Catching Up With...Anna Dixon, Class of '13
Anna Dixon, Class of 2013, West Perry High School, Advertising, Art and Design
Anna Dixon is a 2013 graduate from West Perry High School and CPAVTS's Advertising, Art and Design Program. She is currently self-employed with her dream business, Rockin' Designs. Anna shared with us how her experience at CPAVTS has affected her career and the skills she acquired here that have helped her in accomplishing her career aspirations. Here is what she had to say:
Describe the company or industry in which you currently work.
"Rockin' Designs is my business, that I have dreamed of since I was five. I hand paint items for sale and custom pieces for customers. Every art piece is hand created and unique. I have many mediums I create my art in, from pin-striping and one-shot paint, to air-brushing, drawing art by hand and graphic design."
What is your job title and what do you do?
"I am the owner and artist of Rockin' Designs. I find different pieces to paint my art on and then go to different car shows to sell them. I also take custom orders where clients pick what I create and what I put my art on."
What other employment have you had related to your program areas at CPAVTS?
"I was a student worker at my college and would use my graphic design skills to create t-shirts and fliers for my college. Mainly I have done freelance work from 2010 to present."
What additional education and training did you receive after leaving CPAVTS? Where did you receive it? Did you feel CPAVTS prepared you for this?
"I received training in pin-striping and air-brushing when I attended college at the PowerSport Institute. At the PowerSport Institute, I also learned how to work on motorcycles, build motorcycles from the ground up and welding."
How was Cumberland Perry different from your regular high school?
"Cumberland Perry was different from my regular high school because it was a real life course, where we had real clients and worked as if we were in a real job situation. At Cumberland Perry, I was treated more like an adult than at regular high school."
How has your industry changed since your time at Cumberland Perry?
" My industy has changed since my time a Cumbeland Perry in technology. We learned on Mac computers and Mac is always coming out with new technology and programs."
What is your favorite CPAVTS memory?
"I have so many memories of CPAVTS that I don't think I could pick just one. One of them is working in class with my friends and another is painting the windows for Christmas. Though my most memorable moment was when Mrs. Lenker-Badorf put my first sketchbook assignment up as one of the top drawings. The was the moment I realized I had an art skill and encouraged me to follow my dreams."
Tech at CPAVTS: GRAPHIC COMMUNICATIONS
Every industry must work hard to keep itself abreast of new advancements in technology related to their field, and the Graphic Communications program is no stranger to adapting to these changes while simultaneously stressing the fundamentals needed to thrive in the field. These are just some of the equipment and processes utilized:
· Digital Black/White and Digital Color Presses: a staple of the printing process! Without these, your printing company wouldn’t stand a chance.
· Bindery/Bookmaking Machines: Printed books and bound documents are still very much necessary in today’s world, and students are given instruction on how to operate and maintain these machines.
· The PDF Workflow Process: This is a standard in the industry, allowing graphic designers to create a file that can be accessed anywhere, even by those without a copy of the design program the file was created in. Creating this type of file allows clients to review proofs that can later be printed easily.
· The Bulk Mailing Process: Students learn the fundamentals of processing bulk mailings, such as those used by colleges for their event flyers or by a new business for a grand opening announcement.
These are the fundamental processes and pieces of equipment used in the field, but as the industry fluctuates, instructor Ron Atticks works to keep his program in step. The primary method for this is a panel of industry professionals that make suggestions for improving the program; these are just a few of the topics currently being discussed for future implementation:
· Variable Data: The process by which mailings are tailored to a specific person; you might see this used by your doctor to address you specifically in a check-up or appointment reminder.
· Augmented Reality (AR): With advances in smart phone technology, it’s possible to turn any print product into interactive media! By adding an AR component to a flyer or poster, anyone can scan an image with their phone and receive an interactive version; for example, a surgeon might have one picture on an advertisement that, when scanned, shows a “before” picture when you tap it on your phone!
· Large Format Printing: Creating banners, cling-ons, and transfers is becoming a highly-sought after set of skills. Larger print products can be unwieldy and making good-quality, professional items is an important talent for any printer to have.
Combined with Mr. Atticks’ continued training in any changes made to the graphic design software used in his classroom, all of these techniques and tools contribute to a program that can keep up with and implement industry advancements as they come!
This article is a continuation of our Tech at CPAVTS series. Click here for the previous entry!
Classroom Learning Moves Beyond the Classroom
Cumberland Perry students undergo a rigorous combination of hands-on experiences and theory work that round out their knowledge of their chosen profession and put them on the path to mastering their arts. But a key component of learning a trade is knowing what options are available in seeking to continue perfecting those skills; to this end, CPAVTS administration has implemented a two-step process to orient students with the demands associated with their professions.
One of the major school-wide goals developed in the last year was to get more students outside of the classroom walls and experiencing real business and college settings, to better acquaint them with the type of work they would face after graduation. To this end, counselors Lori Britcher and David Payne coordinate with teachers and with local businesses and post-secondary institutions to schedule visits for students.
“The employer and post-secondary visits give students real-world experiences to help them decide what they want to do in the future,” says Mrs. Britcher.
These visits begin with level 1 students, who tour a local business—such as LoBar, Inc., which recently hosted CPAVTS’s Carpentry students or the office of Dr. Barry Klein, which opened its doors to Dental students. During these visits, students learn everything they would want to know about the industry, from the skills and tasks utilized the most frequently, to what equipment is used, to the typical salary and benefits offerings. Students also get to experience the work environment and get a feel for where businesses of that type are typically located.
The next set of tours are for level 2 students. This set of tours takes students to a variety of local post-secondary institutions that are chosen based on what offerings are available for each program. This year, Nursing students toured Harrisburg Area Community College while Precision Machine Technology and Electronics Technology students visited the Pennsylvania College of Technology. Visits to post-secondary institutions are designed to give students an understanding of the admissions process, financial aid, registration, and the college setting in general. During these tours, students also gain opportunities to sit in on real classes and interact with professors to learn what they would be studying in a particular major.
“Industry and post-secondary visits are a great way for our level 1 and 2 students to experience employment and university settings,” says Dr. Al Parrillo, supervisor of the CPAVTS Student Services team. “They are able to ask questions and learn about the requirements to either work in their chosen field, or study for a specific college major.”
Career and post-secondary tours don’t just help students gain a solidified understanding of both pathways, they also provide students with the insight needed to ultimately decide what they want to do after graduation. These tours are part of a school-wide initiative to promote career and college readiness—and we thank our local industry and post-secondary partners for opening their doors to our students!
Cooperative Education Spotlight-Darien Stewart
Cooperative Education Spotlight- Darien Stewart
Every day Monday through Friday, Darien Stewart leaves East Pennsboro High School just before noon to make sure he gets to work on time. Darien, a senior enrolled in the Electronics Technology program at Cumberland Perry AVTS, is currently employed by K&C Communications in Harrisburg where he is capping off his 3 years of education with some valuable on the job training.
Darien will often be given the task of removing/installing radio packages, removing/installing lighting, and troubleshooting wiring components in emergency vehicles for The State Police and local Fire Departments.
He has plans to take his tools and skillset to Pittsburgh Institute of Aviation next fall. His training at CPAVTS has allowed the transition to the workforce to be a successful one, for both him and his employer. Darien has set goals for himself, stuck to them, and appears on a career path for success!!!