Vanessa Cruz, M.F.A. 

Associate Professor, Graphic Design + Digital Media

M.F.A. California Institute of the Arts


Phone: (904) 620-3833
Office: Building 45, Room 2509





 Hired Date: 2005       

Associate Professor Graphic Design and Digital Media


MFA, California Institute of the Arts, magna cum laude, major: Experimental Animation

BFA, Rhode Island School of Design, magna cum laude, major: Film/ Video/ Animation emphasis: Animation



Vanessa B. Cruz received her second Fulbright (Specialist Award in Media Arts) in 2014 in which she worked with the Fachhochschule St. Pölten, Austria (St. Pölten University of Applied Sciences, Media Arts Dept). Her focus was to bring expertise to help train junior faculty in mixed media animations techniques as well as to assist in developing curriculum for the “European Project Semester”. Previously she received the Fulbright Scholar Core Award in 2012 in Media Arts, where she lived in Dublin, Ireland working with the National College of Art and Design, and gathering research for her latest projects: RUIN and Pub Stories. Ms. Cruz attended The California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, CA, where she earned her MFA in Experimental Animation and holds a BFA in Film/ Video/ Animation from the Rhode Island School of Design. In 2005 she joined the University of North Florida faculty after working in the animation industry for over ten years. She has worked for such studios as 20th Century Fox Television Animation, Film Roman (now Starz Studio), as well as created her own independent films. Her films have been shown internationally and she’s won awards at the Ottawa International Film Festival and Oslo Animation Festival. Ms. Cruz was also curator for screenings at the REDCAT in Los Angeles, Santa Monica Museum of Art, as well as the Japanese American National Museum. She has also received the 2008 Individual Artist Fellowship Award from the State of Florida, and in 2009 the UNF Summer Scholarship grant, which will help fund her two films, “Icarus” and ”Eve As a Young Child” Ms. Cruz served as a panelist on the 2010, 2012, 2014,General Program Support/Specific Cultural Project and the 2010 Individual Artist Fellowship Award from the State of Florida for Media Arts.


2014 Service:

·  Served on Fulbright Media Arts Peer Review Committee. Over 24 applications reviewed.

·  Served on UNF Fulbright Committee.

·  Served on project reviewer for FH St Pölten student semester project review.

·  Was interviewed for FH St. St Pölten Artist Spotlight segment for C-TV, local channel, as well as a feature article in UAS FH St Pölten Magazine.

·  Participated in Limited Access review in Fall/Spring and Portfolio Review in the Fall/Spring. Met with various graduating students for project development for portfolio.

·  Served on Media Arts Panel for State of Florida Cultural Affairs Department

            ·  Student project for non-profit organizations.

                        organizations included:

                        Claire-White Mission

                        Art with a Heart

                        Daniel Project

                        Hubbard House


                        Katty Shack

                        Big Cat Rescue

                        Girls Rock

                        Mother Ocean

                        Cinderella Project

                        Dare to Rescue

                        Wounded Warrior Project

                        G.R.E.A.T. Rescue

                        Cat’s Angels

                        St. John’s Riverkeeper

                        1 Lunch Many Meals

                        American Lung Association

                        Surfers for Autism

                        Quigley House


                        Grind for Life

                        Big Cat Habitat