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Upcoming Panel Discussion: Information in Motion

This session will examine how animation and motion graphics can be used to visualize and explain data. Our speakers come from different backgrounds in animation, as well as journalism, science, and graphic design. See how the worlds of science and art collide when it comes to how we absorb data.

Our panelists will be:

Whitney Beer-Kerr, science producer at Pixeldust Studios. Whitney is a producer who specializes in science, education, and natural history. With a strong science and medical academic background, Whitney excels at communicating dense technical information to audiences at every level. At Pixeldust, Whitney manages a team of editors, writers, animators, and production coordinators. She writes, produces, develops, and directs visual effects for a wide range of non-profit, corporate, and scholarly projects. Her work for PBS, NOVA, and National Geographic has taken her from the tribal villages of Papua New Guinea to the bow of an Inuit whaling boat off the north coast of Alaska. Recent projects include Ancient Earth, a 3-part fully animated series about evolution and mass extinction from the Permian through the Cretaceous, and an animated video about what happens inside the brain of a person with Alzheimer’s Disease using the latest research from the NIH.

Donna Desmet, medical illustrator & animator at the Mayo Clinic. As a part of the Medical Illustration and Animation division of the Creative Media department, she collaborates with physicians, researchers, or other internal staff to create educational visuals for a variety of initiatives in service of the entire enterprise. Working independently or as a part of a team, Donna participates in all aspects of animation development: collaborating with clients, researching content, conceptualizing, script writing, and storyboard development, as well as animating. Before the Mayo, Donna spent 17 years developing visual medical content in New York, where she helped establish Jane Hurd Studios, which delivered educational and promotional medical animations for clients such as Novartis, Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Merck, and Genentech.

Donna is a Professional Member of the Association of Medical Illustrators. She received her MA in Medical and Biological Illustration from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Josh Gunn, the founder of Planet Nutshell, a design studio that does animation for nonprofits, business, healthcare, and education. Some notable examples include shorts teaching kids about physics and Math for PBS Learning Media, a narrative for McLean Hospital to help people understand the symptoms of Bipolar Disorder, and an explanation of the “The Connected Economy” for the Harvard Business Review.

Josh began his career teaching creative writing at The University of Washington. He then worked at Amazon.com as a content producer, editor, and writer. He holds a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from The University of Washington and he received his BA in English from the Colorado College. In his spare time, he works as a journalist, short story writer, and essayist. His work has appeared in leading publications, including The Atlantic and Vox.com. He has also lectured at MIT on digital storytelling.


Please join us on March 30, 2017 from 12:00 noon to 1:30 PM in the James Branch Cabell Library Lecture Hall (Room 303). The event is free and open to the public, but please register. If you are a student interested in learning about the details of a career in animation – from collaborating with clients, researching content, conceptualizing, script writing, storyboard development, and animating production – stay for an informal session with our panelists for their insider insight at 2:00 PM in Room 205.

Parking is available for a fee in the West Broad StreetWest Main Street and West Cary Street parking decks. If special accommodations are needed or to register by phone, please call Gregory Kimbrell, events and programs coordinator, at (804) 828-0593 prior to March 30.

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