Art Institutes

Baking &Pastry

I want to make my passion my career.

It’s hard to find someone who doesn’t like dessert. It’s not easy to find someone who has the talent, passion, and imagination to turn desserts into works of art. This is serious stuff—especially in a culinary industry that grows more competitive and demanding every day. It’s why restaurants often call on the creativity of pastry chefs and bakers to help give them an edge. If you’re ready to put your talents to the test, the place to start is our Baking & Pastry School. While you’ll focus on the pastry arts, you’ll get a well-rounded education—from plating a dessert to preparing confections to managing a commercial kitchen. You’ll be surrounded and inspired by other talented, creatively driven students. And you’ll be pushed, challenged, and, above all else, supported by experienced faculty* who want to help you find your place in the world.

*Credentials and experience levels vary by faculty and instructors.

Degrees Offered

Associate of Science in Baking & Pastry

Quarter Credit Hours:
90
Timeframe:
6 Quarters

Gainful Employment

Outcomes

Associate of Science in Baking & Pastry

Outcomes

See ge.artinstitutes.edu/programoffering/2443 for program duration, tuition, fees, and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info.

Upon successful completion of the program, graduates will have the opportunity to:

  • Demonstrate the ability to establish and maintain safety and sanitation procedures.
  • Prepare standardized recipes using a variety of cooking, baking and pastry techniques as well as appropriate equipment and tools.
  • Produce various baked goods and a variety of international and classical pastries and desserts using basic as well as advanced techniques, which meet industry quality standards.
  • Design, produce, assemble and decorate display and wedding cakes using various finishing methods which meet industry quality standards.
  • Describe and perform tasks related to common business practices within the foodservice industry including inventory, menu planning, cost control and food purchasing.

View Academic Catalog

Diploma in Baking & Pastry

Quarter Credit Hours:
55
Timeframe:
4 Quarters

Gainful Employment

Outcomes

Diploma in Baking & Pastry

Outcomes

See ge.artinstitutes.edu/programoffering/2442 for program duration, tuition, fees, and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info.

Upon successful completion of the program, graduates will have the opportunity to:

  • Establish and maintain safety and sanitation procedures.
  • Prepare standardized recipes using a variety of cooking, baking and pastry techniques as well as appropriate equipment and tools.
  • Produce various baked goods and a variety of international and classical pastries and desserts using basic as well as advanced techniques, which meet industry quality standards.
  • Design, produce, assemble and decorate display and wedding cakes using various finishing methods which meet industry quality standards.

View Academic Catalog

Classroom Experience

I can't wait to show what I can do.

There aren’t many careers out there that let you express your own individual style and creativity while giving you the instant gratification of seeing consumers enjoying your work. That means you’ll need to compete for your place in the real world. And that’s the driving force behind Baking & Pastry. You’ll work on fundamental pastry and bread-baking techniques, all-purpose baking, desserts, cake decoration, and pastry arts. You’ll apply your skills to chocolate, confections, and centerpieces, as well as classical, glazed, iced, molded, cream-filled, wedding and display cakes. You’ll have the opportunity to learn to mix, shape and bake hand-crafted breads. And we’ll make sure you’re up to date on trends across the entire culinary industry, including international flavors. You’ll have the opportunity to learn critical thinking and business basics, including the principles of ordering food, equipment, and supplies. See our gainful employment pages for possible careers that match the program that interests you.

Meet Our Alumni

  • amanda_burnham

    Amanda Burnham

    Graphic & Web Design , 2008

    "[My education] prepared me for the actual process of developing a website. With the instructors checking in at every milestone of the project, it simulated client interaction and feedback."

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    Amanda Burnham

    Director of Web Design and Development for Monster Design Company

    Amanda Burnham is the director of web design and development for Monster Design Company. She oversees all incoming web projects and manages workflow, design, development, and intern work. “I've worked for Monster Design Company since my 2011 [which was] my first year attending The Art Institute of California—San Francisco. I was lucky to be [hired on] before I finished my degree. I also work freelance on the side.” Amanda adds that a typical workday includes checking the job board, organizing projects by priority, and delegating as needed. She’s focused on completing jobs before deadline.

