Marissa Balbuena
is a Filipino-Ecuadorian designer and researcher. Utilizing a multidisciplinary and ethical approach to research, she aims to promote awareness of human realities and amplify historically marginalized voices in order to critically reimagine existing spaces. Marissa believes in the power of responsive dialogue and co-creation to foster ingenious and transformative societies. Integrating organizational and managerial science into her mentoring approach, Marissa enjoys connecting with students and helping them realize their true potential, values, and motivations. She hopes to enter the design education field in order to propel student-centered learning and encourage the exploration of plural perspectives the world has to offer.
Marissa holds a BFA in Graphic Design from the
University of Florida
School of Art + Art History
and an MS in Management from the 
UF Warrington College of Business
. Additionally, she studied Principles of Display Typeface Design at
thanks to the Display Type BIPOC Fund. She is a recipient of many awards, the most notable being the UF SA+AH Outstanding Undergraduate for artistic and academic merit. Marissa formerly volunteered as Student Liaison for
AIGA Gainesville
and Social Media Designer for
AIGA Unidos
. With knowledge in designing multi-faceted visual systems, Marissa is employed as Design Specialist at the
. Previously, she worked for
UF Mint Design Studio
, and
Miami-Dade County
. On her free time, Marissa is learning languages on Duolingo, practicing her improvisational cooking, or exercising at the gym. ︎

︎︎︎View Portfolio PDF

︎︎︎View CV

Achievements & Awards

2022: UF Lastinger Center for Learning Outstanding Associate Award for Service and Dedication
2021: SA+AH Outstanding Undergraduate Student Scholarship, $1,000
2021: Display Type BIPOC Fund, $1,060 for tuition and $60 for supplies
2021: Ligature 30 Best Junior Award
2020: James J. Rizzi Scholarship, $1,000
2016: De La Cruz Scholarship, $5,000 for tuition and $500 stipend

Workshops, Talks, & Presentations

2023: Creating Narratives & Showcasing Process, Type Electives
2022: Pushing the Boundaries of Type, University of Florida SA+AH
2022: Creating Narratives & Showcasing Process, Montserrat College of Art
2021: Flamingo Learning Branding Guide Training, UF Lastinger Center for Learning XD² team
2021: Senior College Forum, Design & Architecture Senior High
2021: Flamingo Learning Branding & Accessibility, UF Lastinger Center for Learning
2021: What Does It Mean to Decolonize Design?, UF Lastinger Center for Learning
2021: Typography in InDesign, UF Lastinger Center for Learning XD² team
2021: Adobe Illustrator Overview, UF Lastinger Center for Learning XD² team

︎ Website Design: Marissa Balbuena
︎ Typeface in Use: Piazzolla by Juan Pablo del Peral
︎ Last Update: 05 MAR 2023