Janell Baxter is the Associate Chair of the Interactive Arts and Media Department (IAM), School of Media Arts at Columbia College Chicago. She teaches simulation and serious game design, programming, teamwork, interactive media development, and capstone courses including Indie Game Studio and IAM Team. Janell was part of the team that created the Game Design major in IAM, and has been instrumental in curriculum development across the majors in the department; she has served as coordinators of the Game Development concentration, Game Art concentration, and Web Development minor, as well as part of the team that recently redesigned the Interactive Arts and Media BA.
Her professional work includes engineering bots and building simulations and software. She’s been involved in a range of development projects, from commercial work to simulations and serious game-like experiences funded by grants. Her primary interest in building interactive work is to create experiences that are meaningful and relevant to those who use them, and that embody traits on the higher end of the interactive spectrum: participant-centered, responsive, adaptive, dynamic, and immersive.
She holds a MS in Computer Science from the University of Chicago, and a BFA from University of Illinois at Chicago, and her work often combines art and technology in an innovative manner.
- Associate Chair, Interactive Arts and Media Department, Columbia College Chicago, 2010 to present
- Assistant Professor, Columbia College Chicago, Chicago, IL, 2009 to present
- Artist-in-Residence, Columbia College Chicago, Chicago, IL, 1999 to 2009
- Part-Time Faculty, Columbia College Chicago, Chicago, IL, 1998 and 1999
- University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, M.S., Computer Science
- University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL, B.F.A., Studio Arts
- Core Instructor Certification, McCarthy Technologies, Inc.
- Core Certification, McCarthy Technologies, Inc.
- Applications: Photoshop, Flash, Processing, Illustrator, and Maya
- Traditional studio arts: accomplished in drawing, printmaking, painting and sculpture
- Algorithmic art
- Emergent and adaptive systems
- Interface design and interactive application development
- Teamwork (best practices for high-performance teams)
- Virtual communities and collaboration
Awards, Grants, and Fellowships
- Faculty Development Grant, Columbia College Chicago, 2007
- Faculty Letters of Commendation, University of Chicago, 2006
- Nominated for the Excellence in Teaching Award 2003
- Renaissance Outstanding Achievement Award, Columbia College, 1997, 1998
- Artemesia Mentorship, Artemesia Gallery, 1996
- Oxbow Fellowship, The School of the Art Institute, 1993
- Phi Theta Kappa National Honor Fraternity member, 1990