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Newly homed at Clark University, the Becker School of Design & Technology (BSD&T) is a dynamic, evolving studio populated with students, faculty, and partners from diverse backgrounds and myriad disciplines. It boasts a vibrant synergy and a symphony of perspectives. At its core, interactive media is extraordinarily multi-faceted, based on the creation of software and hardware that govern a transformative experience fashioned upon interaction. During this panel, members of the BSD&T faculty will touch on the variety and tremendous potential of the medium while introducing themselves and their work. They will share a curated timeline of projects, their current passions, and exciting future opportunities for the Clark community. A Q&A and reception will follow immediately after the event.
- Paul Cotnoir, Ph.D., P.E., CMfgE, Dean and Professor of Practice
- Ezra Cove, M.F.A., Professor of Practice
- Ilir Mborja, M.F.A., Assistant Teaching Professor
- Scott Niemi, M.F.A., Teaching Professor
- Amanda Theinert, M.F.A., Director of the MFA Program and Assistant Teaching Professor
- Terrasa Ulm, M.F.A., Professor of Practice
Please Note: This event is open only to Clark students, faculty, and staff who are in compliance with the University’s COVID-19 testing and vaccination policies. Audience members must present a valid Clark ID for entry and remain masked, except while eating or drinking.
Regretfully, members of the general public cannot join us in person at this time. Please enjoy the event through Live Stream instead: https://bit.ly/BeckerPanel.
Sponsored by the Higgins School of Humanities at Clark University
More on the Featured Panelists:
Paul David Cotnoir joined Clark University in 2021 as dean of the Becker School of Design & Technology. Prior to Clark, Dr. Cotnoir served in various capacities at Becker College from 2002 to 2021 including Associate Dean of the School of Design & Technology where he helped to create and lead the College’s highly ranked Interactive Media Design program. Before Becker College, he worked in the field of Robotics and Automation, serving as the Director of the Manufacturing Engineering Applications Center at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, where he still teaches graduate courses in Mechanical Engineering. Dr. Cotnoir’s leadership at Clark and Becker builds upon his undergraduate and graduate engineering degrees and his various administrative roles in higher education, industry, and the public sector. He earned his doctoral degree in manufacturing engineering from WPI in 2010.
Ezra Cove has worked in game development for the past ten years, creating 3D art assets including characters, environments, and props for titles such as Chivalry: Medieval Warfare, Lord of the Rings Online, and Infinite Crisis. Additionally, he creates experimental time-based work using techniques borrowed from commercial game art production. Cove has taught at Becker College, Emerson College, MassArt, and Mount Ida College. He has a B.A. in Studio Art from Bard College and an MFA in Electronic Visualization from Mississippi State University.
Ilir Mborja is a digital artist with a focus on game art. He has regularly taught courses in the field of art and design such as Computer Illustration, Raster, and Vector, Introduction to Game Design, and many other foundation art courses. Prior to joining Clark, Ilir worked as a 3D generalist for Sky-Skan and National Geographic, creating visual effects and 3D models for the documentary film Asteroids: Mission Extreme. Ilir’s work research has been focused on opioid early prevention through video games and raising awareness of the surging world of artificial intelligence.
Scott Niemi is an award-winning fine artist/illustrator who completed his formal education at Florida Atlantic University where he earned a M.F.A. in Visual Art. He has participated in many shows both on the national as well as the local level. His work is in the collections of Children’s Hospital of Boston (Peabody, MA), Clinton Hospital (Clinton, MA), The Essex Inn (Chicago, IL), North Shore Children’s Hospital (Salem, MA), Oak Brook Bank (Oak Brook, IL), The Schacknow Museum of Fine Arts (Plantation, FL), and in the UMass Medical Center, Ambulatory Center (MA). He has work in hundreds of private collections, ranging from Beverly Hills to Australia.
Before joining Clark, Niemi was a professor of Interactive Media at Becker College where he taught in the Game Design program from 2005-2021. In the past, he worked as an adjunct professor at Franklin Pierce University, and at Florida Atlantic University. He also has worked as the interim Coordinator of the Thoreau Gallery from 2007-2008 (Rindge, NH), for The Palm Beach Institute of Contemporary Art (Lake Worth, FL), The Florida Atlantic University Galleries (Boca Raton, FL) and Galerie 624 (West Palm Beach, FL). In 2017, he was awarded the 2016-2017 Award for “Excellence in Teaching” from Becker College.
Amanda Theinert is an Interactive Media Artist and Game Designer who has worked in the fields of digital art and higher education for 12 years. Theinert teaches in the areas of game design and development, the psychology of games, traditional and digital art, as well as production and team management. Her research interests center around how interactive experiences bring individuals and groups together for collective engagement and how emergent behavior facilitated from this engagement can alter the experience itself. Her artwork focuses on creating interactive installations and games that investigate new ways of combining digital and physical media blurring the lines between the tangible and virtual. Theinert is currently the MFA Program Director and an Assistant Teaching Professor at Clark University. She holds a BA in Interactive Media from Becker College and an MFA in Computer Art from the School of Visual Arts.
Terrasa Ulm (professionally known as Ulm) has been an emergent media artist, game developer, and professor of interactive media for over 15 years. Their work and practice focus on games for change, the impact of artificial intelligence on new media, and XR development. They have developed a number of game titles, working as both designer and software developer, in the ‘serious’ and experimental games space for pc, mobile, and virtual reality. Their most recent personal art centers on interactive, fictive, live-action installations and intimate AI avatar moments. As a computer science major at Smith College, Ulm began developing their first electronic experiences and upon completing graduate studies in interactive programming at Parsons, the New School, helped launch one of the first undergraduate degrees in game development. Ulm received their MFA from Lesley University and maintains a studio at a local makerspace [and in the cloud], believing that practice and purpose intersect at the community level.