Be the president of your own fan club—make yourself and your career the biggest priority while you're at school. Valerie Romain , Media Arts Instructor ,
Was there a defining moment when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?
My high school art teacher gave me a solid foundation of traditional drawing and painting skills. He inspired me to teach foundation skills and pass on the passion.
How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience?
I bring a fine arts background to the classroom. I focus on the intersection of traditional drawing, colour theory, and design skills, and the real-world skills students will need to pursue media arts careers.
What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?
My assignments are directly related to the course competencies. In my classroom, every skill is broken down and practiced until each student has mastered it.
How does collaboration contribute to students’ success—particularly when students from various programs work together?
I encourage students to help each other in order to build them all up as a cohort of peers. Even though they’re usually in my class at the beginning of their programs, they have to rely on each other, pass on knowledge, and learn to critique positively and constructively.
What’s the most important thing you impart to students to help them succeed in class and the real world?
Stay curious. Learn from everyone and everything that inspires you. Be just as curious about the art and design you don’t like as you are about the stuff you do like. Let that curiosity challenge you to push yourself further. And be the president of your own fan club—make yourself and your career the biggest priority while you’re at school.
Anything else you’d like to share?
I love seeing students develop from nervous freshmen into confident graduates and accomplished professionals.