Meet Kris Isaacson, our new interactive media and graphic design program instructor at Minnesota School of Business-St. Cloud.
She has an ADDY award* for designing the St. John’s Bible website, has worked as Director of web marketing at Mankato State University and as web manager at the Liturgical Press, owned her own design business, and designed products for Wilsons Leather and Stearns Manufacturing. Now she adds teaching to her resume. Isaacson shrugs. “I get bored easily,” she says.
Q: How did you get started in the business?
A: Design underlies all of it. It started with apparel design—but before that, when I was a kid. My mom does desktop publishing and graphic design. I started with Pagemaker, which was a step-up from other kids on the block.
Q: What was it like receiving an ADDY award?
A: [The St. John’s Bible website] was a visual site, and we knew we had a great piece when we finished. But with a nonprofit budget, we would often submit to ADDY awards and were outshone by companies with big budgets and elaborate entries. The Judge’s Choice award was genuinely a surprise.
Q: Why teaching?
A: I’ve wanted to teach for a long time. My dad was a teacher when I was young. Education is very empowering and broadens people’s perspectives. I like watching the spark. Being in this field, it should be fun. I’ve made it my goal to create the community and interactive element of this field of study.
Q: Talk about your teaching philosophy.
A: Learning is more than a teacher saying “this is the way it is,” especially with adult learners who bring in their own experience. There is a critical thinking element. Think about it and challenge it. There is a sharing of ideas. A lot of learning comes from this. I look at the students as colleagues. I come with more experience, but I can’t dismiss their experience.
Q: Do you have any hidden talents?
A: I pride myself on being a geek–which is different from being a nerd. Don’t be confused. I’m expert at table-top role-playing games like Dungeons and Dragons and Hackmaster.
Interactive Media and Graphic Design students have a lot to look forward to with Isaacson coaching them. Already, her Design Studio class has created partnerships with a local business and two nonprofits for applied learning projects.
*The ADDY awards are the American Advertising Federation’s honor of excellence—equivalent to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Academy awards (or Oscars.)