Semester Skills Sessions

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Semester Skills Sessions
SSS Backdrop Cropped.jpg
Date(s) Summer 2020 - Now
Contributors Jake Plocher, Katelyn Wyatt
Organization Led by TEA@ND, supported by University clubs across the nation
Current Status In Progress

Semester Skills Sessions is an initiative led by the Themed Entertainment Association at Notre Dame with invaluable help from other University clubs across the nation. The purpose is to provide both students and professionals alike with opportunities to develop new well-rounded skills enabling new challenges to be tackled and increased empathy for team members. This initiative also focuses on networking among the attendees and professionals including Semester Skills Socials (see below) where people can practice their networking skills and meet new people! The Semester Skills Sessions are open to people of all ages, interested in all kinds of industries.

We are also hosting Semester Skills Socials with a Student Edition and Industry Edition. On alternating Saturdays at 4pm EST we are running networking events for people in the industry. We break up those who come into groups of 3-4 so that they can interact easier. Every other Social is the Industry Edition where we invite industry professionals to come talk and share their stories. During the off-weeks for the Industry Editions, we also host Student Editions where students and recent graduates can come meet other students in the industry! Check out the calendar below for dates.

This Week's Sessions

In order to access the Zoom link, please send an email to and we will set you up with all of the details you need!

If you happen to have a few extra minutes and you pop in early to the Zoom link, we will be breaking everyone out into small groups so that you can do a bit of networking before the Session starts! We'll put a question in the chat early so that if any group needs a conversation starter, you've got it!

Skills Session — Off-Week

Monthly Calendar

Note: This calendar is subject to change based on the availability and interest of Session leaders.


See all previous calendars here.

Previous sessions

Date Topic Presenter(s) Links
October 22, 2020 Robotics in Themed Entertainment Jake Plocher, University of Notre Dame Recording Pending
October 15, 2020 Halloween: Themes and Screams Mike Sturman, Cal Poly Pomona Recording Pending
September 24, 2020 Continuing Education in Themed Entertainment Panel Shirley Saldamarco, Carnegie Mellon's Entertainment Technology Center

Susan Timko, Carnegie Mellon's Entertainment Technology Center

Peter Weishar, University of Central Florida

Mk Haley, University of California, Los Angeles

Bob Shreve, Savannah College of Art and Design

September 10, 2020 Intro to Unity Garrett Monteiro, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo

Kain Shepard, San Diego State University

August 27, 2020 Park Operations Kevin Kopeny, Universal Studios Hollywood Notes
August 20, 2020 Scenic Design Brianna Pfost, Production Designer Notes Pending
August 13, 2020 Immersive Storytelling at Galaxy's Edge Anisha Deshmane, Walt Disney Imagineering Notes Pending
August 6, 2020 Architecture 101 Ashley Edelbrock, PGAV Destinations Session Notes
August 4, 2020 The Story of You: Leveraging Storytelling in Your Life Theron Skees, Designer's Creative Studio No Recording
July 30, 2020 Graphic Design 101 Jake Geitner, Cornell University Recording
July 28, 2020 First Time Coding: Python Katelyn Wyatt, University of Notre Dame

Tarik Brown, University of Notre Dame

July 23, 2020 Scoring the World - Song Writing in Themed Entertainment Noah Sunday-Lefkowitz, Musical Theatre Composer Session Notes
July 21, 2020 How to Enter the Industry Theron Skees, Designer's Creative Studio No Recording
July 16, 2020 Mechanical Engineering in Themed Entertainment Brad Okeson, Digital Maps No Recording
July 14, 2020 Balancing Creative and Technical Paige Reiter, General Motors

Dan McGlinn, TAIT

Session Notes
July 9, 2020 How to Make a Pitch Paul Osterhout, Century Media Recording
July 7, 2020 Design Competitions 101 Tiffani DuScheid, Walt Disney World Resort Recording
July 2, 2020 3D Printing Charlie Wickham, Iowa State University

Dominick Civitano, Purdue University

June 30, 2020 PLC Ride Controls Eric Verhage, Calspan Corporation Recording
June 25, 2020 Interactivity Michael Libby, Worldbuildr Inc.

Garrett Monteiro, Cal Poly University

June 23, 2020 Haunted House Design Ted Dougherty, Writer/Director Hollow Studios

Matthias Baker, University of California San Diego

Seth Husband, University of Texas at Austin

June 18, 2020 Creative Development Xochilt Khoury, University of California San Diego Recording
June 16, 2020 Live Entertainment Carson Luter, Freelance Show Writer Recording
June 11, 2020 Motion Graphics 201 Shay Willard, Crescent Lake Media Recording
June 9, 2020 Storytelling 201 Kevin Lively, Walt Disney Imagineering No Recording - Session Notes
June 7, 2020 Motion Graphics 101 Mary Crawford, University of Notre Dame Recording
June 4, 2020 Intro to CAD Taylor Kuck, Iowa State University

Alex Stein, Iowa State University

June 2, 2020 NoLimits2 Cameron Clark, University of Central Florida

Billy Byerly, University of Central Florida

May 28, 2020 Career Building Paul Osterhout, Century Media

Xochilt Khoury, University of California San Diego

Recording - Session Notes
May 21, 2020 Sketching 101 Alejandro Edwards, University of Notre Dame

Sam Beckwith, University of Central Florida

Recording - Session Notes
May 14, 2020 What is Storytelling? Mk Haley, Walt Disney Imagineering Recording - Session Notes

Session Submissions

At the end of interactive Sessions, we ask attendees to share their work with us.

Sketching 101:


YouTube recordings

Any materials needed to follow along to these Sessions can be found here.

What is Storytelling? Sketching 101 Career Building
NoLimits2 Intro to CAD Motion Graphics 101

Storytelling 201: No Recording

Live Entertainment Creative Development Motion Graphics 201
Haunted House Design Interactivity PLC Ride Controls
3D Printing Design Competitions 101 How to Make a Pitch

Balancing Creative and Technical: No Recording

Mechanical Engineering in Themed Entertainment How to Enter the Industry
Recording Pending Recording Pending

Scoring the World: No Recording

First Time Coding: Python Graphic Design 101 The Story of You
Recording Pending