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11-10-10

Alumni Update – Joseph Trupiano

Joe Trupiano Photo
Graduated: 2004
Major: BA in Digital Arts-Music
Website: samplelogic.com

Q: What did you do after graduation and what are you doing now?
A: After graduating from Stetson, I decided to continue on with my path as a film composer and went for my masters degree in Music Technology at New York University. I soon realized how over-prepared I was at NYU because of how much I learned at Stetson. After graduating at NYU, I focused my talents in sound and software-based instrument design. In addition, by being a freelance composer, I was also able to use my knowledge in film composition towards designing tools geared for film, TV, and game composers. In 2006, I started Sample Logic LLC, which is a company aimed to “Blur the line between music and sound design.” I now have designed an entire product line of award-winning sample library virtual instruments that can be heard all over television, movies and games (CSI, Law & Order, Avatar, Assassins Creed etc).

Q: Did you ever see yourself doing what you are doing now when you  took DIGA 101?
A: Honestly, the experience I gained at Stetson is much of the reason for my success with Sample Logic. The classes at Stetson allowed me to really think outside the box. The professors where always challenging, inspiring, and pushing us to move beyond our potential. I love how many of the classes were project oriented. Seeing the other classmates ‘works in progress’, during the semesters, pushed me to work harder and I feel this experience really has set the standard for the way I work today. Looking back, it is obvious to me the professors in the Digital Arts program are out to inspire. They really dedicate their experience, and time with hopes for the students to excel above and beyond.

Q: What advice do you have for someone taking DIGA 101 right now?
A:Get involved with the DA community and get interested in what you do. Use your professors to the fullest. You are at Stetson to learn, so meet with the professors after class. Pick their brain as much as you can. Always try to think outside the box and push yourself to do the best with your projects. The extra effort and time really pays off in the end.

Q: What’s the best thing you learned studying Digital Arts @ Stetson?
A: Inspiration, time, and ambition is all you will ever need to gain experience and fuel your creativity.

10-02-10

Alumni Update – Derick Ostrenko

Graduated: 2008
Major: Digital Art – Art Track
Minor: Studio Art
Websites: http://frederickostrenko.com

Q: What did you do after graduation and what are you doing now?
A: After graduation I went to Rhode Island School of Design to pursue a MFA in Digital + Media. It was an amazing time with amazing people. While there I worked on everything from autonomous systems for propaganda to brainwave hardware interfaces. It was a completely natural transition from Stetson DIGA. Right now, I’m in Baton Rouge, LA teaching a class at LSU on interactive 3D media. I’m also collaborating on projects and writing proposals for new projects.

Q: Did you ever see yourself doing what you are doing now when you  took DIGA 101?
A: I hadn’t a clue what I wanted to be doing while taking DIGA 101. In a way that was kind of perfect. Learning about art and technology at the same time opened up so many possibilities at once. I’m realizing now that it has allowed me to create my own path in the “real world.”

Q: What advice do you have for someone taking DA101 right now?
A:It’s not a bad idea to learn a million things at once, but when you find something you like, try to engage it completely. Learn all you can about what excites you. Also, collaboration is key. You become eachother’s inspiration.

Q: What’s the best thing you learned studying Digital Arts @ Stetson?
A: To be mindful of the community around you – the immediate community of peers and critics and the larger community of role models and institutions.

Bonus Q: You went to Graduate School at RISD, one of the top art schools in the country, right after receiving your Bachelors from Stetson. How did your skill set compare to the other graduate students and how many were also straight out of undergrad?

A: There were three or four of us coming straight from undergraduate to RISD Digital+Media. Stetson’s undergraduate Digital Art program was surprisingly similar to RISD’s graduate program. I was extremely well prepared technically and conceptually. I’m beginning to realize there aren’t many undergraduate art programs as thorough as Stetson Digital Art. The way teachers became mentors at Stetson was awesome. It gave me confidence. It taught me how to use my teachers at RISD to the fullest potential. Many of the skill sets that I began to develop at Stetson I brought to grad school, giving me an initial leg up which carried over for the next two years. Now, I’ve been collaborating with classmates on projects because of the skills I initially developed at Stetson.”

09-10-10

Alumni Update – Patrice Scanlon

Patrice Scanlon
Graduated: 2000
Major: BM in Digital Arts

Q: What did you do after graduation and what are you doing now?
A: After graduation from Stetson, I went to Mills College and received my MFA in Electronic Music and Recording Media. Currently, I am the Technical Director for the Intermedia Arts Program at Mills College. I also, work part-time at Expression College for Digital Arts where I teach labs for Audio Recording and Audio Post Production. In my spare time, I perform as an electronic musician both locally and globally.

