Sara Tinnick

Educator, Instructional Designer, & UX/Graphic Designer

Sara is a persistent and passionate higher education professional with over 15 years of experience. She currently works as Assistant Professor at Seton Hill University in Pennsylvania. Sara has participated in revamping curriculums, developing new majors, and doing research for accreditation initiatives.

LinkedIn : Sara Tinnick



Memberships & Affiliations


Learning & Development Manager DEO

2021 - Present

Hired as an instructional designer, I created learning content for in-person and live events and evergreen content for our members. I also developed three brand packages for our educational programs, creating robust design systems to help unify our curriculum. As the L&D manager, I lead a team of instructional, curriculum, and graphic designers and coordinate with other departments such as Events, Member Programs, and Marketing. I have created robust systems to help my designers function at a high level and ensure the content is well organized. In addition, I am spearheading an initiative to move the content onto an LMS, supported by lessons founded in adult learning theory. As a member of the executive team, I interact with all departments, partners, and advisors to ensure we provide timely content in a way that is easy for our members to consume.

Assistant Professor of Graphic and Interactive Design Seton Hill University

2017 - 2022

Starting as an adjunct teaching Photoshop and basic design, I became a full-time Assistant Professor at SHU in the Graphic Design program. I integrated numerous program changes, including founding the Animation program and revising the major's name to Graphic & Interactive design. Multiple courses were revised and created to adjust our student's skillset to meet the marketplace's needs. These courses included Interaction Design, Web Design, History of Animation, and Visual Design for Non-Designers. Several courses were taught to non-Design majors, resulting in an adjustment to projects and teaching styles. I created the Visual Design course for those outside the Art Department. It was the first online course to run year-round during Winter, Summer, and Fall sessions. I also conducted numerous workshops for SHU faculty and those in our community to teach the basics of design, typography, and Canva usage.

Instructional Design Consultant The Westmoreland Museum of American Art

2020 - 2021

Collaborated with the museum to develop a learning management system to provide educational resources to remote students; creation of multiple modules aligned with state and national educational standards.

Owner Hustle Design

2019 - Present

Hustle Design specializes in branding, social media design, web design, animation, videography, photography, and custom vinyl solutions. Although I have been a freelance designer since 2000, in 2019, Hustle was founded as a more permanent solution to address the increasing demand for design services. Since the pandemic, I have once again become the sole designer at Hustle, and I have focused more on branding solutions for various businesses across the United States. Fields I have developed design assets for include musicians, restaurants, insurance companies, dance studios, culinary entrepreneurs, IT services, law firms, dental companies, construction firms, and instructional design professionals..

Program Head Bradford School

2007 - 2017

I was responsible for instructing Introduction to Macintosh, typography, color theory, electronic drawing, page layout, history of graphic design, introduction to production, multimedia, transmedia, animation, UX/UI, social media, and portfolio development courses. Daily work included coordinating the various design programs with the admissions, accounting, and placement departments. I was also responsible for implementing necessary changes to keep the programs in compliance with technological, national, and state standards.

Senior Artist ADVO, Inc.

2005 - 2007

I was responsible for creating direct mail marketing pieces, from simple customer changes to the complete creation of complex ads from rough art. After becoming the Technical Artist, I preflighted customer-supplied ads to ensure they met company graphic standards. To help streamline and reduce errors when creating final PDFs, I developed AppleScripts that eliminated repetitive tasks and maximized Graphics Print production. As a Senior Artist, I supervised second-shift desktop artists, tracked jobs through the department, resolved personal and professional conflicts, and managed workflow throughout the department; troubleshooting technical problems on the Macintosh platform.

Desktop Artist Tribune Review Newspaper

2004 - 2005

Responsible for creation of advertisements for local area newspaper, including new proof ads, changes to previous ads, and scripting of ads. Also responsible for ad placement and pagination of several newspapers on press nights and outside jobs as needed.

Education & Instructional Design

Curriculum Design

Revising current curriculums to update content and approaches: Graphic & Interactive Design and Arts Administration programs; Co-creation of the new Digital Humanities major.

Learning Asset Development

Creation of student learning assets, including project specification sheets, workbooks, cheat sheets, and step-by-step guides.

Emerging Technology

Application of emerging technology, including augmented reality, virtual reality, and gamification.

Design & Development

Creation of new classes for both face-to-face instruction, hybrid, and online deployment, including all learning assets.

Teaching Asset Development

Creation of high-quality assets including slide decks, assessments, and rubrics.

Instructional Design Consulting

Adult eLearning, Standards alignment for K-12, and inclusion of AR for museums.

Andragogy/Adult Learning Theory

ADDIE & SAM Models

Bloom's Taxonomy

User Experience Design

Iterative Design

Client Training & Education

Web, Mobile, & App Design

Learning Asset Development

Design Thinking

Agile Development

Information Architecture


Client, User, & Stakeholder Communication

Graphic Design

Branding & Brand Standards Development

Photography & Videography

Social Media Design

Vinyl Signage, Stickers, & Apparel

Motion Graphics & Animation


Web Consulting

IT & Print Support

Logo Design


Get in touch


Pittsburgh, PA