Written by Osama Sultan Photos provided by Rebekah Albrecht
I remember my sophomore year like it was just yesterday and how I had yet to find the confidence in myself to stand out from the group of talented people. When I started taking Typography 2, we were tasked to pick a topic and create a magazine based on the things we have passion for. At that point, I was shy to express myself towards my peers, but my professor, Rebekah Albrecht, came up to me and told me that she had faith in me and saw the potential within me. From that moment on, I have recognized her as the woman who helped me get up on my feet, just as she did to all my peers.
Rebekah with sisters, Suzi, Kim (from left)
Rebekah Albrecht is the Creative Director and a Graphic Design professor at Woodbury University. Her journey at Woodbury University began as a guest juror for one of the Graphic Design studio finals. She went in her colleague’s absence and that’s when Behnoush McKay reached out to her in 2012 to ask if Rebekah would like to teach a Typography class. To this day, she has taught various typography classes of all levels as well as several core Graphic Design classes. Throughout her life, her journey has taught her many valuable lessons. From her early Hollywood exposure, to her passion towards educating the youth, to being a leader in climate change activism, Rebekah Albrecht has always faced challenges and conquered them with a sense of enlightenment.
Rebekah (on the right, age 7) alongside her family in Taiwan
Born to missionary parents who were stationed in Taipei, Taiwan, Rebekah spent her early life under the spotlight. Her father, a public religious figure , was destined to be a star as he started off as a theologian. But then later on, he had received an opportunity in St. Louis, MO (basically Vatican city for Lutherans), and assumed the role of TV producer for a weekly program called This is the Life, which had religious messages. They often filmed in Hollywood which included actors and directors that were casted from Los Angeles. The show earned 6 Emmy awards in total. Since her father often traveled to California, he then decided, why not bring the family along? That is when Rebekah officially became a Californian resident.
Rebekah with her beloved Gordon Setter, Usher
As an animal lover, Rebekah has always carried her passion wherever she was. From when she was little and she loved to draw animals, to today, she follows a dietary restriction of plant-based whole foods and is an advocate for animal rights; this was her starting point in her career as she devoted her time towards social cause.
When she started her college career at California State University, Northridge, she initially wanted to become a painter, but then took a logo class with Kay Wilder and quickly discovered her passion in graphic design. She described her discovery as “I just totally, madly fell in love with it”. She was hooked at how a small mark could tell a story so quickly and reductively. She then graduated from the graphic design program at CSUN and began working at an editorial job. After that, and several years of experience with her own clients and working for boutique studios like Top Design, Maureen Erbe Design and Limetwig, she freelanced for Leslie Baker Graphic Design.
One day, Leslie was supposed to go to a student jury critique but was unable to go, so she asked Rebekah to take her spot as a guest juror. This is where she had met Woodbury’s current Dean of Media, Culture and Design and Chair of the Graphic Design department. She was later contacted by Behnoush Mckay and offered her first class to teach at Woodbury University.
Rebekah with daughters, Catie, Ali (from left)
Since then, Rebekah has focused her mindset on helping the people of our community. She continues to involve herself in social causes and presents herself as a role model, she constantly evolved alongside technology, and she helps students climb up the ladder, as she did with me, all while pursuing her studies at CSULA in obtaining her MFA degree. So before I concluded my interview with her, I asked her if she had any advice to our students and to that, she said that it is “tougher to be a student than to be out there in the working world”, so her advice would be to take things one step at a time, make a difference where you can, and be kind.