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.
Dr. Amanda Sturgill fearlessly leads iMedia students into remote areas of Costa Rica each year for fly-in projects and has been working tirelessly to develop a new course on SEO, analytics and social media. Dr. Sturgill holds a Ph.D. from Cornell University and is passionate about teaching people how to make great content. If you are looking to be challenged, I highly recommend one of Dr. Strugill’s classes.
How has your background influenced what you teach in the interactive media program?
I am a recovering newspaper journalist who has had a strong interest in interactive media since back in graduate school, where I worked as a student researcher in an interactive multimedia lab. I have a strong interest in using media to tell stories where the reader is a part of the story as it unfolds.
Is there a college class or experience that has most influenced your teaching philosophy?
My first multimedia class at Cornell with the amazing Geri Gay had the philosophy that learning, studying and creating are all inextricably related. I think in a skills-based field like communications, it’s important to consider all three, so my classes are always a mix of thinking and doing.
What is your favorite thing about teaching iMedia students?
I like the variety of students that iMedia attracts – many different undergraduate majors and different ages/levels of experience. It’s always interesting getting different people’s points of view.
I’m excited to hear about your new class, SEO, analytics and social media. Can you share a bit about it?
It’s something that I have been working on for almost a year that grew out of things students were hearing as they were interviewing for jobs. Those going the project management and content creation routes were expected to know how to effectively reach audiences and measure the impact of the projects they were creating. There is a robust Internet marketing community in RDU and another in the Triad, and we’ve had great support from both directions in putting together this new class.
How will the skills you are teaching translate to the future?
I teach Interactive Project for the Public Good (the Fly In) as well as the new elective. For both, the major skills aren’t particular techniques that are popular today, but rather the ability to analyze communication problems, to identify the emerging technologies that are the best solution and work quickly and creatively in a group to make it happen. I call the Fly In class the “little miracle” because we literally go from wheels up to web site in 3 weeks, but it’s also the kind of experience our students will have throughout their careers.
What would your students be surprised to learn about you?
I really enjoy keeping up with my graduates, both undergrad and grad students. My former students are doing everything from editing to acting to accounting to building web sites to serving in the military to lobbying Congress to preaching to translating to planning special events to … well, it’s a lot and they live all over the world.
What is your favorite thing about living in North Carolina?
The diversity! The booming NC tech corridor has brought smart people from all over the world to live here.
Thanks so much for sharing your insights, Dr. Strugill!