Ringling College Names Barbara S. Marini, FASID/IDEC, Department Head of Interior Design

April 29, 2015 - Ringling College of Art and Design today announced that Barbara S. Marini, FASID/IDEC, has been appointed Department Head of the Interior Design program.

A leader in strategic planning, visioning, curricular design, and program development, Ms. Marini comes to Ringling College with considerable academic experience, including her role as program chair at both the International Academy of Design and Technology in Troy, MI and College for Creative Studies in Detroit, MI.  In addition, Barbara served as the National President for the American Society of Interior Designers from 2012-2013.

“We are looking forward to Barbara joining our creative community,” said Ringling College Vice President for Academic Affairs Jeff Bellantoni. “Barbara’s industry background and experience as an educator will be key to the future growth and success of the Interior Design program.”

"I am so excited to join the Ringling College community and to be part of the energy surrounding the campus. I am inspired by the potential of design to impact lives and the opportunity to challenge design thinking in the next generation of designers. I look forward to contributing to the Ringling legacy of creativity and innovation," Ms. Marini said.

In addition to department chair positions, Barbara has served in faculty positions at Eastern Michigan University, Boston Architectural College, and Art Institute of Michigan. She has also held various positions with interior design firms, including her own, Marini & Associates, where she currently serves as principal.  Barbara received her MS in Interior Design from Eastern Michigan University and her BA in Interior Design from Michigan State University.  She is currently a doctoral candidate pursuing an Ed D. (Educational Leadership) from the College of Education, Department of Leadership and Counseling Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, MI.

Jeff Schwartz Named Interim Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Undergraduate Studies

January 9, 2015 - Ringling College of Art and Design announced today that Jeff Schwartz has been appointed Interim Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Undergraduate Studies.

Mr. Schwartz began teaching at Ringling in 1998 and became the Department Head for the Illustration Department in 2012. During his tenure, he has taught in the foundation program, facilitated the first year redesign (2008-12), served as a faculty associate to the VPAA (2008-2009), and chaired the 75th annual SECAC conference this past fall. He has also served on a number of search committees, including the current search for Executive Director of SMOA. Jeff has been active with AICAD, and has presented at three conferences, including last fall, where he presented the Ringling College e-portfolio platform DRAW, which he developed.  He is also active with NASAD as an official site visitor.

As the Interim Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Undergraduate Studies, Mr. Schwartz will oversee Assessment, The Academic Resource Center, Models, The English as a Second Language (ESL) & Writing programs, and will have primary oversight of the first-year communities and its courses. He will support the Vice President of Academic Affairs in the areas of institutional and curricular planning; the evaluation and assessment of student learning outcomes and curricula; accreditation compliance; academic advising; retention; registration; and other support services including academic technology support and enrollment management.  

Jeff Bellantoni Joins Ringling College of Art and Design as Vice President of Academic Affairs 

March 25, 2014 - Ringling College of Art and Design today announced that Jeff Bellantoni has been appointed Vice President for Academic Affairs for Ringling College after a nationwide search conducted by Shelli Herman and Associates. 

An author, educator and award-winning graphic designer with over 20 years in higher education, Mr. Bellantoni joins the Ringling College leadership team from Pratt Institute in New York City, where he served as Chairperson and Professor of the nationally-ranked Graduate Communications Design Department since 2008 and as a faculty trustee on Pratt’s Board of Trustees. He was responsible for several initiatives including Pratt Press, Public Project, the Graduate Design Guild, and the first design-focused MFA program at Pratt. In addition to these roles, Jeff acted as Governance Facilitator for the Institute for two years and Special Assistant to the Dean of Art and Design for three years.

“We are pleased to add Jeff to our creative community,” said Ringling College of Art and Design president Dr. Larry R. Thompson. “Jeff’s well-rounded background and experience as a designer and educator is the perfect fit to help us continue to innovate and enhance our academic program for the next decade and beyond. With over two decades in higher education as a faculty member and academic administrator at major research universities, a liberal arts college, and several professional art and design colleges, Jeff has mastered skill sets that will be integral to Ringling College’s ongoing curriculum development, accreditation and governance. We are excited to work with Jeff to evolve our academic vision at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Please join with us in welcoming Jeff and his wife, ceramist Kim Westad, to Sarasota.”

“It is a privilege to join Ringling College, one of the most innovative arts colleges in the world, and one that continuously strives for excellence,” said Mr. Bellantoni. “Ringling College’s record of achievement during the past decade under President Thompson’s leadership, along with the consistent drive to challenge itself, makes for a tremendous opportunity of continued transformational growth. Ringling’s studio teaching model nurtures innovation—students learn to approach problems from unique perspectives and develop the flexible thinking and comfort with risk that is needed in today’s complex and dynamic world. I look forward to being an integral part of our continued advancement to distinguish ourselves as the preeminent art and design college focused on creativity, innovation and social responsibility.”

Prior to Pratt, Jeff held various positions with Mercy College in the Division of Civic and Cultural Studies as Associate Professor, Division Chair, and Founding Program Director for Computer Arts + Design, during which time he raised funds and oversaw the building of The Roy E. Disney Center for Animation Studies and The Center for Digital Arts. He has also taught at the University of Connecticut in the School of Fine Arts, Wanganui Polytechnic School of Art & Design in Wanganui, New Zealand, and Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts (VCU), in Richmond, Virginia. He has published as co-author and designer several books including the best-selling titles "Type in Motion" and "Moving Type, Designing for Time and Space”, is an accreditation evaluator for the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD), and presents at conferences, events and educational institutions around the world. Jeff received his MFA in Visual Communications from VCU and BFA from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. 

