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The Art Institute of Michigan Teams Up with the Rachael Ray Show to Provide Cooking Lessons

Rachel Ray Show

The Art Institute of Michigan Teams Up with the Rachael Ray Show to Provide Cooking Lessons

Rachel Ray teams up with the Art Institutes

The Art Institute of Michigan is teaming up with the Rachael Ray Show to provide cooking lessons to the students enrolled at Downtown Boxing Gym Youth Program. During filming of the Rachael Ray Show’s Thanksgiving episode, on Monday, November 16, Ray unveiled a completely renovated kitchen for the students, complete with new appliances and a study space. To help Downtown Boxing Gym Youth Program get the most out of this new kitchen, The Art Institute of Michigan is going to provide four lessons/demos on healthy eating and nutrition at the gym throughout the next year.

Three culinary instructors from The Art Institute of Michigan appeared on the show to announce the gift of the cooking lessons, and the episode will air Wednesday, November 25. In the Detroit area, please tune in to WDIV-TV at 2pm. For additional times and channels, visit http://www.rachaelrayshow.com/show-info/showtimes/.

For more information on Downtown Boxing Gym Youth Program, visit http://downtownyouthboxing.org/.

The Art Institute of Michigan is one of The Art Institutes, a system of over 50 schools throughout North America. Programs, credential levels, technology, and scheduling options vary by school and are subject to change. Not all online programs are available to residents of all U.S. states. Several institutions included in The Art Institutes system are campuses of South University or Argosy University. The Art Institute of Michigan, 28175 Cabot Drive, Novi, MI 48377. © 2015 The Art Institutes.  All rights reserved. Our email address is materialsreview@aii.edu. 

See aiprograms.info for program duration, tuition, fees and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info.

2011, Bachelor of Science, Fashion Retail Management, The Art Institutes International Minnesota

Kara Koepplin

2011, Bachelor of Science, Fashion Retail Management, The Art Institutes International Minnesota

Kara Koepplin is working as a fashion merchandise specialist for Target Corporate Headquarters in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She works directly with the company’s buyers on daily tasks and projects, receives and manages marketing samples, allocates apparel tests in Target stores, and executes and maintains item set up. “Fashion and sales are always evolving and changing so there isn't a typical day in my role, it varies day by day but that's the best part,” she says.

Kara is proud that her drive and determination has helped her to get where she is today.  She adds that she looks for creative inspiration in her surroundings—especially from her coworkers. “Having the opportunity to work in such an innovative and creative environment, I find myself inspired by someone or something everyday.” Kara’s position allows her to be part of a product life cycle—managing and monitoring merchandise from beginning to end. “I get to see first hand what the Target customer is gravitating towards and it's rewarding to be able to work with the talented buyers and designers who help [to] bring the merchandise to life.”

Kara, who in 2011 earned a Bachelor of Science in Fashion Retail Management from The Art Institutes International Minnesota, says that her education provided the foundation of the knowledge and passion she needed to feel confident in the fashion industry. “Having many teachers who came from a retail background helped me [to] feel confident in the education I was receiving. [I] knew that by learning from them first hand, I would be set up [to do well].” She recommends that current students network and surround themselves with inspiring people. “Take advantage of volunteering at local fashions shows and don't ever be afraid to ask for informational interviews. People are always willing to talk about how they got to where they are today and most likely will wish the same success for others!”

1996, Associate of Applied Science, Culinary Arts, The Art Institute of Houston

Chris Shepherd

1996, Associate of Applied Science, Culinary Arts, The Art Institute of Houston

Chris Shepherd was named Best Chef: Southwest Region for his cuisine at Underbelly that pays tribute to the culinary diversity and resources of its home base in Houston. Underbelly has been praised by The New York Times and Eater.com, and Shepherd was named to the Best New Chef list in 2013 by Food & Wine magazine.

Shepherd began his culinary journey more than two decades ago. His first job after graduation was Line Cook, and he worked his way to Executive Chef. He is a 1996 graduate from The International Culinary School at The Art Institute of Houston with an Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts. He opened Underbelly in 2012, described as New American Creole, where he tells the story of Houston, from port city to Southern charmer, through his food. He also interacts more intimately with his customers, using lowered counters at the kitchen line and a community table.

2013, Bachelor of Fine Arts, Interior Design, The Illinois Institute of Art – Schaumburg

Jennifer Nielsen

2013, Bachelor of Fine Arts, Interior Design, The Illinois Institute of Art – Schaumburg

“[My] education taught me how to gather inspiration, visualize a unique interior from that inspiration, and in turn, interpret the design on paper and to other people.”

Jennifer Nielsen is working as an interior designer at Baskervill in Richmond, Virginia.  She creates concept design, floor plans, and specs. “I am proud of securing a job with one of the top ranking architecture firms in the country—and furthermore, getting put on prestigious projects,” she says.

Jennifer is inspired by the work of Jessica Helgerson, a Portland, Oregon, interior designer. “Without her examples, I would not be able to push myself to make eclectic, colorful interiors.” Jennifer adds that the best part of her job is being able to gather inspiration and let her imagination go wild.

