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Meet the Class of 2017: David A., Kyungmin, and James

With summer almost over and fall about to set in, it’s timeto meet the students who will make up the Class of 2017. This year’s studentscome from as far and wide as Columbia, Taiwan, Korea, and India and have beengame designers, economists, military officers, music journalists, and anthropologists.We’ll be highlighting three incoming students every few days between now andthe start of the semester, beginning with David A., Kyungmin, and James.


meet the class of 2017 david a kyungmin and 1

DavidAl-Ibrahim

David is a communicationdesigner and strategist living and working in New York. David crafts storiesthat incite action and engage communities. He has managed projects, marketingcampaigns, and media relations in a range of industries from economics tohealthcare, rural education to urban farming. David helps clients define andexpress their messages to effectively reach their audiences.

Born and raised in BaltimoreCity, David was privy to an unconventional upbringing in a family fused byMidwestern and Middle Eastern backgrounds. He has grown to appreciatecommunication as both a means of solving problems and asking questions aboutwhy people believe what they believe and do what they do. David is a graduateof SVA’s Impact: Design for Social Change studio and received his B.A. inrhetoric from Bates College in Lewiston, Maine.

Kyungmin Lee

Born and raised in Korea,Kyungmin received a BFA in Visual Communication Design from Hongik Universityand has worked as a User Interface Designer at Naver.com. Her main focus is onexploring, improving, and making methods for people to experience, communicatewith, and enjoy the things around them. At SVA, she looks forward tocollaborating with talented people from different backgrounds.

JamesZ Vanié

James is a creative thinkerwho brings calm to chaos. A Kentucky native, he enlisted in the Army andquickly rose through the ranks to sergeant. After deploying twice, and makingmany successful jumps with the 82nd Airborne Division, he left the military toearn his Business Management degree at St. John’s University. During hisundergrad career, James refined his management skills, fell in love withdesign, and backpacked through 20 countries in three continents. His wide rangeof experience has bolstered his ability to approach design problems with a deepsense of empathy and endless curiosity.

After working in the Designfield over the last three years, he has come to appreciate the full gamut as hehas held roles on both the Creative and Project Management sides. James isdedicated to crafting memorable experiences and pushing imaginative ideas totheir highest potential. Interests include: Improv, Storytelling, and Yoga.

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