Industry Leaders Visit Selkirk's Digital Arts & New Media Program Students

Industry Leaders Visit Digital Arts & New Media Program Students

Oct 03 2014
With resumes that include work for companies like Red Bull, Twitter, Electronic Arts, Disney and Arcteryx, the Advisory Committee for the Digital Arts & New Media Program came to Nelson in late-September to sit down with faculty and students.

Students in the Selkirk College Digital Arts & New Media Program received a major dose of inspiration after spending a morning with a group of ultra-talented alumni and industry insiders.

In the last week of September, the program invited the seven members of its Advisory Committee to the Tenth Street Campus in Nelson to meet with faculty and join a panel discussion with students. The two-day event provided an opportunity for all involved to discuss the latest trends and fast moving future of an industry exploding with creativity.

First and second year Digital Arts & New Media Program students had an opportunity to pick the brains of the talented group of program Advisory Committee members late last month at the Shambhala Music & Performance Hall on Nelson’s Tenth Street Campus.

“We want to stay current and we want to make sure that when students graduate from the program the outcomes meet industry standards and what employers are looking for,” says Jason Taylor, Chair of the Selkirk College School of Arts and one of the Digital Arts & New Media Program instructors.

A Mega-Talented Advisory Committee

Advisory Committee members include Josh Zak, Sean Smiley, Evan Brynne, Nichola Lytle, Rob Sulman, Evan Purcer and Jeremy Kenning. The committee brought with them a rich diversity of backgrounds that includes software engineers, digital designers, graphic designers, illustrators and creative directors.

The talent and accomplishments of the group runs deep with the members working for a variety of big names like Red Bull, Disney, Electronic Arts, Nissan, Lululemon, Kona, Whitewater Winter Resort, North Face and Arcteryx. Software engineers Purcer and Brynne both arrived from California where they work for social media giants LinkedIn (Purcer) and Twitter (Brynne).

Selkirk College alumni and program Advisory Committee member Jeremy Kenning was part of the ultra-talented group who visited Selkirk College in late-September, He works for many big name companies and worked on the above teaser for Fly Over Canada where he provided the end bumper. See work by the other committee members by clicking their names above.

The committee met with faculty on the first day to discuss curriculum in the two-year Nelson-based program. On the second day, the floor was opened up to 48 first and second year students who had an opportunity to ask questions and pick the brains of the experts during a morning session at the Shambhala Music & Performance Hall. Students were able to get a good sense of what they are in for when they graduate and enter the exciting industry.

Equipping Students with the Proper Tools

Josh [Zak] described it as your body of knowledge being shaped like a ‘T.’ The top of the T is a wide grasp of a lot of subjects and the stem is your deep knowledge in one specific area,” says Taylor. “It’s a really good analogy and what they expect in the industry. That’s what our program is based on, wide in a lot of areas and then you get to focus on one specific area of interest.”

The Advisory Committee is made up of alumni, connections in the industry and individuals who have been sought out. Four of the members—Kenning, Zak, Sulman and Smiley—are former students who have used the tools provided to them at Selkirk College to carve out impressive careers. Taylor says it’s a satisfying feeling for program instructors to see graduates on the Advisory Committee and beyond making an impact in with their work.

“Every day… every day,” Taylor says when asked if he is proud of his former students. “It’s amazing what our grads are doing. I will get a call from out of the blue to check something out on the internet or find something on Facebook… it’s always impressive to see former students creating, innovating and expanding on what they learned at Selkirk College.”

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