June 24, 2020
PSD’s July spotlight is Sean Hernandez, Assistant Director of PSD Graphics. Sean has been with UChicago for twelve years.
Sean was nominated for the “Keystone Award (seasoned veteran).” In an arch, a keystone is the last piece to be placed during construction, holding all the stones in position and allowing it to bear weight. In that spirit, a keystone staff member helps hold a department, team, or group together, serving as an integral member. This person is someone many other staff go to for encouragement, resources, or whom they rely on to “get the job done.” Seasoned veteran indicates this staff member has been working in the PSD for at least five years.
A member of the PSD community had this to say: His efforts over the last 12 years have gone above and the call of duty and most importantly his leadership has made my efforts possible.
We interviewed Sean about his interests and experiences below.
Where are you from?
I was born in Chicago, Illinois. I lived in Mexico City, Mexico, for a few years when I was younger, but settled back in Chicago where I stayed in and around all parts of Chicago and the Chicagoland area.
How long have you been at the university?
12+ years. However, It feels like I've only been here for a few years. Time flies when you're having fun.
What do you enjoy about being a part of the PSD community?
I've always enjoyed working in the PSD because of all the people that are making interesting things happen in our Division. It's a great feeling when these same people come to our office and ask us to help them develop a visual language for what they are working on. Whether it's a poster, flyer, or identity work like a logo – there is never a dull moment in our Division.
Tell us a bit about you.
Aside from my creative work at the University, I am secretly a DJ/Remixer/Producer. I've always liked to make people dance. I am also a proud father of two.
Who inspires you?
The crew I work with always inspires me – Chris Leather, Joel Matos, and Sam Delacruz. I'll admit, being in a creative environment is always a constant challenge, and working with these guys is always an inspirational experience. Each one of them brings a special skill set to each project and their unique way of thinking and expertise is a constant inspiration to me. I love my job and working with them. The support we give each other goes a long way and it makes every project we work on fun.
What is the most interesting thing that you are working on right now?
My family and I are currently planning trips to the various national parks across the nation. We want to try to see as many as we can. Also, I am always working on my next musical release/remix and planning on getting back to touring as a DJ overseas.
What does diversity and inclusion mean to you?
I believe a culture of diversity and inclusion in the workplace opens people up to new ways of thinking that helps push acceptance and new and innovative ways of thinking.
Who would you most like to swap places with for a day and why?
I don't think I'd want to swap places with anyone. However, I would love to be a fly on the wall to the many conversations had by my favorite designer Herb Lubalin....or even a fly on the wall in a practice session with Miles Davis' second great quintet.
Who had the most influence on you growing up?
Both my mother and father had a huge impact on me when it came to drawing. Growing up there were a lot of books on artists at our house. It also helped that they would take me to museums to actually see those artworks. Both my mother and father also had the best taste in music and music was always a constant thing in our house.
What three words best describe you?
Hardworking, Creative, Problem-Solver.