Nik) expressed an interest in bringing students to BHSU to talk about graphic design,” Hinson said.

This is the youth institute’s second year coming to BHSU.

To begin the workshop, Hinson and Gibson discussed the University’s graphic design program providing examples of BHSU student work. The YMCA students then had the opportunity to create their own designs.

“The YMCA teens worked on a project in which they used text to construct abstracted images of animals,” Hinson said noting the project was similar to what BHSU students do in the Fundamentals of Desktop Publishing course. “Our goal was to introduce students to the basic concepts of graphic design and to give them a good idea of what students learn in the BHSU program.”

Twenty-five students have participated in the YMCA Youth Institute over the past two years.

Aberle said the students enjoyed the workshop and the day spent on campus. “They enjoyed the tour and continued to work on the project assigned after returning home despite it not being a required assignment for the summer program.”