Instructor Spotlight: Renee Azoulay

Successful, multi-disciplined, marketing/communications Professional with 30 years of experience across industries. Renee is a talented, high energy professional that combines a sharp strategic focus with a passion for what she does.

In addition to teaching at FIT, she heads up a boutique marketing/training agency, Diamond Edge Network. Previously at leading marketing/promotion companies, she brought in, developed and managed promotional campaigns for companies including the NBA, The U.S. Postal Service, Spalding, Revlon and MTV Networks (Nickelodeon).

After earning her Bachelor of Science from Cornell University, Renee spent ten years in consumer research at the pharmaceutical company Bristol-Myers Squibb s and the advertising agency BBDO.


Prof. Azoulay teaches:
HAC 066 Digital and Interactive Marketing: Who’s Watching You?

Teaching Philosophy:

My teaching philosophy is a “hands-on” approach to learning. I believe in my students’ ability to learn, but also to suggest, comment, question and most importantly contribute their ideas. My goal is to empower students and have them “absorb” the information rather than memorize it. With that in mind, my focus in class is to guide thinking and learning while at the same time encouraging active participation. I tend to create a relaxed environment with laughing and jokes so that we have fun too!

On Precollege Programs:

What a brilliant idea to explore a future career or interest now. Why wait! I think taking a Precollege course can jump-start a lifelong journey of success. Since enthusiasm is the main driver of my teaching style, I am delighted to bring this passion to high school students and spark interest for their future.

Industry Experience:

  • Head of Diamond Edge Network
  • As a motivational speaker, Renee has presented for leading organizations that include The NY Emmys, American Women in Radio & Television, Columbia University, the Professional Insurance Marketing Association, The Brand Activation Association (BAA, formerly the PMA), the eMarketing Association, the NY Builders Show, and the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce.
  • Promotional campaigns for NBA, The U.S. Postal Service, Spalding, Revlon and MTV Networks (Nickelodeon)

Instructor Spotlight: Jessy Ventura

Jessy Ventura has worked as a visual merchandiser for over 6 years. She started out her career working directly for a mannequin company. This position gave her an opportunity to gain inside knowledge and understanding of props and mannequins. Over the years she has worked for various companies such as Massimo Dutti, Burberry, Patek Philip, French Connection, Milly NYC, And Patina-V. Her most recent role at Massimo Dutti allowed her to travel around the USA, Canada, and Europe creating elaborate and exciting window displays.

Instructor Ventura teaches:
HSX 060 Mannequin Madness
Spend four days learning lots of “tricks-of-the-trade” and discovering behind-the-scenes fun in the visual merchandising industry. You’ll create fun and fantastic displays using mannequins, props and backdrops. You’ll also learn how to apply these techniques to retail situations and learn the merchandising tricks used in many of your favorite stores. Gallery

Window by Jessy Ventura, Massimo Dutti

Teaching Philosophy:

My goal is for students to gain insight into the industry by providing them with examples from my personal experiences. I encourage students to contribute to discussions and share their ideas. All ideas are celebrated and utilized in some way. Students explore their creativity, have fun, and ultimately decide if this industry is a good fit for their skill set.

On Precollege Programs:

Precollege Programs are amazing in a way they help students hone in on their interests and work on improvements. Unfortunately, when I was in high school I was unaware that they existed. I applied to FIT in my senior year and wasn’t accepted the first time. I knew this is where I wanted to be so I took night classes, got good grades, and applied again. The second time was a charm and I was in, I started in the Fashion Merchandising Management major. I hated it. I misunderstood what it was. I later transferred to Visual Presentation and Exhibition Design. This is a prime example of why Precollege Programs are there. Students can get a feel for what they really want by trying different majors out, and see which one really intrigues them. I am honored to have the opportunity to show my students how amazing Visual Presentation and Exhibition Design is.

Window by Jessy Ventura

In the Halls: Kaylynn








Student: Kaylynn from Connecticut 

Program: Saturday Live Spring 2017

Precollege Course: HAR 016 Creating the Fashion Figure

Describe your personal styleI love vintage couture and creating unique looks. NYC is my place to express my style.

Where do you go on your breaks from class? The library, it’s extraordinary.

What is your favorite thing about FIT? Being in the city and experiencing all f the things it has to offer. What better place to start my career than here?

Who or what inspires you? The idea that I can completely create myself the way that I want to.

What do you want to do after you graduate from college? I’m already obtaining my own jewelry line now, designsbymkay, I hope to be my own boss in the fashion world.

Photo Credit: Marta Regulski

In The Halls: Camille

photo credit: Tyler Roarty

Student: Camille (17) from New York City

Program: Precollege, Saturday Live

Precollege Courses:  HDE 114 Styling of Fashion, Food and Home Products and HAP 025 55A  Sewing for Fashion Designers

Describe your personal style: All black outfits are boring to me, so I love to wear prints and textures. While it can look slick, I find it more interesting when I see lots of color. I love wearing the unexpected!

Where do you go on your breaks from class? I usually sit and chill out for a minute. I like to get coffee, or go to the FIT Dining Hall for a quick snack.

What is your favorite thing about FIT? I love how everywhere I turn, there is something creative happening; a dress, painting or what have you. I always feel inspired!

Who or what inspires you? My mother inspires me as she dresses kind of crazy, but still makes it look amazing! She’s so confident in what she wears.

What do you want to do after you graduate from college? I would love to become a buyer or a personal stylist.

-Post and photography by Tyler Roarty

Instructor Spotlight: Richard Elmer


Richard Elmer began teaching at FIT in 2002. He teaches in both the lower and upper divisions and also serves as Admissions Chairperson for the Illustration Department. He studied illustration and graduated from School of Visual Arts in NYC where he has lived and worked as a professional illustrator for over 35 years. He spent his early years freelancing in publishing and marketing while honing his illustration skills. His strong conceptual style garnered work in major corporate, publishing and advertising markets.


Prof. Elmer teaches:
HIL 160 Illustration Rendering Techniques

Work by Prof. Elmer

Teaching Philosophy:
We build our skills one painting at a time, so every effort plays a role in improving the next work. We must respect our efforts even if the outcome is not what we intended. Creating art can be broken down into a process but it is not a science. Science follows formulas, which produce the same outcome every time. Artist, employ patience and persistence to develop skills to rely on. Refine your craft to bringing your vision to life.

On Precollege Programs:
As Chair of Admissions for the Illustration Department I have seen the benefits of the Precollage Programs first hand. I review a lot of work from all over NY State, neighboring states, even other countries. I can say without a doubt that these programs offer a significant leg-up on the standard portfolios I see. Artwork often conveys a broader sense of awareness and sensibility in subject matter, media, even the presentation of the work.

Industry Experience/Recent Exhibitions:
Robert Wood Johnson Annual Report Paintings, Strathmore Paper, Concept Artist, PSP Sports/Nike, Nestlee and Becks. Time Life / Books for Young Readers. Head Creative/VortechX Technologies. RX Illustration Award of Excellence.

Works by Prof. Elmer: