Elisabeth (Lis) Charman is engaged in research and practice related to graphic design education and community engagement. Lis co-directs Friendtorship, a mentorship, and art program that aims to increase access to design and arts learning for underserved high school students, empowering them to engage in experiential creative processes that better their communities. Committed to community-based learning (CBL) and design for social change, her students have researched and designed for regional and local concerns including homeless youth population; sustainable food systems; micro-businesses and underserved entrepreneurs; Tualatin watershed research, restoration, and maintenance; our region’s high tech industry’s evolution; at-risk and underprivileged youth and families; documentary, independent and women filmmakers; sexual assault; and abused immigrants and immigrant rights.
Lis is currently the Director School of Art + Design and a Professor of Design at Portland State University. Lis’s work has been exhibited and published nationally and internationally receiving recognition from AIGA, ACD, Art Directors Club of NY, and How magazine. She received an MFA from CalArts.