Mother & Daughter Making EMAC a Family Tradition

Me and Mattie ‘Traditional’ isn’t something that comes to mind when thinking about the EMAC program. For Lari Tanner, the image of a traditional university setting looked something similar to her previous experience where professors cared more about lecturing at students than interacting with them.

In the fall of 2013, Lari became a Masters student in the Emerging Media and Communication graduate program and quickly realized that her experience at EMAC would be much different than the one she had 30 years ago. After having completed her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management from the University of Phoenix, Lari decided to join the EMAC family. She gives credit of this decision to her daughter Mattie who received her Master’s Degree in Emerging Media and Communication in May of 2012.

Out of Lari’s four children, her oldest daughter Mattie is currently an editor for Society of Petroleum Engineers and is one of Lari’s biggest supporters. While Mattie was studying in the EMAC Masters program Lari says, “After every class with Kim [Knight], Mattie would come home and brag about the program and the professors.” Now that it’s Lari’s turn, she says, “almost every day after class my daughter will ask me about my day and if anything exciting happened.”

The biggest distinction Lari has identified between her two traditional university experiences is that EMAC feels more like a family. Rather than her previous involvement with an impersonal university environment, professors at UTD care about the students’ success on an individual level. Though, she was a bit apprehensive about going back to school as a nontraditional student, she has felt at ease with classes that are close-knit with students who support each other.

Lari is passionate about writing and has said that she would love to devote more time to writing novels and short stories. In Fall 2013, she took the Creative Fiction creative writing course where she wrote a story called “The Shoe Thief,” which is a candidate for submission to the Texas Association of Creative Writing Teachers. The course professor, Betty Wiesepape said, “The Shoe Thief” was one of the most promising stories written in my graduate creative writing class in the Fall of 2013.”

Lari doesn’t have any concrete plans for her capstone yet, but would like to do more in-depth research on how youth is perceived in the digital culture. What does Lari plan to do upon graduation?You may find her on campus as a Ph.D. candidate. Currently working for Allen ISD as a substitute teacher for grades K-12, she has grown to love teaching older students and would like to pursue a career as a professor to give the same positive experience she has received from EMAC.

Something you may not know about Lari – she’s a total movie buff and will probably win a battle involving film trivia.

Free Crowd-funding Workshop Offered Friday, April 4

Crowd Funding FlyerThe Arts and Technology Program (ATEC) and the Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (IIE) are hosting a ½ day program on crowdfunding from 11:00-3:00 on April 4th.   The purpose of the event is to promote awareness of this topic across campus and to bring together students and faculty who have interest.   Please mark your calendars!

WHO: UT Dallas students, faculty, and staff

WHAT:  Half-day workshop on crowdfunding and crowdsourcing including:

  • Overview and trends
  • Company presentations
  • Overview of what other universities are doing
  • Latest developments on equity crowdfunding resulting from the JOBS Act

WHEN:  April 4, 2014, 11-3:00 PM (Come and go as you please)

WHERE:  UTD Faculty Dining Room (adjacent to the UT Dallas cafeteria)

COST:  Free!  Refreshments provided.  Bring your own lunch or plan to eat in the cafeteria that day.

 

RSVP Requested:

https://ezpay.utdallas.edu/C20239_ustores/web/product_detail.jsp?PRODUCTID=1282

 

‘A Father of the Internet’ to Discuss His Role in Developing Technology

Vinton G. Cerf, vice president and chief Internet evangelist at Google, is the third lecturer in the Arts and Technology Distinguished Lecture Series.
Vinton G. Cerf, vice president and chief Internet evangelist at Google, is the third lecturer in the Arts and Technology Distinguished Lecture Series.

Weeks after the 25th anniversary of the World Wide Web, one of the “fathers of the Internet” will visit campus to talk about his role in developing new technology.

Vinton G. Cerf will speak at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 26 as part of the University’s new ATEC Distinguished Lecture Series.

