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Mentorship Panel: Experience is the Teacher

Jan Ballard leads a discussion on o mentorship case study of an ongoing industry/academic program in Dallas–Fort Worth that brings professionals at Dialexa together with eager students in design, tech, business, and engineering to problem solve real-world projects in an eight-week, sprint-based experience. Students get experience, while professionals mentor young professionals. It is a way to quickly move from campus to career. Plus, companies get to identify key talent at local universities before they graduate.

In this session, the discussion will include:

  • How to leverage mid-career and seasoned professionals in a mentoring relationship with area college students to create learning outcomes for both groups, including industry practices, project management, and networking.
  • Ways to expand opportunities for cross-disciplinary learning by simulating multi-talented teamwork in an agile environment, intensified by virtual collaboration due to COVID-19, to create successful outcomes for all participants.
  • Discuss how to assemble three university cohorts with three academic majors (design, engineering, and business) and invite new UXers, to build a stronger tech hub hiring pipeline for the North Texas region.

Your Panel Moderater

Jan Ballard holds a BFA from University of Illinois at Urbana-­Champaign. She is a college professor at Texas Christian University. She has taught and assisted in the development of courses including Communication Graphics, Intermediate Communication Graphics, Typography, Corporate Identity, Publication Design, Professional Recognition, and Senior Thesis. Jan’s teaching provides students with a solid foundation of the history and anatomy of type, and an examination of the principles of hierarchy and legibility at work within an individual letterform, to sentence, to paragraph, to page.
In her professional practice, she has worked for non-profits, local design studios, regional advertising agencies, and a national public relations firm. Jan’s design work has been featured in Print’s Regional Design Annual, AAF Fort Worth ADDY Awards, and International Association of Business Communicators’ Bronze Quill Awards. She is committed to arts in elementary education and is a founding board member of the Fort Worth Academy of Fine Arts charter school.

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