| Rhetorical Theory & Criticism | Communication Technology & Visual Culture | Arts & Technology Administration |


Personal Narrative

I was born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, were it can be cold. Fortunately, my family moved State-side at an early age and I grew up in Florida and at 10 years old, moved to Southern California. There I finished high school and college. Upon graduation I married my wife, Esther (nee Perez), and promptly relocated to Vermont to work at Middlebury College in 1986. Imagine us, a Western Canadian/Floridian/Californian and his new Hispanic young wife, both freshly minted college grads, moving to the Green Mountains of Vermont in New England.

We found we loved living in Vermont, but sadly, to be young, ambitious, and in Vermont is a contradiction in terms. One can only have two of the three, and since we couldn't stop being young, and we were ambitious, we fled to Washington, DC to pursue professional careers in the Theatre. Those were great times. I became a freelance designer (later joining USA 829) and my wife was an Equity stage manager. I also taught at Bowie State University, then George Mason University to supplement my freelance design income.

Then came children. My wife decided she needed to start our family before she was 30, so one month before her 30th birthday, Zara Elizabeth was born. As wonderful as children are, parenting did not mix well with the freelance lifestyle (and lack of benefits, etc.). Teaching had always been an ambition of mine, so I looked. I was offered a tenure-track position in Theatre at the University of Utah in 1993. Since I have been in Utah, we had three more children: Zoe, Zandra, and Zachary.

I have always had an interest in the creative potential of computer technology. While in Washington, I bought my first personal computer. I later acquired a laser printer and experimented with computer graphics and desktop publishing. This was 1991 and visual aesthetics in the digital domain were definitely in its infancy. When looking to define my research interests as a faculty member of Theatre, I was naturally drawn to the potential of computer technology and its relationship to the arts. I thought: lighting design is an educated guess until all the work is done. Fortunately, the more educated the designer, the better the guess. However, if there was a way to pre-visualize a lighting design, wouldn't the world be a better place?!? That led to my work in digital imaging and 3D visualization.

I received some grants, I created some new classes, but I found I liked to build things. I realized my academic interests and ambitions began to exceed traditional disciplinary boundaries of higher education. I applied for and was offered the position of Assistant Dean for Technology in the College of Fine Arts. In the interview, I proposed the Arts Technology Program, an interdisciplinary program that offered students access to computer-based technological tools for integration in the creative process. That program today offers 35 classes serving over 400 students per year and has 3 full-time faculty members. As I approached tenure consideration in Theatre, it became apparent that I should resign that appointment since I had a full-time administrative position in the Dean's office that did not allow enough time for proper creative and scholarly work, and I had found a new purpose for my life and career.

As my career interests moved further into the digital domain, I began to recognize the cultural implications of new digital media technology production and distribution. To that end, in 2003, I enrolled in the PhD program that most closely resembled my emerging interests in the relationship between technology and society. Communication and its disciplinary interest in mass communication and new media became my second home. Pursuing a PhD while a full-time Asst. Dean was no easy task, but it has been rewarding in so many ways. Oh, and somewhere in 2006, I took US citizenship because I did not like the direction the country was going on immigration policy, environmental policy, fiscal policy, domestic policy, and foreign policy, to name but a few. I felt I could do the most for the world as a voting citizen of this fair country.

For the past few years in Utah, it has become apparent to me that the best way to be an effective teacher, help develop new curriculum in new media theory and production, and advocate for the educational interests of the student body of any program, is to have a tenure-track position within a department that fully supports the growth of digital technology curriculum. To that end, I have accepted a tenure-track position in the School of Mass Communication at Loyola University New Orleans. Beginning in the Fall of 2008, I am teaching courses in Digital Communication and working to expand the digital media technology offerings for the School of Mass Communication. It is exactly the sort of step I was hoping to take at this point in my career. I look forward to these new challenges in our new home.