Lighting Artwork by MFA student John Spano '16
Art and Design News

The Department of Art and Design announces tenure track position for Assistant Professor Christina Rodriguez-Unalt

Posted in: Announcements

Illustration by Christina Rodriguez-Unalt
"Worth the Wait: Seedling", 2022, Acrylic and Colored Pencil on Digital Sketch. Exhibited at the 2022 Original Illustration Exhibition of Chen Bochui International Children's Literature Award and is in the permanent collection of their museum.

Join us in congratulating Assistant Professor Christina Rodriguez-Unalt on her successful tenure track position. This is a significant achievement and we are thrilled to have her as a valued member of our faculty.

Assistant Professor Christina Rodriguez-Unalt has consistently demonstrated exceptional dedication to her field as well as a deep commitment to the educational mission of our department. Professor Christina Rodriguez-Unalt received her Masters from the University of Hartford Low Residency M.F.A. in Illustration Program. She joined the Department of Art and Design Fall of 2020 as an Adjunct Professor and then last Fall as a 1 year hire to fulfill the role of Program Coordinator of the newly launched BFA Illustration program.

This semester she is officially joining the Department of Art and Design as their tenure-track Assistant Professor and has many tricks up her sleeve to improve the program. In just one year, she has added more internships and illustration opportunities. Students in the illustration program teamed up with Johnny Lorenz’s Intro to Poetry class last Spring, where the collaborative work was featured in the Creature Collective exhibition displayed in the Finley Gallery on campus last May, and will be appearing again September 22nd-28th.

In Fall of 2022, she also worked with students and Tommy Schrider, professor from Theatre and Dance, for a competitive opportunity to illustrate the playbill cover for the on campus production, Everybody. Most proud of her newest collaboration, Christina is bringing in The Baristanet, the local news and media of Montclair and neighboring towns of Essex County, to assign articles to the senior level Editorial Illustration class led by their professor, Peter Gallagher, for professional publication.

Professor Unalt’s artistic scholarship began as the lead scenic painter at a creature workshop, where she painted murals and large scale sculptures for mini-putt, parade floats, and window displays. Now, she predominantly works in the children’s book industry with work published in four picture books, numerous children’s magazines, educational textbooks, and several short stories. Her fifth illustrated title, Pedro and the Monsters Eaters is a bilingual title due out to be published by Arte Publico Press in May of 2024.

Her work has been exhibited at The Society of Illustrators of Los Angeles and the Chen Bochui International Children’s Literature Award in Shanghai China, where her series Worth the Wait, has been honored as part of the permanent collection of the CICLA Original Illustration Exhibition Museum.

Professor Unalt is an active member of The Society of Children’s Books Writers and Illustrators, and through this network, aided in bringing the New Jersey chapter conference to MSU this past summer where Art and Design majors were able to volunteer, and in turn, spectate the workshops led by art directors, editors, and agents in the publishing industry.

She is very excited to contribute to the student opportunities offered at Montclair State University, and can not wait to see the advances the BFA Illustration program will make.

“I am thrilled to officially be a part of the Montclair community and am so thankful for the opportunity to innovate and enhance the newly launched BFA Illustration program. We have a bright future ahead.”
– Christina Rodriguez- Unalt, BFA, MFA

To find out more information about Christina and her work, please visit her website,