Jennifer, who in 2013 earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design from The Illinois Institute of Art—Schaumburg, says that her education taught her to gather inspiration, visualize an interior, interpret the design on paper, and explain it to a client. She recommends that current students put themselves out there. “Even if an employer says they are not hiring, ask if you can come in for informational interviews. It gets you a one-on-one but without the pressure.”

2006, Associate of Applied Arts, Industrial Design Technology, The Art Institute of Seattle

Steven James Taylor

2006, Associate of Applied Arts, Industrial Design Technology, The Art Institute of Seattle

“I design not on paper, but with a pair of calipers, an exacto blade, and a hand tool.”

Steven James Taylor is working as an advanced model maker for Apple, Inc. in Cupertino, California. He’s responsible for designing and creating interaction prototypes to support Apple’s industrial and interaction design. “I love how things are made and greatly enjoy solving mechanical problems and seeing a pile of nuts, bolts, and other parts come together into a working prototype,” Steven says.

He says that a typical day consists of balancing his work between a few projects. “I generally work on [anything from] designing mechanical prototypes to making physical models that portray the designs and interactions’ intent.” Steven is excited to utilize his knowledge and skill to improve the products he works on. “I am able to [provide] a unique view of how to solve a problem when given one. I am very mechanically focused—more  than design driven."

Steven, who in 2006 earned an Associate of Applied Arts in Industrial Design Technology from The Art Institute of Seattle, says that his education provided the tools he needed to transition into his creative career. “It showed me that hard work and attacking the next challenge with vigor will get you far." He recommends that current students say yes when others say no. “Question the way you and others approach a problem. Find an answer when there appears not to be one. Start thinking differently, work hard, and do what you love."

2013, Bachelor of Science, Game Art & Design, The Art Institute of California – San Francisco

Jason Pettibone

2013, Bachelor of Science, Game Art & Design, The Art Institute of California – San Francisco

“My role is largely defined by my strengths and weaknesses so I am able to put myself into any role here just by learning new skills and showing aptitude.”

Jason Pettibone is working as an associate environment artist for Sony Computer Entertainment America, located in Bend, Oregon. He’s responsible for asset creation and world building. “Most of the day is working in my office on my parts of the world, but there are occasional meetings and discussions throughout the day,” he says. Jason adds that he enjoys the creative collaboration of his profession and is given many opportunities to offer input. “My role is largely defined by my strengths and weaknesses so I am able to put myself into any role here just by learning new skills and showing aptitude.”

Jason cannot talk about his current project, due to nondisclosure agreements. “The game we are working on is still unannounced. What I can say is that my skills have improved greatly since I've been here and the game we are making is going to look beautiful.” Jason finds inspiration in the natural world and by perusing Google images. “My heroes are teachers I met at The Art Institute of California—San Francisco, like Duylihn Nguyen and Sean Mitchell.” He appreciates artists who push themselves to learn new techniques and those who elevate the artists around them.

Jason, who in 2013 earned a Bachelor of Science in Game Art & Design from The Art Institute of California—San Francisco, says that his teachers were artists who shared their industry knowledge with students. “I learned how to seek knowledge and fend for myself in a chaotic and fickle industry. I also learned about how to present myself in a studio environment from listening to stories told by industry vets.”

2005, Bachelor of Science, Media Arts & Animation, The Art Institute of Portland

Ty Johnson

2005, Bachelor of Science, Media Arts & Animation, The Art Institute of Portland

“I like to tell people that I play with dolls for a living. In truth I’m more like a digital sculptor.”

Ty Johnson is working as a 3D Modeler for LAIKA, an animation studio in Hillsboro, Oregon. He creates characters based off of drawings and clay maquettes, but has the opportunity to incorporate his own flavor into them. “It is up to me to ensure my creations are aesthetically pleasing and also meet specific technical standards established by riggers, texture artist, animators and everyone else downstream,” he says. He’s especially excited to be part of the team responsible for the Oscar-nominated film, “The Boxtrolls.” “I’d be lying if I said I didn’t love making internationally recognized Oscar-nominated films. Being a part of something as huge as ‘Paranorman,’ ‘The Boxtrolls,’ and ‘Kubo and The Two Strings’ has given me the opportunity to share my passion with literally millions of people.”

The process that Ty uses to create a character is incredibly intricate. Each puppet he models is further broken into over 72 mechanical parts. “These mechanisms allow for the articulation of eyeballs, glowing ears, and the swapping of magnetic facial expressions.” Each character is unique and requires custom internals, so Ty utilizes 3D printing to get the intricate parts to fit and function properly. “[It] is the hardest yet most rewarding part of my job.” Like many in his industry, he is inspired by the work of Jim Henson. “I can’t help but think of Jim Henson and his amazing puppets when I’m at work. I am a 90s child and Jim’s fingerprints were on everything I grew up with. He’s definitely a hero of mine.”

