Alumni-led Workshops / Masterclasses

During these small group workshops and master classes, you’ll have the opportunity to learn from alumni expertise in a variety of subject areas.

1-2:00pm Power Hour

Design Process: Taking the Client from Concept to Launch

Dario Tadic ’07, Creative Director WDG
Harrison Hall 0101

WDG is a web agency based out of Arlington, VA. The agency has around 30 employees and has been around for 15 years. We solve some of the most complex digital challenges for a wide range of clients of all shapes and sizes. I lead a team of UI designers and spearhead all design and UX endeavors for our clients. I’ve been at WDG for the last 8.5 years and have been in the fast-paced agency world for over a decade.

Laurie Turner

Introduction to Systems Thinking

Laurie Turner ’21, Account Manager Snow Companies
Harrison Hall 0104

This workshop will focus on systems thinking and how it relates to projects/concepts. Exercises include making system maps of routines such as getting ready for the day, taking a road trip, or shopping for groceries. Bring your individual projects to make connections with user experience, customer journeys, emotions, and pain points.

Snow Companies was founded by Brenda Snow, rooted in her experience as a patient with Multiple Sclerosis. Snow is a full service agency focused on patient engagement and storytelling. I’m an Account Manager that supports the Business Development team. My work involves client pitches, SOW’s, account onboarding, account management, advisory boards, video shoot support, program development, and much more!

Production Careers in the Government

Bruce Milton ’95, Audio Visual Specialist Department of Homeland Security
Harrison Hall 0241

Mr. Milton possesses more than 20 years of experience in video production, acquiring his early skills as a Communications major at James Madison University. Upon graduation, he continued his journey as a videographer in broadcast news, a caseworker for Congressman Jim Moran, and as a trainee in the Director’s Guild of America Trainee program in New York City, working on projects that included “Big Daddy” starring Adam Sandler, the Christopher Reeve-directed “Rear Window” remake, the Robert DeNiro thriller “15 Minutes,” and the second season of HBO’s Sex and the City. After leaving the program, he ventured back to Northern Virginia, his home base, and worked almost a decade at Henninger Media Services as a caption operator while pursuing his passion to produce films. He transitioned to government staff work in 2006, but continued as an independent producer with 3 short films and a feature film released on Amazon Prime.

The Reality of Making Unscripted TV During a Pandemic

Victoria Ritz ’11, Co Executive Producer and VP of Talent & Casting Big Fish Entertainment, an MGM company
Virtual

This is the inside scoop on what it takes to create and then make unscripted TV and how the landscape is changing to adapt to the new world. From conceiving and pitching concepts, to casting, and producing, this workshop will go into detail on multiple stages of the process as well as give insight on how to break into the industry! Pulling from real life examples of shows like MTV’s How Far is Tattoo Far, HGTV’s Martha Knows Best, Amazon Prime’s Regular Heroes, Snapchat’s Swae Meets World and more—learn the ins and outs behind the show.

In-person students may also participate in the virtual review sessions through the following link: https://jmu-edu.zoom.us/j/86376137487

Passcodes will be provided in registration materials or on-site in the Harrison Hall 0101 & 0104.

Transitioning from Student to Full-Time Journalist

Katelyn Waltemyer ’21, General Assignment & Enterprise Reporter Gannett — USA TODAY Network
Virtual—1-1:30pm

Avoid culture shock by learning more of what to expect as a full-time reporter. The workshop will focus on: Work/life balance, the importance of empathy in reporting, budgeting (stories and finances), what it’s like reporting in a community that doesn’t want you there, and what employers are looking for right now.

In-person students may also participate in the virtual review sessions through the following link: https://jmu-edu.zoom.us/j/84141797578

Passcodes will be provided in registration materials or on-site in the Harrison Hall 0101 & 0104.

Ten Things You Can’t Learn in Design School

Jeremy Cherry ’11, Senior Digital Designer Journey Group
Virtual—1:30-2:00pm

In this session we will run through a list of things I’ve learned from working as a digital designer for more than a decade, things I couldn’t have learned in design school. Whether it’s offering wisdom by working with real humans or solving real problems, I plan to offer practical advice to budding designers.

