Monday, August 23, 2010

Terrance Carroll already posed for the Plain & Fancy Ball contest. Now it's your turn!

Want to win two tickets (worth $300) and join Speaker Terrance Carroll at the Plain & Fancy Ball? All you have to do is post photos of you or your friends in plain and/or fancy clothes on the Alumni & Friends Facebook page. You won't want to miss the wackiest event of the year. Terrance Carroll has already posed for a Plain & Fancy Pix. Why don't you?

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Final MERGE profile: Dave Seiler

Dave Seiler’s ('95, art) work is primarily about the human condition, from an interactive point of view, he says. “I tend to construct my work to appear old and from another time to show a history as a way to get the viewer to realize that the history that came before them is still valid and the everyday ‘things’ they use day to day had an object or mechanism that preceded it and was just as valid as what they are using today.”

Metro State: Tell me about your latest work and why you are inspired by it?
Dave Seiler: My latest body of work revolves around pre-cinema, the time before motion pictures, moving pictures. I have been interested in machines since childhood and mostly interested in old films and the machines that brought them to life.

MS: In what ways did your Metro State professors influence your work?
DS: To build your own tools and idea's along with the thought to do "everything because Piccaso did, so why shouldn't you?"

MS: How has your work evolved since you graduated?
DS: Since graduation my work has become more interactive. This was a result from my day job as a security guard in a museum, where it was my job tell inform and keep them from physically interacting with the art work. Later I came to believe in the integral importance of having the viewer touch and to "play" with the art as a way for the viewer to gain greater insight into to the artist was expressing.

MS: Tell me why you submitted the pieces that you did for MERGE?
DS: The piece's that I had submitted to Merge were the newest piece's on my bench or have never been seen out of the studio before, such as the case with the piece chosen for the Merge show.

MS: How do you feel about this opportunity to present your work for Metro State’s new CVA facility?
DS: I think its an awesome, this is a very beautiful space and am very pleased to see that Metro State and CVA finally have a place to call their own.

MS: Is there anything I’m not asking you that you want to share with me?
DS: The use of machines and or the mechanical movements in my work are about the human. All of those early machines and movements are based on how and the way humans move. I think most if not all artist's either reference or use the human body in their work, the work that I am producing is just my expression of that idea.

To see more of Seiler’s work, visit his Web site.

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Last week of MERGE Alumni Exhibition! Read about featured artist Merlin Madrid

Denver-raised Merlin V. Madrid says: “Art-making, which is essentially a solitary act, allows me to tell stories, reclaim memories, secrets, and enthusiasms and sometimes disappointments. It embodies a process for me, which is both personal and ancestral. My art happens as a result of this process and in the end it is a vehicle for learning.” Equipped with a BA from Metro State and an MFA from the University of Colorado, Madrid teaches photography and has been doing so for a decade. She hopes to one day become a full-time professor.

Metro State: Tell me about your latest work and why you are inspired by it?
Merlin Madrid: I am currently working on sepia-toned silver print images. This personal visual narrative is an on-going exchange with my family roots in the San Luis Valley of Colorado and in particular, the memory of the teachings passed on by my ancestors. The image suggests the unveiling of both present day reality and ancestral knowledge as they relate to Chicano culture. It is a photographic arrangement of objects that deals with traditional shrine-making and the communication between realities. It is a search for a spiritual answer to complex questions.

Created with flickr slideshow from softsea.

MS: In what ways did your Metro State professors influence your work?
MM: When I was a student I was expected to develop a subject matter and a language characteristic of my own enterprise. I was encouraged to begin to develop a visual shorthand; and it was impressed upon me the importance of photographing habitually. And I took these lessons and made them part my art making practice. I also have handed down these lesson to my own students. I require my students to reinforce their chosen concept by tapping resources such as literature, history, ethnicity and culture, personal histories, memories and dreams. The hope is that the student starts to acquire and develop his or her own imaginative powers and begins to understand his or her art in a worldly historical context. Ultimately I encourage my students to be true to (honor and trust) their own individual experiences, and to see that their efforts are their successes.

MS: How has your work evolved since you graduated?
MM: When I first began photographing, I would try to take photos of the things I would see. Today my work is more of a process of communicating thoughts, ideas and events and my work is more about processing and arranging object symbols to represent ideas. My work is less about finding pictures to take and more about taking pictures I make.

