In a constantly evolving, fast-paced technological society, Jean-Paul (JP) Lavoie found his passion in multimedia. With new forms of technology developing and unfolding before his eyes, Lavoie stays current on the latest trends and recent findings.

Lavoie began his job at Elon University as a multimedia developer, which involves working with technology, three-dimensional design, web development, video editing and print design. With a keen interest in three-dimensional design, Lavoie was able to facilitate his love for multimedia at Elon as a multimedia developer in the Teaching and Learning Technology department and an adjunct professor of communications.

But in fall 2016, Lavoie was given the opportunity to share his experiences, technological skills and knowledge about multimedia with students and began teaching COM 220: “Creating Multimedia Content.”

Lavoie taught his first class of 16 students about design, photography and video, and then helped each of them create an online portfolio, which contained the work they completed during the semester.

All within this course, the students learned how to use Photoshop, take photographs, record and edit videos, interview subjects on camera and apply the various theories of multimedia to their portfolios.

Reflecting on her experience taking Lavoie’s course, sophomore Maggie Scanlon said Lavoie’s passion for the subject matter was contagious.

“Professor Lavoie is the type of professor who inspires learning in the classroom,” she said. “He has fun with what he does, so the students do, too. I always looked forward to going to his class.”

Though Lavoie has only taught for one semester, he expressed his hopes that next semester will progress just as smoothly.

“This past semester was fantastic,” Lavoie said. “The students responded well, they picked up topics quickly, and they applied what they learned. I was very happy with how this semester went.”

Before teaching and multimedia design were on Lavoie’s agenda, he spent his childhood in Gretna, Virginia. Lavoie attended high school at Hargrave Military Academy and then received both his bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from East Tennessee University.

Immediately after graduating, Lavoie started working at Elon and has been here since 2003.

Now, juggling his teaching profession and multimedia job, Lavoie’s days are packed.

Lavoie begins his day at Elon reading technology blogs to stay up to date on current information. Then, he answers emails, helping students, faculty and staff solve any issues concerning technology. For a majority of his day, Lavoie works on an assortment of projects, and on Tuesdays and Thursdays, he teaches at 5:30 p.m.

Since Lavoie said he loves tackling a variety of new projects rather than performing the same repetitive tasks everyday, his personality aligns with the nature of his profession and the continuously changing technological world.

“My job has been fantastic,” he said. “It gives me the leeway to do what I want to do. It works out that my job is all over the place. I get to move on to different projects that are completely different from each other.”

For example, Lavoie contributed to the immense update to OnTrack.

Over the summer, he recognized an issue with the appearance and usability of the site, so he decided to make OnTrack mobile-friendly and ensured that the design matched other university websites.

Lavoie received the Acorn Accolade Technology Award of Excellence in November 2016 for this improved model. This award recognized his commitment to customer service and his dedication to meticulously solving issues.

As Lavoie’s supervisor and the assistant director of teaching and learning technologies, Claudia Sparks commented on Lavoie’s ability to use innovative ways to tackle projects.

“He’s one of the most talented troubleshooters I’ve ever had the pleasure of supervising,” she said. “He loves a good challenge, whether it’s fixing a problem with one of our websites or helping brainstorm creative solutions for any given issue.”

Randy Piland, a senior lecturer in communications, acknowledged Lavoie’s commitment to problem solving. Piland recently approached Lavoie for help enhancing his teaching methods for multimedia.

“JP is really good at thinking of ways to deliver visual content,” Piland said. “He’s helped with some web coding challenges as well. He always seems to find solutions.”

To continue responding to possible challenges and to further his interest in technology and multimedia, Lavoie said he wants to learn more about three-dimensional design and virtual reality.

Based on a successful first semester of teaching, Lavoie said he hopes to continue teaching at Elon.

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“Seeing the students start from nothing, and then by the end of the class, seeing them have an understanding of the concepts is fantastic,” Lavoie said. “Seeing the light of understanding in their eyes is so rewarding.”


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