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Faculty & Staff Directory

Dr. Chip Tonkin of Graphic Communications

Dr. Chip Tonkin

Department Chair

Dr. Chip Tonkin is the Chair of the Department of Graphic Communications and Director of the Sonoco Institute of Packaging Design & Graphics. He holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering, a Masters of Industrial Education in Graphic Communications and a PhD in Computer Science from Clemson University, and was in the packaging and printing industry for almost 15 years at International Paper before joining Clemson University to launch the Sonoco Institute. This move from industry was a unique opportunity to create an environment that brought together multiple academic disciplines with engaged industry partners to drive innovative packaging development, greatly expand student and faculty opportunities, and act as a catalyst for research into "game changing" technologies. This combination of practical experience, strong technical background, and broad exposure to diverse markets and customer voices gives him an unusual perspective in the graphics, print and packaging worlds.

Dr. Ingram

Dr. Sam T. Ingram


Dr. Sam T. Ingram is a Professor of Graphic Communications (GC) and former Department Chair at Clemson University, where he has been a faculty member for 30 years. He received his undergraduate BS degree from Appalachian State University in 1978. He received his Doctorate from Clemson University in 1985. He was Chair of GC from 2002 through March of 2015.

His primary responsibilities at Clemson are teaching, research and interaction with the printing industry. Dr. Ingram teaches all printing processes with a special focus in color reproduction, color science, process control and production workflow. Dr. Ingram was a primary planner in the development of the Sonoco Institute of Packaging Design and Graphics on the Clemson University campus. He has held membership in a number of technical and trade associations, including the Flexographic Technical Association, Gravure Association of America, Technical Association of the Graphic Arts (TAGA), Graphic Arts Technical Foundation, Screen Graphics and Imaging Association, National Association of Printing Leadership, Printing Industries of America, Printing Industries of the Carolinas, Packaging and Label Gravure Association, Southeastern Prepress Association, and the International Graphic Arts Education Association. He is a member and Co-Chair of the Flexographic Quality Consortium Executive Committee. Dr. Ingram has served two terms on the Board of Directors for TAGA and numerous technical committees in other organizations. He received the Mentor Award from the Screen Printing Association International (now SGIA) in 1988. Dr. Ingram's research in color measurement, color management systems, and print process modeling continues. He has co-authored five TAGA technical papers detailing color reproduction work. PIA/GATF published his book, A Screen Printing Primer, in 1999. He was presented the President's Award by the FFTA in 2007. The Academy of Screen Printing Technology elected Dr. Ingram to membership in 2003. He has participated in the United States Technical Advisory Group since 1997 (effort regarding ANSI and ISO print standards).

Dr. John Leininger of Graphic Communcations

Dr. John Leininger



John Leininger has been a Professor of Graphic Communications at Clemson University for 28 years. His focus had been in print design and production, but as digital printing became practical and cost effective in the last decade he began to work with "Variable Data Printing" (VDP). The natural evolution was to combine mailing into his instructional plan. As the process continued, direct mail and marketing strategies became a foundation of all his teaching. The last four summers he has taught a class on "Mailing, Fulfillment and Marketing Services" as an on-campus class, distance learning class and industry webinar series.

John speaks at conferences throughout the year (including events like the National Postal Forum, Document Strategy Forum, On-Demand, Graph Expo, etc.) on variable data, database development, mailing and marketing services. His current research is focused on evaluating print design strategies with eye tracking software, marketing analytics through web tracking portals and using QR codes and hidden watermarks as marketing tools. Seven years ago John created the VDP Traveling Laptop Training Consortium and has conducted hands-on training across the country over 100 times. The training has showed over 1,600 people how to work with VDP and to maximize response rates and to optimize mail piece design to work within the USPS rules and regulations. Like his teaching, John"s training and presentation strategy reflects the philosophy in the Clemson University Department of Graphic Communication's Mission Statement: To develop dedicated, practical problem-solving people for the printing, publishing, imaging, packaging and allied industries.

Dr. Liam O'Hara

Dr. Liam O'Hara

Associate Professor

Dr. Liam O'Hara is an Associate Professor for the Department of Graphic Communications at Clemson University. He obtained a Master's Degree in Graphic Communications from Clemson in 1997. After working in the corrugated industry, he returned to Clemson in 2001 to organize industry training programs. He completed his Ed.D. in Career and Technical Education in 2005.

