May 1, 2020

Las Vegas, N.M. – Media arts and technology students at New Mexico Highlands University received inspiration from top media artists during the COVID-19 pandemic through a virtual lecture series.

The students had the opportunity to learn from prominent design educators such as Ellen Lupton and Clio advertising award winning digital art director Ryan Omdriezek during March and April.

Media arts and technology professors Miriam Langer and Mariah Fox Hausman organized the lecture series, calling upon colleagues in the media artists industry to share their expertise.

“The students responded enthusiastically to the lecture series and benefited from being exposed to media artists with different backgrounds from around the country,” Hausman said. “It also helped keep everyone’s spirits up.”

Hausman said the lectures gave a sense of optimism during challenging times, with the students looking forward to the next guest speaker.

In addition to well-known media artists, the lecture series featured up-and-coming successful designers who were former students of Langer and Hausman.

Lilly Padilla graduates in May 2020 with her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with an emphasis in visual communications.

“Regardless of how many times I’ve been taught about Bauhaus design history, I felt I could listen to Ellen Lupton and take notes forever,” Padilla said. “It was really motivating to see her passion for design, and to share her knowledge with us was greatly appreciated.”

Noah Gallegos, a media arts and technology senior, said the Pimlada Kongkham lecture was a beautiful presentation.

“I love Pimlada’s ideas,” Gallegos said. “This was a great presentation not only to open up our eyes, but to be more aware of how we can succeed with our degree.”

“Many of us as professors were faced with the sudden challenge of how to make distance learning engaging and successful,” Hausman said. “We are pleased to be able to explore innovation for our curricula that maintained our educational mission.”

The lecture series was presented using Zoom videoconferencing technology.