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 3-story barn rafters to peek at owl and bat nests, made forts out of corn stalks, and drew on the walls. To stay out of trouble I cleaned my art off the walls, but that didn't stop me from drawing on them again and again and again! I now paint murals on walls, and people ask for more. In the studio I also drew on the walls, 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.

Before working at WWU, I spent 15 years in commercial printing at what is still the largest printing facility in Bellingham. There I progressed from laying out documents for giant cameras, making plates for the presses, helping in almost every part of Bindery, to fixing customers' files in design software. I enthusiastically got into workflow automation, training new and experienced coworkers, writing standard operating procedures, creating educational and marketing materials, and managing the company website. Eventually I ended up managing Prepress. I frequently visited K-12 schools throughout Whatcom County to teach students, 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 dabbled in professional photography, and some of my poetry got published.

What have I done here

I joined the WWU College of Fine and Performing Arts in 2013. Here I have taken our websites through multiple overhauls, generated more marketing and communications than I could download in a week with blazing internet, performed photo shoots that got praises, 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 am constantly in the midst of learning and doing projects (arts, crafts, journaling, DIY repairs and improvements of all genres, and anything that strikes a need or fancy). Every day I study while on leashed adventures with my boss: my cat (adopted from Creatures' Comfort). Previously, my dog (RIP) 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 through the woods, or at art and education events such as the myriad of inspiring activities from the WWU College of Fine and Performing Arts.

Brief description of Justene's portrait

A white appearing, 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.