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As the annotated bibliographies were winding down and we all are gearing up for even more writing, the iMedia class revealed their self-portrait projects to each other this week. This assignment gave us the opportunity to open our minds to new ways of expression and creativity through a non-digital self-portrait in Visual Aesthetics with Professor Motley. With Motley being our graphic design professor he decided to throw us a curveball and required us to shut the laptops off and pick up a pen or a paint brush for this assignment.

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By: Juwan Johnson

With each individual in the program possessing their own dynamic personality it was clear we all would produce something very different. We all had many visions of how we could represent ourselves in a creative way, so we all flipped open our sketchbooks and got to work. With ideas twirling and pencils dancing it was a great way to see how creative we could get.

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By: Kyndall DySard

We all definitely pushed the limits of what a self portrait is and the reflection of ourselves were made on paper, canvas, some with wire and yarn, and even a small sculpture(to name a few). With all of these creative geniuses in one place, we all cranked out some quality work! All 26 of us had a unique way of representing ourselves through art and some of us didn’t even know that was possible. Whether it be Expressionism, Realism, Postmodernism, or Formalism we all seemed to enjoy this project! We all may or may not have had a vision and but we all made our portraits come to life. Specifically, our own personal, unique lives. The tale of who we are, what we want to be, or where we came from. Some people took political routes expressing their views of the world, others took it to their passions and what makes them tick. It was entertaining to see how well people in the group know each other and how well we can spot the emotions and feelings put behind it based on the things we know. We may have even figured out even more about each other based on these portraits. For most of us we went with the happy, joyful colors but others went dark and mysterious. It was interesting to see that some of us have a deep side and some of us are just out there, on Mars! But, that’s the fun in it all. The different ways of expression help us not only figure out our creative style and our limits but also those of our peers.

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Portraits by TJ Felton & Kendra Sharpe

All the portraits held a significant meaning to each person but all together served the same goal. That is, to gain approval from Professor Motley…just kidding. But, the goal of accomplishing something many are afraid to do! Putting emotions on display and reflecting to others those things through art are not only challenging but nerve racking too. We all will remember this project and laugh because this is just the beginning. It will be fun to see how different our self perceptions will be in May! Until then, happy writing my fellow classmates!

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My Mid-Semester Resolutions

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Miramar Beach, Florida

As I’m writing this post, I’m looking out the window at a big patch of green grass, sunny skies, and a clock that’s waiting to tell me in an hour that I’ve earned some beach time. Spring break introduces a challenge to prioritization. On one hand, studies show that taking a vacation (or a break in general) is good for your health. It not only clears your mind to improve your focus when you get back to work, but it also improves your heart health. On the other hand, I made a to-do list of about a million things I should really get done over the break to prevent my workload from being overwhelming next week, and getting all of them done means there won’t be much of a break at all.

As someone who likes to plan ahead, it can be hard to tune out stressors. At this point in the program, there seems to be a lot of stress about finding a job, finishing our projects, and keeping it all together. I decided I would take this break to reflect on what I want my last two months (!!) in the program to look like, and come up with some resolutions to make that happen.

  1. I will embrace everything I have learned about myself and media production in the program. For our fly-in, I served as the Project Manager of the Costa Rica team. The task was very challenging, but I came out of the experience feeling more prepared for real-world experience than I did upon entering the program. It instilled confidence in me that I can handle any challenge that comes my way. In addition to that, I have improved my video editing skills and my knowledge of using DSLRs for videography. I can code a site that doesn’t look like it was made in 1995! I’m still learning every day.
  2. I will focus on my time left in iMedia – not wish it away in favor of getting a job. One of the biggest appeals of this program is how marketable we can become to employers. Elon University provides so many networking and career-building opportunities for us to find our dream jobs. A good portion of our class is made up of students who came straight from undergrad, and that means -for most of us, anyway- that we don’t know exactly what that dream job looks like. There is so much room for trial and error in our job search and in the jobs we take as we figure out what that dream job really entails. My biggest resolution is to focus on what I can still learn over the next few months. That includes editing a short comedy film for Advanced Video Production, mastering Cinema 4D, and learning the Bootstrap framework. I want to dedicate my time to those things- even if it means putting the job hunt aside for now.
  3. That being said, I will still utilize the services offered at Elon. Amber McCraw compiled a fabulous list of tasks to prep for our job search as iMedia students. I will commit to completing most of these tasks before I graduate… after I finish my homework!
  4. I will express gratitude to everyone who has helped me get through this whirlwind of a year. We could not have gotten this far without the support of the iMedia faculty, staff, and our friends and family. I am declaring on the internet in all its permanence that I will write some thank you notes and emails to the people who have supported me on this endeavor. It’s such an easy way to spread positivity and brighten someone’s day, including your own!
  5. I will take that break! For now that means walking on a white sandy beach, but for the next two months I will rest my eyes for a few minutes after editing for hours or walk to Moseley and back between classes. I only have a couple of months left to enjoy our beautiful campus and I can’t let that time pass me by!

