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Students Have Their Portfolios Reviewed at AIGA

DTC Students Have Their Portfolios Reviewed at the
2021 AIGA Portfolio Festival

SIGA Portfolio Website

In July 2021 two DTC Students, Paige McNamara-Pittler and Ciara Parkhurst, were given scholarships to participate in the 2021 American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) Portfolio Festival. On their site, AIGA describes the festival as a chance for: “…students, recent graduates, emerging designers, and those looking to refresh their portfolio. Focused on mentorship, collaboration, and learning, the Portfolio Festival features content from design practitioners, influencers, educators, and partners, who can help you tailor your portfolio to your next opportunity.” The 2021 festival was online, but both Paige and Ciara still found the experience interesting and engaging. Below they elaborate a little more on their personal experiences.

Ciara Parkhurst

The 2021 AIGA Portfolio Festival was filled with insightful presentations and support for emerging students and seasoned professionals alike. Specifically, I had the pleasure of receiving constructive feedback from Oona Stern, VP Design Director at Nickelodeon. Her experience as a creative professional brought a refreshing perspective and critical perception to my constantly changing portfolio. Some memorable feedback relayed includes suggestions for enhancing my professional portfolio, such as scaling back on the number of works included in my portfolio. As we further discussed the portfolio, she mentioned that some works were more memorable than others because of their uniqueness and creativity. Often in visual communication, there are layouts and compositions that are mundane or predictable – she encouraged me to extend past the obvious or expected and take a project “as far as it can go.” Overall, Oona’s responses have propelled my design and visual communication comprehension, while also posing critical advice necessary for acquiring a positive future in the design community.

Paige McNamara-Pittler

I recently had the privilege of attending the 2021 AIGA Portfolio Festival. As a designer, my portfolio is a very important part of my job application. During my time in college, I was able to create many pieces that demonstrate my design skills. At the AIGA portfolio festival, I was given support from professional designers, educators, and industry leaders to enhance my portfolio. The festival included a week-long series of keynote speakers. After each talk, there was the opportunity to have a live review of your portfolio. I found these sessions especially useful because I was able to get inspiration from other designers and learned about different critique processes. The best part of the festival was my private review session, where I was matched with a professional designer and given feedback on my portfolio. We discussed aspects such as page layouts, and the content that I should edit. In the session, we also worked on a new User Interface (UI) for my portfolio that will optimize the employer experience. Lastly, the reviewer and I also discussed how to create case studies for my UI/UX projects. Overall, the mentorship, feedback, and advice I have received on my portfolio has given me the confidence to apply for high-level jobs.

Play Games with DTC During Family Weekend

Play Games with DTC During Family Weekend

By: Ruth Gregory

The Digital Technology and Culture program at WSU is proud to present video games and interactive media created by our students on Friday April 9th from 5pm – 6:30pm during the Spring 2021 Family Weekend. All the games can be played on a computer from the cloud, no additional hardware is required. The event will happen over Zoom and you can join the meeting here.

The Digital Technology and Culture (DTC) program emphasizes creative production and critical exploration of digital technology across multiple contexts. Students in DTC develop skills in web design, animation, graphic design, video production, augmented and virtual reality, and other emerging technology while integrating cultural, social, and historical perspectives, diverse methodologies, and inclusive frameworks.

More information about the games and interactive media will be posted on this page closer to the event.


Created by Evie Caldwell, Aache’ Howard-McDaniel, Laurel Kroschel, and Maren Martin


DTC 475: Digital Diversity

For the final assignment in the spring 2018 version of Digital Diversity, students were placed into small groups and asked to create a game that addressed an intersectional issue.

Winner – DTC Award for Excellence in Interactive Technology and Development (2019)



DTC 492 Video Games

Embracing the history of interactive cinema, choose your own adventure stories and text-based adventure games students utilized Twine, the open-source tool for telling interactive, nonlinear stories to create their own interactive branching narratives or text-based games. Each work focused on giving the viewer some sense of agency, even if it is a false sense of agency and breaking from a linear structure.

“Staying with Grandma”

Created by Kristine Zorn


“Archeology Adventure”

Created by Bethany Loomis


“The Pearl”

Created by Melissa Hookey

Alumni Virtually Visit Senior Seminar

DTC Alumni Virtually Visit the Senior Seminar to Talk

About How the Pandemic Has Changed the Workplace

Alumni virtually visiting the senior seminar class on Microsoft Teams

By: Ruth Gregory

Four different Digital Technology and Culture Alumni popped into the Senior Seminar on October 28th to provide insight into how the global pandemic has affect searching for and securing a job. Brandon Sanders (middle left in the photo), Rachel Ring (middle center), Julia Midkiff (center right), and Lillie Williams (lower right) all graduated in December of 2019 with degrees in Digital Technology and Culture and have been working from afar at their first jobs out of college.

Rachel Ring is the Marketing Assistant at GLY Construction and spent exactly one week in the office before being sent home to work from there in March of 2020. She said that although it has been challenging getting acclimated to a new position without much face-to-face training time, she still finds it very possible to have a great working experience virtually.

