Digital Art Resources Development Specialist
Department of Art & Art History

Name of hiring contact:  Billy Friebele
Title of hiring contact: Assistant Professor of Art
Phone: 301-996-2772

Responsibilities and benefits to the student:

The Art & Art History Department is seeking a Professional Fellowship student in order to support some of the common technical needs of students as they produce digital media work at SMCM.  Last year we hired a student in the PFP position, and she was able to build a website that will house technical information about the digital lab, feature student artwork, and connect students interested in using digital tools for creative means. This process involved developing many draft proposals for web layouts and content areas, adapting these templates from html to Cascade format, and finally generating content. Now that the structure is fully established we hope that the student hired in this position this year will be able to focus on creating new and exciting content for this website and work to further strengthen the support for the lab as well as the connection to the community.

Some examples of the types of content that would be produced and published are technical tutorials and best practice instructions concerning print, web, and video applications for other students, modeling an electronic portfolio to display the various types of digital media commonly produced in Art and Art History coursework including weekly featured student artwork, and maintaining the website promoting student interests in the programs and courses related to digital media.  The website will encourage interactivity among the students, promote the relevant programs at SMCM, and provide wider exposure of student creations to the campus and non-campus populations.

In addition the PFP will be available to assist other students in a peer-to-peer instruction model regarding print production, video, web design and other areas of digital media production. The PFP student will have dedicated hours to work in the lab and be available as a resource for students engaged in digital projects. The four dedicated Montgomery Hall Lab Monitor positions who worked in the lab on the weekends were dissolved by OIT last year, and the PFP position can help support the lab, replace the support system that has dissolved, and increase peer-to-peer learning opportunities. It will be beneficial to have a student skilled specifically in the software installed in the Montgomery Hall lab to assist students, as this will improve the quality of their work. We hope to develop a culture and community of engaged, creative digital students, and this peer-to-peer instruction would be a big step towards this goal. Having this position in place will also allow faculty teaching in the lab to focus time and energy on pedagogical instruction and less on technical issues that arise over the weekends.

The student will gain professional level technical experience with formatting a variety of digital media for print, web and video.  Peer to peer instruction and interactive content generation will help the student develop and encourage networking within the student digital media community at SMCM.  The student will have the opportunity to produce his/her own electronic portfolio of digital media, and will be able to demonstrate substantial experience in producing digital media for exposure to a wider community.  The student will expand technical skills with a variety of hardware and software, as well as enhance community interaction and network building skills within his/her peer students. The marketable skills gained would be the production and management of a professional website. The student will learn to operate the content management system Cascade, which functions similar to popular platforms such as Wordpress. In addition the student will have the opportunity to gain and utilize knowledge of print, photo, animation, video & 3D software. The PFP position will also entail designing eye-catching displays for print to be posted in the digital lab and on campus. All of these demonstrations will help the student build a diverse skill set and a professional portfolio.

Qualifications and unique application instructions:

The ideal student will have intermediate to advanced technical skills and experience with a variety of hardware (ex. large format printers), as well as software such as the Adobe Creative Suites, Final Cut Pro, and web building software such as Dreamweaver and/or web content management systems such as Cascade.  The student should be able to work independently, have good organizational skills, and excellent written and verbal communication skills.