Cerf is vice president and chief Internet evangelist at Google, and has received such honors as the National Medal of Technology, the Turing Award and the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his role in the creation of the Internet. In his role at Google, Cerf identifies and promotes new technologies used to develop Internet-based products and services. He holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Stanford University, and a master’s and PhD in computer science from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Cerf is the third of four speakers in the series.

Christian Belady, general manager of Datacenter Services for Microsoft’s Global Foundation Services and a UT Dallas alumnus, spoke Feb. 26. Robert Edsel, writer of the acclaimed book The Monuments Men, kicked off the lecture series to a sold-out audience on Jan. 22.

Get TicketsTickets are $15 for seats on the lower level of the lecture hall; $10 upper level tickets are sold out for Cerf’s lecture. A limited number of complimentary tickets are available for students, faculty and staff who register.

Parking

Guests should park in Parking Structure I.  A map can be found here.

Next in the Series

April 16: Mae Jemison, scientist and astronaut. Click here for tickets.

The fourth speaker will be Dr. Mae Jemison, a chemical engineer, scientist, physician, entrepreneur, teacher and astronaut. She will speak on April 16. Jemison graduated from Stanford University in 1977 and earned her medical degree from Cornell Medical College (now Weill Medical College of Cornell University) in 1981. Jemison, who flew aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavor in 1992, is multilingual and trained in dance and choreography. Jemison is an advocate for science education.

Tickets are on sale now for both remaining lectures. They are $15 for seats on the lower level of the Edith O’Donnell ATEC Building’s lecture hall and $10 for the upper level ($10 tickets are sold out for the Cerf lecture). A limited number of complimentary tickets are available for students, faculty and staff who register.

The lecture series, presented by The Dallas Morning News, was first announced during the recent dedication of the Edith O’Donnell Arts and Technology Building. The new building houses programs that explore topics at the intersection of arts and technology.

‘A Father of the Internet’ to Discuss His Role in Developing Technology

Vinton G. Cerf, vice president and chief Internet evangelist at Google, is the third lecturer in the Arts and Technology Distinguished Lecture Series.
Vinton G. Cerf, vice president and chief Internet evangelist at Google, is the third lecturer in the Arts and Technology Distinguished Lecture Series.

Weeks after the 25th anniversary of the World Wide Web, one of the “fathers of the Internet” will visit campus to talk about his role in developing new technology.

Vinton G. Cerf will speak at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 26 as part of the University’s new ATEC Distinguished Lecture Series.

Cerf is vice president and chief Internet evangelist at Google, and has received such honors as the National Medal of Technology, the Turing Award and the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his role in the creation of the Internet. In his role at Google, Cerf identifies and promotes new technologies used to develop Internet-based products and services. He holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Stanford University, and a master’s and PhD in computer science from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Cerf is the third of four speakers in the series.

Christian Belady, general manager of Datacenter Services for Microsoft’s Global Foundation Services and a UT Dallas alumnus, spoke Feb. 26. Robert Edsel, writer of the acclaimed book The Monuments Men, kicked off the lecture series to a sold-out audience on Jan. 22.

Get TicketsTickets are $15 for seats on the lower level of the lecture hall; $10 upper level tickets are sold out for Cerf’s lecture. A limited number of complimentary tickets are available for students, faculty and staff who register.

Parking

Guests should park in Parking Structure I.  A map can be found here.

Next in the Series

April 16: Mae Jemison, scientist and astronaut. Click here for tickets.

The fourth speaker will be Dr. Mae Jemison, a chemical engineer, scientist, physician, entrepreneur, teacher and astronaut. She will speak on April 16. Jemison graduated from Stanford University in 1977 and earned her medical degree from Cornell Medical College (now Weill Medical College of Cornell University) in 1981. Jemison, who flew aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavor in 1992, is multilingual and trained in dance and choreography. Jemison is an advocate for science education.

Tickets are on sale now for both remaining lectures. They are $15 for seats on the lower level of the Edith O’Donnell ATEC Building’s lecture hall and $10 for the upper level ($10 tickets are sold out for the Cerf lecture). A limited number of complimentary tickets are available for students, faculty and staff who register.