The Ringling College search committee was chaired by Christine DeGeorge and included members Bradley Battersby, Jeffrey Bleitz, Doug Chismar, Jim Dean, Jim McCampbell, Lisa Moody, Mahmoud Pegah, Jeff Schwartz, Nathan Skiles, Tracy Wagner, and Tammy Walsh.

Dr. Thompson concluded, “I would also like to extend a very special recognition to David Jackson, who has selflessly served as Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs since June 1, 2013 and will remain in this capacity until Jeff’s arrival this summer.”

About Ringling College of Art and Design 
Ringling College of Art and Design is a private, not-for-profit, fully accredited college offering the Bachelor's degree in 14 disciplines: Advertising Design, Business of Art & Design, Computer Animation, Digital Filmmaking, Fine Arts, Game Art & Design, Graphic Design, Illustration, Interior Design, Motion Design, Painting, Photography & Digital Imaging, Printmaking, and Sculpture. Located in Sarasota on Florida’s Gulf Coast, the picturesque 48-acre campus now includes more than 110 buildings, and enrolls 1,368 students from 44 states and 53 countries. It is recognized as being among the best and most innovative visual arts colleges in the United States as well as a leader in the use of technology in the arts. www.ringling.edu


March 25, 2014 - Artist, successful businesswoman, internet sensation and self-described “artrepreneur” Michelle Phan will soon have one more accolade to add to her resume: an Honorary Doctorate of Arts in the Business of Art & Design from Ringling College of Art and Design.

The 26-year-old has had a life-long passion for cosmetics. While a student at Ringling College, Michelle experimented with makeup, treating her face as a living canvas as she honed her skills as an artist. As Michelle studied portrait painting and the effect of light and color on the face, she was discovering how to translate this knowledge into the art of makeup. She chronicled the process on her personal blog and began uploading tutorial videos on YouTube.

“Makeup IS art—the only difference is it’s on a moving canvas that constantly changes throughout the day,” explains Michelle. “It’s an extension of our self-expression, and a powerful tool that shapes how we see ourselves.”

That passion struck an immediate chord in others, as Michelle’s online tutorials – which she began to make in her Ringling College dorm room – soon went viral and she began to amass a large following. She has since become the second-most viewed female on YouTube, with more than 700 million views and 4 million+ subscribers. She was named an official online makeup artist by Lancome and was profiled in the likes of Teen VogueVanity Fair, and Forbes

Her business that took off while she was still at Ringling, and in 2012 she launched a multi-channel network on YouTube, as well as Ipsy.com, an interactive online community where beauty devotees can network, try new products, and watch and upload beauty tutorials. Her biggest achievement came in 2013 with the launch of em Michelle Phan, a full cosmetics line produced in conjunction with L’Oreal

“We are very proud of Michelle’s accomplishments and how she has made her artistic talent and passion into a thriving enterprise,” says Dr. Larry Thompson, President of Ringling College of Art and Design. “Her success is an inspiration to all of us in the Ringling College community. Artists and creatives who can create, adapt, evolve, and achieve in an ever-changing world exemplify what we hope to instill in every Ringling College student.”

Ringling College is passionate about creativity and its role in the future economy. In fact, the College’s goal is to “shatter the myth of the starving artist.” As evidence of this, Ringling launched the Business of Art & Design major in 2008 — a business degree program infused with studio-based art and design practice.  The program was the first of its kind in the nation. Michelle Phan’s tremendous success in mixing art and design with entrepreneurism epitomizes the essence of that program and is the reason why she was selected to receive an Honorary Degree. 

The degree will be conferred during Ringling College’s Commencement ceremony on May 9, 2014 at the Bradenton Convention Center. For more information please contact the Office of the President at 941.309.6106 or via email to officeofpres@ringling.edu

Keep posted with Michelle Phan on her various social media channels:
Web: michellephan.com


2012 News Archive
January 5, 2012

Actor James Woods Kicks Off Ringling College Digital Filmmaking Studio Lab Spring 2012 Lineup

January 20, 2012
Actor Elijah Wood Joins Ringling College of Art and Design Student Filmmakers at Ringling Digital Filmmaking Studio Lab January 23rd and 24th 

April 24, 2012
Forest Whitaker Provides Finale for 2012 Ringling College Digital Filmmaking Studio Lab Season That Included Elijah Wood, Edward Burns, James Woods and Whit Stillman 

June 7, 2012
Ringling College Graduate Eric Prah Wins 2012 Student Academy Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences 

June 18, 2012
Ringling College Graduate Eric Prah Wins Bronze 2012 Student Academy Award in Computer Animation from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences 

July 30, 2012
Two Ringling College Interior Design Students Win 2012 Donghia Scholarships 

August 27, 2012
Sweet Sparkman Architects and Ringling College of Art and Design Partner to Present ‘ORIGINS’ at the 2012 Architecture Biennale in Venice, Italy  

September 6, 2012
Michael E. Moore Joins Ringling College as Vice President for Advancement 

September 25, 2012
Sarasota County Commission Recognizes Sweet-Sparkman Architects and Ringling College Students for 'ORIGINS' Exhibit at 2012 Architecture Biennale in Venice, Italy

November 2, 2012
International Interior Design Studio Collaboration Between Ringling College of Art and Design and Yonsei University Launches Fall Semester 2012 

November 8, 2012
Sarasota Memorial Hospital and Ringling College Partner to Open New On-Campus Student Health Center 

December 4, 2012
Ringling College's Sarasota Museum of Art/SMOA Seeks Volunteers to Assist Renowned Sculptor Patrick Dougherty

December 17, 2012
Andie MacDowell to Open 2013 Season of the Ringling College Digital Filmmaking Studio Lab 

December 19, 2012
Ringling College of Art and Design and State College of Florida Partner on Bachelor’s Degree