I am a storyteller, graphic designer, and educator, based in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Design for me is a way of building bridges and engaging with people in both my local community and the broader global community.

I’m a cultural code switcher

I grew up a global citizen, living in Ethiopia, Nepal, India, and the United States. As an adult, I’ve lived in Syria and Vietnam, and have spent extended time in the Netherlands, Thailand, Lebanon, Turkey, and Italy. These international experiences continue to shape my perspective and approach to design.

Explore my writing, teaching, and speaking about cross-cultural topics »

I’m an experienced designer

I earned an Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree in Integrated Design (focusing on the integration of web, video, and print design) from the University of Baltimore in 2009. I’ve spent over a decade doing design work for non-profit organizations, cultural institutions, universities, and small businesses — both locally and globally. See my list of past clients below. 

Check out my design portfolio »

I’m an engaged teacher

I currently work as an Assistant Professor in the School of Media Arts & Design at James Madison University. I teach students about visual communication and creative advertising.

Check out my students’ work »

My research focuses on creative visual expression around themes of identity and place with Harrisonburg’s immigrant and refugee community. 

Check out the community-engaged projects I’ve led »


I primarily work for non-profit organizations, cultural institutions, universities, and small businesses, both locally and globally. Past clients include the Smithsonian Institution, the Library of Congress, the Louvre Museum, the New York Public Library, and the Kennedy Center.

View my portfolio »

Contact Me

If you’re interested in getting in touch with me about a project, please email me at elisabeth@elisabethkvernen.com.