Jason Fox began his teaching career as a part-time professor in 2000 while working as a creative manager and illustrator in the dental industry. In 2002, the call to educate led him to commit to teaching full time. Since then, Jason has worked in academic leadership positions, and accepted the role of department chair for SCAD’s graphic design programs in 2012. As department chair, Jason leads curriculum development, including multiple graphic design program revisions at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Most recently, he helped reimagine graduate curriculum in graphic design and visual experience, a novel graphic design program with increased emphasis on human context, data visualization and brand experiences in the built environment. In 2015 Jason co-led a SCAD team in partnership with Google to develop the first user experience design undergraduate program of its kind, specifically targeted to young designers seeking careers in UX.
HOW AND WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO MAKE EDUCATION A MEANINGFUL PART OF YOUR CAREER?
While service has always been a part of my life, teaching was not in my original plans. I took a part-time role teaching evening classes in graphic design, and a year of teaching balanced with full-time work soon revealed the rewards of being an educator. The accomplishments and gratitude of my students convinced me that education was more than a natural progression in my desire to serve. Now, as an educator cultivating relationships with some of the world’s leading companies, I act as a catalyst for the future of design.
IS THERE A SPECIAL CHALLENGE TO EDUCATING STUDENTS IN 2017 IN LIGHT OF TODAY’S POLITICS OR ECONOMICS OR TECHNOLOGY OR CULTURE OF THIS MOMENT?
Today’s greatest challenge in graphic design education is maintaining the core tenants of our discipline while keeping pace with industry. Whether through media or global commerce, visual storytelling has no borders. Young designers must be ready to design immersive experiences using media appropriate to the need. Moreover, department leadership must be willing to emphasize educational initiatives that ensure professional relevance through constantly evolving course content.