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Friday, December 14, 2018 - 3:00pm

The New York chapter of the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) has announced the recipients of its Call for Ideas Inclusion Grant, and a Mercy College professor’s concept has been declared a winner. The AIGA’s Inclusion in Design Committee awarded a grant to Mercy faculty member Jen Roos and collaborators Caitlin Dover and Jennifer Wang for their mentorship program idea “Connect Four: Networking for Equality in Design.”

Connect Four seeks to meaningfully incorporate inclusion in the field of design by focusing on engaging students of color at schools outside New York’s academic elite. A new take on mentorship, the pilot program will be based on a series of interactions between four design-world leaders and four young people, culminating in a dinner event.

“While New York City is home to some of the world’s most prestigious design schools, people of color who pursue design outside these institutions are essentially shut out of the industry, as they lack the support of those premiere schools’ professional networks,” says Jen Roos, associate professor in the Design and Animation Program at Mercy. “We hope Connect Four will address these shortcomings and plant seeds for a more diverse and inclusive design industry.”

Roos, Dover and Wang will organize mentors to work directly with Mercy College students as part of the Connect Four pilot program. The four participating Mercy design students are Amal Baidas, Anthony Duque, Cristina Perez and Karina Ponce. To learn more about the Design and Animation Program, visit