Julia Midkiff is a Junior Graphic Designer at PitchBook Data, a job she interviewed for and got after the pandemic had begun. Julia noted that the interview process included more pre-hire testing than during a normal year. This is because it is difficult for future employers to pick up on a candidate’s body language during an interview over a videoconference. Companies are keen on finding a candidate that is a good fit before they hire; especially since new employees will be working from afar right off the bat for the time being.

Lillie Williams, who graduated from WSU with a double major in Digital Technology and Culture and Strategic Communication, just started a position as a Digital Advertising Coordinator at Tavour, a craft beer gifting company. Lillie also completed an internship with Boeing during the pandemic. From her own experience, Lillie noted that there are vast differences between workplace cultures, even when you work from a distance. Some of her advice to the seniors was to make sure that you match the company culture and tone as much as you can in your application materials.

Brandon Sanders is an Associate Marketing Manager at HubSpot, a company specializing in marketing software and support. This is actually his second position that he has acquired since the pandemic started. He noted that you don’t need to take the first offer than comes along. You also don’t need to stay if you don’t feel that the company culture or city fits your needs. His overall message was to really think about what you want before you start searching for a position and to value yourself during the process.

It is always great to hear from our alumni, new and old. If you have a story you want to share then please reach out to us at

Dallas Pushes for Student-Athlete Rights

DTC Student Dallas Hobbs Pushes
for Student-Athlete Rights

By: Ruth Gregory

WSU Football Defensive Lineman Dallas Hobbs blocks an opposing player on the fieldOver summer 2020, Digital Technology and Culture senior and Washington State University football player, Dallas Hobbs made waves nationally as student-athletes started asking questions about the safety protocols the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) and individual schools had in place for sports during the COVID-19 pandemic. The questions about the health and safety of the players then spurred additional conversation about student-athlete rights and the responsibilities of the NCAA and college athletic departments towards their participants.

Around July 1st, after training had begun for the 2020 football season, Dallas was contacted by Dylan Boles, a former football colleague from Dallas’ home state of Iowa who plays for Stanford. He wanted to know what WSU was doing to protect the safety of football players against contracting coronavirus; especially since football is such a high contact sport. Together they started reaching out to other players they knew across the nation to see what protocols were in place in their programs to ensure their health and safety. Large discrepancies immediately emerged and it became apparent that there was no uniform plan in place to protect athletes.A graphic covering the #weareunited and #wewanttoplay demands for the 2020 college football season

Simultaneously, players on two seemingly different sides of the issue started expressing their feelings and concerns about the upcoming Fall 2020 season via social media. One group wanted to play (and used hashtag #wewanttoplay) and the other wanted to sit the season out because they were concerned about their safety and the rapid spread of the virus (#weareunited). Dallas said that this was a false dichotomy. After discussion amongst the players, who were starting to talk more and more across programs behind-the-scenes, Dallas ended up creating a graphic that showed how the two sides were actually united at their core. The graphic spread like wildfire over social media to the point it was even retweeted by Donald Trump.

Since the release of the graphic, Dallas has emerged as a leader in the movement for student-athlete rights. He’s been interviewed by The Seattle TImes, NPR, profiled in Sports Illustrated, and appeared twice on ESPN “Outside the Lines.” He’s also been in contact with Senator Cory Booker from New Jersey. Dallas and several of his colleagues were asked to give feedback about their experiences as collegiate athletes; including proposed legislation that would allow them to make money off their name, image, and likeness. Currently, any money made off of jersey sales and other items linked to a player goes back to the school they play for or the NCAA. The College Bill of Rights, amongst other things, would allow players to earn money off their likeness. Booker is, himself, a former high school All-American and Stanford football player and understands the issues well.

Ultimately, Dallas and other collegiate football players want to create a College Football Players Association so they have representation at the table while big decisions are being made, like whether to play in a pandemic. This is not an unusual request, professional sports like the National Basketball Association and the National Football Association already have Players Associations. Creation of a Players Association was just one on a long list of requests that included things like: health insurance coverage up to 6 years after a player graduated and the promise of 6 years of scholarship funding so athletes had more time to finish their degrees since taking a full load during their athletic season is difficult and often delays graduation. One of their other requests is also important to Dallas: “End racial justice and inequity in college sports and society… Since the Pack-12 is a non-profit and they do have a lot of money coming in… we wanted them to give away like 2% of what they make to non-profit or community initiatives or after-school programs or something in lower income communities. That 2% could go a long way.”

Several conferences have decided to move forward with fall sports. However, on August 11, 2020 the Pac-12 CEO Group announced the cancelation of the 2020 football season as well as all sporting activity through the end of the year. That means WSU athletes will not be competing this Fall. The Big 10 conference has cancelled their fall sports as well. Football practice at WSU has been suspended.

However, the connections made during this time will live on. Dallas says that he and many college football players are now in a 450+ group member chat where they discuss a lot of things, including their love of football and desire to get back on the field when it is safe to do so again.

