This site is no longer active. Please visit to view the current website.

College of Fine Arts Research Profiles

Maria Rogal
School of Art + Art History

Associate Professor
T: 273-3080

College of Fine Arts
University of Florida
101 FAC P.O. Box 115801
Gainesville, Fl 32611-5801

View Biography

Research Interests:

development, social entrepreneurship, communication theory, intercultural communications

Research Summary:

Rogal's work focuses on the relationship between culture and design and how we can leverage the potential of design, broadly defined, to positively shape the human experience.The majority of her research is situated in Mexico, where she explores and analyzes the visual representation of indigenous cultures; works on entrepreneurial projects with indigenous cooperatives; and develops design materials and products with indigenous constituencies that aid in demystifying and breaking down stereotypes. Her projects continue to become more interdisciplinary and she uses design as a conduit to work in areas of intercultural communication, cultural anthropology, environmental ecology, technology, globalization, entrepreneurship, and sustainability. In addition to working with scholars, students, and government officials, she works with members of organizations in rural communities to support social and economic development.

Rogal was awarded a Fulbright-García Robles Scholar grant (2006–2007) and a Fulbright-Hays Faculty Research Abroad grant (2007) to conduct research in the Yucatán region of Mexico and teach in the Social Communication program at the Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán (


MFA, Design and Visual Communication, Virginia Commonwealth University (1995)

BA, Political Science, Villanova University (1988)

Key Professional Appointments:

I direct the Design for Development initiative, a program to explore how design--in all of its many manifestations--can play an important role in fostering economic, cultural, and social development and change.To this end, we use design thinking, concepts, methods, processes, and products to engage its power and potential for the social good. In partnership with marginalized indigenous communities in Mexico, we focus on projects that have rich opportunities for innovation, development, empowerment and a positive community impact.


MX09 Design Conference: Social Impact of Design. Universidad IberoAmericana, Mexico City. October 28—30, 2009. Poster “Hach Kaab Yucatán Honey.” (Abstract and final poster were blind peer reviewed.)

Wixárika Calendar in Substance: Diverse Practices from the Periphery. Emmanuel Gallery, Metropolitan State college of denver. Denver, Colorado. INVITED, Curator: Lisa Abendroth. October 2007.

Works with Paper: Artists’ Books. University of the South Art Gallery. Sewannee, Tennessee. June – July 2006. Juried by Ruth Rodgers. Website:


Selected Works:

Digital Library of the Caribbean: brand identity and strategy for 18-member consortium of public and private libraries in the Caribbean. 2009-2010. Rogal, M. (2009). “Design for Development” in MX09 Design Conference: Social Impact of Design. Mexico City: Universidad IberoAmericana. pages 25–28.Documentation and Preservation of Native Seeds, Quintana Roo: brand identity and strategy for collaborative research project which aims to document, preserve, and promote the use of native seeds and resulting fruits, vegetables, and legumes for preservation of local knowledge and cultural heritage, for family nutrition, and as a potential low-impact commercial product (seeds and produce). 2008–presentDesign for Development: Design and strategy for product development for 4 cooperatives in southern Mexico (honey farmers, master woodworkers, natural medicine, and community tourism). Concept development and design of the UF Seminars in Global Health brand identity and website for the University of Florida Health Sciences College “Seminars in Global Health”:


Design Research Grant. American Institute of Graphic Arts for “Design for Development.” 2008Fulbright-Hays Faculty Research Abroad Grant to México. $48,000. Conduct research project “The Visual Culture of Mexicanidad in Yucatán” US Department of education. Washington, DC. Principal Investigator. 2007Fulbright-García Robles Scholar Grant to México (Lecture/Research). $24,000. Teach at Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán and conduct research project “The Visual Culture of Mexicanidad in Yucatán” Council for International Exchange of Scholars. Washington, DC. Principal Investigator. 2006–2007Internationalizing the Curriculum Grant. University of Florida International Center. Principal Investigator. Awarded for continuing development of MIRA: Multimedia Interdisciplinary Research in Anthropology Study Abroad Research Program. Grant $3,000 / Research Category. 2004


College of Fine arts, University of Florida International Educator Award (senior faculty category) for innovation in teaching, research, and service. Fall 2009


Please upgrade your browser to the latest version
or disable compatibility view for a better
viewing experience.