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Christina Rodriguez-Unalt

Assistant Professor, Art and Design

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Christina Rodriguez-Unalt joined Montclair State University’s Department of Art and Design in the Fall of 2020. Professor U, as students call her, is now a full time Assistant Professor and leads as Program Coordinator for the BFA Illustration program which launched Fall of 2022. She uses her experience as a current illustrator in the industry to educate students about the various illustration markets. Her program covers topics in comics, cartooning, advertising, publishing, visual development, and character design. She uses her professional network to bring in art buying professionals that collaborate with students and bring real world client interaction projects to their portfolios.

Professor U received her MFA in Illustration in 2020 from the University of Hartford, where she also received her BFA. Her career began as a scenic painter at a creature shop where she painted murals and large-scale sculptures for mini golf courses, storefronts, windows, and parade floats. She predominantly works in the children's publishing market and illustrates for textbooks, magazines, and picture books. Her clients include Arte Publico Press, Capstone Publishing, Brandylane Publishers, Cricket Media Group, Heinemann, and Seed Learning, Inc. Her fifth illustrated picture book, "Pedro and the Monster Eaters" is a bilingual title due to hit shelves May of 2024. Her work has been honored a Merit award at the Society of Illustrators of Los Angeles, and for the past three years has been invited to showcase an illustrated narrative for the Chen Bochui International Children's Literature Award exhibition in Shanghai, China. Through this exhibition, her 2022 series, “Worth the Wait” was awarded in becoming part of the CICLA Museum’s permanent collection. She is an active member of The Society of Children's Books Writers and Illustrators, where she aided in bringing the New Jersey regional conference to Montclair State University, allowing students to volunteer, network with publishing professionals, and spectate the workshops.

Her professional work can be viewed on her website,


Professor Rodriguez-Unalt specializes in illustration for the children's picture book and publishing market. Her work has appeared in numerous publications, children's magazines, and textbooks. Be sure to look out for her newest title, "Pedro and the Monster Eaters," due to hit shelves May of 2024.


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