Dr. Noel Mayo, IDSA

2006 Education Award Winner

Dr. Noel Mayo, IDSA was the first African American to receive a B.S. in industrial design from the Philadelphia College of Art (now the University of the Arts) and first African American chair of an ID program – again, at PCA.

He was awarded an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts from the Massachusetts College of Art. Dr. Mayo was named the Ohio Eminent Scholar in Art and Design Technology at Ohio State, where he teaches product, interior, and graphic design.

Dr. Mayo was the first black owner of an ID consultancy with clients such as Lutron Electronics, NASA, IBM, the Department of Commerce and Agriculture, Black and Decker, the Museum of American Jewish History, and the Philadelphia International Airport. He has written for Innovation, The Wall Street Journal, Industrial Design, Arts Advocate and The Minority Business Journal.

Dr. Mayo places a very strong emphasis on the importance of mentoring and advocates alternative methods for education, accelerated learning, and information dissemination using new technologies.

In one of the many letters supporting Dr. Mayo’s nomination, Uday Dandavate, IDSA of Sonic Rim writes: “I have seen students who could never have dreamt of completing their education due to social, financial or cultural barriers, being able to meet their academic goals due to the support from Noel. I was one of them.”

Lorraine Justice, FIDSA wrote, “Noel is someone who inspires students and faculty through understanding, through calmness, through critique but most of all by showing his humaness, and in turn, encouraging the rest of us to be real as well.”

Peter Bressler, FIDSA wrote: “When he took over the ID program at the PCA, his tenure was a period during which the school probably had its strongest reputation for graduating bright, well rounded, thoughtful, hirable designers. Since accepting his Chair in Ohio he has clearly guided that program to one of the strongest in the country.”

Ray Riley, IDSA, founder of the Explore group at Nike and formerly of Apple Computer, said, “Noel steers students without their realizing they’re being steered… not to tell them what to do, but rather, lead them towards their own destiny.“