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Isaiah Andrew

Engineer Designs Creative Career

Isaiah Andrew has a very personal sense of style.

The electrical and computer engineering major from Bowie, Md., founded the custom T-shirt company Dynastee Designs Inc. with his younger brother while Andrew was a sophomore in high school. The two could not afford the high fashion sported by some of their peers, so they created their own. “Within a few weeks, people were asking for our T-shirts left and right,” says Andrew, whose clothing has been featured on MTV and Black Entertainment Television.

He continues to grow his company, which has created shirts criticizing the crime rate in Washington, D.C., and the war in Iraq. At press time, Andrew was applying for a grant to fund shirts aimed at the genocide in Darfur.

On campus, Andrew was vice president of the traditionally black fraternity Alpha Phi Alpha as a junior. He spearheaded the University’s Martin Luther King Day candlelit vigil in 2006 and is a member of the National Society of Black Engineers. Partially through his fraternity and partially on his own, Andrew speaks to minority students at Chicago high schools and churches about going to college.

“If you look at what’s going on in popular music, the way African Americans and Hispanics are portrayed in movies and television … I think people are becoming comfortable with how they’re being portrayed, as if it’s OK to not go to college, to eat unhealthy and die at an early age, to speak as if you’re uneducated. … I really can’t stand it,” Andrew says.

Andrew has accepted a job with a consulting firm after graduation and hopes to be its director of creative services within five years. Eventually, he wants to start his own consulting firm specializing in graphic arts and design. His personal goal, and his goal for those groups he speaks to, is “to be a success story, not another statistic.”

— Robert Brenner (J07)

Photo by Bill Arsenault