What are your mid-semester resolutions?

 

#iMedia17 Winter Study Abroad Fly-in Presentations Tomorrow

Can’t make it to the event? Join the live stream.

After weeks of preparation, the iMedia Class of 2017 will debut Winter Term Study Abroad Fly-in Presentations, tomorrow, Jan. 25 at noon in Schar Hall’s Turner Theater.

Each January, iMedia students spend the month working on a team project for the public good, which includes a domestic or international trip to collect audio and video content. This year’s fly-in groups traveled to Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic and Iceland.

Can’t make it to the event? Follow the link below to join the live stream.

#iMedia17 Fly-ins – Live Stream

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Final(s) Words of Encouragement

There are only 10 school days left of the semester, andspongebob-brain-fire the iMedia hallway looks a little something like this…

Okay, so that’s a little dramatic. But with looming fly-in prep plus projects, papers, and presentations ahead with so little time to complete everything, overall morale is much lower than usual. There’s no doubt in my mind that undergraduate students and professors are feeling the exact same way!

For my last post of the semester, I want to reach out to anyone experiencing the chaos and stress of finals week with some words of encouragement and tips on how to make it through.

  1. Pick a positivity mantra or motivational quote and make it your desktop and phone background. Every time you see it, take a second to breathe and internalize those words. My personal favorite is “Get up. Get coffee. Get on with it.” I need to give myself a little tough love to get crankin’!
  2. Make a master list. And then a mini list. Make a list of every single project and assignment that is due before the end of the semester. Then, make smaller to-do items under each that outline your plan for getting it done. Every item you check off will pack the motivational punch you’ll need to power through the rest of the semester!
  3. Know you’re not alone. As I said earlier, there are millions of students experiencing the stress and deadlines and pressure you’re experiencing. Reach out to a classmate or professor and grab coffee with them. Talk about your plans for Winter break or even your plans for the weekend. In other words, get school off your brain for a bit!
  4. Try to eat as healthily as possible. Avoid sugary drinks and too much junk food – you’ll zap your energy and feel too sluggish to focus. Snack on apples, oranges, or carrots with hummus for a crunchy, hydrating energy boost!
  5. Keep the big picture in mind. I know that in six short months I will have my Master’s degree and a year of intensive learning under my belt. I’ve met so many amazing people through this program and learned so many new skills. While the end of the semester can feel like the end of the world, there are so many positive memories to reflect on and even more to be had in the future.

Here’s to the next two weeks – we can do it!

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The Final Stretch of Fall

It’s Thanksgiving Break, which is supposed to be a break…right? A week full of relaxation, and time spend with family and friends…as some would like to think. As interactive media graduate students, that is not always the case. This break brings a sense of mixed feelings. Part of me cannot believe that it is already the end of November, and at the same time I glance down at my planner and think about how many assignments are due in the few short weeks before the semester ends – time is flying by and, at the same time, is creeping by slowly. In this time of thanks, there is so much that I am thankful for, especially when it comes to Elon’s iMedia Program

I am thankful for coffee. 

Starting off wi5742bf6909516d1017d8513faaf755a5th a lighter note, any graduate student that you talk to, would probably say that without coffee there is no way that could survive. Whenever I began the iMedia program, I was not a coffee drinker – it did not appeal to me in any way. Over the past few months, caffeine has become a necessity to get through the day.  I never thought I would look forward to drinking a drink as much as I look forward to drinking that cup of delicious coffee – that boost of caffeine always hits the spot!

I am thankful for incredible, extracurricular activities that Elon and iMedia provide us with.

In what started as a class assignment on creating an unique idea to pitch to our peers, turned into a pitch we submitted to Elon’s Innovation Challenge. At the end of October, Bridget Sheffler, Carmen Erdie and I, submitted our proposal for our innovative mobile app, Chronic Control. It is an unique app that is targeted for veterans suffering from chronic pain, and assist them in visually showing doctors where there pain is located. In early November, we were selected as a finalist to pitch our proposal to a panel of entrepreneurs during Elon’s Annual Innovation Challenge. In an outcome we did not expect, we placed 3rd out of all of the finalists!

I am thankful for our fly-in trip, and the opportunity to work with nonprofits abroad.

Since the beginning of the year, we have heard about the fly-in and what all this trip entails. Then, it seemed as if it was so far away. Now, we have a little over a month until we leave! Over the past few weeks, we have been drafted to specific trips, assigned our jobs and have began getting ready for an opportunity of a lifetime. Work for the fly-in is in full-swing, team meetings and client meetings are being held regularly, and drafts of deliverables are beginning to be created!

I am thankful for opportunities to expand our skill set. 

