Leslie AnguloMonday, Nov 01, 2021
Leslie Angulo, who will graduate this December with a BFA in Graphic Design, Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters, is a distinguished and decorated Army paratrooper and veteran who served in Afghanistan and received many awards, among them the Action Combat Badge. While overseas, she honed her skills in photography and videography, becoming a Combat Documentation and Production Specialist. "My military training has helped me build my strengths as a person and a designer," Angulo said. "Always focus on the desired outcome and appreciate the struggles during the process because they teach you resilience and perseverance."
Angulo’s credo is that most things that are hard to achieve are cherished more. "Past experiences have helped me build my professionalism, maturity, work ethic, and reliability when turning in projects on time. And undoubtedly, it has encouraged me to ask for guidance, work efficiently, be disciplined, and be a team player. I do not consistently outperform my peers. Some of my classmates have a natural talent to design that I admire. However, no matter how gifted you are, there is no substitute for hard work and determination."
She said that her most challenging classes were and are her most memorable ones and where she learned the most: 3D Foundations with Broward College Professor Angelica "Angel" Clyman, Typography I and II with FAU’s Professor Tammy Knipp, Visual Design 3, and Senior Seminar with FAU’s Professor Stephanie Cunningham. "Throughout all the long nights, sweat, and tears, no doubt it made me a better designer today. My favorite project was creating a whole brand from the actual product, company logo, unique packaging, united labels, and the photo studio of the entire branding for Visual Design Lab 3," Angulo said. As an emerging artist, Angulo describes her style as "bold like to make a statement. I am colorful. I like to appeal to your senses, and innovative because I constantly explore new ways to enhance the final design."
Angulo’s short-term professional goal is to apply all the knowledge and experience gained in college and further develop her design skills. "I would rather not think about my long-term professional goals. Life is very unpredictable. I like to take one day at a time to stay grounded and hopeful."
She learned to take one day at a time as her military experience was tough, dangerous and challenging. "One of my very first lessons, and biggest of all, was to appreciate the small little things in life, your freedom, family, home, a bed, and a meal, that is not always guarantee for everyone," she said. "I evolved physically and mentally, uncovering my weaknesses and strengths. I reinforced my core values as a soldier, citizen, and human being. She is grateful for all of these positives – "as well as having my college education paid for." Angulo’s advice to military veterans is to take advantage of all the educational benefits that they are entitled to asap. "It’s never too late to pursue a career," she said.
Angulo is a Colombian who was born and raised in New York City. During her free time, she loves to read, drink coffee, and watch military documentaries. She is passionate about her pets: a Chihuahua, a toy poodle and a mixed Corgi-Lhasa Apso-Maltese. The one secret most people don’t know about her? "Even though I was an Army paratrooper, I am still afraid of heights!" she laughed.