Jeremy Cherry is relentlessly optimistic about the power of design to make the world a better place. With over a decade of experience telling stories through brands and screens, he currently leads the digital design practice at Journey Group in Charlottesville, VA. He writes and speaks about the intersection of digital design and ethics seeking to hope back to the conversation. His work has been featured by Framer, Humane by Design, Modus, UX Collective, Sidebar and Smashing Magazine. Seeking to add hope back to the conversation, he wrote Designing Hope.

In-person students may also participate in the virtual review sessions through the following link: https://jmu-edu.zoom.us/j/86980870631

Passcodes will be provided in registration materials or on-site in the Harrison Hall 0101 & 0104.

3-4:00pm Power Hour

Creating and Using Components Libraries

Abigail Mumma ’19, Product Designer Deloitte Digital
Harrison Hall 0101

Abigail is a product designer at Deloitte Digital who focuses on delivering scalable and enduring digital solutions for federal, state, and nonprofit clients. She is passionate about the entire design process, with an emphasis on designing for accessibility. Abigail has supported and created component and design systems across a variety of clients, all while maintaining a cross-disciplinary perspective that supports the best of design, content, development, and business. Outside of work, Abigail resides in Washington, DC where she enjoys trying new restaurants, visiting museums, and dogspotting.

From VA to LA: Your Guide to Getting Into the Entertainment Industry After Graduation

Javay Frye-Nekrasova ’16, CEO/Founder The Millennial Sexpert
Harrison Hall 0104

This workshop will give students tips and advice on things to do if they want to move to LA after graduation. Topics include: applying for jobs, building community, making an impression in interviews, and how to find somewhere to live.

Javay Frye-Nekrasova, MEd is a sex educator, content creator, writer, pleasure professional, and academic. Javay worked in the entertainment industry for 3 years before moving into sex education with a focus on media use. During her early career, Javay worked in entertainment at a talent agency, in production, and in post-production. Since moving to sex education Javay has launched a YouTube channel and Instagram account under her business, Millennial Sexpert, that focuses on video sex education for access. Javay is currently working on a pilot for a kink education animated series. Javay is now based in Bend, Oregon, and currently in school working on her PhD in Media Psychology and a PhD in Human Sexuality.

Making a Pilot

Kevin Barnhill ’04, Senior Director, Creative & Production Wondrium
Harrison Hall 0241

Whether you are an independent filmmaker, staff producer for a streaming service–or somewhere in between–planning and executing a successful pilot could be the difference between your idea being something you only talk about with friends or inviting them over to watch in your home theater. Covering things like idea generation, pre-production, collaboration and feedback, this workshop will give you the tools you need to start making your ideas a reality. 

In the workshop, we will walk through the process that Wondrium, formerly The Great Courses, went through with their development team to turn Scientific American articles into an Emmy award-winning video series.

Kevin has spent over fifteen years in the non-fiction media space working for brands such as National Geographic, Discovery, Animal Planet and Wondrium. He currently leads a team of around 50 creative professionals to make educational content, documentaries, television series and animated series for the streaming platform Wondrium. His main passion is storytelling. He currently lives in the Northern Virginia area and enjoys being outdoors, making new friends and coaching his two sons’ flag football teams.

Resume Workshop

JMU University Career Center
Harrison Hall 0102—3:15-4pm

Emma Gibbsons, Liaison to College of Arts and Letters in the University Career Center, will conduct a Resume Workshop. This session is geared towards beginning level SMAD majors that may not have their resume or portfolio ready to be reviewed by alumni in the industry.

Resources:

Enjoying life and balancing work/life commitments

Evan Duffy-Ledbetter ’16, Teacher Pescadero Elementary
Virtual—3:45pm-4:15pm

In this session we will run through a list of things I’ve learned from working as a digital designer for more than a decade, things I couldn’t have learned in design school. Whether it’s offering wisdom by working with real humans or solving real problems, I plan to offer practical advice to budding designers.

In-person students may also participate in the virtual review sessions through the following link: https://jmu-edu.zoom.us/j/89606074582

Passcodes will be provided in registration materials or on-site in the Harrison Hall 0101 & 0104.