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FCC Grad Graphic Designer and World Traveler Cox


Jonathan Cox
Jonathan Cox -- Graphic Designer & World Traveler

Jonathan Cox, a 2000 Frontier Community College graduate and Fairfield native, is enjoying a career in graphic design. He is the Marketing Communications Manager for Cim-Tek Filtration in Champaign, Illinois. The company is the world-wide leader in filter technology for the petroleum, industrial, agriculture, bio-fuel, and HVAC markets.

Jonathan joined Cim-Tek in 2004 as a Graphic Designer. Job duties included designing artwork for private labeling, creating company brochures, fliers, and postcards. In 2008 he was promoted to the Marketing Communications Manager with additional responsibilities that included maintaining the website, producing product videos to be posted online and on YouTube, determining when to advertise and in what publications, and the responsibility for ad design. Trade Shows are another job duty, and he has traveled as far as China for a filtration show, which he found to be very exciting.

Jonathan graduated from Frontier with an Associate in Science degree. As a student at FCC, he served as a Student Ambassador and was a member of FCC’s first Students In Free Enterprise (SIFE) Team. He recalls how exciting it was when the team received first place at the Regional competition and advanced to the International Competition in Kansas City. 

In the fall semester of 1999, Jonathan spent a semester away from Frontier and participated in the Disney College Program in Orlando, Florida. This one-semester program provided him amazing educational opportunities and a chance to meet other student cast members and park guests from around the world. He gained valuable experience in business management as he spent time job shadowing retail managers on Main Street in the Magic Kingdom.

Following his graduation at FCC, Jonathan transferred to the University of Indiana, where he earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree in graphic design. One of the biggest highlights of his two years at USI was having his art design chosen for the 2002 West Side Nut Club Fall Festival program cover. 

Cox is married to Sabrina, a native of Brazil, and they have a daughter Julia. He has visited her homeland on holidays and vacations, but last spring Jonathan was given an amazing opportunity to experience Sabrina’s native homeland on a large scale.

Rotary International Group Study Exchange Team 2011
In March 2011 the owner/president at Cim-Tek encouraged Jonathan to apply for the Rotary International Group Study Exchange Team that was funded by the Rotary District 6490 located in Central Illinois. He interviewed and was selected to travel with a group of four and a team leader to Parana, Brazil, for one month. This was a goodwill trip that allowed the Exchange Team to work closely with Rotary members from Brazil as they visited about 12 different cities in all. “It was an incredible experience,” stated Cox. “The team spent time learning the culture, meeting people, touring schools, hospitals, and businesses.” Each team member stayed with a different host family where they were allowed to experience a true sense of the native culture of Brazil.

During their travels to medical facilities, the Rotarians of Brazil expressed a need for medical equipment for a cancer hospital. After coming back to the States, the Exchange Team began plans to provide the requested medical equipment, and Jonathan has been elected to President of the Rotary District 6490 Alumni Association for the 2011-2012 Rotary year. They are having a fundraiser on January 27th with a Brazilian band, Brazilian food, and a live/ silent auction. The money raised will go towards the purchase of a gastroscope machine for the Cancer Hospital of Londrina in the state of Parana, Brazil. The hospital serves over 200 cities and more than 3 million men, woman and children in the area.

Jonathan hadn’t always planned on a career in graphic design; in fact, his original plan was to earn a degree in business administration. When asked why he ended up switching areas of study, he smiled and credited Deb Smith, an adjunct art instructor at FCC who passed away in October 2007 after a battle with cancer. When Jonathan took an Introduction to Painting class, Deb noticed his creative talent and began asking him if he had given any thought to pursuing a career where he could use his skills in art. Together they had discussed different avenues and Jonathan began looking into graphic design. He will always be grateful for Deb Smith’s insight and encouragement because he is very happy with the path that his career choice has taken him. 

"Frontier offered a progressive education at an affordable price. It just made sense,” stated Jonathan. “I was able to save money and knock out many classes before transferring to a larger university to focus on my core curriculum. Most students are unsure of what they really want to do. I was one of them. My time at Frontier helped guide me into the field I really wanted to major in and the faculty was outstanding."

Note: After this news item had been written, Jonathan has accepted a new position with the University of Illinois. He will be the graphic designer for the Illinois State Geological Survey, a division of the Prairie Research Institute. Story submitted by Karen Bryant, Information and Marketing Director, FCC.

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