Carissa Henriques

Associate Professor of Graphic Design

Carissa Henriques

Associate Professor of Graphic Design



Carissa Henriques’s scholarly focus forms the cornerstone of her identity as an educator and thought leader in the realm of graphic design. Her research orbits around a constellation of interests, all of which converge on the notion of design as a socially impactful practice. With an unwavering dedication to multi-disciplinary and collaborative research, Carissa’s work consistently strives to push the boundaries of how design influences and is influenced by the social fabric of our communities. Her dedication to social entrepreneurship within design pedagogy is not just about creating aesthetically pleasing artifacts but about instigating change and sparking dialogues that lead to sustainable and inclusive environments.

The depth of Carissa’s scholarship is also reflected in her interest in cognitive mapping, placemaking, and the role that collective memory plays in shaping public spaces. Through her research, she probes the intersection of design with user experience, investigating how the strategic use of typography, wayfinding, and signage can transform and revitalize community interactions. This scholarly endeavor extends into the realm of branded environments and exhibition design, where her insights contribute to crafting spaces that narrate stories, educate, and engage. Her academic pursuits are disseminated through her teaching, where these complex concepts become accessible and actionable to the designers of tomorrow.


The Museum of the Old Colony, 07.21–present, Exhibition catalogue design for internationally-renowned photographer Pablo Delano, Duke Gallery of Fine Arts, James Madison University, Published by UVA press (2022)

Rocktown History wayfinding/signage 12/20–present, Rebrand for the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Historical Society

A Sense of Place 07.18–10.19, Wilson Hall permanent exhibition design, Wilson Hall, James Madison University, Multi-year exhibition design project centered on displaying JMU’s history from the 1908 State Normal School to its namesake, James Madison University in campus’s most focal building, Wilson Hall. Responsible for project management, design and articulation of three-dimensional displays, content
curation, interior finishes, lighting, electrical, budget, and design production.

Colonial Wounds/Post Colonial Repair 2.19–04.19, Exhibition catalogue design, Duke Gallery of Fine Arts, James Madison University, Published by U.V.A. Press

Drawing On The Left: Ben Shahn and Art of Human Rights 04.17–01.18, Exhibition catalogue design and print+digital marketing, Duke Gallery of Fine Arts, James Madison University

MFA Exhibition 2017, 2018, Exhibition catalogue design, School of Art, Design, and Art History, James Madison University

Wampler Lecture Series 2016, Poster designs and promotional materials for visiting artists John Bielenberg, Jayme McLellan, Michelle Aldredge and Harmonic Lab, Dorothy Liskey Wampler Distinguished Professorship of Art Lecture Series, School of Art, Design, and Art History, James Madison University.

Mercury in the South River Exhibit 06.05–04.06, Educational exhibition for the South River Science Team, Waynesboro, VA, Appointed to collaborate with JMU design faculty on the design of a grant-funded public-information exhibit in Waynesboro, VA. The exhibit functioned as a resource for the residents of Waynesboro regarding the mercury contamination in the South River as well as the efforts of the South River Science Team to remediate the contamination.

Sample Grants, Awards, and Press

NPR’s With Good Reason, October 2023

CO-PI, Empowering students to lead climate resilient change Innovate/Collaborate (IN/CO) Grant Program, 01.22. $40,000

Staff Shadowing International Travel Grant, Malmö University, 03.20, International Network of Universities. $3,000

Course Redesign for “Social Entrepreneurship and Design for Social Impact” 03.17, 4-VA at JMU. Funded for $5,000

Professional Development Grants, 2015–19, School of Art, Design, and Art History, James Madison University

First-Year Faculty Award, Office of Sponsored Programs 08.16, James Madison University Award Runner-Up, Spring 2016

Wampler lecture by Jayme McLellan Poster Design, Creative Quarterly Magazine CQ 42, Highly competitive international journal featuring the best creative work in photography, illustration, fine art, and design.

Sample Conference Presentations + Workshops

Biomimicry Design Challenge workshop, 03.20, Malmo University, Malmö, Sweden, Three day workshop on biomimicry with design students at Malmo University. Co-led with Dr. Kurt Paterson and Dr. Justin Henriques (JMU Engineering), March 9–11, 2020.

Re-dressing the Window: Defining and Establishing Best Practices for Authentic Multi-Disciplinary Graphic Design Research, 09.18, Activity Group Session presentation, AIGA Decipher: Design Educators Community National Conference, University of Michigan, Ann-Arbor, Michigan, September 27–29, 2018.

The Creative Fellows Program, 11.17, 2017 a2ru National Conference, Hosted by Northeastern University, and co-hosted by Boston University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Tufts University, November 1-4, 2017. Boston, MA

Integrating the Arts, Design, and Engineering through a Social Entrepreneurship Course, 03.17, Best Practices Session: (Social) Entrepreneurship for All,” Miami-Dade College, March 2–4, 2017. Miami, Florida.

Integrating the Arts, Design, and Engineering through a Social Entrepreneurship Course, 11.16 A2ru National Conference, University of Colorado, Denver, November 3–5, 2016, Denver, CO.

Creative Partnerships Transforming and Revitalizing Communities, 04.16