Dr. O'Hara currently teaches GC 3460, which focuses on inks and substrates, press characterization, print metrics and color management, and GC 4440/6440, which focuses on current trends and developments such as workflows, cross media, and student-led experimental research on a variety of topics. He is also the advisor to the student chapter of TAGA (the Technical Association of the Graphic Arts).

Dr. O'Hara serves on the Board of Directors for TAGA. His research interests include printed electronics and color reproduction.

Dr. Eric Weisenmiller of Graphic Communications

Dr. Eric Weisenmiller

Associate Professor

Eric Weisenmiller currently holds the rank of Associate Professor in the Department of Graphic Communications at Clemson University. His primary duties involve teaching undergraduate courses in Commercial Printing (GC 4400) and Inks & Substrates lab classes (GC 3460). When not engaged in curriculum updates and the integration of new technologies into these areas of the Clemson graphics lab, his research interest areas include digital imaging and prepress production workflow, process control, color management, and photographic and digital imaging. Over the past decade, Dr. Weisenmiller has served as chair of the Treadaway Print Leadership Forum and as Faculty Advisor to the Clemson student chapter of Gamma Epsilon Tau (GET), an honorary fraternity for the graphic arts. Prior to joining the faculty at Clemson in the year 2000, he taught for two years at Illinois State University as an Assistant Professor in the Printing Management and Imaging Technologies program. He holds a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from Virginia Tech as well as a Masters degree in Printing Management and a Bachelors degree in English from Georgia Southern University.

Dr. Charles Weiss of Graphic Communications

Dr. Charles Weiss

Associate Professor

Charles Weiss has been an Assistant Professor in the Department of Graphic Communications at Clemson University since 2013. Prior to working at Clemson University, he was an Associate Professor of graphic communication at Western Illinois University for eleven years. In addition to teaching, Charles has also worked as a graphic designer, a layout artist, and a customer service representative at a commercial printer. He has more than 15 years teaching experience, and has instructed a variety of courses that include offset printing, screen printing, digital printing, photography, multimedia, graphic design software, variable data printing, and the commercial aspects of printing. His research focuses on hybrid learning, augmented reality, and design.

Dr. Nona Woolbright of Graphic Communications

Dr. Nona Woolbright

Associate Professor

Graduate Coordinator

Dr. Nona Woolbright has been a faculty member at Clemson University since 2002 and has over 20 total years of teaching experience. She is currently lead instructor for GC 4800: Senior Seminar and GC 4070; Advanced Flexography. She is also co-instructor for GC 1020: Computer Art and CAD Foundations. Over the past 6 years, Dr. Woolbright has coordinated the Phoenix Challenge college team—an international competition for flexographic printing where her team has won multiple awards. Recently, she developed the department's first study aboard program and led a group of students to the United Kingdom to study global packaging design.

Past classes she has taught includes CG 4480: Planning and Controlling Printing Functions and GC 1040: Introduction to Graphic Communications. She has also been a judge for the Flexographic Technical Association (FTA) as well as served on several FTA committees.

Dr. Woolbright is also the department's graduate studies coordinator and has been appointed to a number of other departmental and university wide committees over the years.

She has a strong interest in management and personnel practices for the printing industry as well as developing creative problem solving techniques for teaching package printing and design.

Erica Walker of Graphic Communications

Dr. Erica Walker

Assistant Professor

Personal Website

Erica Walker has a diverse background in visual communications which includes feature film production, web design & development, print buying, marketing, and graphic design. As a faculty member in the Department of Graphic Communications at Clemson University, Erica teaches courses in Photography, Video, Web Development, and Entrepreneurship. In the last two years, she has also developed multiple new courses including one focused on Entrepreneurship in the Graphic Comm industries. 

Prior to becoming a faculty member at Clemson University, Erica co-founded a film production company, Galatia Films, where she wore diverse hats including development of marketing and distribution plans, creation and management of print and digital assets, and managing diverse creative teams. Two of her larger projects with Galatia Films include a feature length documentary film and an educational television series for children. 