MS: Tell me why you submitted the pieces that you did for MERGE?
MM: I submitted the pieces I did because I wanted this body of work to be seen together.

MS: How do you feel about this opportunity to present your work for Metro State’s new CVA facility?
MM: The new space is great and it will be wonderful to be represented in this show.

MS: Is there anything I’m not asking you that you want to share with me?
MM: Luna Dreams I, is the image that was selected for the merge show. This image is a topographic portrait of a family member and the map embedded in the figure is of southern Colorado. The use of the moon represents the thoughts, dreams, or ideas in our head. This image is just one print from a much larger body of work, which is expanding and transforming in time. The whole body of work is meant to be a conversation with the viewer and each image is a fragment of that exchange.

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Last week to catch MERGE Alumni Exhibition! Read about artist Claudia Roulier

Claudia Roulier is a collector. “I collect things,” she says. “Old things, found things, used things, odd things, creepy things, and unloved things. I collect pictures and ideas some which appeal to my darker cynical side, and use all of these collections in my work.” Roulier has shown her work through Denver, and recently had a show in New Mexico. She makes it a point to be in at least one show per month, though usually more, and they are typically juried, though sometimes she is invited. She was most recently in the Cherry Creek Art Festival. Metro State caught up with Roulier recently to ask her a few questions about her MERGE 2010 Alumni Exhibition submission and various other things.

Created with flickr slideshow from softsea.

Metro State: How would you characterize your art?
Claudia Roulier: My art runs the gambit from whimsical to whimsy with an edge which tip toes into the realm of shadows and nightmares. My assemblages are definitely more sinister than the paintings. I love using found objects and vintage photos. The sizes vary from tiny tins all the way up to full sized beasts. With my paintings I specialize in using many collage layers, incorporating vintage paper, photos and sometimes objects. Because I use many different mediums, pencil, acrylic paint, oil pastels, vintage paper and photo transfers I finish them with a resin coating. If I would have taken a different course in school I probably would be called an illustrator today.

MS: Tell me about your latest work and why you are inspired by it.
CR: I am, first most and always inspired by images and juxtopostioning of images and ideas in both the assemblage work and my paintings. I have always been image oriented and that's how I work. I like putting odd things together in such a way that they look almost married. I look through old photos that I collect and image searches on the net to get the bones of what I want to do.

MS: In what ways did your Metro State professors influence your work?
CR: I was an older student and very involved with creating at the time, I wanted to be there and took it seriously. I soaked up everything that I could. I was heavily influenced by Barbara Houghton, my photo teacher who pushed us to explore images and the creating of them in many alternative ways. I still have that love of images and experimentation. Craig Marshall Smith instilled craftsmanship and a love for tiny details, which remind me of dessert, it just finishes off the meal to perfection. I was scared to death to come to a critique unprepared and with an uninspiring project that carries over to now. Rodger Lang was my ceramic teacher. I absolutely adored him and worked very hard in the area of ceramic sculpture and that carries over in my work today, although I don't always work in clay. But I'll always remember form and function.

MS: How has your work evolved since you graduated?
CR: I think I was a pretty good student and I am just now getting back to the level I was at in school. I never painted in school, so that was intimidating and to this day I consider myself a drawer not a painter I simply use paint as a tool, but a tool I can't live without! I have always been drawn to the things that populate side shows, horror movies and nightmares. Some of that is tamed by some of the more whimsical stuff I do, but it's there, still.

MS: Tell me why you submitted the pieces that you did for MERGE.
CR: I actually submitted my three latest works by design I wanted my freshest most recent work. Only one got in but that's okay with me!

MS: How do you feel about this opportunity to present your work for Metro State's new CVA facility?
CR: I love this new facility and it's right across the street from a co-op, Core New Art Space, that I belong to. It's just great to have something like this on the strip. It's a great place to show and it has a lot of credibility, the remodel is absolutely stunning.

To see Roulier’s work, visit her Web site.

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Friday, August 20, 2010

MERGE Alumni Exhibition Featured Artist: Kyle Wimmer

Whether he’s teaching kids or creating a work of art Kyle Wimmer finds passion in all that he does. According to a fellow teacher Jean Schneider, “Kyle encourages more critical thinking and expression than any language arts class and inspires more creativity than in any course we offer in middle school.” The Office of Alumni Relations recently interviewed Wimmer about his work.

MS: What is your latest work like, and in what ways does it inspire you?
KW: I would consider my art in search of the "new." I try to create art that progresses art and also challenges the viewer to become emotionally charged; to have them think about what they are looking at.