Q: Did you ever see yourself doing what you are doing now when you  took DIGA 101?
A: If you had told me 12 years ago while I was sitting in front of the computer looking at Pro Tools for the first time that I would go on to record bands, do sound design for Amanda Miller’s “Pretty Ugly Dance Company” and go on tour with Fred Frith in Germany for the “New Jazz Meeting”, I probably would have laughed in your face.

Q: What advice do you have for someone taking DIGA101 right now?
A: Know that this is a rewarding career path but you will need to make lots of sacrifices in order to succeed. There is a lot of competition out there so you will need to be better than the best. How you achieve that is by simply putting in every ounce of energy you have to your art and your skills. Never stop challenging yourself to learn new skills. Above all else, you have to have the personality to attract a community of professional artists. Being a part of community will get you more opportunities.

Q: What’s the best thing you learned studying Digital Arts @ Stetson?
A: Being in the Digital Arts program at Stetson laid down a solid foundation of skills, knowledge and an opportunity to practice my art. Without that, I would never have been confident enough to go to Grad School and become a teaching assistant in recording at the age of 23. Plain and simply, the Digital Arts program at Stetson was the catalyst that launched my career, without that experience I would not be where I am today.

08-10-10

Alumni Update – Nathan Chase

Nathan Chase
Graduated: 2001
Major: BA in Digital Arts-Art
Website: nathanchase.com/portfolio

Q: What did you do after graduation and what are you doing now?
A: After graduation I moved to Orlando, married fellow Stetson alum Kristin Josephson (’01), and was employed at a video/multimedia production company (Eagle Productions) as a multimedia jack-of-all-trades doing web & print design, Flash development, video editing, voiceover recording sessions, live studio audio, CD-ROM development, VR 360 photography, and on-location production for documentaries, commercials, and other video projects. I then transitioned into a new role at the American Safety Council (also in Orlando) in 2004 – responsible for their graphic design and front-end web development, as well as extensive in-house production of online video.

I also co-founded a web startup with another Stetson alum, Jeremy Thompson (’01), to create our movie-ranking website,Flickchart that’s been featured by MicrosoftMashableLifehackerCinematical, & others, and we’re now nearly 60,000 members strong in less than one year after our launch.

My son Cameron was born in 2008, and in addition to my work with Flickchart I’m now working exclusively as a freelancer doing web design, print design, and social media consulting for several clients in Central Florida – while balancing fatherly duties at home. We’re expecting a baby girl this December.

Oh, and I’m also a drummer in an indie/electronic/rock band called The Pauses, and we’ll be releasing our debut album later this year.

Q: Did you ever see yourself doing what you are doing now when you  took DIGA 101?
A: I knew pretty early on that I wanted to be a professional designer, so I think being in DIGA101 in 1997-1998 was a great time as it was the pioneer days for the Internet. There was no YouTube, Twitter, or Facebook – so it was a different time. It’s hard to say if anyone could have predicted what the Internet would become, but I’ve enjoyed the ride getting to where we are now and finding new ways to constantly innovate. I can recall one of my professors (I won’t name names) who swore Macromedia Director was the future of the Internet. Now, neither Director or Macromedia exist, and even its successor Adobe Flash is on its way out to make way for HTML5 and web standards. The work is still as interesting and innovative as it’s ever been for me, so I certainly feel like I’ve made the right choice for the line of work I’ve settled in to.

Looking back, I do think that DIGA101 was probably one of the most enjoyable classes I took at Stetson. I even have one of my videos from a DIGA101 assignment up on YouTube. Long hours waiting for video effects to render. I remember being in the lab staying awake all night, just to have it finish right before class started. Students today would be baffled by how long the simplest things used to take back then.

Q: What advice do you have for someone taking DIGA101 right now?
A: The best thing anyone can do while in college is to soak up as much information as you can from those around you – especially your classmates and your professors. Find the “best” person in you class, impress them, and collaborate with them. Challenge yourself to not take the easy way out. Constantly ask questions. Experiment. Try to do things that have never been done before. Don’t get caught up with learning specific software, because it will always be changing. Learn how to learn, quickly. Adaptation will be the key to success in a digital media career. The ability to immediately reacclimate yourself to new environments, new platforms, new hardware, new colleagues, new challenges are what will truly set yourself apart once you exit academia and begin your “real life”.

Q: What’s the best thing you learned studying Digital Arts @ Stetson?
A: I really liked the more experimental classes, where we worked in software like Max/MSP and CSound, because it allowed you to focus on what goes into creating sound at both a creative and technical level simultaneously. It’s exciting to be able to dive into the properties of what makes up crazy, warped sounds and figure out the mechanics of why they sound so awesome. I unfortunately don’t get to use that software now in my career, but the structure of those classes – and most of the other Digital Arts classes at Stetson – gave me the confidence to look under the hood. To get beyond the surface level and dig deeper into the reasons behind every decision you make when you’re under the influence of the creative process. I couldn’t have imagined being able to choose a better undergraduate program.

