Lori Claudio: Creativity To Content


Lori Claudio, 61, graphic designer for Campus Activities in her office located in the Babylon Student Center.

Ni'yah - Marie Preacely, Opinion Editor/Multimedia Manager

Lori Claudio, 61, is the graphic designer for Campus Activities; she makes designs for clubs for promotion purposes and to help bring all 33 of Suffolk’s active clubs’ visions to life.

“One of my favorite things to do is help people accomplish their goals,” she said. “Graphic design lets me translate what’s in my client’s head and what they’re thinking.”

Although she always had a passion for crafts and creative outlets, graphic design wasn’t always her goal.

Born and raised on Long Island, she graduated from Central Islip High School in 1979. She went on to receive a bachelor’s degree in social sciences with a concentration in childcare and family studies from Stony Brook University in 1983, married her high school sweetheart in August of the same year, and then worked at the Veterans Administration New York Reginal Office in Manhattan for four years. After having her first child, Andrew in 1988 she became a stay-at-home mother for the next 14 years. When she reached her mid 40’s she and her husband decided it was time to get serious about saving money for retirement, so she decided to start working a part-time job at Payless to help with household expenses.

Then she decided she needed something more permanent and virtuous. A real profession.

“My friend had given me a bootleg copy of Photoshop and I fell in love with it,” Claudio said. In 2013 she received her associate degree in graphic design from Suffolk’s Eastern Campus in Riverhead

Before joining the team in Campus Activities, to get experience in her new field she took a position in an unpaid internship with the International Hip Hop Parade for a year. She then became the graphic designer at Suffolk in the fall of 2014, working with other club coordinators to make the Ammerman campus a fun and thriving community. “I just love her, she really listens to what they [the students] need,” said Lorraine De Leon, 31, coordinator of the club program for Campus Activities.

Claudio said she receives a sense of fulfillment from her work with Suffolk’s clubs. They include the Honor Club, Disney Club, and Phi Theta Kappa. The clubs submit ideas for a logo that will be on their brand, and she makes it come to life. Her clients are her main priority are the students she helps by designing t-shirts, card holders, hoodies, and other merchandise. In addition to working with the club, she handles the social media posts on Facebook for Campus Activities.

“Lori is so great,” said Meadow Buitrago, 19, vice president of public relations for Phi Theta Kappa. “I can always count on her to give the best advice to make things better.”

Along with working at Suffolk, Claudio is singing and playing guitar as a part of the worship team at her church Calvary Tabernacle Church of God in Saint James. She is also the first lady of the church, working alongside her husband Hiram, who is the head pastor, and running the women’s ministry meetings. Having been in ministry since 1994, her responsibilities within her church are another passion she has.

When she isn’t in her office creating designs or being dedicated to her church, she is relishing in all things popular culture. Claudio enjoys her personal time by indulging in a plethora of her favorite science fiction and fantasy television shows and movies such as Game of Thrones, Doctor Who, Harry Potter, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and especially Star Trek. She is also a frequent reader of comic books, thus fueling her appreciation for pop culture even more.

Her passion for being creative is expressed every day through her work with clubs and her love for popular culture decorating her office. With her funko pops, figurines, and bright-colored posters all around she can’t help but be inspired to continue her work. Knowing that her ability to create what her clients need is Claudio’s main purpose.

Claudio’s hard work ethic and dedication to her craft are significant to Suffolk’s efficiency and working to the best of its ability. The designs she makes for all 33 clubs provide a sense of unity that is a necessity for their prosperity. She is one of the wheels that make the machine that is Campus Activities. Claudio not only delivers joy to clubs and their members but to the entirety of Suffolk’s community.

“I make dreams come true every day, like a fairy godmother,” she said. “And I guess it makes people happy, and I love to make people happy.