My most recent works are inspired by Olafur Eliasson, Tara Donovan and Gabriel Orozco. I have drifted away from painting in the past couple of years. I am inspired by artists that push the boundaries of art.

MS: In what ways did your Metro State professors influence your work?
KW: I have David Clark, Sandy Jones (RIP), and Craig Marshall Smith vividly stuck in my head as influential people for my work—all for very different reasons. But most notably in my style, especially considering the piece entered, it is obvious I like Smith's work. David influenced me with his calm demeanor and Sandy with her passion and faith.

MS: How has your work evolved since you graduated?
KW: As I mentioned, I have drifted away from drawing and painting and I am working on my master’s of arts in liberal studies with concentration on visual art and design at DU, so I am definitely more contemporary now than I have ever been.

MS: Why did you submit this particular piece for MERGE?
KW: I submitted the piece I did because it is fairly recent, but also because of the direct tie to the Craig Marshall Smith style and i thought the show would be a perfect way to display it.

MS: How do you feel about this opportunity to present your work for Metro Stateís new CVA facility?
KW: I don't make art as much as I would like. I am a teacher, a father of three, a husband and a coach, so I don't try to get my work into galleries etc. When I found out about the show and when I got in, I was ecstatic! It was one of the proudest moments in my art career.

MS: Is there anything Iím not asking you that you want to share with me?
KW: I was awarded “Outstanding Rookie Art Educator of the Year” by the Colorado Art Education Association.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

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Where are they now? Faculty profile: Howie Flomberg

When Howie Flomberg (’74, CMS) finally got out of Vietnam in the late ‘60s, he attended Queens College, NY. Despite its reputation as a liberal school, Flomberg was immediately identified as a Vietnam vet and subsequently vilified by both faculty and students. Disheartened, he and his wife bailed from the East Coast and drove their ’69 Oldsmobile to Denver to start over.

“My first day I was in the old Fox building, taking the elevator to the second floor, and the door opened and a guy rode past me on a unicycle,” he says. “Nobody took a second look.” What Flomberg discovered was that he blended into the crowd as well. Being a veteran didn’t matter.

“And that’s exactly what I wanted,” he says. “I wanted to fit in.” Flomberg found other vets and “worked hard, studied hard, and drank hard at the White Mule,” he adds with a smile.

Post graduation he moved briefly to Los Angeles, but hated it, and so moved back to Colorado to continue as a computer programmer. In 1978, he started as an adjunct faculty member at Metro State and “fell in love with being in front of a classroom,” he says. “I just really enjoyed the give and take, and the challenges. Getting challenged directly by the students is a ball.”

Flomberg honed his teaching skills by developing an interactive teaching style. “I encouraged students to disagree with me. As long as we treated each other with respect, I could learn from them and they from me. College should be about exchanging opinions and everybody growing.” As well, he adds, classes should be used for service learning. Flomberg was one of the first professors to use his classes this way.

Using his contacts in the business community, Flomberg would divide students into teams of four or five people and have them deal with real issues faced by these businesses. “It gave students real work with real organizations, and it got them out of the classroom,” he says. The programs were very successful, he adds.

According to Ken Keller, former Socio-Anthropology chair and dean for Metro State, “Howie was an effective teacher. I knew from comments that students made to me that they liked his teaching and his willingness to be available for advising.”

However, all good things must come to an end. Flomberg just recently retired from teaching because of health issues. However, he continues to pursue intellectual endeavors. He is now writing five 100-page books about various things, including the decision theory and the history of the American dream.

“When they are all written, I’ll have a 500-page book,” he explains. “At that point I can start looking for a traditional publisher.” Flomberg’s current published works include a guide on software that is used in statistics, which was published by Metro State. He also wrote the curriculum and taught a “Management 4000” class on management decision theory that was subsequently picked up by the California State College system.

“I really enjoy writing,” Flomberg says. “I get into that zone.”
Flomberg also stays involved with Metro State and is currently working with a 45th Anniversary committee that is gathering and publishing historical documents and gathering information on former faculty and staff members. “It’s fun,” he says. “My philosophy now is if it’s not fun, I don’t do it.”