07-10-10

Alumni Update – Will Royall

Will Royall photo
Graduated: 2004
Major: BA in Digital Arts-Art
Minor: Spanish
Websites: RoyallAdv.com & Orlando.net

Q: What did you do after graduation and what are you doing now?
A: After graduation, I read a book a week for a year on business administration, people management, marketing, sales, finance, investing, real estate, advertising, business structures, law, budgeting, – you name it, if it had to do with building a company, or making money – I tried to read it. After filling my shelves for a year with my own personal MBA, I went for the big time, trying to sell to larger corporations rather than the smaller mom and pop places my company had been doing projects for since graduation. Royall Advertising was started in the evening hours, while for the first 6 months out of school I also edited video for a local production company to help make ends meet while the company got off the ground. Now I consider myself a “serial entrepreneur.” I’ve started 5 companies, sold one, shut one down, and now run 3 currently to date!

Q: Did you ever see yourself doing what you are doing now when you  took DIGA 101?
A: I saw myself doing something similar to this, but not so diverse. I was focused in school at an early age – since middle school I wanted to own a “video production company” and although that’s a big piece of what my advertising agency does, it’s no where near all of what I personally do today. From middle school, to high school, through DIGA 101 and graduation, it’s always been a goal of mine to play all day with video equipment, I just surpassed it rather quickly out of school and moved on to a lot of other things as well rather than just sticking with video. I love to continuously learn new things.

Q: What’s the best thing you learned studying Digital Arts @ Stetson?
A: Best thing I learned was the audio aspect of the program. I knew a lot coming from my middle and highschool about video, web, and design. I didn’t know much about audio! I got into DJing right around freshmen year, spinning every Thursday – Saturday at what was Euro 2000, Central Park, and now I think is called the “P Lounge.” I’ve heard it’s not such a happening place for Stetson any more, although it was. Naturally as a DJ, I wanted to learn about synths, and in the DA program, I learned how to actually produce music and created my first vinyl record which I sold throughout stores in Florida while in school. (Another business venture!) :-)

Q: What advice do you have for someone thinking about a Digital Arts major?
A: If I had some advice for students at Stetson, it would be to try and learn the business side of things – and go intern at a creative place like a production company, advertising agency, or some other functional business out there. A lot of attention in school is placed on the arts side, and while you could most likely get an internship in a museum, it may not be the best long term choice for your financial situation. The one thing I didn’t learn in DA was how to take my artistic skills and make money with them. I did that on my own, and you may have to as well. If you don’t want to be just another “starving artist” turned “digital starving artist” you may want to start thinking – how can I apply this in the business world and make a living out of it? My other advice, study abroad. I lived in Spain for a while and made some amazing friends. I go back every other year, and they come visit me at times. In fact, one of my friends is coming next week as of the writing of this to stay with me for a month! What a great cultural experience living in another country is.

06-10-10

Alumni Update – Chester Udell


Graduated: 2005
Major: BM in Digital Arts
Websites: grove.ufl.edu/~cudell/

After graduation, Chester applied to the graduate music program at the University of Florida. In 2008, he was awarded a Masters of Music in Composition and continues his studies in pursuit of a PhD. He is teaching Introduction to Music Technology at UF, and has created a lab with 8 undergraduates in the electrical engineering department to develop new wireless interfaces for musical instruments. His electroacoustic music has been featured at NYCEMF, SEAMUS, SCI Student National Conference, SCI Region IV Conference, Electroacoustic Juke Joint, and Art Basel.

Q: Did you ever see yourself doing what you are doing now when you  took DIGA 101?
A: I suppose the desire to do what I am engaged with today has stemmed from the discoveries made in the introductory courses in DIGA.  With  each new concept I became exposed to while in DIGA 101, I began to  realize that this was a medium I wanted to engage with for my professional and artistic undertakings.

Q: What’s the best thing you learned studying Digital Arts @ Stetson?
A: The digital artistic community is a diverse collective of musicians, visual artists, computer programmers, electrical engineers and everyone in between. The dynamic collaboration between these fields, facilitated by the Mobile Performance Group, were some of the most influential experiences for me as a developing musician.

Q: What advice do you have for someone thinking about a Digital Arts major?
A: If you have a genuine interest in any facet in this field, the Digital Arts and Music Technology majors are well worth the effort to pursue. I would also encourage taking advantage of the advanced course offerings in generative art/music.