Ty, who in 2005 earned a Bachelor of Science in Media Arts & Animation from The Art Institute of Portland, says that his education taught him a valuable lesson in adaptation. As he was working toward his degree, the school updated its software from what it had been using to reflect a new industry standard. “I was distraught and worried that I was starting over. But I couldn’t have been more wrong. The truth is that technology moves fast, standards change, and if you can’t adapt you’ll be left in the dust.” Ty said that the experience he gained in learning the new technology has played out time and time again now that he’s a professional. “Now when I learn about new tools and software I look forward to it like a kid on Christmas Eve.”

2012, Bachelor of Fine Arts, Graphic Design, The Illinois Institute of Art - Schaumburg

Courtney Falconer

2012, Bachelor of Fine Arts, Graphic Design, The Illinois Institute of Art - Schaumburg

“Having teachers that know the industry and work in the industry is extremely helpful.”

Courtney Falconer is working as a senior associate designer II for Discover in Riverwoods, Illinois. She’s responsible for conceptual ideation and overall experience design. “My team and I do a ton of concept work that we present to leadership, in hopes that we can push boundaries and improve user experience. We are problem solvers, focused on making every card member's experience easier,” she says.

Courtney is excited to be the first member of her immediate family to earn a bachelor’s degree. “This is a huge accomplishment for me,” she says. Courtney took a risk after graduation that’s paid off in her career. After graduation, she was offered two positions—a full-time job doing packaging at a travel accessory company and a three-month internship at a package design firm in downtown Chicago. “I really didn't think I was going to get the internship because they were known to be hard to impress. But, crazily I turned down the full-time position for the three-month internship. If I had to go back and do it again I wouldn't change a thing. It was a risk I had to take and it definitely paid off for me.”

Courtney, who in 2012 earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design from The Illinois Institute of Art—Schaumburg, says that the school’s career-focused education helped her to transition into the design industry. “Having teachers that know the industry and work in the industry is extremely helpful,” she adds.  Courtney recommends that current students work hard and network. “You get what you put into it. Keeping the contacts you have from your time in school is important. Create a good name for yourself and watch the possibilities open up.”

 

2004, Bachelor of Science, Industrial Design, The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale

Grant Bell

2004, Bachelor of Science, Industrial Design, The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale

“[The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale] helped me to establish the basics needed to get me started in the industrial design field.”

Grant Bell is working as a vice president of design and engineering for Focus Product Design in Menlo Park, Silicon Valley, and San Francisco, California. He is responsible for setting up strategic direction and implementing long term initiatives. “I joined the team at Focus Product Design April 2014 as creative director and now oversee all industrial design, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, software engineering, graphic design, videography, and marketing functions,” he says. Grant adds that during his time at the company, he’s doubled number of designers and engineers. He’s also  presented multiple tutorial videos, TV marketing segments, and sales videos. “Focus Product Design has hosted numerous design Meetups where I have had the opportunity to present with some of the foremost leaders in the design and crowd-funding industry.”

He’s proud to be working at a successful design firm in the heart of Silicon Valley. “[The area] is filled with the world’s most inspiring and incredibly smart individuals. I am both excited and humbled to be a part of it.” Grant lists his design influences as Syd Mead, Daniel Simon, H. R. Giger, and Richard Branson.

Grant, who in 2004 earned a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Design from The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale, says his education provided the foundation he needed to get him started in the industrial design industry. He recommends that current students stay focused and take internships to gain experience. “I recently heard someone say ‘you get what you work for, not what you dream for.’ So work hard and it will pay off.”

 

2014, Associate of Applied Science, Culinary Arts, The Art Institute of Michigan

Rob Stone

2014, Associate of Applied Science, Culinary Arts, The Art Institute of Michigan

“[The Art Institute of Michigan] gave me the foundation and skill set to grow as a chef.”

Rob Stone is working as a Chef de Poissonnier at The Lark, a French restaurant in West Bloomfield, Michigan. He’s responsible for the restaurant’s seafood and fish station. Rob spends his days prepping, cooking, and plating seafood and fish entrees. He also creates daily specials and assists with menu planning. “When you’re part of a kitchen brigade and the communication between each station is flowing, there is no greater energy or rush.  You are responsible for bringing together different components to make a cohesive dish,” he says.

Rob adds that he’s also proud to be building his own catering company, Culinary Construction. His culinary career was influenced by a trip to South America. “One of the Chefs who inspires me the most is Chef Alex Atala, who runs the restaurant D.O.M in Sao Paulo, Brazil.  D.O.M continues to be ranked as one of the top 10 best restaurants in the world.  Chef Atala is, above all, passionate about Brazil, nature, gastronomy, and life.”

Rob, who in 2014 earned an Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts from The Art Institute of Michigan, says that his education gave him the foundation and skills needed to grow as a chef. He adds that he also gained creativity, passion, business sense, attention to detail, commitment to quality—and the ability to work in a team environment and accept criticism. He recommends that current students take advantage of open labs. “This is your time to not only perfect the recipes given, but to experiment with different flavor profiles.  Utilize the library. Save and organize every recipe you make. They will come in handy.”