Category Archives: Communications
When hosting events, planners like to have takeaways; cups, lanyards, brochures, thumb drives, etc. It seems everyone is always trying to come up with ideas for a fun and creative new takeaway – how will people remember our event? What is something tangible to pass on to others so there is interest and buzz?
The iMedia class of 2013 recently hosted its fourth annual, Day of Professional Development, Digital Identities here at Elon University. Professionals from Capstrat, Response Mine Interactive, Tanger Outlets, and McKinney spent the day with our students advising, networking, discussing job opportunities, and the future of careers in a digital world. The day began with a panel discussion, followed by a networking lunch. For the first time, we took advantage of the newly renovated Student Professional Development Center and we hosted a lovely lunch outside on the piazza. After lunch, students met individually with the professional of their choice to either participate in a mock interview or receive feedback on portfolios and résumés.
It was a great day of energy, ideas, friendship, good food, and looking ahead to the bright future all our, soon to graduate, iMedia students have ahead of them.
The takeaway from this event was some good advice.
Don’t over promise and under deliver - relax - make each interview count - be prepared - and ask good questions. The takeaway here was intangible, unpredictable, and at the same time full of potential in a field that is growing and continuing to hire Elon iMedia graduates.
by maggie mullikin
Last month I attended a conference in NYC to promote our iMedia program and, while in the city, I met with Ashley Dischinger, a 2011 graduate who now calls Manhattan home. We talked about so many wonderful things – the city, her apartment, the neighborhoods she has discovered, and then the all important reason she went to NY to begin with – her new career. Ashley answered my questions and then some….
“I work for VINDICO, an online video advertising-serving platform. Our company serves, tracks, and measures online video ad activity for many prominent campaigns, as well as provides in-depth reporting and analytics to our clients. My role as Graphic Designer allows me to work closely with agencies to repurpose campaigns into an interactive format. (Some examples) I design a lot of the formats from scratch, using mostly Photoshop and Illustrator.
Because I prep the static designs for our developers to build, I also have to envision how the user will ultimately be able to interact with the ad and then design based around that criteria.“
Ashley gives the interactive media program credit for helping her launch her career.
“I absolutely know that my graduate degree was the main reason that I’ve ended up in this position. Had I not had relatively strong training in Photoshop and design skills, as well as an overall understanding of how users interact with digital media, I wouldn’t last more than a minute in this position… or even, this industry! iMedia was a wonderful stepping stone to prepare me for a career in the digital creative world.
“I received my undergraduate degree in Journalism, with a minor in International Studies, at Elon. As an undergrad, I had been on track toward a career as a reporter in online journalism. I even interned at CBS Radio and spent my last year at Elon dreaming of becoming a Web Producer at the station after graduation. Still, something was pulling me towards iMedia. Of course as an undergrad in the School of Comm, I had heard plenty of good things about the program, and my curiosity got the best of me (and good thing it did!) I had always felt a passion for my undergrad classes that involved design and introduced me to the basics of Flash and the rest of the Adobe programs. I can’t explain it, but I just had a feeling that iMedia was the right choice because it could be my way to delve more into the digital media that fascinated me so much.
“In retrospect, I have a deep appreciation for the way the program was designed to balance production and theory classes. Obviously, a thorough knowledge of how to produce media in any of these programs is a crucial part of my day-to-day. However, the understanding of how users consume and interact with media is invaluable. I apply that understanding to every format I am designing. What will users what to click on? How can I include the product information in a way that won’t overwhelm the user? What kind of animation can I apply without having the format turn “too busy?” These are all questions I can typically answer, based on the general theories we discussed in the program. Sure, I hated all the readings for theory classes at the time… but now I’m aware of how they apply in the reality of the industry!
And to those considering an iMedia degree?
