Over the last few years I have had the opportunity to work with many talented individuals, all trying to tell stories in their own ways. Through varied projects, such as developing a conference theme or preserving a University’s history, I have gained a great appreciation for the stories and the skills we used to bring them to life. The following three projects are the most impactful internships I have been a part of.
In the Summer of 2011 I applied for and was selected to be a member of the Crossroads Design Team. Crossroads is a ten week internship held in conjunction with Campus Crusade for Christ’s (CRU) Chicago Summer Project. The Crossroads team works under the supervision of Zero Canvas, the CRU design team servicing the Great Lakes region. During this ten week period the main focus of the team is to produce the overall theme of the Indy Christmas Conference (IndyCC) held by CRU annually.
My role in Crossroads was in part videographer, graphic designer, script writer, and web designer. My main contribution to the IndyCC design was the development of the conference promotional video which I filmed and edited. You can watch the video below. After the completion of Crossroads the video was re-edited by Zero Canvas to fit later imposed time restrictions. In addition to our main tasks, the rest of the team and I provided critical feedback on all aspects of the project.
As Zero Canvas works with many branches of CRU throughout the region, they had a number of side projects which the Crossroads team assisted in developing. Many of these involved logo design. The CRU organization at Muskingum University, where I earned my bachelor’s degree, is part of a series of groups called Central Ohio Cru. With so many small schools spread around the state, it is difficult to maintain full-time staff at each location. So, instead, a larger group of staff travels weekly to each school. I was tasked to design a logo for this unique collection of smaller schools. The logo features elements that remain similar throughout all of the designs, but also allows for colorization specific to the school.
The Crossroads design experience taught me how to function within a larger design team framework where each person filled different roles to achieve a common task. I enjoyed working in that environment as I could count on others to complete tasks they were skilled in while I could contribute where my skills were strongest.
Muskingum University Archives
In the Spring of 2011, I was assigned to work with Dr. William Kerrigan as a part of my studies as a Digital Media Design major. Dr. Kerrigan is the presiding Muskingum University Archivist. The archive contains a number of old panoramic photographs which Dr. Kerrigan wished to make available to the general public through means of digitization. To this end, it was my task to create the Muskingum University Archives web page.
My tasks involved designing and coding the website, handling the photographs for scanning, and digitally editing the photos for digital display. The later tasks took up most of the time of the project. Since the best scanner we had access to was a typical photocopier, I had to scan the photos in sections and then recombine them using Photoshop. Additionally, I tried to repair some of the wear and fading that had occurred over the years. The resulting website successfully displayed a small selection of the photos.
In the summer of 2012 I had the chance to work with Dr. Kerrigan again. I began with a complete redesign of the archives page, utilizing my further advanced skills in web design. I also went through the process of scanning more photos. The end result was a more refined experience for the user with a larger selection of photos to view.
There are still many pieces in the archives that could be included. Unfortunately, the site is currently inactive. You can still view the site in its last updated form here.
Muskingum offers a handful of paid summer internship opportunities to work directly with a professor. The professor and student must apply to be granted a “Muskie Fellowship”. The summer of 2009, following the completion of my Freshman year of college, the director of the Digital Media Design major, Dr. Tom German, asked me to work as a Muskie Fellow with him. My responsibilities for this project allowed me to work as both research assistant and creative developer.
Dr. German was conducting research into interactivity. I aided him in reading through academic articles and compiling a list of what had been accomplished up to that point in the field. This resulted in an annotated bibliography that could be used to conduct further research. On the creative side of things, Dr. German tasked me with developing a new website for the Department of Communication, Media, and Theatre. I based the design off of the main Muskingum University webpage. The website I constructed was only a framework. Content was added later by other students. I also assisted Dr. German in developing a flash-based interactive map of the department building.
A year or two after the fellowship, Muskingum attempted to unify the university website by creating a template design which all departments had to use. Ultimately, my site was only a stepping stone, but it provided a platform to develop content that was used on the new template. The fellowship helped me gain an appreciation for research, especially in terms of interactivity and engagement. This would later help me with my senior project, The General, and lead to my current interest in interactive story telling.