Creative Campus Collaboration At University of Utah

June 19-21 marked yet another highly successful, inspirational and engaging Creative Campus Collaboration event, this time at the Adobe Lehi office and co-hosted by the University of Utah in Salt Lake City.

More than 60 faculty and administrators from 40 schools (including Yonsei University from Seoul, South Korea) attended this popular event. The registration grew so much that a venue change was needed to support the number of attendees.

This meme sums up my overall impression of the Creative Campus Collaboration event.

Welcome Reception at Lehi

The event began with a welcome reception at Adobe's gorgeous Lehi facility. The last time I was in Lehi, the building was still under construction, so this was a double-treat for me; experiencing the (to me) new building for the first time and talking with many customers who I had only ever met virtually.

Dinner with a view!

The welcome reception, in my mind, is a critical element of this event. It gives customers and Adobe staff a chance to talk in a relaxed atmosphere - about anything, work related or otherwise. For example, Dr. Jan Holmevik (Clemson University) caught up with me to share his photos from his recent trip to Norway; I chatted with Stephen Marshall from Eastern Tennessee State University about camera bags (we both have the same brand). It also gives Adobe field personnel a chance to talk and share.

Welcome reception at the Adobe Lehi office
Photos in this grid courtesy of Stephen Hart

The Main Event

Other than facilitation, Adobe really takes a back seat in this event. It's all about customers sharing with customers, learning from each other, and generating excitement within the schools themselves. If you've read my previous stories on Creative Campus, you will recognize many of the speakers. And even though the themes of their presentations remain similar, what is truly different and fascinating is the evolution of those themes. Each time these presentations are made, there is new information, progress, even some metrics on success. Coming from the education space myself, I find this pretty amazing.

Morning Presentations

The room is set and ready for 60+ attendees

Creativity@Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute

Troy D’Ambrosio: Executive Director of the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute kicked off the morning, speaking about the business school's goals.

  • Synergy
  • Visibility
  • While the actual space is important, the culture is more important
Troy D’Ambrosio, Executive Director of the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute

CIO Driving Creativity into High Impact Learning at CSU Fullerton

Amir Dabirian — VP for Information Technology / Chief Information Officer, CSU Fullerton, shared their success in integrating Creative Cloud tools into core courses.

Amir Dabirian shares passion and metrics.

Analytics have started to roll in from Fullerton’s pilot program of integrating CC into core lower level courses, showing that students are more confident in their technical skills, feeling that they will be more successful when they graduate.

Not only were the presentations enlightening, but each session was followed by lively Q&A.

The Carolina Digital Literacy Initiative @ UNC Chapel Hill

Todd Taylor from UNC has been addressing digital literacy at UNC since 1997 but didn’t have the tools to do what he felt was needed, until he experienced Creative Cloud.

Todd Taylor, presenting with his colleague Winifred Metz

One of Todd's key points was most schools are not looking at making major changes to their curriculum, yet they should because now we are looking at a very different student landscape.

Vincent Fu, recent University of Utah grad is already seeing his experience with Creative Cloud tools is positively impacting his career options.

More Photos from the Morning Sessions
Lots of engagement and learning during the morning presentations.

Afternoon Presentations

The afternoon kicked off with a wonderful story from recent University of Wisconsin-Madison grad, Emily Schlangen.

While at U of W in her final year, Emily acted as Director of the "design thinking" space, the Idea Incubator for student to access and use for help and guidance when working on digital projects.

Emily shared her story, passion for creating, digital storytelling and the benefits of being digitally fluent in today's economy. In fact, Emily was recently offered a position at Kohl's in New York, in part due to her competency with Adobe's Creative Cloud.

21st Century Learning at the University of Southern California

Courtney Miller, Director of the Annenberg Digital Lounge at USC talked about this new, innovative model being at the heart of the Digital Literacy initiative at USC.

Creative Cloud at the University of Arizona

Melody Buckner shared not one but two stories - one revolving around Creative Cloud implementation at the UofA, the other around the university's efforts to consolidate their digital assets using Adobe's DAM solution Experience Manager - Assets (AEM Assets).

Melody Buckner—Director of Digital Learning & Online Education, University of Arizona

Preparing Students for the Experience Age

Stephen Marshall, from Eastern Tennessee State University, spoke on the importance of digital marketing skills, and how he and ETSU are enabling students to fill this high-demand job market where there is a need for these skills.

Stephen W. Marshall Ph.D.—Chair, Department of Mass Communication, East Tennessee State University

Transforming Creativity on Campus at Clemson University

Wrapping up the day were Jan Holmevik and April O’Brien. Believing that all students are creative, and that they need to develop a variety of skills beyond one mode of writing, Jan and April are working on a Digital Creativity Syllabus.

Jan Holmevik—Associate Professor of English and Co-Director of the Center of Excellence
April O’Brien—Ph.D student—Rhetorics, Communication, and Information Design Program

Some of these 21st century skills include writing a web text, creating a social media campaign and being able to communicate through podcasts.

An afternoon full of insight.

Tour of Lassonde Studios

Directly after the day's presentations, we were treated to a tour of the beautiful and innovative Lassonde Studios, a hub for student entrepreneurs and innovators at the University of Utah. Students are encouraged to live, create and launch projects at Lassonde.

Lassonde Studios is truly an inspiring space to live and create.

Closing Dinner at Top Golf

Time to relax!

Day 2 - Hands-On Workshops

0 to Creative Cloud in One Day

The second day was all about creating, putting faculty in the students' chairs, as it were. With the guidance of Jan Holmevik, April O'Brien and Todd Taylor, more than 40 faculty were taken on a exciting and fun trip through Creative Cloud mobile and desktop apps.

Hands-on creative learning at the Marriott Library in the "U"

By the end of the day, every participant had created:

  • A meme
  • A web story
  • A short video

They were all exposed to a variety of mobile apps, including Adobe Spark, Premiere Clip and Adobe Comp, and even had a chance to edit video footage in Premiere Pro. For many faculty, it was the first time using these tools. The exercises given were great examples of not needing to overhaul curriculum to introduce digital literacy outcomes.

Less than 24 hours after the event ended, feedback via email and Twitter was already flowing in:

I have a much deeper, complete (and stand my ground) understanding of what TRUE digital literacy is--and it's a fight at the educational front we must and WILL win."
Thank you for an amazing Creative Campus experience!
Definitely worth the trip!

In short, this event, its fourth iteration since Adobe MAX in 2016, continues to grow in popularity. And while a dedicated, talented team make the event possible at Adobe, it is only through the customer involvement, engagement and thought leadership that this event is truly successful.

Created By
Jim Babbage


All photos, with exception of group shot (or photos including Jim Babbage) were shot by Jim Babbage. Group shot of Jim Babbage, Steve Adler, Donna Caldwell and Ben Forta, shot by Rob Venrose. Special thanks to contributing photographer Stephen Hart, and to Donna Caldwell for taking such good notes while I was busy taking photos.

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