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Meet Rodayne Esmay, Utah Valley University, ACME educator, Arts advocate
Utah Valley University offers a Bachelor of Science Degree in Digital Media, with an emphasis in Gaming & Animation. Associate Professor of Digital Media Rodayne Esmay of UVU currently has two classes participating on ACME. Recent graduates have gone to work at Pixar, Nickelodeon, Sony Imageworks, and local gaming companies.
“We had five UVU students advance from Level 1 to Level 2 on ACME Animation in a matter of weeks,” Ray Seay, Program Specialist, recalls. “The quality of artwork met our rigorous criteria in professional review and the quality of their comments to other students was exceptional. Their transition and work inspired our online community.”
Rodayne Esmay and his students are no strangers to inspiring those around them. States Rodayne, “the program at UVU gives students the opportunity work in a studio environment as a team, to design and build digital games and animated shorts.” Knowing that today’s middle and high school students could be his college-level students in the future, Rodayne works with the local “feeder” schools to help define and build their arts programs. He hopes to have three local high schools on ACME next year so that by the time those future students come to him, they are oriented to 21st century and creative skills.
“My students have also started a student club on campus called DAGA (The Digital Animation & Gaming Association),” Rodayne states. “As a service project, they hosted a class of middle schoolers, to bring them on-campus and broaden their understanding about the college experience and Digital Media. We spent two hours in the animation lab alone, and everyone got to try their hand at making something move.”
The challenge? The Utah State Office of Education does not yet recognize a classic animation class as an Art course, which means these types of classes have to be taught as electives. “Getting approval to teach animation to fill an Art credit is important because it will make it much more attractive to administrators, teachers and students,” Rodayne explains.
Fortunately for the many schools and classes in the area, Rodayne Esmay is an expert at designing and developing such curricula. ACME is assisting him with various arts standards and he will be drafting a plan for the Utah State Educational Arts Directors.
In 2007, Utah Valley University was recognized by the Carnegie Foundation as an Engaged Learning institution. With Rodayne Esmay at the helm, we are sure more kudos and awards will be forthcoming. You can check out some of their work here.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences
The Ahmanson Foundation
The Annenberg Foundation
California Emerging Technology Fund
California State Dept. of Education
California State University
City of Los Angeles
Cotsen Family Foundation
Eli & Edythe L. Broad Foundations
J. Paul Getty Trust
The James Irvine Foundation
Latham & Watkins
National Academy of Sciences
Sallie Mae Foundation
Sony Pictures Entertainment
United States Distance Learning Association
U.S Department of Commerce
U.S. Department of Education
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