UTDesign Students Turn to Fellow Comets to Promote Efforts

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11.19.2019
Screenshot from a recruiting video created by arts, technology, and emerging communications students for UTDesign’s Engineering Projects in Community Service program (EPICS).
Looking for a new way to recruit students to their programs, leaders of UTDesign enlisted the help of motion graphic students from the School of Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication (ATEC). The result was two videos that UTDesign leaders described as amazing and helpful for growing two important programs.
Eleven ATEC students worked as if they were in a real-life motion graphics studio, with clients, deadlines and high expectations.
“The students made these really cool pieces, but they got the real-world experience of sitting down with the client, trying to understand the client’s vision, developing a script for each piece, and putting everything together,” said Eric Farrar, associate dean of undergraduate studies and associate professor of arts and technology.
“They had to determine the best way to script the main points, as well as figure out how to best express them through motion,” he said.
ATEC graphic design students (joined here by faculty from ATEC and UT Design) produced two videos for the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science’s UTDesign program – one for EPICS and one for the UTDesign Capstone.
UTDesign Capstone, a program in the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science, provides a studio where senior undergraduate students from all types of engineering and computer science disciplines can come together to work on projects for corporate clients. The projects are the pinnacle achievements of the students’ undergraduate curriculum.
A separate program, UTDesign Engineering Projects in Community Service (EPICS), provides students the opportunity to work on real world problems that have impact on the community. EPICS students work closely with nonprofit organizations to develop a solution for a technical challenge.
“The deadlines were real,” Farrar said. “Students were scrambling at times, but they pulled it together at the end.”
The ATEC students were charged with developing two recruiting videos – one for each of the UTDesign programs. The goals of the videos were to encourage area businesses to participate in the Capstone program and to recruit students to join EPICS.


Rod Wetterskog, assistant dean of corporate relations in the Jonsson School and program coordinator of the UTDesign Studio, said the ATEC students delivered two effective and excellent videos.
“The ATEC students quickly prioritized a huge amount of marketing material and creatively presented the salient points of the UTDesign Capstone concepts. I was amazed at how much information they presented in an entertaining and easy-to-understand video. It was like working with a professional motion graphics company,” he said.
Don Proeschel, director of corporate relations for the Jonsson School, said the videos already are receiving positive feedback from the community.
“We are already hearing from potential corporate sponsors that the Capstone video clearly explains and summarizes the value they could receive from sponsoring Capstone projects, and that the video is well-made,” Proeschel said. “They are surprised that a video of such quality was produced by undergraduate UT Dallas students.”


Andrea Turcatti, director of UTDesign student and community engagement, said the student recruiting video has helped the EPICS team spread the word about the program.
“More students now know that every UT Dallas student is welcome to participate in EPICS and to leave a positive mark on the community,” she said.
ATEC senior Paul Hinderliter was one of the project leads for the motion graphics class. He said the semester provided valuable experience in helping him understand the dynamics of working with a team on an animated video.
“Every single person put in their all to create something we were proud of,” he said. “As someone who wants to keep doing motion graphics work well beyond college, I’ll always be proud and thankful that UTDesign trusted us to deliver a project that would meet their standards.”
Farrar said he would like to teach the class again, perhaps with more students and multiple real-world clients.
–Phil Roth

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