“I have a lot of people approach me about potentially applying for iMedia, and they always ask me if I think it’s worth it. My answer every time is ABSOLUTELY. Don’t think of iMedia as strictly a communications’ degree. The great thing about the program is, it allows you to take whatever your passions are, and mold the program to fit your needs. If you want to be a reporter, as I did, the program can guide you in the direction of interactive storytelling, for instance. The other great aspect of iMedia is you really never know where you might end up! If you keep an open mind during the first semester, your strengths and weaknesses will become clear to you… more importantly, what you are the most passionate about will shine through (sometimes without even realizing it!) I never in a million years thought I would end up as a graphic designer, but it became crystal clear after being on the design team for our winter term class that designing layouts in Photoshop is what makes me happiest. I guess what I’m getting at is that iMedia will expose you to a wide range of skill sets and knowledge, and it allows you to nail down what you love to do and run with it.”
by Katie Williamsen, Elon iMedia Class of 2012
THE IMEDIA FACULTY HOLD THE HIGHEST DEGREES IN THEIR FIELDS AND HAVE REVELANT REAL-WORLD EXPERIENCE. BEING A GRADUATE OF THE PROGRAM, I WANTED TO PROFILE THE WONDERFUL FACULTY MEMBERS WHO HELP TO MAKE THE IMEDIA PROGRAM SO SUCCESSFUL.
Professor Phillip Motley has been with the iMedia program since it began in 2009. He completed his undergraduate degree at Davidson College and received his Master of Industrial Design at North Carolina State University. Professor Motley has industry experience as a multimedia designer, animator and art director. Before returning home to North Carolina, he taught design at University of Wisconsin-Stout.
All students take Professor Motley’s Visual Aesthetics class in the fall semester of the program. He will stretch your creative side and teach you that good design is about problem solving.
How has your background influenced what you teach in the interactive media program?
My background is in art and design informs much of what I do in the iMedia program. Though I’m not trained in communications and mass media, the skills and experience that I have as a visual designer are useful to iMedia students who want to work in some way with interactive media, which is inherently visual in so many ways. In the iMedia program, I mostly teach visual aesthetics and design related topics so that type of background comes into play all the time.
Is there a college class or experience that has most influenced your teaching philosophy?
I think the most important influence on my teaching has been the varied nature of teaching experiences that I’ve had. I taught a little bit during graduate school; taught for four years in an Art & Design program to BFA students; and now teaching in a Communications program. I think that the chance to teach so many different types of students has helped me out with my teaching style and with my comfort in front of the class. My graduate school experience (the College of Design at North Carolina State University) really hammered home the idea of process which I’m big on trying to instill in my students.
What is your favorite thing about teaching iMedia students?
My favorite thing about iMedia students is their willingness to jump right in on Day 1 and never look back. They are generally unafraid to express their views and opinions which is a nice contrast to many undergraduate students. I also really like the breadth of undergraduate degrees that they bring with them to the program. It’s refreshing to teach students who know a lot about so many things.
What is your favorite topic to teach iMedia students?
I enjoy teaching iMedia students about typography and about motion design. I really enjoy talking to them about narrative construction and storytelling. That’s an exciting area for communications students to focus on and is one that I believe will always be valuable. I’m always conflicted about wanting more time to dig into the technology aspect of much of what I teach. The fast-paced nature of the program and the course that I teach them in the fall (Visual Aesthetics) doesn’t allow for too much in-class time dealing with that aspect—and thus puts the onus on the students to figure out a lot of the inner workings of the software tools that they use. This works—and in the long run probably makes the students stronger at problem solving and being self-sufficient—but I do enjoy showing students how things work. Even though the summer course they take in August, Digital Media Workshop, is fast-paced and very much about tools, I enjoy it because it satisfies that side of my teaching interests.
How will the skills you are teaching translate to the future?
I think that most of the visual stuff we talk about in my classes are universal themes that are usable in a wide range of activities and occupations. Good design is good design regardless of where and how it is employed. The same is true of storytelling. We all love a good story and, for many of us, it’s the mechanism that we learn best from.
What would your students be surprised to learn about you?
That my daughter’s (Mackie) middle name is Nicole for the ridiculous reason of wanting her initials to be “MNM”
What is your favorite thing about living in North Carolina?
My favorite thing about being in the piedmont region of NC is how close we are to both the mountains and the beach. I know everyone says this, but it’s true. I grew up in the eastern part of the state (New Bern) so the coast is a special place for me. At the same time, I love the outdoors and grew up camping, backpacking and white water canoeing with my family so the mountains are also a big draw for me. Being relatively close to both is really nice.
Thanks for sharing a little bit about yourself, Professor Motley!