Lee Marrs
It is with sincere confidence that I recommend Li Gardiner as an accomplished and dedicated instructor. In my role as Animation Chair for the Center for Electronic Art for the last 3 years, I've valued Li as a capable, dependable colleague. Her infectious enthusiasm has infused the learning of countless students — as evidenced in her students’ glowing evaluations, which we routinely examined as respective chairs of our academic programs.

Long before taking on the responsibilities of Print Program Chair, Li’s open-door policy to student concerns enabled her to form a sound basis for her design of that program. Her varied experience in the print media field also gave a practical foundation to the individual courses she created. 

As Dean of Faculty, she initiated CEA’s ‘Faculty Schmoozes,’ gatherings of all the school’s instructors, where general concerns and technical expertise could be shared. Since all of CEA’s teachers are freelance, these meetings created valuable links both school-to-instructor and instructor-to-instructor. Her efforts transformed the previous volatility of our instructor pool into a stable group. 

Li also presided over weekly Program Chair meetings where the overall scope of the programs were coordinated to respond to the school’s academic and budgetary parameters. As an active member of CEA’s senior staff, Li spearheaded efforts to formalize school policies.

Her contribution to any learning environment would be enthusiastic, energetic and experienced. 

Lee Marrs

formerly Animation Program Chair, Center for Electronic Art 

Faculty, San Francisco State University Faculty, University of California at Berkeley

Rolf Andersen

I have had the distinct pleasure of working with Li Gardiner both as my colleague and my supervisor for the past 2 years at the Center for Electronic Art. Being able to watch Li closely, I know how dedicated she is as an instructor, preparing the students for the transition from the class room to the commercial workplace.

Li has been responsible for developing a strong sense of creativity and professionalism in her students, developing their technical, communication and presentation skills, and focusing student’s attention on building confidence in themselves and their work. Li has been an extraordinarily valuable asset to the Center for Electronic Art from an educational and artistic perspective.

I can without hesitation recommend Li for any creative or educational position in the art and design industry. Her professional attention to detail has created a high standard among the students. Li has earned the respect of her colleagues while instilling a sense of artistic discipline in her students; an essential element for the advancement of their careers.


Rolf Design 


Kriss Sulka

It is with great pleasure that I write this letter of recommendation for Li Gardiner. I was a student of hers at the Center for Electronic Art from 2000 to 2001. In addition, Li served as art director and editor, offering expert supervision to a team of designers, myself included, as we created two catalogs together. 

In both instances, Li was highly professional, informative, and enthusiastic. As Dean of Faculty and Chair of the Print Design Program, she was very approachable, supportive, and attentive. She was a valuable resource to me as a working professional interested in getting an efficient, comprehensive education. When meeting individually, Li provided a level of attention that is rare at most schools. 

As a teacher and advisor her critique of student’s artwork is both fair and realistic. She has a gift for recognizing a student’s potential and providing feedback that leads to growth. She is particularly talented at harnessing the energy of a classroom and directing it toward our creative work. She is very good at handling difficult students, at keeping on task, and motivating students to produce work they are proud of. Under her direction, students requiring a slower pace could thrive and more experienced students still felt challenged. I enjoyed each of the classes I took with Li and sought out her name in the course catalog when signing up for classes.

Li is extremely knowledgeable about print and Web-related applications. She always helped identify the source of problems, helped me find a solution, and taught me strategies to avoid its reoccurrence. Her knowledge about the multimedia design industry is also evident, and I have felt grateful to have her guidance at this time in my life as I switch careers. 

Li is a woman with great talent as an artist, teacher, mentor, and leader. She brings her positive energy wholeheartedly into each of her endeavors. As executive director of a not-for-profit organization for nine years I have had a great deal of experience hiring and managing employees. I have come to understand what skills make a person a good leader and exemplary employee. I can say with certainty that Li will thrive in whatever she seeks to do next and will surely be an asset to whomever she chooses to work with. I recommend her highly for any position that requires artistic creativity, the ability to multi-task, to teach, and/or to provide leadership. 


Kriss Sulka

freelance designer/illustrator

Oakland, California


Thomas Luehrsen

I have known and worked with Li Gardiner for two years at San Francisco State’s Multimedia Studies Program.

As an instructor, she is well-prepared, articulate about the curriculum, passionate about motivating students, and constructive in her critiques. Her strong design and production skills have provided a springboard for teaching students how to exercise their critical faculties, develop their own ideas, and present their creative work to clients. As a professional, her approach is always guided by offering the best learning experience for the students. I have always been impressed with Li’s sheer excitement when she witnesses genuine progress in a student’s work. She has a knack for eliciting the best possible work from her students. 

As a colleague, Li is very responsible and has always communicated clearly with me. She has a very thorough and well-grounded approach to whatever project she takes on. While designing and co-teaching the Portfolio Development Program, she has been generous with her ideas, and is just as enthusiastic about implementing my own. She has worked hard to creatively solve difficult problems with regard to curriculum development and delivery, and student evaluation. Her skills and extensive experience have been essential to the success of our program. 