Part of the fly-in experience is being able to use the latest technology for a real-world client, while creating deliverables for each client. Training sessions are being held to teach each of us how to use all of the awesome gadgets that Elon University has provided for us while we are abroad. One example would be drones. Drones are awesome and can shoot some of the coolest videos, but I had never had the opportunity to use one until I became apart of the iMedia program. I am looking forward to putting my skills into use while I am in the DR!

14732392_1193088010757415_3395815037061201379_nI am thankful for spring semester and the classes we can take.

Life after graduation, is not the thoughts that many of us want in our heads yet. But, we recently had to register for spring semester classes. With that, comes thinking about what will life be like after graduation. What do we want to do? What direction do we want to take? Our spring semester is geared around the future – every class, every project, everything. What we choose should be based on what we are looking to do for our capstone and will assist us in gearing up for that next step after we turn the tassel. Getting to choose classes that match your interest make classes fun, right? I sure think so!

Surprisingly, I am thankful for research and for being pushed outside of my comfort zone.

Many of us have applied for and have been accepted to present our proposed research paper at the 12th Annual Global Communication Association Conference, in April of 2017 in Greensboro – the first time this global conference has ever been held in the United States! What does that mean? Over the next few weeks, we will be completing the research we proposed to submit our final research paper that we will be presenting at the conference!

I am thankful for iMedia, and #iMedia17.

Whenever I started the iMedia program, I could have never imagined how this program would transform me – personally and professionally. Through this program I have been challenged mentally, in ways I have never been challenged before. I have also been given opportunities that otherwise I would never have had. The friendships I have made, I never expected. From the first day of our summer seminar, friendships were already being created that will last long after graduation. Coming into this program, I thought that we would be too busy to even think about friends and little did I know that the friendships I would make would be ones that could last a lifetime.

As far away as graduation seems, we all know that it is just around the corner. Realizing how little time we have left together as graduate students, and how much we have to learn – grabbing the bull by the horns and continuing to dive in is the only choice we have, if we want to get the most out of this program and from each other!

#iMedia17, look at how far we have come and what all we have accomplished! I cannot wait to see what all we accomplish in the coming months!

Get Ready for The Draft!

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The time has come: on Tuesday October 11th, the draft for fly-in trips happens. This means we all figure out what country we will be going to, what our job will be, and who our teammates are.

We have some amazing locations that we could go to: The Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, and Iceland. In these countries, we will work with nonprofits to create an interactive media project to help their organization.

While this is an exciting part of our time here, we can’t help but be a little nervous, mainly because not knowing is just so hard.

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The anticipation has built up for such a long time, and we can’t wait to see how it turns out. Who knows how it will go and who we will get to collaborate with?

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After all, the part we’re most excited about is getting together with our groups and creating an amazing project for a non-profit. Soon enough, we’ll all be in sync like a great team.

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So as nervous as we are, once we get picked and find out our group, we’ll be super thankful that we made it and have this great opportunity.

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Then the collaboration starts and it’s countdown to fly-ins, where we’ll have the time of our lives with our friends and make some amazing projects for great causes.

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So with less than a week left, we are ready for the draft. Bring it on!

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Seven Signs We’re iMmersed in iMedia

We are two weeks from finishing one of our classes this semester, and it’s hard to believe we’ve been working in iMedia for two whole months. There is a new challenge to tackle every day, but some things have remained consistent. Here are seven ways we’ve been immersed in iMedia!

  1. We survived bootcamp!

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It was a tough three weeks, but we made it through! Bootcamp gave us a crash course in all the programs and tools we need to be iMedia wizards and we aced it! If we can do it, you can too! 

2. We’re reading so much we’re pretty much ready to write our own book on media principles.

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Okay, maybe we couldn’t write a whole book, but definitely at least a literature review for our capstone projects next spring.

3. We may or may not be surviving on caffeine and caffeine alone.

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How else are we supposed to crank out that lit review (plus the seven other projects we have lined up)? We have four coffee and tea machines in our lounge that our fellow classmates have loaned us for those late nights (thanks, guys!).

4. We’ve coded at least one 90s-lookin’ website that’s still pretty rad.

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Are your friends coding websites? I think not! You go, master coder!

5. We’ve found a niche group of friends in the program, and everyone is here to support each other.

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We bring each other coffee, the stuff friendships are built on.

6. We’re getting more and more excited about the fly-in every day.

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We’re super pumped to get outta town and collaborate with our group members – wherever we might go with whomever they might be! We find out soon which country we’ll be working in and who our group members are, but “soon” feels awfully far away.

7. We’ve got our eyes on the prize.

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In eight months we’ll all have a Master’s Degree in Interactive Media and all the hard work will be worth it. In the meantime, we’re soaking up every bit of knowledge that we can – keep your heads up, iMedia 2017!!