Congratulations VFS Digital Design Class 26

Congratulations, Digital Design Class 26 (from left: Macarena, Austin, Ali, Ray, Natasha, Scott, Cesar, Kevin, Taís, Arm, Emma, Kyle, Min, Antonio, Jenny, Erynn, Christian, Seoyoung, JK, Bill, missing: Ryan)

On December 12th, 2013, the Digital Design program held their Graduation and Awards Show for the 26th class. It was a bittersweet moment for the students, faculty and staff. Spending the equivalent time of three intense years of college packed into one can only have the effect of creating extremely strong connections.

The graduation ceremony consisted of a number of speeches and presentations. Elizabeth Hudson, Program Manager of Digital Design, started the proceedings and outlined the scheduled order of events. Miles Nurse, Head of Digital Design, was the keynote speaker and he reflected on the challenges and successes from the past year. He then offered some parting words of wisdom.  Myron Campbell, Senior Instructor, was selected to present by the students, spoke next. Myron advised the graduating class to stay confident, humble, and connected. He stressed the importance of continuing their personal development and to “stay awesome” above all. This event also marked the last day at VFS for Myron, who has been an integral part and one of the major driving forces of the program. We haven’t seen the last of Myron though: He’ll be back for a Draw By Night event this year.

Christian Arias-Carrasco and Scott Dutertre spoke on behalf of the graduating class and produced a fitting tribute to their classmates. They created two videos for the ceremony. The first video was a humorous tale about their journey through the program and allowed them to include some inside jokes. The second video allowed each graduate to tell a heartfelt story about another member of the class. The packed audience members, full of family and friends, could get a real sense of the bonds that have been forged over the course of the year. I don’t think there was a dry eye in the room.

Following the speeches, each graduate was presented with their well-earned diploma. As they walked to receive their diploma from Miles, a short sizzle reel of their work was screened. The ceremony ended with a series of group photos in front of the theatre of the graduating class.

After a short intermission, we reconvened to celebrate the work from class 26 with the Graduation Awards Show. The following is a list of the presented awards (nominees and winners) and a series of images that I captured:

Best Communication Design
(the project which most effectively fulfills the brief while demonstrating sophisticated messaging, conceptual and aesthetic ability)
presenters: Karen Whistler & Myron Campbell
Jenny – Damn Fools
Cesar – Gingers
Taís – Social Art Gallery
Ali – Refreshmints
Seoyoung – John Deighton Hotel
Arm – Mu Ping
Scott – Hopper Airlines

Winner: Social Art Gallery by Taís Lessa


Best Motion Design
(the project which most effectively fulfills the brief while demonstrating the ability to convey a clear and compelling message, powerful visuals complimented with strong auditory experience)
presenters: Thomas McKeen & Nida Khan:
Arm – Headphones
Cesar – A Rather Lovely Thing
Kevin – Blast TV Identity
Natasha – The Art of Murder
Ali – Grad Project

Winner: A Rather Lovely Thing by Cesar Martinez


Excellence in Instruction
(instructor(s) who demonstrates excellence in instruction and exemplifies passion, innovation, experience and results in their teaching methods)
presenters: Macarena Poo & Kevin Lee

Winner: Myron Campbell


Best User Experience Design
(the project which most effectively fulfills the brief while demonstrating a deep understanding of desires, system and core motivations necessary to achieve the goals of the target audience)
presenters: Miles Nurse & Brad Smith
Kevin – ETA App
Taís – Connekti
Min – Indino
Antonio – Royal Chocolate
Macarena – Quins

Winner: Connekti by Taís Lessa


Best Course
(This is awarded to the instructor whom the students felt prepared and delivered the best course in the program.)
presenters: Austin Wendenburg & Antonio Braz
Myron – Experimental Practices
Kyle – 3D 1
Nida – 3D 2
Kristy – IA2
Interactive 1&2 –Gerard

Winner: Experimental Practices by Myron Campbell


Designer in a Supporting Role
(the student who throughout the year, in all instances, on all teams, actively contributed to the team and class environment, while consistently delivering a high quality of work)
presenters: Bill Sun & Natasha Tentes

Winner: Macarena Poo


Best Team
(the project, which most effectively fulfills the brief by making synergistic use of the talents of the team members)
presenters: Louise Lee & Myron Campbell:
7 Degrees – Big Idea: Scott, Bill, Breanne, Macarena, JK, Cesar & Kyle
Neil Squires – Big Idea:  Ali, Ryan, Christian, Seoyoung, Taís, Arm, Jenny & Tama
Pandora Title Sequence – Emma, Cesar & Arm
Team Mates – Big Idea: Austin, Kevin, Antonio, Min, Ray, Erynn & Emma

Winners: Neil Squires by Ali, Ryan, Christian, Seoyoung, Taís, Arm, Jenny & Tama


Best Interactive Design
(the project, which most effectively fulfills the brief while demonstrating strong technical abilities in working with the necessary tools to create the operational aspects of the project. This can include but is not limited to Information Architecture, Interface / GUI design, and development)
presenters: Gerard Barcelon & Stephanie Wu
Macarena – Quins
Tais – Connekti
Team 7 Degrees – Decide – Scott, Bill, Breanne, Macarena, JK, Cesar & Kyle
Kevin – ETA App
Team Neil Squires – Big Idea – Tama, Ali, Ryan, Chris, Seoyoung, Taís, Arm & Jenny

Winner: Quins by Macarena Poo


Producer of the Year
presenters: Emma Frost and Cesar Martinez
This was a special award to recognize the contributions of David Guti Rosado from the Entertainment Business Management program. Throughout the year, he provided valuable input and support to many Digital Design projects.


Best Technical Achievement in Motion
(The project which most effectively fulfills the brief while demonstrating strong technical abilities in 2D, animation, 3D, and compositing)
presenters: Danny Chan & Kyle Norby
Austin – Euphony
Emma – Sever
Arm – Headphones
Cesar, Emma, Arm – Pandora title sequence

Winners: Headphones by Arm AND Pandora by Cesar, Emma, and Arm


Faculty Rockstar
(award selected by the students and presented to the staff member they felt provided a high level of awesomeness or support to their year at VFS)
presenters: Taís Lessa and Arm Sattavorn
Danny Chan
Stephanie Wu
Thomas McKeen
Lizzie Hudson

Winner: Danny Chan


Social Impact Award
(A designer that has demonstrated a moral and ethical responsibility to providing sustainable, environmentally, or socially aware design solutions)
presenters: Kyle Norby & Karen Whistler
Ray – Grad Project
Scott – Grad Project


Best Graduate Project
(This project is a reflection of a student’s commitment to the purpose, idea, and execution of the process. It is a project that reflects the vision and teaching of VFS as an institution, while recognizing truly exceptional professional level work.)
presenter:  Miles Nurse

Winner: Quins by Macarena Poo


Lifetime Achievement Award
Miles Nurse presented this surprise award to Myron Campbell.


Best Portfolio
(This award represents the entire body of work produced by a student over the year.)
presenters:  Miles Nurse and Myron Campbell


Winners: Taís Lessa and Macarena Poo


We would like to thank Brad Smith, Kai Pedersen, Brett Forsyth, and Kristy Streefkirk for presenting the Graduate Project award nominees. The faculty, staff, and students would also like to thank all the family and friends who attended this event.

Class 26, Thank you for the great memories. We’re all proud of what you have accomplished, and we look forward to seeing what you do next.


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