STAR Players on Bemidji State Advisory

Mallory Johnson

27 June 2012

Minneapolis, Minn. (June 27, 2012) – Star has been a key player in Bemidji State University’s (BSU) Exhibit Design program since 2002. Having participated in several highly-acclaimed academic initiatives, BSU is truly important to Star, and will continue to be for years to come. On an annual basis, select creative employees join other high-profile industry professionals in a rigorous process of judging student’s exhibit designs. This spring, Director of Creative Justin Dworak and Senior Graphic Designer Rachel Arndt were on the panel of the Senior Art & Design Portfolio Review, an event where Design program majors present their work for credit, in front of a review panel of industry leaders, corporations and faculty. Dworak has been a repeat guest lecturer in addition to committing his time to support budding designers in the EDPA University affiliation mentor/mentee program. Last year, he recommended and helped implement an RFP project, where students were required to respond to a comprehensive, industry-worthy RFP. With three winners awarded in a challenging process, the collaboration proved itself valuable enough to be added as an ongoing project in the curriculum. "Under Justin's leadership, Star's commitment to BSU's Exhibit Design program and students continues to grow and strengthen. The expertise that Justin brings to the classroom has proven to be invaluable in the development of future Exhibit Designers who are ready to hit the ground running in the industry," says Dr. Bonnie Higgins, BSU associate professor.

The benefits of the relationship go both ways. Star relishes the idea of nurturing talented young designers and has had the privilege of hiring several of them over the years. You might just call it design karma. That karma proved itself once again in February of 2012 when Star hired Kelsey Lefto, a recent BSU graduate and winner of the inaugural RFP presentation project. This talented 2D and 3D designer hit the ground running and is now working on many of Star’s high-profile accounts, such as: Craftsman, Emerson Process Management and Target. “I’m thrilled to be working at Star,” says an enthusiastic Lefto, “I couldn’t imagine a better environment to foster my design skills and learn what it takes to be a true marketing partner.”


Pictured in the photo are (left to right) Mark Johnson, CEO of Star, Kaleb Oemig runner-up, Kelsey Lefto RFP Project Winner, Samantha Thibert runner-up, Elle O'Neill runner-up and Justin Dworak, Creative Director of Star.

Under the leadership of associate professor Dr. Bonnie Higgins, the Exhibit Design program at BSU continues to grow in students and prestige. Since 1992, it’s considered to be one of the premiere exhibit design programs in the country. Learn more about Bemidji State University

About Bemidji State University Bemidji State University, located in northern Minnesota's lake district, occupies a beautiful campus along the shore of Lake Bemidji. The University enrolls nearly 5,000 students annually and offerings include more than 65 undergraduate majors and 13 graduate programs encompassing the liberal arts, interdisciplinary studies and applied fields. The University is a member of the Minnesota State College and Universities System and has a faculty and staff of nearly 600. University signature themes include environmental stewardship, civic engagement and global/multicultural understanding. For further information about the University, visit their web site at

About Star

Since 1993, Star has provided powerful brand integration for their clients. A leading global marketing solutions provider, Star values a customer-centric approach, lasting partnerships, powerful strategic direction, and consistent execution. Star’s comprehensive design, fabrication, installation/dismantle and property management services support event, trade show, retail fixture, corporate lobby and selling environment initiatives. For more information about Star, visit

Mallory Johnson



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