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Emerging Scholar

Awarded to a DTC student or pre-DTC major student who demonstrates strong technical, artistic, and critical work during their freshman and/or sophomore years.

Photo of Nicholas Kawaguchi

Nicholas Kawaguchi, 2020 award recipient

My name is Nicholas Kawaguchi from Maui, Hawaii. I’ll be a junior in the upcoming fall semester pursuing a degree in Digital Technology and Culture with a minor in Japanese. Hoping to continue broadening my horizons as I experience life outside the islands.

For DTC 336, taking the basics from 201 and learning to adapt/incorporate those principles into a piece that was purely composed of black and white typography was a unique challenge. The most compelling portion of the work is the overlay of the “Experimental Poetry in Action” over “Poetry” as it manipulates conventional use of positive and negative space to bring depth to the message. Also, since I am studying Japanese language, I enjoyed arranging some of the text in a vertical fashion to mirror that of typical Japanese texts.

From the Nominations


“Nicholas has explored and pushed the limits of creative production consistently in DTC201 and DTC336 courses this year. He has used the technology and digital tools introduced in the courses in innovative ways, combining conceptual/creative ideation with the tool-based aspects of the curriculum. For example, in DTC201, with comics and graphic novels as our semester-long theme, students are asked to consider the affordances that various media offer, especially print versus web-based works. Nicholas’s web comic successfully transposed a comic into a vertical format for browser-based viewing, and engaged in autobiographical and coming-of-age themes that were common in many of the comics we read for the course.

“The work [at right] is from DTC336: Multimedia Design. At the outset of the semester, students learn 2-D design principles and are asked to push the limits of legibility as they work exclusively with typographic elements in Adobe Illustrator. Most students find it difficult to truly manipulate language as visual form without too much regard to linguistic content. Nicholas successfully created a work that is still legible, but that explores positive and negative formal relationships in a way that is visually engaging as well as appropriate for the invented event advertised: a reading for the WSU Visiting Writer series titled ‘Experimental Poetry in Action.’

“Nicholas has engaged every assignment with a high degree of sensitivity and thoughtfulness, and he consistently uses his production tools in innovative ways that support his creative ideas.”