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Digital Renaissance Man Jeffrey Ventrella Joins Faculty Team at Masters of Digital Media Program

Aug 27, 2008 By Anonymous

Virtual Worlds Pioneer to Develop and Mentor Digital Media Leaders of Tomorrow

Vancouver, BC – August 27, 2008 – Jeffrey Ventrella joins the faculty of the Masters of Digital Media, Dr. Gerri Sinclair, executive director of the MDM program announced today. Ventrella is the new instructor for the "Building Virtual Worlds" course. He also will be contributing his deep knowledge and experience to industry sponsored projects.

“The Masters of Digital Media has gained a reputation for bringing on board leaders and visionaries to teach the latest perspectives and techniques in use by industry today,” comments Gerri Sinclair. “The addition of Jeffrey will continue to help us build on the educational edge we provide students enrolled in this premier, graduate program.”

Ventrella is an artist, artificial life researcher and former Second Life developer as well as an Internet entrepreneur. Ventrella combines the diverse knowledge gained from his three degrees, B.A. in Art Education/ Art History, MFA in Computer Graphics and another Master’s degree from the MIT Media Lab, on the projects he develops. His work is posted at www.ventrella.com.

In 1998, he co-founded There.com and as the Principle Inventor of that virtual world he was the key developer of Avatar Centric Communication. As a Senior Developer at Linden Lab, the birthplace of Second Life, he invented expressive technologies such as Flexies, FollowCam, and Puppeteering. These features allow for a more meaningful and dynamic avatar experience by creating enhanced body expression and movement.

Ventrella was also one of the first to build expressive technologies into virtual world code early in the process unlike other developers who add this dimension as an afterthought.

Ventrella joins the rest of the faculty in welcoming the second cohort of MDM students starting in September 2008. The first cohort, half-way through the 20-month gradate program, are returning from their summer internships. MDM students hail from across Canada and around the world.



About the Masters of Digital Media Program @ the Centre for Digital Media, Great Northern Way Campus
Launched in September 2007, the Masters of Digital Media (MDM) Program is an innovative, full-time professional master’s degree offering students team-based experiences focused on project learning in close collaboration with the international digital media industry. Housed in the Centre for Digital Media at Great Northern Way Campus, the MDM is a 20-month program and includes a paid summer internship.

Great Northern Way Campus (GNWC), established in 2001, is a collaborative educational innovation that combines the strengths of four leading academic institutions: the University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, Emily Carr Institute of Art + Design and the British Columbia Institute of Technology. The MDM graduate degree bears the seals of these four academic partners.

Media Contact:
Grace Battiston
Masters of Digital Media Program
Tel: 778 370 1013| grace_battiston@gnwc.ca