I would recommend Li Gardiner for any position or role which requires these skills. 

Thomas Luehrsen

Instructor, Curriculum Developer, 

San Francisco State University 


Christopher Ambridge
I had the pleasure of working with Li Gardiner for 3 years at the Center for Electronic Art in San Francisco . 

In my tenure as a student, technical intern, and chief contact for the school’s tour operations, Li has been an instructor, the Chair of the Print Design Program, a senior staff administrator, and most recently the Dean of Faculty. In these roles she helped formulate school-wide policies consistent with the CEA’s educational, administrative, and outreach goals. On a daily basis she had direct responsibility for developing curriculum, hiring staff, and ensuring the highest standard for the student’s experience. In additions to these roles, as Dean of Faculty, Li also oversaw the functioning of all 5 multimedia programs and their scheduling by coordinating the program chairs and administrative departments.

Li’s performance has consistently been exceptional, as she has added much value with the level of professionalism, integrity, and productivity she has brought to all of the projects and roles she has undertaken. Li is very team-oriented, always willing to support her co-workers and creatively troubleshoot high priority issues. She has an exceptional attention to detail, and always strives for efficiency in managing her workload.

Li has always maintained a very positive outlook and has been a key factor in ensuring that the high standards and quality of the CEA’s educational and creative goals have been met. As the dot com crash impacted the CEA, her insights and level of professionalism and enthusiasm kept the school on track with its educational and operational missions.

I hope you will consider this account of Li’s performance in your decision to hire her, as she will be a valuable asset to any organization. 

Sincerely, Christopher Ambridge

formerly CEA Tour Operations Director 

Currently freelance designer, San Francisco, CA

Morgan Kelly
Li is one of the most committed instructors that I have had at the Center for Electronic Art. Her polished experience and shining personality have helped build this school to what it is today. She is not only an inspiration to me but essential to the school environment. I have talked to a number of students who share the same opinion. 

Speaking as a former student counselor, I know that her reputation and influence not only drew certificate students here but also kept them on board during an internal restructuring. She is an outstanding member of the San Francisco art community and an asset that will be difficult to replace.
Morgan Kelly 

San Francisco

More letters available. 



“I loved that we shared each other’s work because it taught me a lot about perceptions, concepts, ideas. It also gave me some confidence in having positive comments or just feedback.”

“Made me think of design differently.”

“Li was very supportive of a free flow of ideas. Though I’ve taken visual design classes before, the class was interesting and informative.”

“This class took our homework assignments farther, which I really liked. It was a gradual transition to possible portfolio pieces while learning applications. This class is FUN, FUN and I actually have a firmer grasp on design elements.”

“[these] were great classes and really helped me grow artistically. Li is a wonderful instructor and I seek classes she is teaching.”

“I really enjoyed the class — especially working on assignments you will actually work on in the ‘real world.’ The logo development was especially helpful.”

“The entire Visual Design series has been a great experience for me. I’ve been made to think about whole worlds of concepts I hadn’t considered before.”

“These courses provided real-life lessons and considerations. They helped prepare me for a future career in design.”


“The information was concise and well-laid out. Time was taken to go over each subject and critique its usage. Li is well-informed about the program and its capabilities. Practical, hands-on, thorough. The course was a strong overview of the program as well as a creative boost.”

“I love Li’s teaching — very clear, useful, allows questions and gives a lot of hints to solve problems which appeared in our homework. I love the course.”

“Excellent instructor. My confidence has come back.”

“Plenty of time allowed for critique. Particularly useful was viewing work by other students. Excellent analysis and suggestions. Students had great ideas — great work.”

“I’ve worked with Photoshop for 5 years. Thanks to Li, now I am beginning to understand it!”

“This course saved me boat-loads of time. The technical aspects of hardware involved with scanning are demystified and I feel comfortable using different interfaces.”


“Excellent overview and preparation for real-life experience and what to expect in the industry. I liked all of the samples and variety plus the explanation of the process in a project. I can see that Li will be a great resource and instructor.”

“Li’s classes are always well-designed and delivered.”


“Li brings invaluable real-world experience to all her classes and I’ve learned more from her than all other teachers combined.”

“A plethora of information and experience delivered in a friendly, casual and approachable way. Kept my interest and strengthened my desire to learn more about print design and make it a career.”


“This course was extremely successful in getting our mindset focused on what we should be doing with the entire process — from writing the resume to bringing work to the client. Now I can visualize this — something I couldn’t do before.”

“The handout was great for reference. My favorite was the 5-minute resume scramble scenario where we had to weed out job candidates in small groups. The real-life simulation was effective.”

“Of all instructors I’ve had so far, Li inspired the most confidence that what we are doing is at a highly professional level. She is very organized, and the work we did felt very relevant to what I’d hoped to learn.”

“This class put everything in print design in focus. Under Li’s facilitation students turned ‘criticism’ into ‘critique.’ Her sincere emphasis of strengths encouraged needed revision and modification. Li handled delicate situations masterfully.”