ASU lecturer named Adobe Education Leader

Early this year, Adobe Systems Incorporated announced an exclusive group of higher-education instructors chosen as Adobe Education Leaders, and Arizona State University is proud to have a College of Technology and Innovation (CTI) faculty as part of that group.

Penny Ann Dolin, Graphic Information Technology (GIT) senior lecturer, was chosen as an Adobe Education Leader in 2010 and was selected to serve a second term in 2013. Dolin is among an elite committee of 107 educators in higher education that share her same passion for being on the cutting-edge of graphic technology. Currently, Dolin is the only faculty member at ASU to have been selected as an Adobe Education Leader.

The Adobe Education Leaders Program recognizes educators around the world who effectively use and rely on Adobe products to inspire creativity in the classroom. Leaders are nominated and chosen for two-year terms in which they promote the use of Adobe tools while sharing their expertise of these tools to students and other educators. They are considered advanced practitioners of Adobe tools.

As an Adobe Education Leader, Dolin has pre-debut access to many Adobe products in development and is asked by Adobe to give feedback on future products while training students on current tools.

Dolin says that having knowledge about Adobe products yet to be released helps to prepare GIT students for industry changes.

“I know it’s coming, and once a new tool is out there, I’m already on board,” Dolin said. “This helps our students become more appealing to future employers. We have students ready for real-world situations.”

Dolin says she has always been connected with Adobe throughout her career, including time spent at Phoenix-based prepress company American Color, the third largest prepress company in the United States during the late 1990’s. Her work at American Color led her to become involved in all things related to Adobe. Dolin’s position at American Color also allowed her opportunities to beta-test new Adobe services, including the debut of InDesign.

“That’s when I really connected with Adobe, being a part of the beta group for the launch,” Dolin said. “I began seeing just how fundamental and important these tools were and would continue to be in the graphics industry.”

When Dolin began teaching at ASU in 1998, she continued her relationship with Adobe. In the early days of Adobe Creative Suite, Adobe gave the Computer Graphic Communication program (now Graphic Information Technology) 60 free seats of InDesign for two years.

“GIT lives and dies by Adobe’s Creative Suite. It is the industry standard, and our students need to know the Creative Suite to work,” she said. “We are lovingly tied to it and it’s a great company to be connected to.”

Dolin’s ties with industry and background in entrepreneurship has influenced her approach to teaching. Last spring, New York Times photographer Fred Conrad, a former colleague of Dolin from when she photographed for the Times, invited GIT students to shadow him during a Cactus League spring training event.

“One of our hallmarks at CTI is that the majority of the faculty here have real-world backgrounds to draw from, so we bring to our teaching a real-industry sensibility which is an incredible asset to our students,” Dolin said.

Having worked with a variety of students throughout the years, Dolin says GIT students have the ability to access both their technological and creative sides to work in harmony.

“There are people with a proclivity towards logical thinking, and then there are people who gravitate to the more intuitive and creative side, and GIT students straddle this space, which is not an easy thing to do,” Dolin said. “The future of our country rests on the ability of people to straddle these worlds, and GIT students are among those prepared with that kind of skillset.”

written by Sydney B. Donaldson, CTI