College of Communication & Education

BA in Communication Design

Program Highlights

In the Department of Media Arts, Design, and Technology our focus in on student success with an emphasis on professional practice and leadership. Students in the Options of Media Arts, Graphic Design, and Mass Communication Design as well as minors in Communication Design, Broadcasting, and Instructional Design participate in activities connecting them to the industry and the community with a focus on art, craft and technology.

Student Success

MADT Graduates are employed in all areas of Media, Design and Technology. Here are some highlights of recent graduates:

  • Ariel Aizenstadt (Mass Communication, 2012) is a Category Coordinator for Global Women's Training Footwear for Nike.
  • Tracy Allen (Media Arts, 2015) works in the Digital and Branded Media Department for Fremantle Media. She manages social media for American Idol and X Factor.
  • Charles Cimmarusti (Media Arts, 2015) is a Post Production Assistant at CBS Television Studios
  • Garrett Colton (Mass Communication, 2012): Marketing & Educational Outreach at ForeScout Technologies Inc.
  • Kayla Combs (Mass Communication, 2012): Marketing Manager at MSR Communications
  • Jarreau Gilbert (Media Arts and Broadcasting, 2016) is a Production Assistant for Pietown TV.
  • Kamran Farahmand (Media Arts and Instructional Design, 2015) is a Brand Manager for
  • Delaney Forrey (Media Arts, 2016) is an Art Production Assistant for the FX network where she works on the Amazon Original show One Mississippi.
  • Alyssa Kjar (Media Arts, 2013) is an UX Designer for Viewpoint Construction Software. Previously she was an Assistant Producer for the Commonwealth Club of California
  • Lauren Manitta (Mass Communication and Instructional Design, 2012): Instructional Designer at PG&E (Pacific Gas & Electric)
  • Eric Markham (Mass Communication and Instructional Design, 2012): Instructional Designer at PG&E (Pacific Gas & Electric)
  • Hye-Jung Moon (Graphic Design, 2015) is in the graduate program at Ewha Womans university in Seoul, S. Korea; It is the world's largest female educational institute and one of the most prestigious universities in the country.
  • Gustavo Ornelas (Media Arts, 2017) is a marketing assistant for PDC Healthcare. He also produced a documentary with the Anthropology Department at Chico State for broadcast on KVIE.
  • Edgar Ruiz (Graphic Design, 2016) is a Marketing and Website Manager at TechKnowHow.
  • Spenser Tilus (Mass Communication, 2012): Sports Anchor, KTVE KARD

MADTech Group

MADTech Group Logo

In 2010, the department initiated an internal media development service group. The group was initially called Communication Design Associates and is now called the MADTech Group. The group web site is at The primary purpose of the MADTech Group is to provide real-world media development experience to advanced MADT students. Other goals for the group include the following:

  1. To increase the visibility of the MADT department across the University community
  2. To increase the visibility of the MADT department among California state agencies who might use our services
  3. To generate revenue for the department and University
  4. To establish a pipeline for future opportunities for students, faculty, and staff
  5. To build partnerships with local professionals through project collaboration

Since 2010, the group has hosted over 25 student interns, many for several semesters. The group develops logos, posters, brochures, videos, websites, and e-learning platforms and content, among other things. Campus clients include the Office of the Provost, the School of Education, Many departments within the College of Business, The Gateway Science Museum, Miriam Library, The Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs, University Art Gallery, and the College of Communication and Education. Off-campus clients include Oroville Hospital, The World Food Travel Association, local professionals, Willows High School, and a local book publisher.

Since it was established, the MADTech Group has spun off several larger projects for state agencies. These include:

  • Video project (Nut Processing Safety) for the Department of Public Health - $95,000
  • Video project (WIC) for the Department of Public Health - $114,000
  • Consulting and training development for the Department of Corrections - >$500,000

All of these projects have employed students as paid Foundation employees.

Avid Learning Partner

Avid Learning Partner Logo

The Department worked with Avid to become an Avid Learning Partner in 2013. Avid makes the industry standard software for audio recording and post production (ProTools) and video editing and post production (Media Composer). MADT has four Avid Certified Instructors who have gone through extensive software training with Avid. One faculty member is double certified in Media Composer and ProTools. Another faculty member is triple certified in Media Composer, ProTools and ProTools for Gaming. Being a Learning Partner allows the department to offer official software certification. In Spring 2017 all students taking the certification exam passed.

Innovative Courses and Pedagogies

Technological change is a part of our programs and the department strives to educate students using current and cutting edge technologies and pedagogies.

MADT 350

In MADT 350 the Art of Cinema and Television students produce video essays where they use clips from films to make an argument much like a written essay. Some examples from a section that focused on Film Noir are linked below.

MADT 226

In MADT 226 Introduction to Media Production students work on short videos about people, organizations or activities in Chico that help make Chico a diverse community. Students have to go beyond the university and meet with people different than them. This is called the Chico Story Project.

