B.A. anticipated June 2014, Summa cum Laude
Home College: Medgar Evers
Faculty Mentors: Profs. Ann Brown, Biology, Medgar Evers and Janet Carlile, Art, Brooklyn
Thomas W. Smith Academic Fellowship
Frances R. Jellinek Schaffer ’56 and Hal ’56 Creative and Performing Arts Scholarship
Pi Etta Kappa and Sigma Alpha Pi Honor Societies
Vondel Mahon, originally from Grenada, recalls being fascinated by biology from an early age and carefully drawing body parts to better understand them. “I’ve been illustrating since the first time I laid hands on a pencil; it’s like illustrating is in my DNA.” He’s long known he wanted to be a medical illustrator. But how to pursue that passion?
Mahon entered CUNY BA in Fall 2012 to design this unique degree. “Through CUNY BA, I feel so much more confident about my career path. I am taking courses directly related to my field. I will be much more prepared for graduate school and a career in medical illustration.”
He has taken advanced courses in anatomy and physiology, drawing and graphic design at Brooklyn, Medgar Evers and City Tech and has developed an extensive and impressive portfolio. “Under the direction of my figure drawing professor and the use of my anatomy and physiology lab, I was able to use our specimen of a sheep brain as material for my project, which has
added originality to my portfolio. I created the piece I am most proud of, Bos Primigenius, with the guidance of my mentor Prof. Janet Carlile; it is the best work I have ever completed. This project, which was the epicenter of my independent study course, was undertaken to mirror a graduate-level project at Johns Hopkins University’s department of Arts as Applied to Medicine. The project was brought to my attention by Jill Gregory, a mentor of mine who is also a professional Medical Illustrator.”
As a student, Mahon has been active on campus as a member of the Medgar Evers Science Association, Global Medical Brigades (the world’s largest student-led global health and sustainable development organization), and Enactus (an international non-profit organization that brings together student, academic and business leaders who are committed to using the power of entrepreneurial action to improve the quality of life and standard of living for people in need.); he is also a member of the Association of Medical Illustrators.
Mahon says it is his heart’s desire to work alongside doctors, surgeons and other medical personnel using his illustrations to help save lives.