For Sean Puzzo it is the relationships he has formed at Caldwell University that will stay with him. His advisor, Art Professor Larry Szycher, stands out for “unending support—from checking up on my studies to sending me links to internships,” says Puzzo, who received his bachelor’s in graphic design at graduation on May 21.
Puzzo has formed other lasting relationships with students, faculty and staff by being immersed in campus life. He has volunteered with campus ministry, made mission trips to Belize and Appalachia, attended the Dominican Preaching Conference, served on the Strategic Planning Committee, and worked in the Admissions Office and the Student Life Office, where he used his art skills to create wall visuals.
In his senior year, he took part in the national oral history project SisterStory focusing on women religious. He was paired with Sister Honora Werner, O.P. and created a video and blog about her life as a Sister of St. Dominic of Caldwell.
At the honors convocation his efforts earned him the Leadership in Ministry Award given for outstanding service and witness to campus ministry at the university and to someone who exemplifies the qualities and values the university hopes to promote in furthering the role of the laity in the church.
That zeal for community service and appreciation for how the Dominican charism can inform professional life have opened the door for his post-graduation plans. Beginning in August, Puzzo will give a year of service to the Dominican Youth Movement USA. He is excited to explore innovative ways of bringing the tradition of preaching to high school and college students and young adults.
Puzzo sees the connection between his passion for helping to make the world a better place and his art talents. “Good design helps good happen.” His parents are in the design business—“it is in my blood”—and he has done two internships with professional graphic design firms. The industry, he believes, has power and can be a force for good. “Change in this world can come from graphic design. Graphic design is at the forefront of communication these days.” If nonprofits and churches do not see the value of investing in marketing materials and design, their message “falls flat,” he says.
He looks back at his four years at Caldwell with fondness and has advice for incoming students. “Number-one step, get out of your comfort zone. Take a leap. Sign up for a class you might not otherwise take. Get involved in community service.”