“My defense against Alzheimer’s, is using my mind,” he says with a laugh. “Life is an adventure. I’ve done everything from [wandering] the streets of Brooklyn a youth with no supervision to crawling through interesting places in Southeast Asia. I’ve been in and out and up and down. My opinion is, ‘go for it.’ Don’t let anything hold you back if it’s something you want to do. That’s what I tell my students.” And that’s how he continues to live his life.

“Howie is full of energy,” Keller adds. “And he has always been very committed to students.”

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Alumni Business Spotlight: Two alums offers homebuying tips

Buying a home has become increasingly difficult since the recession hit. According to, the number of foreclosures continues to be higher than the number of home purchases. Just over 92,000 people lost their homes in the United States in July. However, it’s not impossible to buy a home. With good credit, a down payment and some expert advice on the process, any Metro State alum can buy a house.

The Office of Alumni Relations recently met with Shelter Insurance agent Emily Gardner (’05, CJC) and Assist-2-Sell real estate agent Eric Freisinger (’01, MKT), two alumni in the field of home buying, to ask them to reflect on the current situation and offer some home buying tips. Gardner specializes in helping first time home buyers find the insurance they need, while Freisinger assists people in finding and appraising the perfect home.

Insurance agent Emily Gardner sells auto, home and life insurance. Her specialty is helping first time home buyers. The 27-year-old says, “my clients relate to me because I’m not much different than they are.” Typically they are just getting away from their parents’ policies. And unlike their parents, they don’t have many asssets and so don’t need as much coverage. Unfortunately, many insurance agents will oversell them regardless. “My job is to help them better understand what kind of insurance they need and what they are buying.”

With a background in residential appraising, Eric Freisinger spent the last few years transitioning into a job as a full-time real estate broker. “Taking what I have learned the last eight years as an appraiser has allowed me to help my buyers buy their properties and not overpay for them,” he says. Likewise, he can help his sellers better determine what their homes are worth so they don’t lose money or waste time setting the price too high. “Time is money,” he adds. “It’s important to get the price just right.”

Metro State: In what ways do you help people in the home buying process?
Emily Gardner: I make sure my clients have adequate coverage, especially when it comes down to personal property coverage. Everyone has different things they need covered. Sitting down with a client and letting him know about the various options helps him find the right coverage. [For example, a Personal Inland Marine Policy will cover you if you lose your $5,000 ring anywhere. However, if your ring is covered under your Home Owners policy, you will only be able to recoup your costs if it’s stolen from the house or the house burns down. Many people don’t know this.]
Eric Freisinger: The first question I always as is how they are going to pay for their home. If they only have a certain amount of payment, I send them to Colorado Housing Finance Authority (CHFA). This a great place to learn about the real estate process. I’m not a loan officer, so that’s where I start out. Then, [when they are ready to buy a home] I take the criteria they are looking for—the price range, number of bedrooms, etc—and I plug that into a computer program that sends them automatic email alerts with active listings.

Then I give them at least three subdivision areas with one listing of areas that they have interest. Once they determine a specific area, I meet up with my clients to view as many listings as they want in order to find their dream home. This process makes everybody’s time more efficient. I also help manage the real estate process, including educating them on the appraisal process. I give them the tools they need to do research on their own to find an appraiser, home inspector, etc.

With the decline in property values in some neighborhoods, there are lots of neighborhoods where you can get good deals. In addition, you can always get a good deal with an expert realtor on your side in almost any market. It’s a great time for home buyers and investors to buy.

MS: How have things changed in the home buying process since the recession hit?
EG: It’s a lot harder for people to get financing. I get a lot of people who are looking at buying a home, and they want a quote. They think they are going to close on it, but loan doesn’t go through. As well, the premium that you are paying with insurance is based on numerous things, including your credit score. With the recession, peoples’ credit has gone down, and that can affect their rates.
EF: Loans are definitely tougher to get. There are a lot more hoops to jump through. It’s not like it used to be where if you had a good credit score, that’s all [mortgage companies or banks] cared about. Now they want to see your stated income, and equity has to be a certain amount.

MS: What are some of the positive aspects of this change?
EG: People are becoming more responsible with their financial decisions.
EF: With the decline in property values, there are lots of neighborhoods where you can get good deals. It’s a great time for home buyers and investors to buy.

MS: What are some potential pitfalls home buyers should watch out for?
EG: Companies often try to oversell you on liabilities and endorsements. [The insurance you purchase] should be based on what you have—on your liquid assets. Someone’s parents may need insurance on their million dollars, but the 27-year-old making $30,000 per year doesn’t need that. So watch out. You really need to understand what you are buying. Ask yourself if you got sued, what could they take from you?
EF: Make sure every house you consider buying is appraised. I tell my customers to always get two appraisals. Get one done for the bank and also for yourself.

