Digital culture graduate discovers how to make ‘wild ideas’ come to life


December 6, 2019

Editor’s note: This is part of a series of profiles for fall 2019 commencement.

When graduate student Andrew Robinson first started classes in the School of Arts, Media and Engineering, he didn’t know what responsive media was – or that it even existed.  Photo of Andrew Robinson Andrew Robinson. Download Full Image

“Learning all about it as a new art form that is cross-disciplinary with other art forms, as well as scientific research, was a huge perspective change because it opened my eyes up to a way in which I could fulfill all the wild ideas I think,” he said.

Robinson explored this new art as an undergraduate student; he received his bachelor’s degree in digital culture with a concentration in music. He decided to continue to hone his skills in responsive media, music and interactive animations, and he graduates this December with a master’s degree in digital culture. 

After graduation, Robinson hopes to use his newfound passion to create stage designs for live music and responsive concert animations. He also plans on continuing to create immersive responsive media projects on his own and in partnership with Tempe’s Sunroom, where he is actively working as the stage projectionist for local bands.

Explore his artwork on Instagram

Question: What was your “aha” moment, when you realized you wanted to study the field you majored in? 

Answer: There was a moment about a year and a half into the program when I was starting to get the hang of how computer programming in Max MSP worked. I had an idea to make a motion controlled Instagram-esque camera filter. It wasn’t for a homework assignment or anything, it was just a random idea that came to me based on different bits of information I had learned from different classes. I built it though, and it actually worked, and the act of realizing my idea felt amazing! It was incredible to have this feeling of being able to create an idea I had into reality. After that, I tried to learn as much as I could about programming in Max MSP both inside and out of the classroom.

Q: Which professor taught you the most important lesson while at ASU?

A: It was in Intro to Interactive Environments with Professor Tinapple that I had learned the basic interactive techniques to make the application I talked about in the first question.

Q: What’s the best piece of advice you’d give to those still in school?

A: Find the thing you’re really passionate about, the one thing that makes school not feel like school or work not feel like work, and pursue that with your full force.

Q: What was your favorite spot on campus, whether for studying, meeting friends or just thinking about life?

A: The Digital Culture Lounge is the best place on campus because it’s extremely peaceful to sit in there with all the awesome ambient lighting to just do work or chill before class.

Q: If someone gave you $40 million to solve one problem on our planet, what would you tackle?

A:
Climate change and the lack of renewable energy resources in America.

Family and human development grad aims to help children in need


December 6, 2019

Editor’s note: This is part of a series of profiles for fall 2019 commencement.

Two weeks before the start of the fall 2016 semester, Ayeleth Aragon came to Arizona State University as part of the very first Early Start cohort in the T. Denny Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics. Three and half years later, Aragon is graduating a semester early with her BS in family and human development and hopes to enter a career helping children in need. Profile picture of Ayeleth Aragon Ayeleth Aragon. Download Full Image

Question: What was your “aha” moment, when you realized you wanted to study the field you majored in? 

Answer: When I was scrolling through the list of majors I was not sure exactly what area I wanted to go into. I read a couple of descriptions and when I got to family and human development, it caught my attention. I am the oldest of seven children and the first thought that ran through my head was that with this major I would be able to help my siblings out a lot better than I already was. Once I started taking major-related courses I noticed that I really enjoy this major and it is perfect because I have always wanted to work helping out others.

Q: What’s something you learned while at ASU — in the classroom or otherwise — that surprised you or changed your perspective?

A: One of the first things I learned when I came into college was about the two different mindsets, growth and fixed mindset. I always thought that if you were good at something then you were good and there was nothing you could do about it. My professors and this major let me see things differently and helped me shift my mindset and now I work hard at the things I did not think I could do before.

Q: Why did you choose ASU?

A: When it came to choosing a college after high school, my main focus was choosing a school I could afford … I applied to many schools and was accepted to all of them, but in the end, I had my mind set to a community college that I could pay on my own with hard work. One day my counselor called me in and an ASU representative was there. We talked about finances and they helped me make it possible to go to a university close to home that wanted to help me to go to school and keep succeeding.

Q: Which professor taught you the most important lesson while at ASU?

A: I have two professors that helped me a lot while I have been here; Dr. Stacie Foster and Dr. Amy Reesing. These two professors let me see the more positive side of life and they truly cared about my future. When I needed help or just someone to talk to, I could walk into their office hours and ask for help. They both had a lot of faith in me even when I thought I was not doing as well as I wanted to. 

Q: What’s the best piece of advice you’d give to those still in school?

A: A piece of advice I would give to those who are still in school is to manage your time wisely. I struggled with that quite a bit. Also, do not give up on something that looks difficult. With hard work and dedication, you can achieve what you want. 

Q: What was your favorite spot on campus, whether for studying, meeting friends or just thinking about life?

A: I really liked sitting outside and enjoying the view while I sat and read my books. One of my favorite spots was the benches outside the Cowden building.

Q: What are your plans after graduation?

A: Right now, I am working as an assistant teacher for a preschool and after college I would like to continue working with children. I plan on going back to school but I will take a short break to work first.

Q: If someone gave you $40 million to solve one problem on our planet, what would you tackle?

A: I would like to spend that money helping children who do not have the resources we have here in the U.S. I took a course named Gender, Culture and Development and we read a book about how women and children live in Africa. They were very descriptive about the food they ate and how many children are not nourished the way a child should be.

John Keeney

Media Relations Coordinator, T. Denny Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics

480-965-3094