The iMedia faculty hold the highest degrees in their fields and have relevant real-world experience. Being a graduate of the program, I wanted to profile the wonderful faculty members who help make the iMedia program so successful.
Professor William Moner is new to the iMedia program this fall. He completed his B.S. and M.S. at Duquesne University. He is currently working toward a Ph.D. in Media Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. Before coming to iMedia, he taught web and mobile app design courses at Texas State University and digital media at the University of Texas at Austin. This fall, Professor Moner has been teaching Producing Interactive Media and getting to know Elon University. Learn more about Producing Interactive Media from current iMedia student, Laura Smith.
How has your background influenced what you teach in the interactive media program?
I’ve been obsessed with the web ever since I created my first web page back in the early 1990s. This medium has grown immensely since its inception and brings together nearly all forms of media and encourages user interaction and multimedia experiences. I began my career in health care information systems just as the web was starting to be utilized by businesses and organizations to organize and link information, but as I completed my graduate work in multimedia technology I wanted to be part of the design and creative process. After spending several years in health care information technology, I began teaching design at the college level in 2005. The first course I taught was a Photoshop/digital imaging course and I was hooked. Since 2005, I’ve been teaching courses in interactive media, web design, information design, and new media theory. The creativity of students and their desire to use technology challenges me to think with them about new ways to design for the web using imaging, web scripting, media production and interactive principles. I’m astounded by new opportunities that have emerged for information sharing, storytelling, and interactive experiences that utilize geospatial positioning, real-time communications, mobile devices, centralized data systems, and other technologies. In many ways, I feel as though we’re all just getting started.
Is there a college class or experience that has most influenced your teaching philosophy?
The courses that stuck with me from my doctoral work are courses where technology is situated as a product of social, cultural, political, and economic processes. With the growth of any new technology, we tend to get swept up into the hype and promise of the revolutionary aspects of the machines. This happened with the printing press, the telegraph, radio, television, and the Internet. My own thinking about technology has been shaped by professors who strip away the veneer of marketing hype, sound bites and techno-utopianism and treat technology as a function of the desire of humans to connect to one another in meaningful ways, the drive to share knowledge and experiences, and the role of political and economic actors in the shaping of technological systems. In my teaching, I strive to explore both the potentials of new technologies and the socioeconomic factors intertwined with new development.
What is your favorite thing about teaching iMedia students?
I love their enthusiasm and willingness to take on new challenges. In this year’s group, we have 38 students who have such diverse backgrounds and objectives. Some of the students will become great storytellers. Others will become media strategists. Still others will become web developers with their hands deep into the technology. I thoroughly enjoy being part of the process that grants students the opportunities and latitude to explore their interests and meet their career goals.
What is your favorite topic to teach iMedia students?
How will the skills you are teaching translate to the future?
What would your students be surprised to learn about you?
I used to be the lead guitarist of 1) a metal band (1999 – 2002) and 2) a folk band (2002 – 2003) while in Pittsburgh. And I used to be the person to ask if a song came on the radio that no one could identify. Sadly, I’ve been replaced by the Shazam app!
I know you just moved to North Carolina, what is your favorite thing about living here so far?
The change of seasons! I haven’t experienced a legitimate autumn for a long time. I’m from Pittsburgh, but I moved to Austin in 2009. In Austin, the “fall” lasts for about two weeks in late November or early December. The idea of an eternal summer sounds much better than the reality of 100º+ temperatures for almost 1/3 of the year. So, I’m enjoying the milder climate and the cool, crisp mornings and evenings. It’s nice to be back on the east coast. Elon has a beautiful campus, and I’m happy to be here.
Welcome to Elon, Professor Moner!