    She understands that it’s easy to feel pressure during school but emphasizes to current students that school is only temporary. “Keep pushing, be professional, and put out only your best work. You never know who is watching and who could help you get a job in the future.”

    Amanda cites a challenge that she experienced in her work—when she had to customize a WordPress website for a client. “I had a client that wanted a portal for users to apply to be an agent for his company. I wanted to use a particular plugin to do this, but because of the highly sensitive information we were capturing, I needed to find a way to make it as secure as possible.” She researched and customized plugins to accomplish the task. “From my experience, there really isn't anything you can't do on the web. If you don't know how to do it, spend a few hours on Google and make a plan.”

    Amanda adds that her career is detail-oriented and that designers have to love what they do. “If you don't [love what you’re doing], you're not going to care very much about the quality of your work. Even with the ‘not so fun’ jobs or clients, you need to find the excitement in every job. Passion and dedication is what clients and employers notice.”

    She works in a small team environment, which has enabled her coworkers to become close friends. “Not only do we collaborate on many projects, but we also come up with our own crazy ideas for projects to do on the side. I think we all compliment each other very well.”

    Amanda, who in 2008 earned an Associate of Science in Graphic Design from The Art Institute of California—San Francisco, says that in school, she worked on web projects from start to finish. “It prepared me for the actual process of developing a website. With the instructors checking in at every milestone of the project, it simulated client interaction and feedback. Also, student feedback gave me many sets of eyes [on my work] and I believe made me a stronger designer.”

    See http://ge.artinstitutes.edu/programoffering/386 for program duration, tuition, fees and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info.

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  • The Art Institute of California—San Francisco, a campus of Argosy University alumni Eric Drake

    Eric J. Drake

    Culinary Management , 2015

    "The knowledge and skills I gained in school [are used in my job] every single day."

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    Eric J. Drake

    Floor Manager at Bumble

    Eric J. Drake is the floor manager at Bumble, a farm to table restaurant in Los Altos, California. He oversees front of house management, runs the floor, and expedites hosting and serving of customers. Eric enjoys the human element of his job—serving people and working with his employees. “I love having a hand in making someone’s day better. Food is a great way to do that,” he says.

    Eric explains that when he joined the restaurant, he quickly realized that there was a lack of communication between the front of house and back of house. He set out to fix that problem immediately. “Now everything is organized and communication with the kitchen is much better.” Eric mentions that he supports the new trend of mandatory tipping—or eliminating tips altogether and paying employees a higher wage.

    He gained his passion for food from his mother—and adds that his father taught him what it takes to be successful. Eric adds that the industry can be challenging but urges current students not to take things personally. “People in this industry are passionate. Keep your chin up, brush off [any disagreements in the workplace], and go on doing your job.”

    Eric, who in 2015 earned a Bachelor of Science in Culinary Management from The Art Institute of California—San Francisco, says that his education provided the knowledge he needed to transition into a culinary career. “A degree doesn’t make you a great manager, that can only happen on the job. But the knowledge and skills I gained in school [are used in my job] every single day.”

    See http://ge.artinstitutes.edu/programoffering/1410 for program duration, tuition, fees and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info.

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  • The Art Institute of California—San Francisco, a campus of Argosy University alumni Lucia Mendez

    Lucia Mendez

    Fashion Design , 2015

    "[My education] covered every area of the fashion industry."

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    Lucia Mendez

    Technical Designer for BYER California

    Lucia Mendez is a technical designer for BYER California, based in San Francisco. She’s responsible for writing specs, sketching new designs, and specing sample garments. “I [joined the] company right after graduation,” she proudly states.

    Lucia says that her grandfather inspired her to pursue fashion design. Today she is excited to be part of a nationally recognized fashion company. “[My work] is in an area that may not be as creative, but it is essential for the fashion industry.”

    Lucia, who in 2015 earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fashion Design from The Art Institute of California—San Francisco, says that her education provided a solid foundation for her transition into the world of fashion. She recommends that current students stay focused. “Know what you want and once you start, do not stop. Don’t give up.”

