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Teaching & Learning Center

Faculty spotlights

Learn more about what makes Northwest college’s faculty truly excellent! 

In collaboration with The Committee on Faculty Development and Morale and the office of College Relations, the TLC is excited to showcase the great work of Northwest College's educators! In this faculty spotlight series, we will feature members of our faculty that are recognized by nominations from their peers based on demonstrated excellence in teaching, mentoring/advising, service, or scholarship. Spotlights will also be promoted by the Marketing, Communications & Web office in a variety of media.


Morgan Tyree

Posted: January 2, 2019

Often spotted cruising campus on his bicycle or longboard, Morgan Tyree, assistant professor of graphic arts at Northwest College, has been educating emerging graphic designers for 27 years.

Recently, Tyree received a request for a couple of his students to create a poster for the fifth annual Guitar Summit. However, he didn’t see this task as just another project—he saw it as a real-world opportunity for his whole class to gain hands-on experience. Each of the 13 students in the class designed their own poster, and Tyree assembled a panel of judges to select their favorite piece to promote the event.

“When you give students a problem, and they come up with a solution, they all have different answers, and they all go different ways,” he explained. “Because they don’t all take the same path, I think it’s helpful that they can get input from an instructor individually.”

After plenty of research, brainstorming and careful planning, the winner was selected out of the 13 design options and was hung around buildings on campus and in downtown businesses.

“As graphic designers, we’re always emphasizing research to make sure we understand our client and the product they want,” Tyree noted. “I always look at my classes as football teams—I’m trying to get them ready for the big game.”

Throughout each semester, his students gain valuable experience through all types of projects that enhance their potential for success and vary from creating public service announcements to designing logos and organizing full-fledged magazine production.

Typically, NWC graphic design students who graduate and transfer to four-year institutions often end up helping their peers learn the ins and outs of software, like InDesign, Photoshop and Illustrator, he explained.  

“I tell my Graphic Design I students at the beginning of the semester that this is one of the top three classes that’s significant to you as a graphic design major. This is not the course to muddle through. This is not the course to do just the minimum and get by. This is what you want to do for a living. It’s time to pull out all the stops.”

When Tyree isn’t teaching, he’s often found helping students in the art lab, flying his drone, creating art, taking photos or working on various writing projects.

During the summers, he enjoys engaging in design-related opportunities to find inspiration for his own projects and future classes.

For those interested in the Graphic Design program at Northwest College, visit https://nwc.edu/academics/programs/graphic-design.