MFA Speaker Series Archive 2011

The 2011 series was part of the EMM 510 - The Emergent Landscape class which explores the questions, "Who are the thought leaders in emergent technologies, and what are they thinking?"

Visiting thought leaders, practitioners, entrepreneurs, researchers and scholars presented their work and concepts in a discussion series on current trends impacting communications. 

Dan White

Dan White (September 12)
CEO, Filament Games

Mike Eringis

Mike Eringus (September 19)
Animation Supervisor, Blue Sky Studios

Michael Jager

Michael Jager (October 3)
President/CEO/Chief Creative Officer, Jager Di Paola Kemp Design


Watch the video recording:

For more than 20 years, Michael Jager has directed the multidisci­plinary creative and design efforts of JDK, a studio whose process is informed by emotional, rational and cultural forces and whose focus centers on the idea that design distinction matters.

Working with internal and external partners, Michael has helped to create proprietary processes, experiences and exploratory environments like Living Brand®, the Collaboratory, Exquisite Corpse Artsite, Iskra Print Collective, and Sanctuary Artsite. Guided by Ezra Pound's simply but elegantly stated principle, "Make it new," his collaborative output for a multitude of today's most important and relevant brands--including Burton Snowboards, Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Zune, Nike, Levi's, SRAM, Phish, MTV, Virgin, and Patagonia--is recognized worldwide by design periodicals, books, competitions, exhibitions and his peers.

Through IAMCUMULUS, JDK's product-design arm, he has also begun creating unique home, sport and lifestyle brands, such as Goodnest and Maglianero. Michael lives in Burlington, Vt., with his wife and three children.


Michael Jager during his session with the graduate students. Photo: Robin Perlah Photography

Gary Goldberger (October 17)

President, FableVision

Gary Goldberger

As FableVision's Co-Founder & President, Gary Goldberger is torchbearer of the company's mission, setting strategic goals and building cross-industry partnerships and alliances, with a special focus on digital gaming - including PBS/PBS Kids, MIT Education Arcade, Nickelodeon/Noggin, Scholastic/Weston Woods, and Jim Henson Productions. Gary is a strong believer in the possibility and potential of digital media to help solve the worlds' most pressing problems, along with using media & technology to making learning more engaging for young and old alike.

One of the leaders of Games for Change-New England, Gary speaks nationally about positive uses of gaming in education and other pro-social applications. In Boston, he has worked closely with the Mayor's Office and the Governor's Office to identify resources and programs that will help establish Boston as the hub of digital gaming.

Collaborating since 1994, Gary has worked directly with Peter H. Reynolds in a natural and fruitful creative partnership, which resulted in the creation of many animated short films, including The Blue Shoe and Living Forever, which have been honored in over 70 film festivals worldwide and have been broadcast internationally. His pioneering of paperless animation technology earned him a Silver BDA award in 1999.

In his role as Director of Production for nearly two decades, Gary has overseen and nurtured FableVision's creative team of animators, educators, writers, designers, nurtured FableVision's creative team of animators, educators, writers, designers, programmers and project managers - many of whom have been with the the firm for years. Leveraging the talent and strengths of a seasoned, expertly orchestrated team, he now manages complex, large-scale multimedia initiatives, including the recent multi-million dollar online game called Lure of the Labyrinth - a DOE-funded project created in partnership with MIT and Maryland Public TV, which teaches middle school math and literacy. He was also the lead in developing media for the Generation Cures transmedia project with Children's Hospital Trust, which uses animation, online games, and graphic novels to encourage philanthropy in kids and families.

Gary's "home testing lab" - nestled into the bucolic town of Sherborn, MA - is also becoming an increasingly important asset to the company. Staffed by his extraordinarily-talented wife Betsy, an acclaimed children's book illustrator, and his two very young children, Gordon and Tatum (his most treasured productions,) his ace family team often serve as beta testers for FableVision's media projects.

Gary graduated from Clark University with a degree in Physics and Studio Art - proof positive that the right and left sides of the brain can work together with wonderful results!

Rich Nadworny (October 24)

Owner/Digital Strategist, Digalicious

Rich NadwornyRich is a digital strategist with over 15 years experience in leading online programs. One of his many strengths is the ability to put himself in the customer's shoes to create engaging, intuitive, and results-driven online campaigns. Rich has helped develop digital strategies and campaigns for clients including Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, State Street, Stowe Mountain Resort, Time Warner, and Sharp Electronics Corporation.

