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UNI's new interactive digital studies major selected as finalist for technology award

March 12, 2013
Contact: 

Matthew Wilson, instructor, marketing, 319-273-6046, matthew.wilson@uni.edu

Stacey Christensen, Office of University Relations, 319-273-6728, stacey.christensen@uni.edu

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa's new interactive digital studies (IDS) major has been selected as a finalist for the 2013 Prometheus Awards. The awards honor companies and individuals who have demonstrated excellence in technology. The IDS program is a finalist in the Innovation in Teaching category.

IDS is a new, interdisciplinary major that represents a collaboration between eight different departments, representing each of UNI's five colleges. All IDS students start with a core set of digital skills that provide them with an understanding of digital culture and communicating through digital technology.

Once they have a digital foundation, students can then tailor the major to their own interests by choosing two concentrations, or "bundles." Each bundle is composed of five classes and is aimed at a concentrated aspect of digital technology. Current bundles include digital advertising, computation, imaging, learning, media and social change, music, visualization and writing.

"We wanted to model the program after the startup culture of new technology firms, where innovation and experimentation lead to a true sense of ownership over the end product," says Matthew Wilson, an instructor of marketing who teaches courses in the new program. "One of the goals of the IDS program is to empower our students to take ownership over their own learning. We want to be the catalyst for a new generation of students to use digital technology to change the world."

The Prometheus Awards are hosted by the Technology Association of Iowa (TAI) and LWBJ Financial. The awards ceremony is Tuesday, April 9, at the Veterans Memorial Auditorium in Des Moines, Iowa.

For more information, contact Wilson at 319-273-6046 or matthew.wilson@uni.edu.