MS: What other tips do you have for home buyers?
EG: It’s important to really review all your coverage with someone and make sure you’re getting all the discounts you are entitled to. You want to have all your insurance combined together. You save money overall if you bundle, which means you get discounts if you insure your cars and home with the same company.
Also consider that when you are buying a home, you’re paying for the property and the home, but you only have to insure the structure. Depending on what county you are in and how much you’re paying for the property, your home is going to be insured for $20-$30,000 less than what you would pay for both.

MS: Wow, I wish I knew that when I was buying my home! Maybe I should look into my insurance policy again.
EG: Well, unfortunately home owners insurance is tougher to change once you actually put that policy in place.

MS: Too bad. Eric, what tips do you have for home buyers?
EF: It’s important to find a good realtor who knows a lot about statistics, especially in declining or increasing markets. You want to be sure they can see how much a neighborhood is going up or down in price. For example, you have found a house you like that is currently listed for $100,000. Your expert realtor has told you that the market has been declining 1% per month and you have one comparable sale that sold 10 months ago for $100,000. First, you would make a 10% ($10,000) downward adjustment if the market was showing you a 1% decline per month in that specific area. Next, you should always analyze and set up a showing and view with your realtor as many similar listings before making your offer. For example, lets say you have three comparable listings that are listed for $90,000, $100,000 (the one you like), and $89,000. You would probably want to start out with an offer of $90,000 since the adjusted sale from earlier was $90,000 and other listings are pointing you toward that value. In conclusion, the $100,000 listing you like may not be worth the list price and using an expert realtor could save you money and peace of mind.

MS: Thanks so much for the interview!

To get in touch with Freisinger, please call him at 303-995-4282. To reach Gardner, please visit her agent Facebook page.

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Monday, August 16, 2010

Office of Career Services to Offer Alumni Job Support Group

For four weeks, starting on October 7 at 9a.m. in the Office of Career Services, Tivoli Room 215, will facilitate an alumni Job Search Support Group. The group will meet for four successive weeks and will focus on the information and skills needed to conduct a successful job search. For more information, please contact Senior Career Counselor Judy White at the Office of Career Services at 303-556-3664.

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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

MERGE 2010 Alumni Exhibition featured artist, Carolin Rutsche

Influenced by Lyonel Feininger, Carolin Rutsche (’09, art) creates her work from her surroundings, including the architectural details of buildings in her proximity, interesting negative spaces, and colors. A professional artist, she has shown here work at the Denver International Airport, the Core New Art Space in Denver's Santa Fe Art District and other local art galleries. She finds inspiration for her paintings through her travels.

Created with flickr slideshow from softsea.

Metro State: How would you characterize your art?
Carolin Rutsche: Urban Abstract Contemporary Precisionism (Cubist Realism) paintings in oil and watercolor

MS: Tell me about your latest work and why you are inspired by it.
CR: My current work is narrative in quality and depicts places of transportation of my past in Berlin, Germany. Locations I regularly travelled to represent starting points, crossing points and destinations. The paintings reveal images from memory, the train and subway stations of Berlin that were once part of my daily life … I see through a geometrical lens in which the picture plane is broken up by dividing lines and shapes similar to the precisionist style.

MS: In what ways did your Metro State professors influence your work?
CR: They influenced my work immensely. Amy Metier has always pushed me to go beyond of what I thought I could accomplish. She was a constant inspiration in all aspects of [my life as an artist], instilling an incredible work ethic and having an abundance of knowledge and wisdom to give. Anna Kaye’s knowledge and power of teaching was equally impressive, as well as Linda Sanchez’ infectious love and enthusiasm for art history that got me thinking of a double major. So many professors had so much to give. [There is] not enough time and space to list them all. They were great!

MS: How has your work evolved since you graduated?
CR: It is still evolving. Just shy of my graduating semester, I finally found myself as an artist and I am still “refining myself” and am enjoying the process very much!

MS: Tell me why you submitted the pieces that you did for MERGE.
CR: It is a piece from my “Transit Memories II” series. It represents my current body of work very well.

