Technology flows through my blood. At the age of nothing, I was a sensation.
Lights! Camera! Action! ME!
24/7, a camera broadcast my crib life to the greatest stage known to man-kind, the World Wide Web. Being the first baby in cyberspace, the rays of discovery began to shine through the cracked wall of innocence.
Technology became a necessity for me at a young age. My parents, long-time internet entrepreneurs, hooked me by constantly introducing me to an array of new gadgets and gismos. My eyes widening with awe and fascination, I received my first PC, a widescreen Gateway with a shiny silver exterior on my ninth birthday. I expeditiously explored and familiarized myself with all its bells and whistles. One year later, with the help of my father, I developed my own website, Bobsgameblog.com, sculpted with widgets and Google AdSense. I was on my way to becoming a young entrepreneur. I was over the moon to discover that a year after the launch date, my website received second prize (The Best Internet Site for Kids) by the Washington Family Magazine.
Maturing alongside my passion for technology grew my love for Art. As a toddler I would spend countless hours fabricating imaginative worlds with my wooden blocks, Legos, and action figures. The glorification I received by sharing these scenarios with my already gooey eyed parents, relatives, and friends encouraged me to utilize this creative skill in my later recognized passion for art. I attribute most of the credit for helping me discover the world of art to my grandparents. Visits with Mommom and Poppop were spent wandering and admiring their extensive home collection and Outsider Folk Art Gallery, and meeting with their many local artist friends. One of whom, Gregory Warmack, better known as Mr. Imagination, influenced my life significantly by inspiring my first building block of creative style. Collecting whatever I found of artistic interest, I became notorious for the “junk” piles that my parents would find around the house. I crafted all kinds of pieces, cardboard and string animals, to little wire and nail figurines. After independently exploring the vast art world, I began to take more structured art classes both in and out of school. Through advancing my art skill and acquiring knowledge about art history, I began to feel a newly generated connection the my great great grandfather, American Impressionist Frank W. Benson.
Both passions evolving exponentially, I discovered the world of Adobe; the stars had aligned for me. Similar to when I received my first laptop, I eagerly expanded my knowledge horizon to create my first personal logo for a final art project in elementary school; a simple man wearing a backwards cap. From there, I dove head first into the graphic design world at the age of thirteen, entering logo contests on 99designs.com. Occasionally my parents would catch me staying up late designing, but how could they be mad? I was only doing what I loved. The contests evoked a spectrum of fascination and frustration. Motivated to keep grinding my way to success, I began to search the internet for video tutorials and forums to improve my skill. I then utilized my new knowledge to help the staffs of both Mercersburg Academy’s Yearbook and Art & Literary Journal, attended Carnegie Mellon’s Pre-College Program in Art & Design, and interned at 10Pearls, a company that designs and builds mobile applications. Through these creative outlets, I was inspired to pursue a college career at the University of Michigan to build my knowledge base in Technology, Art, and Entrepreneurship.
While attending the University of Michigan, my goal was to foster the skills that I will need to adapt to an ever changing technological landscape. My first step was to secure a Bachelor of Art from the Stamps School of Art & Design to help me refine my artistic talent and sharpen my creative mind. Next, to equip myself with the tools I’ll need while discovering, designing, and developing new technology, I doubled up with a Bachelor of Science in Information with a focus in User Experience Design from the School of Information. Last, but not least, to have the foresight I’ll need to bring emerging technology to market, I got a cross-dislplincary Minor in Entrepreneurship from Innovate Blue. Upon graduating in December of 2019, I have utilized my education to continue helping Yazing by doing UI UX Research and Design to improve the site’s user experience and to increase user conversion rates. Looking to the future, I hope to be working to provide the world with new technological experiences that will help people live their lives to the fullest!
To more effectively reach its users and maintain engagement levels as their exposure increases, FriendsLearn Inc. was looking to better understand its active and potential user base on their mobile application Fooya!. (University of Michigan School of Information UX Capstone Course)
By empowering users with information that is often overlooked and facilitating in-person discourse, my team and I believed we could create a platform that allows people to unite through their local government and ultimately be more effective citizens. Our solution was an iOS application called Ember that facilitates in-person events, helps people find local candidates, and stay updated on important topics. (University of Michigan School of Information Interaction Design Studio)