    See http://ge.artinstitutes.edu/programoffering/380 for program duration, tuition, fees and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info.

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  • The Art Institute of California - San Francisco, a campus of Argosy University alumni Marichuy Reynoso

    Marichuy Reynoso

    Fashion Design , 2007

    "[My education provided] a thorough overview of the field."

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    Marichuy Reynoso

    Brand Manager for Vince Camuto

    Marichuy Reynoso is the brand manager for Vince Camuto. She’s based in San Francisco’s East Bay. Marichuy is responsible for relationship building and merchandising, as well as evaluating floor space, product on hand, and updating mannequins on the merchandise floor. “I enjoy the experience of understanding what customers buy and don’t buy. This is great information when designing,” she says.

    Marichuy is proud to be in a challenging career that makes her leave her comfort zone. She recommends that new designers remember to master the basics. “The human body has not changed. However, fibers and new technologies are changing, especially in performance wear.”

    Marichuy, who in 2007 earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fashion Design from The Art Institute of California—San Francisco, says that her education provided a thorough overview of the fashion industry. She also credits the school’s career services team for helping with her job search. Marichuy adds that it’s important to participate in fashion shows to show off skills. “[Internships are also important]. They are solid experience that appeals to employers.”

    See http://ge.artinstitutes.edu/programoffering/380 for program duration, tuition, fees and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info. *As of 2012, a campus of Argosy University.

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  • Sabrina Padua

    Sabrina Padua

    Fashion Marketing & Management , 2016

    “No matter how long the days are, I enjoy that I get to be in this industry making a difference, alongside my team. It's great to finally be able to have a career that I've always envisioned myself being in.”

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    Sabrina Padua
    Researches and Creates Trend Plans Two Years Before Final Product Hits Stores 

    As the product line coordinator for Lucy Activewear, Sabrina Padua has many responsibilities. She coordinates and manages data pertaining to the product line, product creation, and development—and works with the “tops” category team to help to determine new product and consumer needs, price points, and strategic developments. Prior to her current position, she worked with prAna, Mel Cotton’s Sporting Goods, Forever 21, and Urban Outfitters.

    Each day is a balance of new tasks and outstanding projects. “My work consists of creating multiple presentations on PowerPoint [for] different cross-functional partners, managing data pertaining to the product line on multiple Excel files, and ensuring the integrity of its contents. I also attend prototype fittings, organize salesman samples, attend meetings with different teams (design, product development, marketing, sourcing) to go over seasonal collections, and coordinate all of the important gates and milestones when it comes to the product life cycle,” she says.

    Sabrina adds that she didn’t quite know what to expect on her first day at work. “I had butterflies in my stomach and I would think to myself, ‘Am I going to do a good job? What if I don't catch on? What if this isn't for me?’ But the moment that I walked into the office and met everyone, all of my fears were put to rest. I realized very quickly that I knew my strengths and my skills, and I was prepared for any challenges that may come.”

    She explains that fashion takes a high level of commitment—but it’s an exciting field full of creative individuals. “[I work with people that] I can learn from and look to as role models. I see what it takes to be successful and I strive to learn and adapt quickly, and to contribute to the future of the brand as much as I possibly can.”

    Working on projects two years before they hit stores can be a challenge. “We are really in the forefront of the product's lifecycle. I help my team brief the new ideas and we work together with the designers to create an entire product line. My team goes out in to the market to find out what styles, fabrics, and technologies are trending, and we work with our designers who then create the collection based on the details our findings.” From that point, the project evolves to include fittings and samples of the designs that will be available in stores.

    Sabrina, who in 2016 earned a Bachelor of Science in Fashion Marketing & Management from The Art Institute of California—San Francisco, says that her education taught the key skills needed to transition into the fashion industry. “It’s great to come into the field knowing industry terms, departments, and how they pertain to the product line.” She adds that it’s also important that individuals in the industry continue to innovate and create. “It's good to be adaptable, flexible, and on your toes. There's so many different moving parts when it comes to introducing the product and brand to the market.”

