Art has been a part of Carol Sung’s ’23, life since she was young, starting with crayons and markers at 4 and steadily evolving through colored pencils and other mediums to the digital tools she now uses.
Sung entered Farmingdale State College intending to study Graphic Design as her father did; however, he urged her to switch her major to Interaction Design, convinced it was a rapidly-growing field. She took his advice and will graduate in May, armed with several awards for her work and hours of professional experience.
During Women’s History Month, Sung reflected on how fortunate she is to have a mother who was and continues to be such a strong role model. “My mom is the one who inspires me to be the confident and determined woman I am today,” Sung said. She emigrated from China, worked hard, and now holds a highly-responsible job, “while earning enough money to support the family and allow me and my brother to live happily and comfortably. She is also the one who taught me to be an overachiever, to always grab as many opportunities as I can. Growing up, she always supported me, whether I was taking drawing, dance, piano, boxing, or karate classes.”
The New Hyde Park resident won the 2022 SUNY Long Island PitchFest with her senior project proposal, which involves utilizing an app she named TangYuan to help revitalize New York City’s Chinatown, by engaging residents, tourists, and business owners. (FSC student Esther Sherry placed second.) PitchFest is designed to give students experience presenting business proposals.
Sung also took the top prize in the 2021 Long Island Nets’ Innovation Challenge, for a user experience/user interface (UX/UI) case study about parking shortages on college campuses, which she presented at the 2022 SUNY Undergraduate Research Conference.
In addition, she was one of the winners of the 2021 Farmingdale State College Safe By Design Poster Contest, receiving $500.
Interaction Design proved to be the perfect choice for her, Sung said. “I feel like I thrive on that major, it has been a good experience,” she continued. “I really like how it compares to graphic design, but it involves logic, a lot of research on users, and a lot more creativity.”
She added that she loves to mentor and encourage other female students whenever she gets the chance. “Interaction or UX/UI design is my passion and it is a topic I love to share my experiences about and motivate others to try because you never know how far you will go.” Through social media, Sung met other female UX/UI undergraduates and they supported one another and shared experiences.
While many people are still not familiar with the field of interaction design and its applications, Sung expects that will be changing. “It’s the future,” she explained. “It’s inside all the things we use every single day, even if people don’t realize it.”
Currently, she is working for a company she met through a campus job fair, designing websites and doing some coding. She also interned for Taste of the NFL and GENYOUth as a social media marketer, content creator, and web designer for Global Long Island. One of Sung’s biggest interests is gaming and her goal is to get a job in that industry, preferably in California.
While researching jobs, Sung said she was encouraged to see women in leadership positions in the interaction and graphic design industries. “It seems very equal for men and women.”
Society has experienced many changes over the decades, and Women's History Month highlights women’s contributions. “No matter where women are, they always play a vital role and make such a big impact on society,” Sung said. “Women's History Month serves as a reminder of the power women hold and how it is important to support one another.”
Her advice for other artistic young women considering studying interaction design is to plunge in. “They should definitely go with it, even if they are interested in graphic design, especially if they are a fan of doing research and coding.”