MS: How do you feel about this opportunity to present your work for Metro State’s new CVA facility?
CR: It is exciting! Metro has found a new permanent home in the Santa Fe Arts district and I am honored to be able to be a part of a great group of alumni for this exhibition to celebrate its last 20 years and a new beginning.
For more information, visit Rutsche’s website.

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Friday, August 6, 2010

MERGE featured artist Jennifer Ghromley

Jennifer Ghormley (‘02, art) is this Friday’s featured MERGE artist. The MERGE: 2010 Metro State Alumni Exhibition runs through Aug. 18 at the College’s new Center for Visual Art. Alumni who wish to join the CVA get a 20% discount through that date. For more info on MERGE, click here.


Equipped with both a BFA and an MFA, which she received in printmaking from the University of Nebraska in Lincoln, Ghromley currently teaches at Metro State and is the studio manager of Anderson Ranch Print Editions at Anderson Ranch Art Center, Snowmass Village, Colo. She also shows her work through national juried exhibitions and invitations.

Ghormley employs a variety of techniques in her translation of ideas into works of art, including using her body. “Making work about being here in the body, I dissect and reassemble my own form in expressive ways, to universalize the female body as a generic representation of humanity,” she wrote in a recent email. The Office of Alumni Relations recently caught up with Ghormley to chat a bit about her experience at Metro State and her participation at MERGE.

Metro State: How would you characterize your art?
Jennifer Ghormley: Sometimes I feel like the outsider may view my work as all over the place visually. I utilize printmaking techniques, photography, fabric, stitching, really whatever I feel like the work is telling me it needs, and I have a consistent color palette. My work is about the body, in both a personal and universal context.

MS: Tell me about your latest work and why you are inspired by it.
JG: For this body of work I was interested in juxtaposing figurative silhouettes with decorative imagery. These pieces have their own intimate spaces, full or decadence and intriguing detail. Working with the figure is both a personal and universal expression.

MS: In what ways did your Metro State professors influence your work?
JG: My professors pushed me to make more/better/different. This instilled in me a strong work ethic and never-ending desire to keep making work, keep creating and pursuing that which I am passionate about.

MS: How has your work evolved since you graduated?
JG: After my graduation from Metro, I went to on graduate school at University of Nebraska - Lincoln. The intense pressure of graduate school pushed me and my art to new levels and heights. I graduated top in my class, and received the Francis William Vreeland Graduate Award and the Thomas P. Coleman Memorial Award for my creative research.

MS: Tell me why you submitted the pieces that you did for MERGE.
JG: I wanted to show my newest work because I still feel a little unsettled about it. I feel like this body of work is the current culmination of various elements I have been working with for a while. But there is always more to make, more to explore. I think it is good practice for an artist to constantly challenge herself, work outside of the comfort zone that we try to hard to find.

MS: How do you feel about this opportunity to present your work for Metro State’s new I CVA facility?
JG: I feel honored and excited about the CVA's new space. I am sad I will be out of town for the opening of the MERGE exhibition.

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Thursday, August 5, 2010

Alumni Philip Lucero to speak at Metro State Tech Comm Reception, Aug. 19

On Thursday, Aug. 19, alumni from Metro State’s Department of Technical Communication and Media Production will be meeting for a reception at the Center for Visual Art. Speakers for this event include two alumni, Philip Lucero and Chris Miller. Metro State’s Office of Alumni Relations recently caught up with Lucero to chat with him about his experience at the College, his business, and his goals. Check in next week to read Miller’s interview.

Philip Lucero ('92, TCM), a 12-year veteran television producer, writer, editor and cameraman since his graduation from Metro State in 1992, has traveled extensively covering news, sports and adventure for many television networks and businesses of all sizes. As part of the 9News Prep Rally team, he was recognized with an Edward R. Murrow award in 2001. He currently runs PL Productions, which he started in 1997, and for which he has produced more than 400 television broadcasts. His clientele include MTV and ESPN, among many others. He also operates Transmission Studio.

Metro State: What are your goals/plans?
Philip Lucero: My broad goals are to continue to grow my business and attract new clients. The biggest short term goal is to establish my company as a content creator for broadcast networks.

MS: What are some of the key issues you have faced recently and what did you do to address those issues?
PL: Creativity and staying on the cutting edge of style and design is the biggest challenge I face. To that end, I am working to attract advertising agencies and creative entities to my business, so that we are pushed to find solutions and techniques outside our comfort zone.

