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Professor Crystal Yachin Lee teaches a broad range of graphic design courses in the Art Department. Prior to joining Cal Poly Pomona, Professor Lee worked in the Washington D.C. area specializing in environmental graphic design for museum exhibitions. Her clients included the Smithsonian Institution, the Architect of the Capitol, and several state history museums. She has received awards for her work from the Smithsonian Institution, as well as the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA). Her professional affiliations included The Society of Environmental Graphic Design (SEGD), Art Director Club of Washington D.C. and The American Institute of Graphic Design (AIGA D.C. Chapter).
In 2004, Professor Lee and Professor Bracy established the Cal Poly Student Group for the AIGA Los Angeles Chapter. A two-year effort resulted in recognition of the Art Department by the AIGA, which benefits students in the graphic design program tremendously. Over the years her students have won AIGA portfolio awards and many students participate in the professional affiliation while still studying at Cal Poly Pomona.
From 2006 to 2007, Professor Lee was on the Academic Senate for the College of ENV and served as a member of the Executive Committee.
Professor Lee teaches motion graphics courses and has received two grants in the past 5 years in support of her research, which is dedicated to enhancing her expertise in this constantly changing field. She also developed new curriculum in environmental graphic design and the resulting class, Art 454A, is offered as an upper division elective course. In addition, her photography has been included in over 25 exhibitions nationally in the past 5 years. In 2006 she was one of the twelve women artists nationwide featured by the National Women's Caucus for Art, New York, NY. In spring quarter 2008, Professor Lee returned to teach after two quarters of leave, in which she worked on industry projects in environmental graphic design.
As an art educator, Lee believes students "learn by doing". One should never stop learning even after a college education. By combining her professional experiences and inquisitive energy in the classroom, she continues to guide her students through their learning experience. "It is great to hear about students that you have taught in the past succeeding in the professional field and their appreciation of their education at Cal Poly."