Justene Merriman

any pronouns
Multimedia Designer


What I'm doing here

I produce creative content for our college and department communications: graphics, audio, video, photography, websites, writing (multilingual), and many other creative projects. My mission is to ensure the achievements of our faculty, staff and students are represented in a high quality, consistent, and inclusive way. I engage in several committees to help further this mission. You'll see the majority of my work on this website and everywhere CFPA publicity reaches.

How I got here


  • AAS degree in Graphic Design from Whatcom Community College
  • 2 years in the Design program at Western Washington University
  • BS in Information Technology/Multimedia & Visual Communications from University of Phoenix online
  • Team Recognition Award for creating MABEL
  • WWU certificate in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
  • WWU Accessibility Advocate award
  • Continuous professional development and training


I'm a Bellingham native from a non-traditionally structured family of wildly different backgrounds and perspectives who come from all over the continent of North America. I simultaneously grew up on a floral farm in the county, and in a Graphic Design studio near downtown. On the farm I tended plants and animals, climbed barn rafters to peek at owl and bat nests, made forts in the fields, and drew on the walls. I was required to (and did) clean my art off the walls, but that didn't stop me from doing it over and over again and again. I now paint murals on walls, and people ask for more. In the studio I doodled on paper from the recycling bin, drew on the walls here too, assisted in design projects, created mailers with professional design equipment, and helped in other parts of the business that I didn't enjoy as much. I also developed a hobby of digital illustration whenever an office computer was idle.

I spent 15 years in commercial printing at the largest printing facility in Bellingham. There I progressed from laying out documents for giant cameras, making plates for the presses and helping in almost every part of Bindery, to fixing customers' files in design software. I enthusiastically got into workflow automation, writing standard operating procedures, making marketing materials, and managing the company website. Eventually I ended up managing Prepress. I frequently visited K-12 schools throughout Whatcom County to teach yearbook classes, teachers, and parent helpers about printing and how to design their yearbooks for the best outcome. During the same time I had a freelance business doing graphic design, fine arts, writing, and event coordination. I also dabbled in photography for fun, and some of my poetry got published.

I joined the WWU College of Fine and Performing Arts in 2013. Here I have taken our websites through multiple overhauls, generated tons of print marketing, produced and regularly update digital signage, performed photo shoots, created and edited videos, advised university branding, made improvements to university communications and workflows, increased the welcoming nature of our marketing, and advocated for more inclusive usability for all. I am always working to improve all of these things.

What I'm doing elsewhere

I love learning and am constantly in the midst of DIY projects: arts, crafts, journaling, repairs and improvements of all genres, and other projects that strike needs or fancy. Every day I do nature photography and foreign language studies while exploring the woods on leash with my real boss: my cat (adopted from Creatures' Comfort). Previously, my dog (RIP Zeta) who frequently joined me on campus was honored by the college with the title of CFPA Marketing Mascot. I volunteer at Bellingham Arts Academy for Youth (BAAY) on the Equity, Diversity & Inclusion committee and the Governance & Personnel committee. You might see me wandering in nature, at some of BAAY's events, or at the myriad of inspiring activities from the WWU College of Fine and Performing Arts.

Brief description of Justene's portrait

A white appearing, barely middle-aged person with a feminine build, resting their head on their hand in a thoughtful way and smiling slightly as they look up to the side. The direction of Justene's eyes in combination with a rainbow tapestry in the background makes it look almost as if Justene is magically manifesting a rainbow out of their head and smiling about it.