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Alum leaves mark on presidential debate
PSU alumna Haily Ayres, a web designer at Washington University, has created many of the designs and animations that will be used at Sunday's presidential debate.

Alum leaves mark on presidential debate

PSU alumna Haily Ayres, in her role as a web designer at Washington University, has created motion graphics for the presidential debate that will be held at that university on Oct. 9.

When Pitt State alumnus Haily Ayres began her job at Washington University in St. Louis, she noticed a lot of her colleagues were talking about preparing for a debate.

“I thought everyone was talking about a student debate,” said Ayres, a 2016 PSU graduate originally from Lansing, Kan., who began her job as a web designer at WU in August.

She soon realized it was a tad bigger than that.

On Sunday, Oct. 9, Washington University will host the second presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Ayres will have a close eye on the debate for more reasons than one.

“In my role at WashU, I’ve created three motion graphics for the debate that will be shown in the media rooms on all of the monitors before and after the debate,” said Ayres, who studied visual communication and graphic design at Pitt State. “Washington University is also using it within their social media posts to bring attention to debate-related updates and stories. I also have taken part in creating the branded items for emails and the homepage that have to do with the debate.”

In short, it’s pretty cool stuff.

“My hope is to get some footage of the candidates in front of my animations,” she said. “Even though they will not know that I created them, it would be amazing for people so well known to see and be seen alongside my work.”

Though the responsibility to create debate material fell quickly in her lap, Ayres said she felt fully prepared thanks to her Pitt State education.

“My PSU education prepared me for this opportunity by teaching me that there are so many opportunities out there,” she said. “I also learned that large group projects (that made everyone wince) are so important, even if it means taking the leadership role and doing a little extra work to get it all done. I have also always taken all of the advice I have gotten from professors and peers at Pitt State and used it within my design work along with how I work with others.

“It is so crazy,” said said. “I was worried when I came into the web designer roll at WashU that I would not get as many opportunities as other designers working at larger agencies and with bigger clients. But it goes to show you that there are so many different types of opportunities out there … even ones that aren't very obvious.”

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