Posts Tagged ‘Cogswell Faculty’

Cogswell prepares for December holidays

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

Today will be the annual tree trimming party here at Cogswell College!  Located in the lobby, the scent of fresh pine greeted everyone who walked in this morning.  The annual get together brings students, teachers, and staff together for a traditional activity that is familiar to much of the Cogswell population.  Refreshments are provided, holiday tunes fill the air, and smiles are plastered on the faces of those taking part, watching, and/or stuffing their faces with holiday sweets.

In addition to the small party, the tree trimming is a reminder for faculty, staff, and students to take part in the annual Holiday Wish Drive of Family Giving Tree.  During the Cogswell Thanksgiving potluck in November, members of the Cogswell community were given the opportunity to pick up a wish card and fulfill the request of a child this holiday season.  At the end of the lunch, every wish card was found to be taken!  As a reminder to those who intend on fulfilling a wish, please give your unwrapped gift and the accompanying wish card to Lucy McDonald by December 14th.  There are also donation envelopes available if anyone wishes to give a monetary donation.

-Rachel

Are you going to the Entrepreneur’s Workshop?

Thursday, November 18th, 2010

It’s only two more days until the Entrepreneur’s Workshop.  Are you going?  If you have the entrepreneurial spirit, it’s not too late to RSVP.  Just fill out the form on the Entrepreneur’s Workshop page.  At the workshop, you’ll learn by doing. There are simulations lined up to give students experiences in marketing and exercises in product design.  Following the interactive activities is a panel with Cogswell Alum Ash Monif, COO and Executive Producer of Subatomic Studies, and serial entrepreneur Dan Marques, who has seen much success with his involvment in online marketing for Gemvara. The panelists are there to answer any questions you might have regarding your own ventures, so come out to the Entrepreneur’s Workshop and learn how to make your goals reality!  The event is free, and is also open to current Cogswell students, so this may be prime time for prospective students to ask questions of current students as well.

In other news, today is the Thanksgiving potluck!  This has been a highly anticipated event for everyone on campus.  What’s the excitement about food, you may ask?  Everyone from student, staff, and faculty can show off their culinary prowess.  Where else can you get a taste of the best macaroni and cheese in the world made by the Assistant Admissions Director?  Or the most phenomenal green bean casserole from your Professor?  It’s fascinating to see who is equally talented in the kitchen as they are in sculpture, programming, or music composition.

Cogswell Faculty Spotlight – Dr. Younes Mourchid, Fire Science

Wednesday, December 30th, 2009

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Dr. Younes Mourchid

Dr. Younes Mourchid has been an Associate Professor and Director of Degrees at a Distance Fire Science program at Cogswell College since 2005. With a Fulbright Scholarship awarded by the Moroccan-American Commission for Educational and Cultural Exchange, Younes earned a double Masters Degree from Southern Illinois University in Communication and Applied Linguistics. Younes then went on to the University of Southern California to earn a Ph.D. in International Development Education where he focused his graduate research on issues of higher education reform and globalization in the Arab world.

Younes’ current teaching and research interests revolve around co-relational topics in Middle Eastern Studies and Peace Education. His goal has been to create teaching and textual nuggets deriving directly from the perspective of peoples and native scholars of the Middle East. As an advocate of online distance education for adult learners, Younes continues to promote the value of higher education for Fire and Emergency Services personnel through the office of Degrees at Distance Program and through quarterly editorials in Firehouse Magazine.

What classes do you currently teach?

I teach a variety of Social Science courses focusing on International Relations and issues of Organizational Leadership and Development.

Do you have a favorite class to teach? If so, why?

I enjoy teaching the organizational Leadership course because it allows the class participants to investigate the nature of change in current US organizations and reflect on the components of creating and sustaining a “Learning Organization”.

Have you worked for non-academic companies in the past? Which ones? How did that experience make you a better teacher?

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Cogswell Faculty Spotlight – Albert Chen, Digital Art & Animation

Friday, December 18th, 2009

albertchenAlbert Chen

Albert Chen is the Assistant Professor of Game Design and Development and joined Cogswell’s full-time faculty in 2007. He heads the Game Art concentration under Digital Arts and Animation (DAA) program and Digital Arts and Engineering (DAE) under the Engineering program. He is also the Associate Director for Cogswell’s Engineering Simulation and Animation Laboratory (ESAL), and the recipient of the Boeing Performance Excellence Award in 2008. His goal is to provide the mentoring and support students need to excel at Cogswell and in the video game and digital media industries. Mr. Chen was a professional game developer for over twelve years with credits in nearly two dozen game titles. His roles included Game Designer at EA, Game Design Director and Senior Level Designer at Factor 5, Level Layout Manager at 3DO, and Mission Designer, 3D Art Technician, International Lead Tester and QA Tester at LucasArts. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations from the University of California at Davis.

What classes do you currently teach?

Game 3: Introduction to game development and production, Content and creativity development, Entertainment Design and 3D Modeling portfolio

Do you have a favorite class to teach? If so, why?

Content and creativity development is currently my favorite because it’s purely focused on thinking outside the box and teamwork which results in some very cool student projects.

Have you worked for non-academic companies in the past? Which ones? How did that experience make you a better teacher?

I was a professional game developer for over 12 years prior to joining Cogswell. I have worked at Lucasarts, The 3DO Company, Factor 5 and EA. My past experience in mentoring junior designers has helped me develop my teaching style. I call it “Tough love”.

What made you decide that you wanted to teach?

When I was a game developer, I enjoyed working with and mentoring new designers. At Cogswell, I saw an opportunity to constantly get that kind of interaction with students.

What projects have you worked on in the past? What was your role in the project?

