Sanda Katila named Acting Interim Director of VCD

Sanda Katila is the College of Visual Communication Design’s new Interim Director

Sanda Katila is the College of Visual Communication Design’s new Interim Director

Julia Kerchenski

Sanda Katila was named the College of Visual Communication Design’s new interim director as of July 2014. 

Katila began her time at Kent State as a graduate student and has since been a part of Kent State’s VCD program for 23 years. She was a professional designer for 13 years before she made her transition to teaching. 

Katila filled the position after AnnMarie LeBlanc left the VCD director position for her current position as interim dean of the College of Communication and Information. 

“I think the faculty really nominated her,” LeBlanc said. “She was an obvious choice because she was knowledgeable about a lot of the details of running the school.” 

The VCD faculty is happy to have her as well. “She’s great,” said Jessica Barness, a VCD assistant professor. “We’re really proud to have her in the position.”

Katila has a passion for teaching and truly cares for the students in the VCD program. During her time at Kent State, she helped establish basic courses in the undergraduate program, and as acting director, she plans to focus on graduate curricula and policies.

Katila expressed the importance for her to make an effort to remain close with students in her new position. 

“I’m very connected to the students,” Katila said. “I hear what happens, I hear what’s going on and twhat student’s like to do.” 

Although Katila said she will miss teaching, as this is solely an administrative position, this will be the first semester she does not teach a single course.

“This is the first time I’m really flying the whole administration plane,” Katila said. “It’s both scary and a little sad.”

As interim director, Katila’s main goal is to have all programs, offices and students in one building. Currently, the classes and offices are divided between the M.A.C. Center Annex and the Art Building, but plans are set to have VCD operations on two floors of Taylor Hall within two years. 

“Having a new building is going to make a tremendous difference in our being able to attract new students and faculty and foster and nurture the next generation of designers,” Katila said.

Additionally, the VCD community has already begun working on several projects, including a Dublin-London study abroad program for the upcoming spring semester.

They are also preparing for an accreditation review from the National Association of Schools of Art and Design, taking place in the spring of 2016.

For more information on the VCD program, visit

Julia Kerchenski at [email protected].