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University of Colorado Denver

University of Colorado Denver - Undergraduate Viewbook

Student Profile

Ryan Gaddis

Ryan Gaddis
Ryan Gaddis, Multimedia

College of Arts & Media
Bachelor of Arts
Fine Arts - Digital Design



I’ve been very impressed with the leadership for the digital design program and how they’ve helped students articulate the surrounding environment. They’ve taught us about best practices, how to apply them specifically to individual clients and how to explain why selected design approaches work and have clients recognize their value. I feel well prepared to enter the professional world because of the program at the University of Colorado Denver.

Getting a strong base in designing for multi-media platforms is essential for teaching the new generation of students coming through Colorado’s high school doors—and that’s where I want to be. In my opinion, some of the current forms of high school art education need to be refreshed. My goal as a teacher will be to help make this happen.

Denver’s the only hub for digital design in the state, and it made sense to go to college in a downtown environment. The other students and I have enjoyed the insights of working professionals who visit often as guest lecturers.

Another thing that drew me to UCD was the diversity on campus—there are people of many ethnicities, cultures and varying ages. Everyone brings a lot to the table, especially when it comes to class discussions and projects; people bring in complementary life experiences. I have friends who’ve gone to other universities in Colorado, and they have not had the same depth of experience with such a diversity of perspectives.

UCD classes are structured so that you can work part or full-time. I worked for the university’s Center for Pre-Collegiate and Academic Outreach Programs, and presented and taught high schoolers. Their learning curve, from the technology standpoint, is quicker due to familiarity with the medium. That frees up the teacher to work with them on development of their concepts and ideas.

I’ve also worked for the College of Arts & Media as the head student lab technician. I manage technical assistance and advisement for the systems and their maintenance; the labs are used by people across the campus.

Was my first year in college difficult? Yes, because I commuted and also worked full-time. Once I got a chance to move closer to campus, I was able to get more involved. I became part of the Office of Experiential Learning. Doing ELC’s alternative spring break program was really interesting—last year we went to New Mexico to work at a homeless shelter.

This summer, I’m participating in growing an outside theater company, and we were able to collaborate with CAM and Student Life to create a summer theater event and host it at the university. I used my digital design multi-media experience to brand the theater company, develop a website, motion graphics and digital display design. The university was open and helpful throughout this collaborative venture.

I’d like to continue to graduate school with a focus on teaching the arts at a high school level. I’ve had excellent mentors who helped motivate me to want to go to college and to pursue the arts. I feel that I was given an amazing opportunity in my life and would like to return that opportunity for others.

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