The lecture series, presented by The Dallas Morning News, was first announced during the recent dedication of the Edith O’Donnell Arts and Technology Building. The new building houses programs that explore topics at the intersection of arts and technology.

Princeton Review Ranks Game Design Program Among Top in Nation

For the third year in a row, UT Dallas’ Arts and Technology program was named by The Princeton Review as one of the top graduate game design program in the nation.

The list, “Top Schools To Study Video Game Design For 2014,” salutes 39 institutions for their outstanding game design education programs.

The full list is available on The Princeton Review’s website.

About The Princeton Review

Founded in 1981, The Princeton Review is a privately held education services company headquartered in Framingham, MA. The Company has long been a leader in helping students achieve their education and career goals through its test preparation services, tutoring and admissions resources, online courses, and more than 150 print and digital books published by Random House, Inc. The Princeton Review delivers its programs via a network of more than 5,000 teachers and tutors in the U.S.A., Canada, and international franchises. The Company also partners with schools and guidance counselors worldwide to provide students with college readiness, test preparation and career planning services.

Big Design Conference Founder Brian Sullivan to Speak at UX Club

Usability expert and Big Design Conference founder Brian Sullivan will discuss Breaking into UX with Arts and Technology students . Sullivan will discuss how to land potential jobs and hot topics in the user experience field.  The discussion will be held on Wednesday, March 19 at 6 pm in ATC 2.101.

The event is sponsored by the User Experience Club. The UX Club promotes the understanding and awareness of user experience among members, UT Dallas, and the user experience community.

Although new to campus, the organization has already begun discussions on industry practices, such as sketchnoting as well as book reviews, the most recently being Leah Buley’s The User Experience Team of One.

The club meets bi-weekly and is open to all UT Dallas students.

About Brian Sullivan

Brian Sullivan
Brian Sullivan

Brian Sullivan is the Usability Principal at the Sabre Human Factors Center. Brian is actively involved in the design and usability community–Founder of Big Design Conference, Chair of World Usability Day (2007-11), and President of DFW-Usability Professionals AssociationA (2006-11).

Brian has worked with AT&T, Burger King, American Airlines, SkyChefs, United Airlines, and Carter Blood Center. Brian lives in Dallas, Texas with his wife, son, and cat (who runs the house).

 

Former Foster Care Child on Path to Succeed as ATEC Student

Tiffany Sweet is not one to let a difficult past define her.

For someone raised in the state foster care system, it might seem insurmountable to tackle a degree program at an academically rigorous university like UT Dallas. But Sweet is well on her way, maintaining a GPA above 3.0 in her first semester as an Arts and Technology (ATEC) major.

Tiffany Sweet, an ATEC major from Waxahachie, is a Terry Scholar who hopes to work in film animation.
Tiffany Sweet, an ATEC major from Waxahachie, is a Terry Scholar who hopes to work in film animation.

“It was hard coming from a place where I was at the top of my class and now I’m in the middle,” Sweet said.

Despite the adjustment to college life, Sweet is hardly average, according to those who know her. She is a Terry Scholar who aspires to put her technical acumen and love of the arts to work in film animation.

“Tiffany is a remarkable young woman,” said Blythe Torres, director of the Terry Scholars Program. “She’s bright, creative and hard-working. I’m proud to have her in my program.”

Sweet is a recent recipient of the “Youth Participant of the Year” award from the Workforce Solutions for North Central Texas, which helps at-risk youths find employment and prepare for educational opportunities.

The organization helped Sweet land an internship as an editorial clerk at the Waxahachie Daily Light newspaper while she was still in high school. Sweet was nominated by her supervisor for the award and beat out more than 500 youth applicants in North Texas.

Anthony Moore of the Waxahachie Workforce Center described Sweet as “determined, focused, goal-oriented and sweet, yet ruthlessly serious about her success.”

“Tiffany could have used her foster care experience as an excuse to be angry, act out and fail, as many do. She saw her situation as an opportunity and used it as a reason to succeed,” Moore said. “Her actions, attitude and accomplishments were astounding for a teenager. I wish I had 20 more just like her.”