Outside the classroom, Erica speaks at conferences across the country on a variety of topics including Adobe applications, curriculum development, mixed methods classroom research, the entrepreneurial mindset, game-based learning, color management, branding, and social marketing. One of her current research projects focuses on classroom research where she works as an instructional designer in partnership with industry-expert, adjunct lecturers. The curriculum is designed to leverage the expertise of the adjuncts within a cognitive apprenticeship framework and measures the impact of using real world challenges to prepare graduates with epistemic frames and 21st Century Skills as they prepare to enter the industry. 

Carol Jones of Graphic Communications

Carol Jones

Senior Lecturer

Internship Coordinator

When Carol Jones first came back to Clemson in 1990, she was an Industry Training Specialist delivering week-long workshops for beginning and advanced techniques in flexographic printing, offset lithographic printing and screen printing. She is primarily interested in prepress operations, packaging structure and design, advanced techniques in flexographic printing for pressure sensitive/narrow-web and folding carton printing. Carol enjoys networking with professionals in all facets of the printing industries. Her experience and contacts in the industry have allowed her to successfully place many students in excellent internships and also aid in their successful employment upon graduation.

Carol has been a consultant to the envelope printing industries for prepress and pressroom audits for conversion from offset lithographic printing to flexographic printing. She has delivered numerous presentations to forums and symposia held by the Department of Graphic Communications at Clemson University. Her education includes a Bachelor of Science in Graphic Communications and a Masters in Human Resource Development.

Patrick Rose of Graphic Communications

Patrick G. Rose

Senior Lecturer

Patrick Rose graduated from Virginia Tech in 1972 and began teaching high school art, graphics, and photography in 1973. He continued teaching until 1989, when he spent a year at Clemson earning a masters degree in Graphic Communications. After receiving his degree, he resumed teaching high school until returning to Clemson in 1992. His interests are screen printing, computing, computer networking and server technologies.

Kern Cox of Graphic Communications

Kern Cox

Senior Lecturer

Kern Cox is a lecturer in Clemson University's Department of Graphic Communications who teaches undergraduate-level courses in all major printing processes, electronic prepress, package printing technologies, and color management. He joined the department in 2012. Kern brings with him ten years of experience in professional education development where he provided various training and R&D services through Clemson University's Printing and Converting Research Center and Clemson University's Sonoco Institute of Packaging Design and Graphics. Kern served the post print corrugated, narrow web and wide web flexographic market segments as well as the offset lithography market segment. His professional and research interests span flexography, corrugated, color management and is currently researching international initiatives for technical training and human development in the packaging and printing field.

Kern joined Clemson University's Department of Graphic Communications as a lecturer in 2012. He continues to offer various consulting and training services to the printing and packaging industries.

Jay Jacobs of Graphic Communications

John Jacobs



John Jacobs spent sixteen years in the membrane switch and electro panel industry before returning to academia in 2008. During his tenure as a graduate student, he won two TAGA graduate research awards. John has been a Visiting Lecturer at Clemson University since 2010. John is pursuing a PhD in Rhetoric Communication Information Design while teaching a variety of technical courses, including: Foundations in Graphic Communications, Graphics for Packaging Science, Functional Materials & Printed Electronics and Conceptual Packaging.

Suzanne Edlein of Graphic Communications

Suzanne Edlein


Suzanne (Harris) Edlein's career in the printing industry has been spent predominantly in teaching. She is an alumni of the GC program, graduating in 1991; after which she continued her work at Clemson for 6 years running technical symposia, conducting industry research and teaching hands-on print training classes through the Print/Con Center and the GC Industry Training Program. She spent the following 7 years as a training specialist and consultant to the flexography print segment. Suzanne returned to Clemson as a part time instructor, working primarily in the introductory lab classes where she gives students the opportunity to experience screen printing, lithography, and flexography first hand.

Linda A. Kanaley

Administrative Coordinator

Linda is the "front door" of the department handling all incoming calls, correspondence with students, parents and industry partners. She has been with the Department of Graphic Communications for 15 years and previous to Clemson, worked for Rochester Institute of Technology for 12 years.

Linda's position as Administrative Coordinator entails financial support and processing for all GC expenses, assisting students and industry with internships, travel arrangements for faculty and students, and departmental communications. She assists with the coordination of 2 Intern/Employer Day events, the GC Awards Banquet and the Bill Treadaway Leadership Forum.

Linda also distributes job and scholarship information announcements to GC majors. She is often the first face anyone encounters when interacting with the Department of Graphic Communications.

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