Staff Spotlight: Blaine Walker
Every month, the Teaching Center features individual staff members so you can get to learn a bit about who we are and what we do. Today, we’re featuring Blaine Walker, who is the manager of the Academic Digital Media group.
Q: What work experiences led you to this position with the University Center for Teaching and Learning?
A: I was in the early stages of my career as a graphic artist after having graduated from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh when an opportunity came to join the Graphic Services unit within the University Center for Instructional Resources (UCIR) here at Pitt. I came here from previously working as a graphic artist at the G.C. Murphy Company national headquarters which were in McKeesport. Working at Pitt offered a wider variety of work including designing publications, overhead transparencies and 35 mm slides, as well as exhibits and displays. I welcomed the opportunity to gain new experience in my field and continue my growth as an artist. Over time UCIR evolved into the Center for Instructional Development and Distance Education (CIDDE) which then transitioned into the Center for Teaching and Learning. I had become the Coordinator of Graphic Services, which over the course of four decades evolved into my current position as Manager of Academic Digital Media. In that time I have worked with a diverse group of graphic artist, photographers, videographers, media producers, engineers, instructional designers, administrators, academic leaders, and professional staff of the University.
Q: What’s the most exciting project you’re working on right now? What makes it so interesting?
A: The most interesting project I’m involved with at the moment is our team’s work with Chancellor Emeritus Mark Nordenberg and the Institute of Politics. We have worked together to create their “Preserving Democracy” video series which evolved out of the need to maintain the IOP’s programming during the pandemic. As the pandemic has eased and we are able to resume limited in-person activities we have moved to a hybrid format combining live and virtual presentations with the Dick Thornburgh Forum, the American Experience Lecture Series, as well as the new student-focused All Angles programs. This has been a very interesting series of interviews with many local and national experts providing their perspectives on a variety of topical issues that are in the headlines and impacting society today.
Q: What do you love most about your job and why?
A: I love the variety, breadth and depth of subject matter that working at the University provides. In my career I have had the opportunity and privilege to work with an extraordinary group of talented, dedicated professionals in support of the work of this University. My work as allowed me to play a small role in many University events that have impacted the University, the region, and beyond. I’m very proud to have made my career here at the University of Pittsburgh.