Faculty Spotlight: Tina Howland

female standing in front of colorful posters

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Bakersfield College offers a wide variety of courses, programs, degrees, and certificates giving students an opportunity to explore many educational and career avenues. BC has an Arts, Communication and Humanities pathway that gives students the opportunity to explore their creativity and enhance their critical thinking skills.

Tina Howland is an Associate Professor of Graphic Design in the Art Department. She has been teaching at BC since the Fall of 2022 and is one of the newer faculty members in the department. When asked about her favorite part of teaching graphic design, she responds “I love taking what I have done for so many years and watching students start to learn those same things, take the same steps I did, and seeing them understand the powers of visual projects. Watching that transition in them is really fun.”

Although Tina is new to BC, she has taught graphic design for over ten years. When asked what she enjoys about teaching at BC, she is quick to reply, “The people. I had a few other interviews lined up, but I took this position because when I came here and met everyone; the staff and students were so friendly and welcoming.”

Tina has been involved in art and design for many years, from illustrating the newspaper in middle school, to graduating from Otis College of Art and Design, to set-painting, digital media, and then teaching. “It has never been a hobby for me,” she says, “It has always been what I have done. When I finished Art School, I immediately started working various jobs in the field.” After several years a friend, who was an instructor, approached Tina about an educational position at their institution. After a meeting with some of the administrators, Tina accepted a teaching position and began a new career in education.

On the first day of her classes, Tina often starts by showcasing some of the projects she has worked on during her more than 20-year career in graphic arts. She makes sure to emphasize that a career in the field is possible. “I want to encourage them to pursue their goals," she says, “I always tell them, if I can do it, you can do it!”

When asked about what her goals are for the students that take her class, Tina responds, “There are different goals for different students. There are students who want to gain skills in software; that’s fantastic! I want to include them and have them leave with an appreciation of (those skills).” She also adds, “I also want to pull in students that want to continue (in art). If that’s opening their own studio, freelance, working for agencies, or furthering their education in the Arts. I want to help all students reach their goals, because I have had instructors that have helped me reach my goals.”