Rich has led work that has won Webbys, WebAwards, and Adobe Sites of the Day, among others, and has been highlighted on Communication Arts' Web site. He is a member of the International Academy for Visual Artists and judges the W3, WebAwards, Davey, Mobius, and MITX awards.

Rich's firm, Digalicious, is a digital strategy and marketing firm based in Burlington, Vermont and specializes in helping companies map out successful marketing initiatives through social media, e-commerce, online advertising and mobile.

Before starting his own digital strategy and marketing firm, Digalicious, Rich was Interactive Creative Director, Digital Strategist and Partner at Kelliher Samets Volk for 9 years.

Rich founded #BTVSMB, Burlington Social Media Breakfasts. He is a regular commentator on Vermont Public Radio and a contributor to the Huffington Post. He is a frequent speaker at social media events throughout the U.S.

Rich has a B.A. from Dartmouth College and an M.S. in New Media from Boston University.


Adam Rubin (November 7)

Principal, 2 Revolutions

Adam Rubin

Adam has spent 18 years catalyzing change through the launch of social enterprises within existing and start-up entities across the education and community development sectors. He started 2Revolutions to feed this love, and to reinforce the belief that two critical levers we can pull are the birth and scaling of innovative education and training ventures in high need communities.

Adam previously held management positions across the non-profit and for-profit sectors. Most recently, he was Director of Policy and Research at New Visions for Public Schools. Prior to that, he founded and managed Swerve Associates, a consulting firm launching and developing social enterprises in Montreal and New York. He managed economic development efforts in Long Island City at the Long Island City Business Development Corporation, focused on community development through the arts and real estate development. He was the founding Executive Director of Tikkun Cape Town, a non-profit working on issues of educational reform and equity in the Cape townships. He began his career teaching in the Oakland public schools for the East Bay Conservations Corps.

Adam graduated with a B.A. in Government/Race Relations from Colby College. He holds an MPA from Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs. A combination of wanderlust and intellectual curiosity find him exploring the world through travel and wilderness adventure. He is happily married to Jessica, and they live with their three beautiful children, Dahlia, Lola and Kaya.

Chris Thompson (November 28)

Curator, BCA Center, Burlington City Arts

Chris Thompson

Chris Thompson is a Burlington based Curator, Artist and Technologist.  As Curator of the BCA Center in Burlington Vermont, he has organized over thirty exhibitions over the last 4 years including: JDK Kite Project, 2011; Jonathan Harris - Inner Landscapes 2010; Corin Hewitt - The Grey Flame and the Brown Light, 2010; Game [Life] - Videogames in Contemporary Art, 2009 ; Human = Landscape - Aesthetics of a carbon-constrained world, 2009; Combat Paper, 2009; Punkhouse, 2008; Elusive Truths, 2008 and Decked Out 2007.  In 2008 Chris was awarded a two-year Exhibition Programming Support grant from the Andy Warhol Foundation. The BCA Center has become one of New England's top five most visited contemporary art venues.

As an artist Chris uses corporate information graphics and business analysis techniques to investigate the perceived incomprehensible nature of contemporary art. His series "1DayMfa" forms a social critique of the effect that educational, institutional, political and economic forces have on the authenticity of contemporary art. Chris has served as a Lecturer in Digital Art at the University of Vermont, and as Visiting Artist at the Vermont Studio Center. He has received artist grants from the National Endowment for the Arts/Vermont Arts Council and the Vermont Community Foundation.

Chris has also worked in the business world as a technology manager for over 20 years.  He served for 6 years as Chief Technology Officer and Director of Ecommerce Development at multi-national, direct-marketing company Gardener's Supply where he oversaw its combined network, application development and ecommerce teams supporting its $40 million catalog and a $30 million/year ecommerce businesses.  Prior to that he served for 7 years as Advanced Technology Director for Jager Di Paola Kemp Design where he directed its broadcast video/animation, web design, digital design production and IT departments. Chris also served from 1999-2000 on Adobe Systems Consumer Advisory Board.

Chris has a degree in religion from Rutgers University.

Take the next step