CommLeader Spotlight|Dan Thornton, Cohort 10

Area of interest (within the MCDM program or in general):

I took classes mostly in the “emerging” track. I also spent much of my time working on Flip the Media as one of its Editors.
What exactly do you do professionally or what are your professional goals?

I am a filmmaker and college professor. I will continue telling stories and working with people interested in learning strategies for the 21st Century. As I get older, I become more and more interested in the intricacies of policy and the ability of institutions–political and otherwise–to create opportunities for creativity, understanding and opportunity.

How are you directly applying knowledge from the MCDM program in your daily life?

My communication strategies have evolved along with my analytical abilities. The MCDM helped me recognize and facilitate my own abilities in the work I do as an educator every day.

Which classes have had the most impact on you personally and professionally?

All of my classes at the MCDM were influential. I was particularly taken with those instructors who were willing to push beyond the traditional teacher/student duality and explore experimental forms of learning and instruction. If this program is to thrive in the future, it should be more experimental and innovative in its approaches to the classroom experience. I’m excited to see how the new MCDM fellowship cohort will innovate and lead new learning and teaching strategies for the MCDM.

Career-wise, what is your ultimate digital media goal?

I think we make too much of a distinction between digital and analog modes and medias. As for my ultimate career goal, I’m not sure yet but I’ll let you know what it is when I find it. Promise. My next step is spending a year in the United Kingdom as a Keasbey Memorial Foundation Scholar at the University of Edinburgh.

And for the sake of a silly question: Favorite place to study on campus and why?

I really valued the opportunity to get to know the UW campus while I was a student in the MCDM program. I was particularly taken with some of the little cloisters the campus holds. One in particular always makes me feel good when I walk through it and that is called the Grieg Garden and lies just South of the Comm building. I am also fond of the derelict former Nuclear Power plant on campus. spooky and retro-chic all rolled together in a Super-Fund site. What could be better?

Ilona IdlisCommLeader Spotlight|Dan Thornton, Cohort 10
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