05-10-10

Alumni Update – Laura Oxendine

Laura Oxendine
Graduated:
2006
Major: DIGA Art and Studio Art
Minor: Art History
Websites: lauraoxendine.com

Q: What did you do after graduation and what are you doing now?
A: Immediately following graduation, I moved to New York City where I received my MFA (2008) in Photography, Video and Related Media from the School of Visual Arts. Upon graduation from SVA, I began working as a video editor for Macy’s Satellite Network, a division of Macy’s Inc. that broadcasts internally to all Macy’s locations nationwide. After a brief period of working on my personal work and freelancing, I am now back working at MSN while also freelancing for New York based clients.

Q: Did you ever see yourself doing what you are doing now when you took DIGA 101?
A: No. Definitely not, but I don’t think that at that time I had a clear idea of what I wanted to be – and that was okay. I experimented with a lot of different software, media, disciplines, and tried as many different ways of making work to see what fit best. This experimentation in the first couple of years really helped me narrow my focus as I developed a video thesis, moved on to a video concentration in graduate school and ultimately to a career as a professional editor.

Q: What advice do you have for someone taking DIGA 101 right now?
A: Take a deep breath – then get to work! You have such a unique opportunity to look, learn, try, fail, and try again surrounded by peers and professors who are focused on making your work better. Remember that DIGA is a part of Stetson’s liberal arts environment, and taking a class in another discipline might enrich your perspective or expand your collaborative network. Take advantage of it.

Q: What’s the best thing you learned studying Digital Arts @ Stetson?
A: DIGA gave me a solid technical foundation that I continue to fine tune. I was one of the youngest in my graduate program, but I was also one of the most technically savvy. I attribute this knowledge to my experience in DIGA. I was attracted to the DIGA program because of its fine art approach, and I developed my work from this perspective. However, the same skill set and the same tools create my personal experimental work and the very commercial edits I put together for Macy’s. The more you understand your tools, the more versatile you will become.

04-10-10

Alumni Update – Julius Santiago


Graduated: 2004
Major: DIGA Art
Minor: Electronic Business Technology
Websites: bulius.com & kingpanpan.com

Q: What did you do after graduation and what are you doing now?
A: Moved back home and cried until I found a real job. Then five years at EA-Tiburon. Now I work/live/play in downtown LA at Naked Sky Entertainment! And I got married and we have a pug!

Q: Did you ever see yourself doing what you are doing now when you took DIGA 101?
A: Are you asking if I could predict the future? If so, then yes.

Q: What advice do you have for someone taking DIGA 101 right now?
A: Don’t ever stop. Whether it’s preparing your portfolio, or reaching out to do pro-bono work for school peeps — never stop making art or learning how to work people and clients. The latter part is something they don’t really teach you. Well, they didn’t when I was there.

Lastly, next time you  have to do a presentation, always test your equipment beforehand. Nothing makes you look more incompetent than when your video/audio doesn’t work. Your professors may not say it to your face, but they’re cursing up a storm on the inside. Now imagine if those professors were your bosses.

Wait, one more thing, don’t be a jerk and put money into an IRA. … I guess that’s two more things.

Q: What’s the best thing you learned studying Digital Arts @ Stetson?
A: Thinking outside of outside of the box. All the professors kept pushing us. At first we were like WTF? And then we were like OMG! Take, for instance, video performance/mpg. It was kind of weird at first, but once you get your mind around what you’re doing and make it your own, you start making some crazy stuff.  The stuff we did eight years ago is just now becoming easily obtainable for commercial use, and honestly kind of sucks, if it’s even done live.

03-10-10

Alumni Update – Ben Burbank


Graduated: 2004
Majors: DIGA Art & DIGA Computer Science
Website: twitter.com/bburbank

Q: What did you do after graduation and what are you doing now?
A: After graduation I moved to Chicago where I became a freelance web developer for a pretty small web shop.  About 9 months after I moved there I got a call from Julius Santiago (also Class of 2004) that Electronic Arts was hiring people with my skillset in Orlando.  So I moved back to Orlando and I’ve been a Software Engineer at EA for 5 years now.

Q: Did you ever see yourself doing what you are doing now when you
took DIGA 101?

A: Yes and no; I totally saw myself working on video games, but I’d have probably punched myself in the face if I’d have said I would eventually spend several years working on sports videogames, especially Madden NFL.

Q: What advice do you have for someone taking DIGA 101 right now?
A: Be well-rounded, solve problems methodically, and be kind to your peers.

Q: What’s the best thing you learned studying Digital Arts @ Stetson?
A: In my DIGA classes, especially the art ones, I had to learn to accept criticism for what it was: a method to help you improve.  At EA I’ve actively sought criticism from my peers, and I want them to be as mean as they possibly can.  This has helped me advance and perfect my “craft.”  On the Computer Science side, learn to work well with others; the 300-level team project class was probably the most important class I took.