MADT 366 and MADT 463

In MADT 366 Field Video Production and MADT 463 Cinematography students produce short narrative productions using professional cameras and practices. Students in Cinematography have to use lighting and camera equipment to recreate a scene from a theatrically released motion picture. The reel below shows some examples of this work.

MADT 431

In MADT 431 Publication Design students have received numerous scholarship awards from Publishing Professionals Network (PPN) for book projects. Award-winning work was exhibited at Chronicle Books and published in PPN's Annual Show Book.


  • Alan Ramirez, Oliver Twist
  • Kevin Lloyd, The ABCs of Origami
  • Jonathan Fink, Minuet: Glossary of Musical Terms


  • Gabriela Monteiro, Designer's Food
  • Amanda Jensen, A Cautionary Tale: Literature and Liquor
  • Gissoo Dorodian, A Hint of Tradition
  • Natalie Truong, Monet's Kitchen (awarded Best in Show)


  • Jessica Gadow, Red Badge of Courage
  • Hannah Vine, Heart of Darkness
  • Andrea De La Cruz, The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet
  • Logan Missner, Occupy Nottingham (awarded Best of Show)

MADT 436

In MADT 436 Motion Design students worked with Butte County CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) group to produce promotional videos. CASA representatives worked with students to help with create short videos uses motion graphics. 3 final projects from this class are finalists in the CSU Media Arts Festival in Fall 2017. A sample video by student Skyla Smith is below:

MADT 398/JOUR 398/CAGD 398 Special Topics - Virtual and Augmented Reality for Gaming and Media

This is a new cross listed course exploring VR and AR in storytelling. Students work with cutting edge VR and AR technologies including the HTC Vive, Oculus Rift and the Microsoft HoloLens. The final project for the course is an augmented reality campus tour that can be used by the Office of Admissions.

Community Events and Partnerships

The Department of Media Arts, Design, and Technology has been actively involved in a variety of community projects.

STEAM Workshops for the Girl scouts

The Graphic Design Option offered a coding playshop workshop designed for two groups of 20 girl scouts aged 11-16 from Sacramento area to promote learning STEAM in March 2015. At the same event, the Media Arts Option led a workshop on multi-camera television production and green screen.

Huggable Nature

In January 2015, the graphic design program organized a community workshop, Huggable Nature, for children at Sierra View Elementary School and the workshop provided children with the opportunities to create unique and personal projects using hand-on learning and latest technologies through planned art activities.


The Graphic Design program hosted Art+Tech Exhibition funded by National Endowment for the Arts in January 2015. The Art+Tech exhibition featured technology-based art that engaged the community through integrated forms of video production, interactive technology, and gaming media. The artist's talk was held at Colusa hall at CSU Chico to meet new media artists and it engaged and fostered interaction among diverse members of the community.

Salam Neighbor

In Spring 2016 Dr. Chiara Ferrari and the students in CDES 351 Global Media organized a crowd funding for the screening of Salam Neighbor(opens in new window) (Temple and Ingrasci, 2015), a documentary about a Syrian refugee camp in Jordan. Thanks to the local community and the support of the CDES department, the film was screened at the Pageant Theater.

Listen to Change

In Spring 2017, a group of students from Media Arts and Journalism worked together with an MADT faculty member on a podcast project called Listen to Change(opens in new window). Students interviewed Chico State first generation and underrepresented minority students about their experience on campus and distilled those interviews down to short podcasts. A website was created with professional photographs. The project was displayed in the Miriam Library as well as presented to the campus community and the Cross Cultural Leadership Center.


Flyer from Confluence Exhibit

In Spring 2017, Graphic Design students exhibited their work with Butte College students at Chico Art Center. This was a joint-venture between CSU Chico, the department of Media Arts, Design, and Technology and Butte college, Digital Art & Design.

Plastics by the Numbers

In the spring 2017, Professor Barbara Sudick with students in CDES 439 Presentation Practice and the Sustainable Design Club organized organized a community outreach event, Plastic by the Numbers, to inspire people to make conscious choices that support sustainable habits for Earth Day 2017.

Americans throw away a staggering 35 billion plastic bottles each year. In order to provide some context and to make that number more meaningful, students designed a participatory community art build – a chandelier with 170 plastic bottles (the number the average american throws away each year). Participants wrote a pledge describing their commitment to minimizing plastic waste, placed it in a bottle and added it to the chandelier. The chandelier is currently being displayed at Klean Kanteen's Chico headquarters and will be auctioned off and the money used to support future sustainability events.

Other activities included guest speakers from local businesses, food, entertainment, raffle drawings. Nearly 200 reusable Klean Kanteen water bottles (with event branding by students) were given. Local groups tabled to provide information on sustainable practices.

The event was attended by 600 people. Support for the event came from AS, Klean Kanteen, Chico Bag, Earthen Iron Metal Works, Wolfe Electric, AS Recycling, LRT Graphics, and Woodstock's Pizza.

At the event the CEO of Klean Kanteen announced that they would be hiring the five CSU Chico student organizers for the summer.