The AIGA DEC Symposium Lens 2023 took place this October 12 in New York City, within the AIGA National Conference. Assistant Professor Omar Sosa-Tzec participated in the panel "Making Space for Graphic Designers as Visual Essayists." In this panel, Dr. Sosa-Tzec discussed the notion of the visual essay as a multimodal argument and outcome of research-through-design and the application of poetics, semiotics, rhetoric, and aesthetics as critical approaches to peer-review the visual essay in graphic design academia. Sosa-Tzec also discussed sketchnoting as a form of pre-writing and content for visual essays. Accompanying Dr. Sosa-Tzec were Patricia Childers (CUNY/CityTech/Pratt), Heather Corcoran (Washington University in St. Louis), and Joshua Unikel (University of Houston). All the professors were AIGA DEC Design + Writing Fellowship members in 2022. This panel and their work from the fellowship seek to legitimize the visual essay as a research product in graphic design academia and pluralize and diversify its voices.