When it comes to the video game industry, experience means everything. That’s why Mount Ida is proud to have game art and animation faculty with extensive industry experience. Our specialized educators offer the best resources and insights to fill the professional gaming industry with your ideas and passion. By collaborating with our professors, game art and animation majors learn about advanced 2D and 3D animation, game production, level design, special effects and conceptual art to create an individualized digital portfolio for lifelong careers.

Immediate connection with industry

“Having teachers that are currently in the industry or who have recently come from the industry gives our students an immediate connection with the field, said Eric Hunn, Program Director, B.F.A. “Our instructors bring with them a wealth of professional experience, and our small class sizes offer our students plenty of one-on-one time with instructors.”

Hunn has had the opportunity to work for some incredible companies, such as 38 Studios, Tom Snyder Productions and the Cambridge Interactive Development Corporation. As an award-winning animator, Eric’s thesis at the Rochester Institute of Technology took 2nd prize in the 2006 Brattleboro Animation Festival, and he was a finalist for the 2009 Marvel Motion Comic Contest. From all of these experiences, Hunn is grateful for the opportunity to give students a direct impression of what it’s like working on interactive entertainment for a profession.

Learning outcomes for success

“I believe the best way to teach is to give students a jumping point for personal growth,” concluded Professor Hunn. “We teach a wide variety of software in Game Art, but simply learning that software isn’t enough. It’s how you use those tools to reach people as an artist. It’s not just growing in the classroom — it’s taking the tools you’ve learned there and building something great with them.”

We believe the best education prepares you for anything – a career, graduate school, and discovering what you want to do next. That’s a Mount Ida education. From internships, experiential learning, networking events, and professional connections through faculty, we show you how to become “career focused.” In our Psychology Program, Michelle Barreto Wilson, Program Director and Assistant Professor, Ph.D., ensures the career development of her students.

“With my new role as program director, my direction has shifted from the single classroom to the student’s four-year education,” she stated. “My goal has always been to educate students in the diversity of psychological theory, practice, and application in a manner that goes beyond the classroom and beyond our campus.”

Psychological studies come alive

As Program Director, Professor Wilson focuses on the career development of her students in three ways. First, her curriculum centers on applied psychology, such as organizational psychology, which provides students with the skills necessary to pursue a career in psychology. Secondly, she offers an ongoing colloquium series that introduces students to various careers. Finally, Wilson hosts a workshop series that provides hands-on tutorials in practical psychology topics.

Becoming leaders in the field

“The Positive Development Research Lab is a great way for students to see not only where our psychological knowledge comes from, but also how to generate new psychological knowledge for others to use,” said Wilson. “The lab is currently researching the positive functions of regret. The research of lab participants focuses on regrets throughout adulthood and whether regrets can serve as an impetus for goal-directed behavior.

Through the lab’s various research projects, students are given the opportunity to participate in every facet of the research process, including data collection and data analysis. The undergraduate students have also presented their latest findings at national conferences, including The Gerontological Society of America and The Association for Psychological Science.

Living in a technology-driven society, our professors understand the importance of utilizing the internet for creative, engaging student learning. In the Criminal Justice Program, Donna L. Ross, Esq., Program Director and Assistant Professor, J.D., develops methods to enrich course material through the flipped classroom model where class time is devoted to exercises, projects, and hands-on discussions. This independent, interactive and technology-based “first exposure learning” attracts students on a modern-day level, and increases student participation.

International technology influence

A highly distinguished professor, Ross’ expertise and influence in technology integration have grown at the national and international level. She has presented her teaching strategies in New England and New Orleans. In 2012, she also shared her perspective at the International Association for Technology, Education and Development Conference (IATED) in Valencia, Spain.

“As an instructor, I believe in providing a supportive learning environment that challenges students to fulfill their potential, while enjoying and engaging in the learning process,” said Professor Ross. “I am always exploring new and innovative ways to achieve this goal in my classroom.”

Cutting-edge classroom experience

Professor Ross’ impressive experience in criminal justice not only prepares gradates for their careers, but creates exciting classroom discussions. A former criminal defense attorney in private practice, she was involved in criminal proceedings that included both jury and bench trials. Professor Ross also served as an administrative law judge to the State of Maryland. In this position, she presided over bench hearings involving over 500 different case types for over 30 state agencies. In addition, Ross represented criminal defendants before the highest Courts of Appeal in the State of Maryland.

Now, as an Assistant Professor, her interdisciplinary teaching combines the study of humanities, law, natural, behavioral and social sciences, balancing theoretical inquiry with applied knowledge. Both her passion and determination drives her to transform traditional learning to meet the ever-changing needs of future generations of students.