Curriculum manager spreads joy through art at Florida Polytechnic University

Dec 04, 2019
Curriculum manager spreads joy through art at Florida Polytechnic University
Jake Morrow, curriculum and assessment manager at Florida Polytechnic University, draws Peanuts characters on a window in the Innovation, Science, and Technology Building.

Superheroes, Muppets, bitmojis, and Disney characters recently started appearing on the windows of the Innovation, Science, and Technology (IST) Building.

At the end of the workday, Jake Morrow can often be seen quietly adding new dry-erase artwork to the windows of many faculty and staff offices.

“Somebody said to me it’s like the elves and the shoemaker – they go home and they come back the next day and there’s something new on the wall,” Morrow said.

It all started with simple quotes he wrote outside his office door in the IST in early October. They were statements like, “Broken Crayons still color” and “Hey you walking by, you’re awesome.”

Soon, he replaced those with a Halloween-themed drawing of Linus and the Great Pumpkin from the Peanuts comic strip.

Suddenly co-workers with nearby offices started asking him to liven up their own doors with images of Donald Duck, Stitch, and Strawberry Shortcake.

“It’s fun and it’s gratifying because I’ll walk down the hall and I’ll see people standing in front of the pictures and taking pictures of them,” Morrow said.

The IST building was designed with many large windows and other spaces that could be used for dry-erase calculations and quick communication. Morrow’s colorful artwork may not have been what was intended, but dozens of illustrations have made their way to these windows in the last few weeks.

“I think you should be able to enjoy yourself at work,” Morrow said. “If it’s as little as having the Incredible Hulk or the Animaniacs or your personal bitmoji on your door and it makes you happy, I’m happy to do that.”

Custom character drawings are nothing new to Morrow. In a previous position as an elementary school teacher, he set a goal of drawing a quick image requested by students on his chalk board every day.

At the end of the year, he made a coloring book of the drawings for his students.

At Florida Poly, once word began to spread about his fun and detailed drawings, the requests upon him began growing more complex and intricate. He even drew a detailed collection of images inside the Aula Magna to serve as the backdrop for the recent USA-India Roundtable Conference and Workshop on Green Chemistry, Engineering and Technologies (GCET).

One of his most recent creations is the addition of a rendering of the coming Applied Research Center to the windows in the Office of the President.

Morrow said although the occasional marker contribution to his cause is welcome, he doesn’t ask for anything in exchange for his drawings.

“It’s just fun for me and I like it when people have something they can smile about,” he said.

Lydia Guzman
Director of Communications

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