Behind The Scenes

Creative Services University

Editor’s Note: The Creative Services Department designs and produces most of the graphics, animations, music, and sound seen and heard on our networks. They also produce and edit live action sequences and other production elements which give ESPN productions visual excitement and flair.

In response to the company’s year-long focus on employee development, our department began Creative Services University (CSU), a personalized “home school” approach in which staff experts propose course offerings and develop curricula to teach their peers. Demand for the nine volunteer teachers exceeded supply for both semesters conducted since February, but those students lucky enough to be accepted had their schedules arranged to allow attendance at weekly classes.

Creative Services University

“We wanted to produce more structured, one-to-one training opportunities for people in which they were fully aware of what they were going to learn and what the expectations would be,” said Stefanie Gjorven, Senior Director of Graphics Technology and CSU’s “Dean of Students.”

Forty-nine employees have completed 8-week courses in design, animation, and editing software, as well as in bedrock skills such as sketching and design language.

“While I’ve had many good fortunes during my career

Creative Services University at ESPN

at ESPN, I consider the ‘Eureka’ moments of my students to be the absolute best,” said Graphics Systems Developer Patrick Tassos, CSU “Head Professor” responsible for developing courses, admitting students, and scheduling classes.

“At some point, every student has one, and it’s an awesome moment of crystal clarity that makes me feel like I’ve contributed something very meaningful to our on-air product.”

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