November 09, 2020

Alumni Awards Honoring Emerging and Leading Figures at the Intersection of Art and Design

Lee Friedlander, Melodie McDaniel, Allison Goodman and Parker Kuncl recognized for artistic achievement, service and innovation

ArtCenter College of Design is pleased to announce the 14th Annual Alumni Award recipients to be honored during a virtual graduation ceremony on December 19, 2020. The Alumni Awards are an opportunity for ArtCenter to recognize and celebrate the service and influence of individuals who work in disciplines spanning from photography and industrial design to graphic design and filmmaking.

The 2020 Alumni Awards will honor Lee Friedlander (Photography) with the Lifetime Achievement Award, Melodie McDaniel (BFA 91) with the Distinguished Midcareer Award, Allison Goodman (MFA 95) with the Outstanding Service Award, and Parker Kuncl (MFA 09) with the Young Innovator Award.

“Lee, Melodie, Allison and Parker are a vibrant representation of the extraordinary breadth and depth of art and design created by our graduates,” said Lorne M. Buchman, president, ArtCenter College of Design. “They are significant figures in shaping culture, and they inspire future generations of ArtCenter students to influence change.”

Collectively, these individuals provide a new lens to experience the world and witness the cross-disciplinary nature of ArtCenter’s approach to learning.

With an uncanny ability to organize a vast amount of visual information in dynamic compositions, seminal photographer Lee Friedlander began capturing the American social landscape in 1948. He’s made humorous and poignant images among the chaos of city life, dense landscape and countless other subjects. His work was the focus of a major traveling retrospective and catalog organized by the Museum of Modern Art in 2005. Yale University Press published In the Picture: Self-Portraits 1958-2011, a highly praised catalog of his self-portraits spanning his entire career.

Photographer and director Melodie McDaniel remains close to her multi-racial roots by focusing her lens on subcultures that challenge the prevailing notion of American identity in work spanning fine art, fashion, music and advertising. In a 25-year career, she’s directed commercials for companies such as Nike, Miller Genuine Draft and Facebook, and music videos for artists like Madonna. She’s photographed for magazines that include Rolling Stone, Vogue Hommes and Time. Her exquisite images of the after-school equestrian program Compton Jr. Posse (CJP) and the Compton Cowboys amplify America’s deep legacy of African American riders. Her series, with Amelia Fleetwood, resulted in an exhibition and the 2018 book Riding Through Compton (Minor Matters), a multifaceted portrayal of CJP’s young riders and their deep connections with the program’s powerful and gentle horses.

Allison Goodman is fighting the good fight as a veteran graphic designer, ceramic artist and a staunch advocate for women’s reproductive rights having volunteered at Planned Parenthood and The Feminist Majority. She considers her three decade-long career teaching at ArtCenter a worthy challenge and an opportunity to bring openness and honesty to the classroom. She’s the author of 7 Essentials of Graphic Design (HOW Books, 2001) and co-author of An Ever-Widening Circle: The Ceramic Artistry of Helen Jean Taylor (2015). She is a former Art Director/Project Manager at Sussman/Prejza & Company, Inc. known for the development of distinctive and successful visual communications programs for the built environment including the “look” of the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games. She was also an Art Director/Project Manager for Richard Saul Wurman, founder of ACCESS/Press guidebooks and co-founder of the TED conference. 

Throughout his career, Parker Kuncl has tried to improve the way consumers interact with some of the worlds most loved brands. While at Samsung, he was the design lead behind Samsung Pay and other groundbreaking innovations. At Uber, he developed two concepts that evolved in to key strategic initiatives for the company. His winning design at an internal hackathon at PayPal was fast-tracked to become the next generation of PayPal’s checkout product. Today, he is a design leader at Oracle. With more than 20 patents filed or granted, he is laser focused is on invention and designing the next big thing.

Past Alumni Award recipients include Doug Aitken (BFA 91), Syd Mead (BS 59), Shiro Nakamura (81), Drew Struzan (BFA 70), Kenji Ekuan (BS 57), for the Lifetime Achievement Award; Sterling Ruby (MFA 15) for the Distinguished Midcareer Award; Wendy MacNaughton (BFA 99), Mikio Osaki (BFA 61), Stephanie Sigg (MS 98) and Michael Osborne (BFA 78) for the Outstanding Service Award; Ini Archibong (BS 12) Katie Dill (BS 07), Jessie Kawata (BFA 11), Spencer Nikosey (BS 2008) and Kevin Bethune (MS 12) for the Young Innovator Award.

To see a complete list of Alumni Award honorees, visit

About ArtCenter College of Design Founded in 1930 and located in Pasadena, California, ArtCenter College of Design is a global leader in art and design education. ArtCenter offers 11 undergraduate and seven graduate degrees in a wide variety of industrial design disciplines as well as visual and applied arts. In addition to its top-ranked academic programs, the College also serves members of the Greater Los Angeles region through a highly regarded series of year-round continuing education programs for all ages and levels of experience. Renowned for both its ties to industry and its social impact initiatives, ArtCenter is the first design school to receive the United Nations’ Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) status. Throughout the College’s long and storied history, ArtCenter alumni have had a profound impact on popular culture, the way we live and important issues in our society.

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Teri Bond
ArtCenter College of Design
626 396-2385

Combined image of the four alumni award honorees for 2020.
ArtCenter College of Design Alumni Award recipients, L to R, are Lee Friedlander, Melodie McDaniel, Allison Goodman and Parker Kuncl. (Friedlander photo is a self-portrait, McDaniel photo by Len Peltier, Goodman photo by Christopher B. Stoltz.)