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Interactive Media students showcase their skills at exhibition

Students in Elon's Interactive Media master's program showed off the work they've done this semester in their capstone courses at the Interactive Media Exhibition May 19 on the second floor of Powell.

iMedia student Kevin Burrows (standing) discusses his project with Provost Steven House.

The inaugural 36 students organized the evening reception, which they dubbed IMX, to demonstrate to their families, faculty, staff and senior administrators the projects they’ve completed and the skills they’ve gained during the last 10 months of their graduate education.

“It’s been great. It’s been an incredible experience,” said student David Hollander. “It’s definitely surpassed my hopes and expectations and taken me out of my comfort zone.”

The iMedia students have spent the last two semesters and Winter Term taking courses in Interactive Writing and Design, Producing Interactive Media and Interactive Media Strategies. During January, they split up into four groups and produced Web-based projects for the public good. Students agreed that they have gained new skills that have augmented their previous educational credentials.

In fact, Karen Hartshorn said her resume today and her resume from a year ago share only one common piece of information: that she earned an undergraduate degree in English from Elon in 2009.

“I’m happy about it,” she said. “Now, I have tangible skills. I know (enrolling in the iMedia program) is single-handedly the best decision I’ve ever made for myself.”

Hartshorn said she’s accepted a position as a full-time intern for the summer with REDCATS USA in New York, an online retail supplier of plus-sized women’s clothing. She’ll be handling the Web design for all their Web sites.

Aside from the many software and technical skills students have gained, they also said they appreciated the program’s emphasis on working as part of a group. They said it simulated what they anticipate their future working environments will feel like.

“It’s one-half education, one-half people management skills,” Hartshorn said. “It’s good job training.”

Conor Britain, a 2009 Elon alumnus, said the iMedia program has given his life and career aspirations a clearer direction. Britain studied documentary filmmaking in the School of Communications as an undergrad and after graduating last year, he said he wasn’t entirely certain producing documentaries was what he wanted to do.

“Graduate school has given me the opportunity to explore new things,” Britain said. “At this point, I can say with confidence that the direction I’m going in—as an interactive designer—is the right one.”

Britain has taken a junior level position at RED Interactive in Los Angeles, where he’ll be an interactive designer—a job, he said, that will allow him to combine his passions for design and storytelling.

Hollander, who said he plans to move West following graduation, said students in the program have also benefitted from the repetition of one key concept: The world of interactive media is constantly changing, so they have to be flexible and always willing to learn.

“The iMedia program is raising our awareness that this industry we’re going into is continually evolving, and we need to be continually evolving,” Hollander said. “It’s instilled this understanding that it’s just the beginning for us.”

To view some of the students’ capstone projects, CLICK HERE.

iMedia students have accepted jobs or internships at organizations, such as:

  • RED Interactive as an Interactive Designer (Los Angeles)
  • WCSC-TV as the Interactive Media Director (Charleston, S.C.)
  • Katalyst Films as a Media Intern (Los Angeles)
  • REDCATS Group as a Web Design Intern (New York)
  • Fleishman-Hillard as an Intern (Raleigh, N.C.)
  • North Carolina Zoo for Contract Media Work (Asheboro, N.C.)
Colin Donohue,
5/20/2010 12:17 PM