    See http://ge.artinstitutes.edu/programoffering/383 for program duration, tuition, fees and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info.
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  • The Art Institute of California—San Francisco, a campus of Argosy University alumni Samson Chen

    Samson Chen

    Fashion Marketing & Management , 2011

    "Soak up knowledge and experience like a sponge. Collaborate with industry leaders and mentors that you want to emulate."

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    Samson Chen

    Creative Entrepreneur at TOA, Article & Goods and Azil Boutique

    Samson Chen describes himself as a “creative entrepreneur” at TOA, Article & Goods, and Azil Boutique—companies that provide handmade or specialized creative pieces. He prides himself in building a business model for these companies out of experience and observation. “[I see] what is missing in the market and [determine] how I can change it, improve on it, or break into it,” he says.

    Samson admits that he had to swallow his fear and believe in his intuition when going out on his own. “Sometimes failure or trial-and-error is the best way of learning.” He enjoys being independent. “The heart and soul I put into my work [makes me feel] satisfied and rewarded.

    Samson, who in 2011 earned a Bachelor of Science in Fashion Marketing & Management from The Art Institute of California—San Francisco, says that his education provided the fundamentals he needed to work in the creative industry. He recommends that current students learn as much as they can—even in unpaid positions. “Soak up knowledge and experience like a sponge. Collaborate with industry leaders and mentors that you want to emulate.”

    See http://ge.artinstitutes.edu/programoffering/383 for program duration, tuition, fees and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info.

    *As of 2012, a campus of Argosy University

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What Will I Study?

San Francisco Student Working on an Assignment

This is where I belong.

The Baking & Pastry School curriculum is focused on helping you grow as both an artist and a technician. Working in professional kitchens, you’ll explore both theory and practice through courses that take you from the fundamentals to the world cuisines that are emerging in popularity. You'll study:

  • Ingredients
  • Weight & Measures
  • Sanitation & Safety
  • Dessert Plating and Presentation
  • Artisan Breads
  • Baking Production
  • European Cakes and Tortes
  • Advanced Patisserie
  • Purchasing
  • Nutrition Science
  • Management, Supervision and Career Development

I'm looking for my proving ground.

At The Art Institute of California - San Francisco, creativity is our core, our calling, our culture. Our Baking & Pastry degree programs are built on that creative foundation. It’s also built on our knowledge that a creative career is not for the faint of heart. Because it’s tough out there, it’s tough in here. But along with that toughness comes all the support you’ll need at every step along the way. That’s why we provide the mentoring and real-world experience to help you prevail, with faculty* who’ve worked in the field, along with opportunities to learn that go far beyond our kitchens. You’ll be encouraged and expected to be bold. To take risks. To push yourself and the people around you. It won’t be easy. In fact, it’ll be the hardest thing you’ll ever love.

*Credentials and experience levels vary by faculty and instructors.

 

Meet Our Faculty

  • Media Arts & Animation Instructor Billy Burger

    Billy Burger

    Media Arts & Animation

    "Create your own style, your own brand."

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    Billy Burger

    Was there a defining moment when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?

    I’ve always been driven to create things. While I was running a neon studio here in San Francisco in 1992, I had lunch with a producer from Colossal Pictures. Just sitting there talking to him, realized I was destined for a career in animation.

    How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience?

    I share all of my professional experience, including creating 2D special effects for films, in every class I teach. In my Portfolio classes, I translate all the studio expectations into rubrics that foster the best work possible.

    What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?

    I teach a class called Animation Studio, where, in the past, students had basically worked on material for their show reel. I reached out to Chris Ayers, a character designer whose creations have included characters for the film Men in Black.

    I asked him if my students could animate some of the characters a book of sketches he’d published, called The Daily Zoo. The idea was to help students build their reels, and potentially forge a professional relationship with him. It’s been a mainstay—and a great, real-world opportunity—for my Animation students ever since.

    What’s the most important thing you impart to students to help them succeed in class and the real world?

