A Conversation with Tina Rardin

In a recent conversation with Hans Kellogg, Assistant Professor at Ball State University’s Graphic Arts Management Program, he shared with me the University’s environmental sustainability statement, which reads in part:

“The University's practices reduce both the consumption of materials and energy and the emission of pollutants to their lowest levels possible, without decreases in the level of education, scholarly work, and services provided.”

In an effort to deliver state-of-the-art education to students enrolled in the Graphic Arts Management Program, and at the same time support environmental sustainability, the department recently migrated from film-based platemaking in its lab to a chemistry-free Presstek Dimension425 CTP system.  He said, “Our goal is to ensure that students understand the print process from start to finish, and anything that needs to be printed uses Presstek Anthem Pro plates and the Dimension425 platesetter. In addition to eliminating the chemistry, developers and other equipment associated with film-based platemaking from our lab, we have also moved out most of the light tables and closed down the darkroom to gain additional space for more productive uses. We are teaching our students environmental responsibility along with the technical and management skills that are an important outcome of our program.”

Kellogg introduced me to a Sophomore in the program and recent recipient of the Henry A. Loats Scholarship, Tina Rardin, who shared with me her thoughts about the importance of environmental sustainability in the graphic communications industry.

Hailing from La Porte Indiana, Tina is pursuing a major in Graphic Arts Management and has declared a minor in Environmental Management.  She says, “I have always been interested in art and wanted to do something creative, but also wanted something practical that included the field of business.  Graphic Arts Management includes a Business Administration minor.  I took the Introduction to Graphic Arts Management course when I started here and really liked it, so I decided to stick with it.”

Tina applied for a scholarship to help fund her education.  The application process required a written essay about career goals, and she wrote about her desire to do something important that would make a difference, combining her interest in the Graphic Arts with her long-time involvement in environmental issues.  “I am looking forward to learning more about the printing industry, environmental sustainability, and the overlaps between the two,” she says.  “I know a lot of organizations in the printing industry are becoming more green and more aware of the importance of environmental sustainability, and I want to help that along.”

When Tina first started in the program, the lab had a film-based platemaker.  She says, “You had to process the film using chemicals, then you had to expose the image on the plate, and put the plate through more chemicals.  The chemistry-free platesetter we are using now is much simpler and easier to use. In the future, there should really be no reason to use chemistry-based plate making.” 

Tina Rardin and the program at Ball State University provide a great example of how our educational institutions are working to turn out the next generation of bright young professionals that are the future of our industry.  If Tina is any example, that future is both bright and environmentally conscious.

About Henry Loats

Henry A. Loats came to the Ball State Teachers College in 1946 to look for a job. He was hired to teach industrial arts, and never looked back.  Loats earned his bachelor of arts degree from the University of Northern Iowa, his master's degree from the University of Iowa, and a doctor of philosophy degree from Ohio State University.  He established a scholarship fund in 1975 in the area of industrial arts and an annual scholarship is still granted today.