MS: Why do you remain connected to Metro State?
PL: It's important for me to retain friendships and contacts I made while attending Metro.

MS: What is one of your best memories of Metro State?
PL: Friday afternoons at the Wynkoop with my classmates.

The Tech Comm Reception is from 5:30-8 p.m. and all alumni are invited. Professor Bob Amend is hosting the event, which will include networking and speakers. Light refreshments will be provided. There is no cost. RSVP by Monday, August 16 to Dr. Amend at or 303-556-2674.

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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Social Media: Planning for Success

By Lizzy Scully
Social Engagement Manager
Office of Alumni Relations

If you run a business or other organization, you can no longer afford to ignore social media when creating your marketing plans. Thousands of your potential customers (your future “fans”!) flock to social media sites. In fact, more than five million people actively use Facebook now, with 50% signing on daily(1). Plus, more than six million people utilize Twitter. Social media sites have proven to be one of the most significant ways you can engage your customers or constituents. When the Office of Alumni Relations first embarked on its social media journey, we spent extensive time researching what other colleges and universities were doing and we formulated an extensive plan accordingly. Here are seven tips & tricks we learned along the way:

Planning: Do significant planning prior to launching any social media plan or starting your social media sites. As with any marketing/public relations plan, define your goals. What do you want to accomplish? Who are your fans (i.e. who do you want to engage)? Do some research on which sites might best fit your needs. I have discovered that Metro State alumni use LinkedIn to communicate about career-related topics and to network with each other, while they check out Facebook to link to event coverage or fun articles about other alumni or faculty/staff members. They also regularly read our Job Blog, which has job listings and helpful career advancement tips.

Voice: Establish the “voice” of your social media sites. Typically, social media sites offer a more personal, in-depth perspective of your business/organization, while your website has static, tidy information. (For more on types of voices you can use, click here). The Office of Alumni Relations maintains professionalism in that we treat people who visit our sites respectfully and as we would if they came into the office. However, we have balanced that with informality. For example, our responses to people who pose questions, suggestions, or musings are informal and friendly. As well, we post fun, interactive articles and videos on our blog that aren’t necessarily perfectly well made.

Coordinator(s): After you figure out your “voice”, choose one or more coordinators who will regularly post on the social media sites you utilize. This person should not hide behind an alias, but should be open about his/her relationship with your business. I am the main person posting on the Office of Alumni Relations social media sites and interacting with visitors. I strive to establish trustful relationships with our visitors, and have developed numerous in-person relationships with people. Even if I never meet someone in person, my goal is for that person to feel welcomed to all of our social media sites. On the other hand, you don’t have to mix business with pleasure. It is not necessary for you to invite all the fans on your Facebook Fanpage to be “friends” on your personal page.

Listening: Cultivate relationships with your constituents. In order to be effective with social media, you have to regularly engage your fans, which means posting daily or weekly, answering questions posed by fans, and addressing issues they bring up. I check all the social media sites five days per week. If a negative comment surfaces, for example, I can address it immediately. (Read more on tips for addressing negative comments here).

Flexibility: The beauty of social media is its flexibility. If something isn’t working, you can change it instantly. Build all your social media sites and then see which ones are most popular, and then modify your activities accordingly. We discovered that our MySpace page and the LinkedIn page we created were both mostly worthless. However, I found and began to participate on an unofficial LinkedIn page that was far more active. I befriended the alumnus who created it, and now we manage it together. We have regular interactions, and new people joining every day!

Analyze the data: Dozens of analytics tools exist that can help you track traffic to and from your websites. The Office of Alumni Relations currently uses Google Analytics and StatCounter on our website and blogs, and to shorten and track our URLs. None of these programs are perfect, so utilize many and analyze all the results. By doing so, you will figure out what links are being clicked on most and what people avoid, thereby refining how you distribute your content.

Integration: Finally, to be full successful, your social media strategy must be integrated with and supportive of your overall marketing plan. One of our most successful endeavors this year was our Official College Ring Launch and Facebook Ring Contest. The contest drew in plenty of contestants because it was a fun and engaging way of finding out why people loved Metro State. We asked people to tell or show us why they loved Metro State. This resulted in people posting poems, stories, and great photos about their experiences at Metro State on our Facebook fan page, which in turn drew more people to our fan page. However, it was only part of a greater strategic plan that included advertisements in the College newspaper, flyers, mailings, emails sent out to students, and plenty of social media notifications.

