Rick Kovacic

Rick Kovacic

Being realistic about job skills and career prospects, I think, are crucial for students who want to work in creative careers. Rick Kovacic , Adjunct Faculty, Design , The Art Institute of California—San Diego, a campus of Argosy University
What would you say is the defining moment in your life when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?

As a junior in undergraduate school, when I found an electronic media program that really sparked 
my interest and was run my people who had industry experience.

How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience to provide an industry veteran's sense of the realities / challenges / opportunities of the profession?

I let my students know what will be expected of them as they enter the workplace during lectures 
and discussions. I provide examples from my own experiences of working with technology during
my career.

Is there a class assignment that exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring? Similarly,how does your approach inspire each student to push themselves beyond their own perceived limits?

I provide in my Syllabus and/or assignments what industry expectations are and try to uphold a high standard-of-work in all classes. An example—just meeting the basic 
requirements of an assignment is equivalent to average work, meaning a C grade. I always provide avenues to students to exceed basic coursework requirements.

What role does collaboration contribute to students' success, especially when students from other programs contribute to the same project?

Collaboration is now an integral part of the classes I teach in the core curriculum. Students need to understand 
how to work together. At The Art Institute of Tucson (where I used to teach) I had students in my Project Management class work with students in the Web Development course to manage a real-world development project. They had to work between the two class groups, and also interface with the client, during the academic term.

In your opinion, what is the single most important thing you impart to your students to help them succeed in your class and in the real world? Alternatively, what is the most critical advice you would offer any student as he / she embarks on a creative career?

Being realistic about job skills and career prospects, I think, are crucial for students who want to work 
in creative careers. It is great to have lofty goals, but also to know how to reach those goals.

Is there anything else you'd like us to know about you, your experience, or your role as a faculty member at The Art Institutes?

I previously ran the Web Design & Interactive Media program at The Art Institute of Tucson campus, as well as Media Arts, Web Development and Multimedia programs at other 4-year state and private colleges. Being in a technology area, I understand the need to stay current with emerging technologies and to adopt them into the classroom. Students appreciate up-to-date information they can relate to.

I am a life-long learner. I did my Master’s degrees in my 40s and now embarking on a PhD 
program-of-study. I grew up very athletic and am still very active. I play golf (recreation) and go cycling (fitness) on a regular basis. My biggest passion is motorcycling. I love traveling long distances and exploring new places. And I have been to Europe three times in the last five years.