Dallas states that his time as a double major in the Digital Technology and Culture program and Fine Arts program at WSU prepared him well for the challenges of working with a wide variety of people to get out a clear message about their concerns. Aside from putting the graphic design skills he’s learned to use, Dallas also used his skills analyzing data that he picked up in DTC courses to make sense of the massive spreadsheets that the players were using to track peer responses to a survey. “We tracked what schools were wanting to participate and what schools were agreeing to things,” Dallas said, “[Data analysis] is not one thing that I ever really liked. My main goal was to get a graphic design degree. But the variety of courses in DTC is really helpful.”

Already an honor roll student and with the football season cancelled, Dallas now has a lot of time on his hands. To help fill his schedule, he has decided to buy a rug gun and start designing his own textiles. To check out more about Dallas Hobbs’ football career, creative work, and possibly some examples of his new hobby making rugs, you can follow him on Instagram or Twitter.

Message from DTC Director Kim Christen

Message from DTC Director Kim Christen

By: Kim Christen

Welcome back students, faculty and staff! I know that this semester is different in form than others, but I can assure you that we are all dedicated to providing the same great DTC experience! All DTC faculty spent the summer gearing up for remote instruction, updating and adapting existing courses. DTC faculty are adept at moving between platforms and they know the value of human interaction and engagement through and with technology. We got this! And we are here to support you in every way we can.

We have 34 sections of DTC classes with offerings across all of our tracks that fulfill both major and UCORE requirements. We continue to make student success our highest priority. Over the Fall semester we will take care to provide opportunities to celebrate our passions and creativity and to connect with one another.

My takeaway from living in this time of uncertainty and change is to continue to remember what makes DTC so valuable: our humanity. Technology can be mobilized to lift people up, connect us over distances, and provide solace from stressful situations. Take care of yourselves. Be safe. We are here and ready to go!

Go Cougs!

New Faculty Member June T Sanders

DTC Welcomes New Faculty Member June T. Sanders

By: Max Ciot

A portrait of June Sanders from a computer screen with purple around it

This fall, the Digital Technology and Culture program gained not only one, but two new faculty members. One of these faculty members is June T. Sanders, who has years of experience in topics such as community outreach, online platforms, digital spaces, photography, graphic design, and more. 

June got her undergrad degree in Media studies. Afterwards, she studied at WSU to get her Master’s degree in Photography and Digital Media.

This semester, June will be bringing her rich personality to the DTC department by teaching DTC 201: Tools and Methods for Digital Technology. She will also be teaching DTC 354: Digital Storytelling and DTC 476: Digital Literacies. In the future, June wishes to teach a variation on a digital literature course pertaining to queer/trans culture and how issues on identity interact in the digital space. 

Before coming to WSU, June worked for KYRS (Spokane’s Community Radio Station) as an Event Coordinator for a year and a half. June also did community outreach and fundraising for the arts at the same time for an amount of time. June has many different backgrounds. She is mainly an artist, writer, and curator. She also writes reviews, journals, and curates different shows from around the country. Furthermore, she is a photographer and graphic designer for a multitude of years. Her media studies degree combined with contemporary art culture and online platforms for creative works will fit together well within the DTC department.

June’s favourite project that she has worked on is still in progress. It is being put together with a collaborator and is focused on contemporary photography online. She also did a few bigger shows and took pictures in Boston and Spokane. June uses her platform to fundraise money as well, such as for marginalized folks within the COVID-19 epidemic. Her current curatorial project can be found at:

For fun, June enjoys picking flowers, riding motorcycles, reading and writing poetry, sending letters to friends and loved ones, swimming in big, vast bodies of water, and playing banjo.

June also has a website which can be found at

Recent tragedies a call for self‑examination

Recent tragedies a call for self‑examination

Washington State University entrance sign at sunset

Denouncing racial violence and the ugliness of historic, systemic inequality, President Kirk Schulz and the university’s executive leadership pledged greater accountability in confronting racial and social justice failures.

“We must consider our own roles in maintaining systemic racism and accepting racial violence, even when it makes us uncomfortable,” a letter from the university system’s executive leadership team reads. “When our actions are informed by the truth of others, we can move forward, together, courageously and realize the aspirations of racial and social justice. Only then can we begin to create an authentic space from which to proceed.”

In addition to Schulz, the letter was signed by interim Provost Bryan Slinker, incoming Provost Elizabeth Chilton and all chancellors and vice presidents.

The complete message can be viewed online.

Kelly-anne is the 2019 DTC Outstanding Senior

Every year, the Digital Technology and Culture program selects one student to receive the Outstanding Senior Award. This year’s recipient is Kelly-anne Cubley. “Pushing herself out of her comfort zone is something that Kelly-anne has done repeatedly over her time at WSU,” said Digital Technology and Culture Assistant Director Ruth Gregory. Kelly-anne’s willingness to try new things and her determination to see them through were some of the reasons that the Digital Technology and Culture faculty to choose her as the 2019 Outstanding Senior for DTC. » More ...

Kyra Empowers Native Youth Through Podcasting

Digital Technology and Culture student and Coeur D’Alene and Tohono O’odham tribal member Kyra Antone was recently selected for a three-year internship with Voices to Hear, a multimedia design learning project that aspires to empower Native American youth. » More ...