These are just a few of the things you should consider when launching a social media plan. For more information of if you want to ask me any questions based on this article, come to the LAS Lunch & Learn on Tuesday, August 10th. For more information or to register for the event, click here.

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Check out this slide show of historical Metro State photos

Created with flickr slideshow from softsea.

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Tuesday, August 3, 2010

MERGE featured Tuesday artist: Tony Stanzione

Tony Stanzione (‘83, art) artist and owner of Stanzione Studio LLC, a company he founded in 1990, enjoys the act of building. “Much of my time is spent building and rebuilding residences in New York City,” he explained in his artist’s statement. “This utilitarian work has deeply informed my artistic practice. I pursue the border between functional and non-functional objects.” Most recently he has been building art by assembling manufactured materials and objects, combined with fabricated parts and pieces. “This process forces me to encounter the manufactured environment (concrete, glass, shipping pallets, metal bed frames, pencils, doors, flotsam, river rocks and pillows) in which I live,” he wrote. “I am always searching, or hoping for the meaning of what I create to come bounding towards me.”

Metro State: How would you characterize your art?
Tony Stanzione: I would characterize my work as contemporary. The piece I am showing, "mug Head," is very formal with a combination of found and fabricated materials. There is no story behind the piece other than the parts seemed to find each other in my studio to create this really formal-like, turn of the century sculpture.

Created with flickr slideshow from softsea.

MS: Tell me about your latest work and why you are inspired by it.
TS: My last explorations are balls that are made from pieces of colored rope and sting that I gathered while at the beach. They are titled "Flotsam" and are displayed floating off the wall.

MS: In what ways did your Metro State professors influence your work?
TS: My teachers were superior crafts people. The late Roger Lang was an amazing crafts person and a kind and caring inspiration, as well as a friend after I graduated from MSCD.

MS: How has your work evolved since you graduated?
TS: I have explored many different materials, ideas and processes in the last 20 years. I went onto graduate school have made work using compressed air, glass, ice and now flotsam.

MS: Tell me why you submitted the pieces that you did for MERGE.
TS: The work I submitted were small pieces that I felt represented my interests in the last few years.

MS: How do you feel about this opportunity to present your work for Metro State’s new CVA facility?
TS: I think is wonderful I haven't shown in Colorado for a while.

MS: Is there anything I’m not asking you that you want to share with me?
TS: I have a somewhat large scale Piece called" Entrada Bienvenito" that I fabricated and showed in NYC in 2002 It's about the the Mexican American border Natural Migration. It consists of a series of seven-doors that spin on center pivots if you could find a place to permanently install the piece that would be great!

Read more about Stanzione's business by visiting his Web site.

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Monday, August 2, 2010

Alumnus James Sims Climbs for Kids

As part of IP5280’s Climbing For Kids, Metro State alumnus James Sims (’09, BHS) will climb Mount Bierstadt (14,060’) on August 13 in an effort to raise $10,000 for kids at The Children’s Hospital and The Kempe Foundation.

“I strive to help kids who must climb much bigger mountains every day,” says the avid mountaineer and Aspen local. Sims’ motivation stems from his love of the mountains—he has been climbing for ten+ years—and the fact that his half sister was born premature at The Children’s Hospital.

“Thanks to the hospital, she has been given the chance to grow into an outstanding individual,” he explained by email. His sister, Annie Perizzolo, is a 13-time All-American and three-time Div III national champ and holds countless school records at Claremont Mckenna College, where she is an junior. Read more about Annie here.

Sims started raising funds July 24 and will continue to do so until August 13. One hundred percent of donations will be given to the general funds of the hospital and The Kempe Foundation, to be dispersed wherever they are most needed.

“Combining climbing and raising money just go hand in hand for me,” said Sims. “I find that the people who have the determination to climb mountains also can find the energy to raise money for great causes.”

Sims strives to climb every peak over 13,000ft in North America, and this next winter he will be going to the highest points in every Central American Country. He also plans to continue to do good works and inspire others to do good work.

“This is not the first I have raised money for a good cause, and it definitely won’t be the last time,” he stated. “I can only hope that others will follow. I know many people feel that if you can't pay, then you can't participate. But by simply talking about a cause or using networking sites like Facebook, hundreds of others can see or hear about a charity that they could possibly become a part of.”

To donate to Sims’ cause, visit his Web site.

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Metro State's Chorale singing the National Anthem at a Rockies Game. Cool!

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