Student Spotlight
Abi Marin is a member of Student Government and an Art major specializing in Graphic Design.
Abi Marin is a member of Student Government and an Art major specializing in Graphic Design.

Compliments from colleagues at work inspired Abi Marin to pursue her passion.

While transcribing phone calls in English and Spanish at the Communication Center for the Deaf, she would often have down time in between calls. She took advantage of her free time by drawing. "My co-workers would come over and say 'that's really good. You should do something with that!'"

Marin is a native of Cuba who grew up in a home where Spanish was the primary language. She was encouraged to pursue a health-related or legal career, but her first love was always centered around her creativity. "I would see people on YouTube doing digital art and started experimenting with it in high school. I downloaded a free digital art program. I really liked the medium and being able to use your computer to make art."

After graduating from Cicero-North Syracuse High School in 2018, Marin worked in retail. Three years ago she began utilizing her bilingual skills, helping the deaf through her work at the call center. And a short time later, she enrolled at Onondaga Community College. She chose the Art degree program with an emphasis on Graphic Design and found it was exactly what she was looking for. "The more I've done it and taken class in it, the more I like it. There's a mix of the creative aspect and the practical uses."

Marin brought her graphic design skills to Student Government where she is Chair of Communications and Media. One of her duties includes creating what are referred to as "stall signs," the posters you see in restrooms promoting upcoming activities on campus. "I love making stall signs and using what I'm studying. I also love planning events for students and seeing how excited they get. I never pictured myself in any form of student government, but I love it."

Marin will complete her degree in May. Her dream is to transfer to another SUNY School, the Fashion Institute of Technology. "It's in New York City where all the graphic design jobs and internships are. It's the place to be!"

She's proud to be on her way to a career in graphic design, and equally proud of where everything started for her. "I love OCC. You get a really good education at a really good price. A lot of my professors also teach at SU, so we're getting the same education but not paying their price. Everyone's so supportive here and you can tell people really want you to succeed and find opportunities."

Onondaga Community College
Cicero-North Syracuse High School