I was 3D Art Technician for Star Wars: Masters of Teras Kasi and Grim Fandango where I processed raw mo-cap data and fixed technical problems in digital art and animation.

As Level Layout Manager for Sarge’s Heroes 2 PS1, I managed a design team that developed and shipped a game in 7 months.

I was a level designer for Star Wars: Roque Squadron 2 – Rogue Leader (which launched with the Nintendo Gamecube) and Star Wars: Rogue Squadron 3 – Rebel Strike. My levels were used for the pre-sell disks and shown at trade shows like E3.

As Game Design Director and Designer on Lair, I was responsible for building and managing a design team.

What projects (personal or professional) are you currently working on?
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Cogswell Faculty Spotlight – Michael Huber, Digital Art & Animation

Monday, November 16th, 2009

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Michael Huber

Assistant Professor Michael Z. Huber is a computer graphics animator and effects supervisor, based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Born in the Arizona desert and raised in the Silicon Valley, he is the product of an engineer father and an artist/actress mother. It seems only fitting that his line of work involves the marriage of art and technology on a daily basis.
Michael’s interest in animation began while attending film school in San Francisco, where he studied stop motion animation, cinematography and film production. He eventually transferred to San Jose State University, where a new program called CADRE (Computers in Animation, Design, Research and Engineering) was introduced, which was one of the first places to study computer animation. He furthered his own education by investing in animation software, called HASH, and continued to teach himself enough computer animation to start a freelance animation company, called Gravity 3D.

Having been in the visual effects industry since 1994, Michael’s freelance projects for commercials and videos eventually led to major motion picture and video game projects. He has worked on over fifteen feature length films and has been fortunate enough to work for directors such as Wolfgang Peterson, Luc Besson, Ridley Scott, Roland Emmerich, Michael Bay, and Steven Spielberg.

What classes do you currently teach?

Currently I am teaching advanced classes in computer character animation {part of the Digital Art & Animation program). Also I head up the Project X production group. In Project X we create short films for film competitions.

Do you have a favorite class to teach? If so, why?

I enjoy teaching period. When I see someone grow or that light bulb turn on over someone’s head that is very gratifying. But if I had to pick one I would say the Project X, as it’s really the most creative environment for the students to grow in.

Have you worked for non-academic companies in the past? Which ones? How did that experience make you a better teacher?

Yes, I have been all over the map as far as entertainment is concerned. I have worked for video game, visual effects, and broadcast companies alike. To name a few I worked at Electronic Arts as a Lead Artist, Disney Feature Animation as an animator and Art Director, and Digital Domain as a Technical Director. And that is just a few of them. And yes the more experience you have outside of academia the more of a holistic approach you will be able to bring the to the teaching table, it’s pretty simple.

What made you decide that you wanted to teach?

Not what you would expect. I had a death in the family and it made me realize that I wasn’t doing what I really wanted to do. Furthermore the industry is so fast paced that I had to slow down or I would be in for some serious health problems for myself. Teaching seemed like a way to slow down. Ironically it’s just as difficult. I think any job can have its challenges if you care about it.

What projects have you worked on in the past? What was your role in the project?

Well going backwards I have worked on Tiger Woods PGA tour 2005, 2006, and the 2007 versions, also The Godfather video game as Lead Lighter. For films I played a large role on the Roland Emerichs version of Godzilla as Senior Animator. Also the last two Matrix Films, Black Hawk Down, Armageddon, Poseidon, Titanic, Blade two and three, Minority Report, and there are several others. It’s funny but the work has been so fast paced and hectic that I can’t remember half of the films I have worked on sometimes.

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Cogswell Faculty Spotlight – Dr. Tim Duncan, Digital Audio Technology

Friday, October 30th, 2009

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Dr. Tim Duncan

Dr. Timothy Duncan has been a member of the faculty of Cogswell Polytechnical College for over a decade. In addition to full-time teaching he was Dean of the College from 2005-2008. Dr. Duncan founded the Digital Audio Technology program, where he teaches many of its courses. He has synthesized his broad understanding of the music profession and the music industry to create an innovative audio program that targets both the manufacturing and the music production sides of the audio industry.

Dr. Duncan is an award-winning composer, performer and educator who is equally at home working with technology and with traditional media. He has composed and performed a body of new music compositions as well as created visual pieces and music for modern dance that have brought him recognition in the form of awards and grants from the Southeast Interdisciplinary Fund, Meet the Composer, Inc., the Ohio Federation of Music Clubs, and the Mississippi Arts Commission (among others), as well as guest composer residencies in places such as the Meadows School of Music at SMU, the Conservatory at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, and the University of Memphis. Dr. Duncan was music director for 14 regional and university theatrical productions, which earned him a citation (as composer) in the Shakespeare Music Catalogue.

Dr. Duncan completed degrees at the Universities of Tennessee, Memphis and Cincinnati, as well as pursuing additional study at Brooklyn College, Carnegie Mellon University, Stanford University and the Atlantic Center for the Arts. He is a member of the College Music Society, the International Computer Music Association and the Interactive Audio Special Interest Group. Dr. Duncan’s areas of specialization include sound synthesis, music composition and computer programming.

What classes do you currently teach?

This term I am teaching Sound Synthesis, World Music, Music Theory and DAT Portfolio classes. In general I teach a wide range of classes within the Digital Audio Technology (DAT) program.

Do you have a favorite class to teach? If so, why?

Usually it is whatever course I am teaching at the moment.

Have you worked for non-academic companies in the past? Which ones? How did that experience make you a better teacher?

I worked for Leapfrog, which manufactures educational “appliances”. I worked on the audio side of thir production.

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