You may remember the sorting hat moments from the Harry Potter novels (and movies) in which the students of Hogwarts are assigned to their respective houses led by McGonagall, Snape, etc., based on their personal qualities.
Well, a kind of similar event happens each fall and spring in the CMDC (sans hat, of course) where DTC majors are assigned to their Mentors. Students who have been in the program for a while and are well known to the faculty are generally assigned to a Mentor based on the students’ “Superpowers.” New students are tentatively assigned to a faculty member until the students express their interest in particular Superpower. Once they do, they are reassigned to the appropriate faculty member.
So, what is a Mentor, you may ask, and how is this different than an Advisor? Why do you need both? What is a Superpower?
A Mentor is a CMDC faculty member in the area(s) of study in which you are developing expertise who guides you through your academic experience, helps you to develop the skills you need for your future life (job, grad school), and provides support for you when you are ready to look for a job or enter into graduate school. Mentors offer you advice about you what upper division courses you should be taking (300 and 400 level) to help you to attain your goals and provide networking opportunities outside of the university for preparing your career.
An Advisor works for the College of Arts and Sciences in the Advising Center (CASAC) and helps you to navigate the University’s and College’s academic requirements. They assist you with figuring out which courses to take in the lower division (100 and 200 level courses), how to figure out transfer credits, and ultimately, when to apply for graduation.
There are five CMDC Mentors and two CASAC Advisors.
- John Barber: UX/UI, Audio (Performance, Radio, Drama), Web Development
- Will Luers: Web and Mobile Development, Digital Publishing, Video, Digital Storytelling
- Michael Rabby: Social Media, Media Communication, Quantitative Research
- Brenda Grell: 2 & 3D Animation, Video, Multimedia Design, Robotics
- Dene Grigar: (Mentors all graduating seniors) but has expertise in Multimedia Performance, Interactive Design, Curating and Preservation, e-Poetics
- Teresa Phimister: Advises CMDC students whose last names begin with A-K
- Ted Fordyce: Advises CMDC students whose last names begin with L-Z
In the next week, your Mentors will be in contact with you. Please respond to them. You will find it very helpful to get to know your Mentor. He or she can provide you with a lot of advice and support during the year. When spring registration nears, you will find it most handy for your Mentor to assist you with selecting the appropriate courses you need for your graduation and career plans.
If you are ever curious about how the CMDC “sorting” works, just ask. I think you would be pleased.
Finally, a Superpower is a digital media-oriented skill you are very, very good at. Here is a list of potential superpowers. Keep in mind that the field of digital technology is an a constant state of change and development, so the list varies over time:
UX / UI
Analytics / Metrics
Video Editing / Production
By the end of the first year in the CMDC Program, you should be able to articulate what your Superpower will be, or maybe even is. Then, you spend the rest of your time in the Program honing that Superpower and picking up a few additional ones so that you have several in your arsenal. If you go back and look at the Mentor list, you will see that we all have at least three.