VANCOUVER, B.C. – Gaming industry legend Tom Frisina, Electronic Arts (EA) Talent Development Executive, will join the team at the Masters of Digital Media (MDM) Program as a part-time faculty member, Dr. Gerri Sinclair, Executive Director of the MDM Program announced today. Frisina will work with the graduate program‟s students to teach them the Business of Digital Media at the Great Northern Way Campus (GNWC) Digital Media Centre.
“Tom is a real rock star in the gaming world,” said Sinclair. “He brings professional and life experience to this educational role that is inspiring, exciting and incredible. This is an experience of a lifetime for our students. Working with Tom, students will receive instruction and guidance from an individual with world-class expertise in the business of digital media. That Tom has chosen to join us is also a critical step in our ability to provide the industry with the best possible graduates to lead the evolution of digital media over the next decade.” “I‟m very excited about joining the Masters of Digital Media team,” said Frisina. “The high caliber of the MDM Program and the talented students already enrolled provides me with a tremendous opportunity to pass on what I‟ve learned after nearly 25 years in the digital media and entertainment business.”
As a part-time faculty member, Frisina will provide students with a comprehensive view of what it is like to work in the games business. Frisina will focus on Cinematic Arts Producer and Designer job descriptions, but all elements of game content and their resident product marketing approaches will be covered. When completed, students will have a clear understanding of the industry and what role they are best suited to play in this growing arena. Frisina will also use his broad industry connections to bring in guest lecturers from around the globe including producers, project managers, technical directors, and creative directors, among others.
Tom Frisina joined EA in 1997 as Vice-President of EA‟s affiliated label business, then called EA Distribution (EAD). He was chartered with taking EAD from a distribution business into a world-class third party interactive publisher. Between 1997 and August 2003 Frisina managed growth of worldwide revenues from $66 million in 1999 to $347 million in 2004. Frisina is responsible for bringing the Bond, Medal of Honor, Battlefield, Valve Half-Life Distribution, Lord of the Rings and Crysis franchises to EA. In November 2006 he stepped down from his role as General Manager into a newly created position of Talent Development Executive. Along with his EA experience, Frisina also has extensive experience as an entrepreneur and has founded several companies in the gaming and digital media areas. An interesting character, Frisina is trained as a symphony conductor and spent three years in Naval Intelligence with a Top Secret Clearance in the late 1960s.
The Masters of Digital Media Program is an innovative, full-time professional graduate degree program that provides students with team-based experiences focused on project learning in close collaboration with B.C.'s vibrant games and digital media industry. The MDM Program is 20-months in length and includes a paid internship. Graduates will have the professional skills required to be effective creators, practitioners, and senior managers in this rapidly growing industry. The degree will be jointly awarded by Vancouver's four major post secondary institutions: the University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, Emily Carr Institute of Art + Design, and the British Columbia Institute of Technology.
GNWC was established in 2001 by the British Columbia Institute of Technology, the Emily Carr Institute of Art + Design, Simon Fraser University and University of British Columbia to provide program and collaborative research opportunities. Finning International Inc. donated a substantial portion of the 8.9-hectare campus, between Clark Drive and Main Street. This collaboration-focused campus sets new standards for post-secondary and graduate education.
The Masters of Digital Media program‟s first semester begins in September 2007. Approximately 200 students are expected to graduate by 2010.