A Turbulent Childhood

Sweet’s determination and success so far have been hard-earned.

When she was a toddler, she was placed with her older sister in foster care homes around the Dallas area. At age 6, she was adopted by one of her foster care families, but physical abuse soon drove Sweet and her sister from the home.

The girls were then placed in a group home on the campus of the Presbyterian Children’s Homes and Services in Waxahachie. Eight girls shared a home with a set of house parents. Though several of the staff were “like grandparents” to her, many of them frequently moved on, leaving the girls without a long-term adult connection.

Sweet found other role models and a supportive environment at Central Presbyterian Church, where she stayed active in the youth worship team and adult chancel choir. She also participated in youth mission trips and service projects, and helped lead vacation Bible school.

“A lot of kids don’t bond with adults outside the group home. At church is where I got a lot of my support. I have had mentors along the way,” Sweet said. “Probably one of the biggest things in my life, though, is God. I’ve always prayed and asked for help.”

School Offered Positive Feedback

Sweet said she exceled at school because she received positive adult attention and feedback.

“I needed to know I was doing a good job,” Sweet said. “I needed to hear that from teachers, because I didn’t have parents to tell me that. That’s when I started to do really well.”

In her junior year, Sweet transferred from Waxahachie High School to Waxahachie Global High School, one of 38 STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) academies in Texas. She was required to take two engineering classes as part of her coursework; she did so well she joined the school’s Engineering Now Club, which helps spark elementary school children’s interest in technology fields.

Global High also let her take dual credits for college. By the time Sweet graduated, she also had earned an associate degree in general science — graduating magna cum laude from Navarro College, a two-year institution.

Knowing she wanted a four-year degree, her church awarded her its Barbara and Mayo Tenery Scholarship to help with college expenses. Becoming a Terry Scholar sealed the deal for her to attend UT Dallas.

It’s significant that Tiffany grew up in the foster system and has already earned an associate degree. It speaks to her fortitude.

Blythe Torres,
director of the Terry Scholars Program

Higher education tuition in Texas is waived for students coming out of the foster care system, but not many young people take advantage of that break. Citing national studies, Torres said just 13 percent of foster care children attend college with only 2 percent graduating.

“It’s significant that Tiffany grew up in the foster system and has already earned an associate degree. It speaks to her fortitude,” said Torres, who noted other Terry Scholars have come through the foster care system.

The Terry Scholar Program, which normally also covers tuition, is picking up Sweet’s other expenses not covered by her church scholarship this year, including housing, meal plan and books.

Sweet’s goal is to work in 3-D animation. She hopes to be an intern with Reel FX in Dallas and then someday work for DreamWorks Animation in Glendale, Calif.

“I was always an artist, ever since I could pick up a pencil. I love seeing things come to life, taking things that are only in your mind and making them real,” Sweet said.

At UT Dallas, she’s made some friends who offer to let her spend holidays and summer breaks with their families. She has a boyfriend. And living in a residence hall with just two other roommates is nothing compared to a group home.

Whenever she gets discouraged, Sweet has a “pep talk” with herself.

“I go through a checklist and tell myself: ‘You’re smart. You have a lot of things going for you. There are a lot of people watching what you do,’” she said. “There are a lot of kids back in the home, and I want to be an example of breaking the cycle of abuse.”

“I always tell people, ‘Don’t ever let your past be a reason you can’t do something,’” Sweet said. “I always wanted things to be better, but you can learn from the bad decisions of others and make it different for yourself. I do a lot of stuff for that little Tiffany.”

Lighting a Creative Spark in North Texas

This piece was taken from The President’s Viewpoint, a newsletter from the desk of Dr. David Daniel, president of The University of Texas at Dallas.

edsel-auditorium-2014-01

The University of Texas at Dallas has a particular and distinguished story to tell about its faculty, students, and staff and the excellence and innovative nature of their work and achievements. The University has recently taken a bold step in the direction of telling that story better with the inaugural Arts and Technology Distinguished Lecture Series, which began — with a sellout crowd! — early this year.

