Sarah Rutherford

Sarah Rutherford is an Associate Professor of Design at Cleveland State University. Her research explores design pedagogy, learning retention, and collaborative work strategies. She is the President Emeritus of AIGA Cleveland and a 2018 and 2020 Design Incubation Fellow. A passionate advocate of voter engagement, Sarah has participated in several AIGA GOTV projects and currently serves on the national AIGA Design for Democracy committee.


Kent State University, Kent, OH
Master of Fine Arts, Visual Communication Design

Truman State University, Kirksville, MO
Bachelor of Fine Arts, Visual Communication
Bachelor of Arts, English

Recent work, enagements, and awards

2020   CSU College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences Excellence in Teaching Award

2020   Ongoing Matter: Democracy, Design, and the Muller Report (created and curated by Anne H. Berry and Sarah Edmands Martin)

2020   Article: International Journal of Designs for Learning. Issue 11.3

Engaging students in curriculum development through design thinking: A course design case.

2020   Design Incubation 2020 Fellow

2020   Article: Art, Design & Communication in Higher Education. Issue 19.1

Using desirable difficulty concepts to enhance durable learning in design education.

2019   Design Incubation Residency at Haddon Avenue Writing Institute   Chicago, IL

2018   Book Review: Design and Culture. Issue 10.3

Teaching Design: A Guide to Curriculum and Pedagogy for College Design Faculty and Teachers Who Use Design in Their Classrooms by Meredith Davis.

2018   Design Incubation Residency at Haddon Avenue Writing Institute   Chicago, IL

2018   Decipher: AIGA Design Educators Conference   Ann Arbor, MI

We are Not Alone: Navigating Design Research and Writing Challenges with Group Support.

2018   Cleveland State University Teaching Enhancement Award Recipient

2018   Design Incubation 2018 Fellow

2017   Eighth Annual SoTL Conference   Tiffin, OH

Strategies for enhancing group work engagement and participation

2017   American Advertising Awards Competition, Judge

Lubbock, TX Americal Advertising Federation

2016   Frontier: AIGA Design Educators Conference   Bozeman, MT

Desirable Difficulty in Design Education: Cultivating Discomfort for Deep Learning.

2016   Archie Rand Exhibition Catalog, Designer

The Galleries at CSU

2016   Get out the Vote Exhibition, Writer   Cleveland, OH

In collaboration with Jenn Visocky O'Grady and the studio of Christine Wisnieski

Project awarded in the 2017 Print Regional Design Annual and 2017 AIGA Cleveland Design 730 Competition