    Create your own style, your own brand. I tell my students that the real world isn’t a textbook exercise or an online example. Out there, the stage is blank and it's time to create something completely new—on their own, from scratch—and make it industry-quality. That’s why I stress the need to create work that’s unique—to develop a strong style and a solid reel to help them join the next generation of commercial artists.

    Anything else you’d like to share?

    Recently, I chose two students and two graduates to work on a story idea for a short film I came up with a few years ago. They’re beginning work on the model pack, storyboards, and initial principle animation. It’s something they can add to their resume and their reel.

    Read More...
  • Culinary Instructor Instructor Elise Fineberg

    Elise "Toddy" Fineberg

    Culinary Arts

    "If you have a passion for food and a drive to create, you've got to cook!"

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    Elise "Toddy" Fineberg

    Was there a defining moment when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?

    I came to cooking as a career change in my late twenties. I’d always enjoyed cooking, and the idea of working at something where I could be meticulous, whimsical, thoughtful, and creative really appealed to me.

    How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience?

    There are stories upon stories I can share, based on what I’ve seen in professional kitchens. I think the anecdotes bring it to life for students. You may not find receiving orders or cost control that exciting, but a real-life story about something that went very wrong tends to be something you remember.

    What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring, and how do you inspire students to push themselves beyond their own perceived limits?

    I hold my students to high standards in everything—their uniforms, professional conduct, meeting deadlines, everything. Everyone is held accountable. As long as a student is giving his or her best effort, I’m they’re coach and mentor. They know that when it’s time to work, they need to be serious. But when it’s time to play, we have a great time.

    How does collaboration contribute to students’ success—particularly when students from various programs work together?

    Collaboration is the key to success in any industry. It’s really neat to see students from different programs working together—it echoes real life. A terrific example is the Fashion Show. The concept comes from Fashion students, but it can’t be executed without audio, lighting, marketing, design, catering, etc. It’s a giant project with a lot of pieces, and it takes students with a variety of skills working together to pull it off successfully.

    What’s the most important thing you impart to students to help them succeed in class and the real world?

    Preparation, organization, and integrity. Come in with a plan, work fast and clean, and be a part of the team.

    What’s the most critical advice you would offer any student embarking on a creative career?

    Really, really make sure this is what you want to do. But if you have a passion for food and a drive to create, you’ve got to cook!

    Anything else you’d like to share?

    My job is the perfect marriage of two things that I love—cooking and mentoring young people.

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  • Fashion Design and Fashion Marketing Instructor Mikel Rosen

    Mikel Rosen

    Fashion Marketing & Management

    "Be passionate and professional. And work hard."

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    Mikel Rosen

    Was there a defining moment when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?

    It was in the 1970’s, when I saw Julie Driscoll perform Wheels on Fire and David Bowie create Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars.

    How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience?

    I treat every class as if it’s a real-world experience. For students in my Fashion Design class, that means creating a fashion design studio environment. For my Fashion Marketing students, the class mirrors an editorial or event brand-planning laboratory.

    What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?

    I use a survey of fashion assignment to introduce both my fashion and marketing students to the industry. It covers fashion topics from all angles—design, marketing, trends, runway, retail, styling, journalism, media—anything related to fashion and style, from the past to the present to where it may go in the future.

    How do you inspire students to push themselves beyond their perceived limits?

    I work with each student individually...I strongly believe each one has their own creative talent, and I spend as long as it takes to find that talent and drive each student beyond their expectations, to new ways of thinking.

    How does collaboration contribute to students’ success—particularly when students from various programs work together?

    This is something I’ve been doing since I start teaching in instructing in 1979. I’ve provided opportunities for Fashion students to work with others in areas as diverse as game planning, culinary, and film. I think it really helps students when they see how their peers from other creative disciplines think and solve problems.

    What’s the most important thing you impart to students to help them succeed in class and the real world?

    I tell them that they have two jobs: earning their degree, and launching a career in the real world.

    What’s the most critical advice you would offer any student embarking on a creative career?

    I would urge them to decide on their career path as soon as possible, and structure their classwork around that goal. Quickly build a professional networking database. Be passionate an professional. And work hard.