Our first headliner, Robert Edsel, described the exploits of the “monuments men and women” of World War II and how the work of these extraordinary protectors of cultural life goes on even today in war-torn areas of the globe — and why it matters. In February, we heard from one of our own alumni, Christian Belady, a Microsoft expert on datacenters and cloud computing — resources on which we are all increasingly dependent. His illuminating talk prompted so many questions that we had to invite guests with remaining queries to adjourn with us for further discussion.

lecture-series-logo

Jan. 22, 2014
The Susan and Ron Nash Lecture

Robert Edsel, writer of the acclaimed book,The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History

Feb. 26, 2014
The Metroplex Technology Business Council Lecture

Christian Belady, general manager of Datacenter Services for Microsoft’s Global Foundation Services and a UT Dallas alumnus

March 26, 2014
The Ericsson Lecture

Vinton G. Cerf, recognized as one of the “fathers of the Internet” and vice president and chief Internet evangelist at Google

April 16, 2014
The Northwood Woman’s Club Lecture

Mae Jemison, a chemical engineer, scientist, physician, entrepreneur, teacher and astronaut

FOR TICKETS: utdallas.edu/lectureseries

In the coming months, we’re inviting the community to lectures by Vinton G. Cerf of Google, widely recognized as one of the “fathers of the Internet,” and Dr. Mae Jemison, a chemical engineer, scientist, physician, entrepreneur, teacher and astronaut.

As the inaugural line-up makes clear, this annual lecture series will feature speakers from a wide range of backgrounds conducting public discussions aimed at exploring the evolving relationships among technology, engineering, behavioral and social sciences, and art. The series is hosted by UT Dallas’ Arts and Technology program from its new home in the Edith O’Donnell Arts and Technology Building, which features a 1,200-seat lecture hall. Each event will also offer audience members a view into the creative environment that serves to advance UT Dallas’ work at the research and educational frontiers of these coalescing disciplines.

The O’Donnell building is visual evidence of the University’s commitment to the innovative Arts and Technology program, which brings the humanities together with science and technology through creative thinking. Beyond offering our students highly relevant and forward-looking courses, degrees and experiences, this campus-wide emphasis is designed to propel UT Dallas forward in our goal to become a hub of cutting-edge education, knowledge and cultural enrichment. We welcome you to be a part of these events and to support this effort to provide a creative spark that ignites the North Texas region to even greater accomplishments.

Media Studies After Watson

opb-office1The School of Arts and Humanities announces Olivia Banner, PhD a candidate for Assistant Professor in Emerging Media and Communication.

Dr. Banner will give a lecture on Monday, March 3 Thursday, March 6 at 11 a.m. in ATC 2.811 titled Media Studies after Watson. 

Medicine is undergoing rapid transformations due to networked technologies, ubiquitous computing, mobile biosensors, and the automated diagnostics augured by IBM’s Watson.

Media studies, with its methods for examining interfaces, mediated bodies, participatory publics, and online identities, has much to contribute to understanding emerging digital health practices and technologies; it can also aid in developing social-justice–oriented designs for digital health futures. This talk will address these issues through the example of digital health publics, with a focus on the gendering of digital health knowledge production.

Dr. Olivia Banner’s research focuses on the uptake of new media technologies of the body. Her book, Biomediations: Identities after the Genome Projects (forthcoming, University of Michigan Press), considers the formation of biodigital identities, how they refract late-twentieth–century notions of race and gender identities, and the challenges they pose to current practices in medical humanities and narrative medicine.

She is co-editing a special issue of Discourse on medicine, science, and animation, and her work has appeared in Signs, Discourse, and the collection Identity Technologies. While completing her graduate work in UCLA’s Department of English, she was a fellow at UCLA’s Center for Society and Genetics; after receiving her Ph.D., she held an Andrew Mellon postdoctoral fellowship at Rice University’s Humanities Research Center.

She currently teaches on media, literature, science, and medicine in Rice University’s English department and is a member of the Medical Futures Lab in Houston (medicalfutureslab.org), which brings scholars, makers, students, and designers together to develop innovative tools for the problems that healthcare and patients face today.