Millikin students embrace creativity during annual expo
Creativity and innovation always collide during Millikin University’s annual Arts Technology Expo. Presented by the Arts Technology and Administration Department, the Arts Technology Expo showcases student projects from the academic year and introduces the campus community to various student-run ventures.
This year’s expo was held in the University Commons on Dec. 10, and displayed student work in the areas of design, photography, videography, animation, audio production, web design, marketing and more. Attendees were also able to interact with various technology including virtual reality tools and robotics.
Now in her fourth year of organizing the event, Jessa Wilcoxen, associate professor and chair of Arts Technology and Administration at Millikin, has created an opportunity for students to do much more with their designs and projects rather than just simply turning them in to be graded.
“I think there is something to be said about having a capstone experience and actually getting feedback from the crowd,” Wilcoxen said. “It’s wonderful to have someone you have never met before tell you how excited they are about your work.”
As the Arts Technology Expo continues to grow, more student work is displayed and more student-run ventures are starting to get involved like the new robotics club Blue Bots, an intercollegiate team designed to blend theory, practice and community through competitive robotics.
Anne Longman, a sophomore arts technology major from Park Ridge, Ill., has had her work displayed at the expo for two years. Not only does she love the chance to show her work from the past year, but she gets to see other students’ work as well.
“I love seeing what other students have done in some of the classes that I’ve already taken and see how they took a project a different route,” she said. “The expo is also a way for people to get engaged in arts technology because some people don’t really know what it is.”
Senior sport management major Logan Bennett, from Marion, Ill., was part of the Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) Campaigns course and was tasked with pitching business ideas that groups of students created as the final project of the semester. For Bennett, the requirements of this project was all new to him which involved having to apply all the new design skills he had learned throughout the semester.
“IMC Campaigns is a course that really focuses on the digital side of marketing,” Bennett said. “Marketing is going different ways than it has in the past and that is based upon your ability to create. I think it is really cool to be in a course like that where I still hone in on my core marketing skills, but also get to embrace and display my creative side as well.”
Guests had the opportunity to vote for their favorite business and media pieces during the expo. One of the marketing projects was a company called Stuffed Safari which won the People’s Choice Award. The group included Skielyr Trenkle, a junior business management major from LeRoy, Ill.; Kailey Pulec, a junior business management major from Frankfort, Ill.; Mari Couri, a senior digital media marketing major from Decatur, Ill.; and Courtney Brady, a senior business management major from Decatur.
Irisaware, another marketing company, won the Mystery Judge’s Choice for Most Professional. Students involved in the business were Bailey Hope, a senior music business major from Indianapolis, Ind.; David Biggs, a senior sport management major from Lincoln, Ill.; Alicia Cunningham, a senior information systems major from Indianapolis; and Wilyondé Bell, a senior sport management major from Granite City, Ill.
The Mystery Judge’s Choice for Most Creative was awarded to a company called Econtainer which included Lillian Hester, a junior communication major from Oklahoma City, Okla.; Emily Pfaff, a senior theatre major from Dousman, Wis.; Sarah VanVeenendaal, a first-year international student from the Netherlands; and Adam Marion, a senior music business major from Springfield, Ill.
Carrie Thompson, a senior graphic design/computer art major from Marion Ill., won Best of Show for one of her photos while Kalli Farmer, a senior sport management major from Columbia, Ill., won the People’s Choice Award for a poster she designed.
Students in Millikin University’s Arts Technology and Administration Department learn the creative skills and technology to make digital media or perform in one or more of the arts disciplines. Students engage in learning the business tools of management, marketing, entrepreneurship and more, preparing them to be more than a service provider but instead a creative partner or administrator in an arts business.