Joining The Iron Yard

For the past six years, I’ve been teaching topics in Communication Design at Texas State University and getting my MFA for the first three years. As I finished writing and designing my thesis, which was brand, web-site, and content strategy redesign for a student-run and internationally recognized online literary journal, I was asked to stay on full-time for one year. That one year turned into three, and during that time, I worked an exceptional colleague to build out the web courses that needed some serious updates. I was given full freedom to replace the "flash class" and explore a topic I was very interested in—Responsive Web Design—and have been teaching it ever since. The course went from having one section of 15 students to three sections of 20 each in three years, and the students have spoken to Ethan Marcotte, designers from Happy Cog, Big Spaceship, and Paravel about RWD. It amazes me that the course has grown as much as it has, and that it is a topic students want to learn.
The students. They learned and I learned with them. They taught me patience, some taught me basic JS, we shared recipes (all my design metaphors are food-related), and one excitedly explained how binary numbers can be used to convert hexademical and 0-255 RGB values. Best of all, they taught me that I really did want to be a teacher.
It’s been a great six years and I’ve enjoyed being a part of the Texas State family. The 2013-2014 school year was my last at the university. I’m thankful for the time I had there, and mentors and students that taught me so much more about design and life that I could ever imagine.

The Iron Yard

I am excited to announce that, starting in October, I am joining The Iron Yard as a Web Design instructor. The Iron Yard is a start-up accelerator and a code academy that started in Greenville, SC, and has expanded to Spartanburg, Columbia and Charleston, SC, Asheville and Raleigh-Durham, NC, Atlanta, GA, Tampa and Orlando, FL, Houston and soon—AUSTIN, TX! The Iron Yard teaches 12-week immersive courses in Front End Engineering (I sat in on a few classes and it’s AWESOME), Mobile Engineering, Rails Engineering, Web Design, and soon, Python! I’m so impressed by the quantity, but especially the quality of work coming out of the courses and the students I’ve met. I, myself, want to teach every course they offer!
I’m ecstatic about the Web Design course which will be a mix of both design and code. The course is designed in a way that allows students to understand the bigger picture and process of web design, from design history to principles, typography to color theory, HTML to CSS to Sass, Responsive Web Design (yay!), and Javascript from an interaction stand-point. It prepares students to wear the multiple hats designers frequently have to wear in this ever-changing industry. It’s going to teach design students a lot of different topics, but cover them deeply enough and reiterate them so they becomes second nature. Students will leave with a portfolio of work and The Iron Yard will help students with job placement after they complete the course. The Iron Yard is currently taking applications for the course in Greenville, SC this fall, and Columbia, SC and Austin, TX in January 2015!
I can't wait to join the team and get started!

My laptop sticker arrangement, currently!