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  • Graphic & Web Design Instructor Sharon Kaitner

    Sharon Kaitner, M.Ed.

    Graphic & Web Design

    "Most people sleepwalk through life. Wake up. Get out. Think. Walk around without a phone. Experience life. It all contributes to your art."

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    Sharon Kaitner, M.Ed.

    Was there a defining moment when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?

    There was never a defining moment, but rather a lot of little ones that said, "Here; this is where you feel most alive, this is where you feel most like you."

    How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience?

    I offer real-world tips and tricks, and shape discussions and critiques with that same sense of reality. But most of all, I try to teach students to think...to connect the dots and find their own way. It's an ongoing conversation. Those who take what’s offered and build on it with their own drive and vision are the ones that succeed.

    What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?

    I often like sending design students outside to observe and report, usually as a way of exploring personas and user-centered design. Our location in the Civic Center area of San Francisco offers plenty of people-watching opportunities. Students invent a narrative back-story of a person, which leads to a discussion of how our perceptions affect how we design, whether our observations are enough for an understanding of our target audience, and how to measure and correct for our bias.

    How do you inspire students to push themselves beyond their perceived limits?

    I'll see in those students faces a flash of delight in some new thought as they go off to do more research about what it means to design for their target audience, to go beyond what they think, to realize that there’s so much more to their world. Then they learn more than I could ever hope to teach.

    How does collaboration contribute to students’ success—particularly when students from various programs work together?

    I can help guide them toward the solution, but collaborating with their peers is where they hear whether or not it works, and what other ideas might work better. That’s the way it is in the real world, where people with different points of view all work toward the same goal. They see how each contributes to the success of the project. It's a big part of preparing students for their careers.

    What’s the most important thing you impart to students to help them succeed in class and the real world?

    Anything is possible.

    What’s the most critical advice you would offer any student embarking on a creative career?

    Most people sleepwalk through life. Wake up. Get out. Think. Walk around without a phone. Experience life. It all contributes to your art.

    Anything else you’d like to share?

    I believe in my students so that they will believe in themselves because the hard work comes from within them.

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  • Kevin Martin

    Kevin Martin

    Audio Production

    "You may be very talented, but it's when you start to collaborate with others that things really start to happen."

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    Kevin Martin

    How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience?

    I use my industry experience to give students some practical tips. For example, when you record drums in the studio, it’s important to measure the distance of microphones from the instrument. You could carry a tape measure, but when I worked in studios in Nashville, we measured with the microphone cable. Simple solutions like that can come in handy for students when they start internships or their first job in the business.

    What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?

    In teaching audio post-production, I take a short piece of video that students choose and have them strip away the audio using a digital audio workstation like Pro Tools or Apple Logic*. They then recreate the audio by sourcing sound libraries and doing their own recording. Students help each other by recording or serving as voiceover actors or sound effects artists. By the time they’ve finished the project, they’ve gained a deeper appreciation for how the magic of audio transforms a piece of film or video.

    How does collaboration contribute to students’ success—particularly when students from various programs work together?

    In my Video Production class, students from Audio Production, Digital Film, Web Design, and Graphic Design each propose an idea for a 30-minute TV or web program and we pick one by popular vote. Then comes the writing, storyboarding, building sets, and lighting and set design. When we start shooting, students get to wear many hats—director, camera operator, floor manager, video switcher, teleprompter, etc. The experience creates friendships along with a solid final deliverable that everyone can add to their demo reels.

    What’s the most important thing you impart to students to help them succeed in class and the real world?

    You may be very talented, but it’s when you start to collaborate with others that things really start to happen.

    What’s the most critical advice you would offer any student embarking on a creative career?

    Someone I worked with at LucasArts once told me that you won’t like everyone you work with, but if your standards stay strong, your art will speak for itself. Some of the best work comes from teams that love art, but not each other. It sounds a little harsh, but it’s true.

    *Apple, the Apple logo and iPad are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.
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The Art Institute of Michigan alumni Calvert Griffin [My education] helped me to learn how to be an effective teammate and work well with others. Calvert Griffin
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design, 2014, The Art Institute of Michigan