MARION — One of the programs at Tri-Rivers that has experienced rapid change is Interactive Media. It has gone from the early years of Graphic Printing, to Digital Media for a few years to its current moniker of Interactive Media.
“The program’s latest title and direction is fueled by changes in communications. In our technology-driven world interactive media surrounds everything we do; It transforms the way people share information and ideas through creative uses of technology,” explained Josh Ebert, one of two instructors for the program.
“One of the coolest things has been watching the talent of the students go up and up! As enrollment rises, it’s bringing a greater variety of students and raises the bar,” said Ebert.
“With advancements in technology, creative problem solvers are in high demand,” said Ebert. “Even companies like Apple, who design products, need creative designers to work alongside their engineers. Critical thinking, like what we teach, continues to be one of the top skills we hear employers looking for.”
Ebert has over 10 years of experience in the field and is in his second year of teaching. He has had the opportunity to experience a variety of clients and projects. He can share those experiences with students.
“I’ve been involved with everything from branding, to commercial videography, to software design, and more. I even started my own business and have worked to grow that the last several years.”
His teaching partner, Jeff Davidson, who is in his first year at Tri-Rivers, has worked in the interactive media and graphic design industry for 30 years.
“I have a wealth of experience to share with the students. I have worked in almost every segment of the design industry—graphic design, web design, animation, game design, and video production to name a few. I think that having seen the evolution of the industry, I can give interesting insights to students.”
The “Dynamic Duo” (as many colleagues call them) emphasize that their brand-new lab is another major aspect that sets their program apart. It was completely rebuilt from the ground up in 2020, so it offers students access to some of the most state-of-the-art equipment in Ohio. “Access to professionals in the field, along with a lab that you truly have to see to believe, is what gives our students the best possible opportunity to be successful in this field,” said Davidson.
“Most of our students will want to go on to post-secondary educational opportunities, but our students will have a strong enough foundation that they could definitely go directly into industry,” said Davidson. “Even students who plan to continue their education will find themselves in a better position than their peers in their college major after taking this program.”
Ebert added, “That’s the nice thing about interactive media, there are a lot of opportunities at every level.”
Dylan Farrell, a junior from Mount Gilead, said, “I’ve always been interested in movies and how they are made. I’m learning all of that here—special effects, the mechanics of movies, animating and video. Our lab is huge with different rooms for different areas of study. Plus, I’m getting valuable certifications like Photoshop and Illustrator. Whatever, your creative interests are, you’ll fit in here.”
“I love it here. The staff are good to students; they care about us as individuals,” said Skye Shipman, also a junior from Mount Gilead. “Everything is hands-on and interactive. We do a lot of critical thinking and brainstorming. Both my teachers are interested in what I want to learn.”
To learn more about Tri-Rivers Interactive Media program visit tririvers.com