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MAY 2013: NEWSLETTER

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Digital Diplomacy

Jesse Schell

Jesse Schell has created a career that is easy to envyHe is CEO of Schell Games, the largest videogame studio in Pennsylvania and he serves as Distinguished Professor of the Practice of Entertainment Technology at Carnegie Mellon University. Jesse worked on a wide variety of innovative game and simulation projects for both entertainment and education, but he is best known for his award winning book “The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses” and for his speech titled “Beyond Facebook,” where he described a future where games and life become indistinguishable at the 2010 DICE Summit.

Jesse SchellJesse’s resume reads like a “how to” manual on leveling up, and he will be featured on the distinguished panel of business leaders and trail-blazers at the 2013 “I Want to be an Ambassador!” Camp’s Business Roundtable. The link between a career in the gaming industry and understanding diplomacy may seem light years apart, but where most people would see “Game Over,” Jesse sees opportunity. Because of his efforts, he has illuminated the art of negotiation into a well-polished skill set that parallels his creative talents. Jesse is a former chair of the International Game Developers Association, and in 2004 he was named one of the world’s Top 100 Young Innovators by MIT Technology Review. Before starting his own company, Jesse was the Creative Director of the Walt Disney Imagineering Virtual Reality Studio, which helped to develop interactive theme park attractions as well as Toontown Online, the first massively multi-player game for children. Before that, he worked as writer, director, performer, juggler, comedian, and circus artist for both Freihofer’s Mime Circus and the Juggler’s Guild.

Jesse SchellGAME CHANGER: read on to learn more about Jesse’s rules of engagement:
 

Occupation: Game Designer              
I’ve lived in Pittsburgh for: 12 years
My favorite movie of all time: Footlight Parade
Facebook or Twitter: Twitter. There's less of it.
Mac or Windows: Unix
Kindle or Nook or the real thing: Real thing.
Dinner for breakfast or breakfast for dinner: Breakfast for everything.
My favorite local (Pittsburgh) indulgence is: Ice cream sodas at Klavon's.
The quote or mantra I live by: The universe wants us to help each other.
People will be surprised that I: Used to be a professional juggler. 
I support Luminari because: Thinking about how we behave is important.

ROCK-STAR WRITING!

New media increases need for all teens to polish writing skills

by Gina Catanzarite, Director, Teen Writer! camps

The great writer Emily Dickinson once said, â€œI know nothing in the world that has as much power as a word. Sometimes I write one and I look at it until it begins to shine.”

What an appropriate sentiment as we approach this summer’s Teen Writer! camps!

Teen Writer! Summer CampsPart of Luminari’s mission is to foster new talent and let the brightest lights shine – and we can’t wait to meet our region’s next wave of great writers. Now in its third successful year, Teen Writer! camps include the 3-day Fantastic Fiction workshop and the intensive one-day seminar Blogs, Reviews, Essays, and Commentaries: For Teen Writers with Attitude!  

And much as you might hear your teens grouse about school writing assignments, teens do have definite attitudes about writing and they’re actually very positive. According to a 2008 study conducted by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, titled “Writing, Technology, and Teens,” 83% of teens feel there’s a greater need to write well today than in the past, and 86% of teens believe good writing is important to success in life. However, the report also reveals a majority of teens share their opinions and creative writing through some form of electronic and social  media but they do not consider these communications to be “actual writing.” And that could hurt them both personally and professionally.

Today’s teens are leaving deep digital footprints without realizing that poorly written work could come back to haunt them during college and even job searches years down the line. According to a 2012 survey conducted by the website CareerBuilder.com, 1 in 3 employers check out a job applicant’s social media sites and over one-third of them said they have rejected candidates because of “poor communication skills.”

Luminari’s Teen Writer! camps guide young writers towards professional standards. Camps also teach aspiring writers about getting published, avoiding scams, and using new media responsibly to build a professional writer portfolio. During the one-day camp Blogs, Reviews, Essays, and Commentaries: For Teen Writers with Attitude!  teens will gain crucial skills for the most popular forms of opinion writing, including strategies for that all-important college application essay. The 3-day Fantastic Fiction camp immerses creative writers in exciting and inspiring exercises to help them create imaginary worlds and compelling characters that feels oh-so-real to the reader. Scholarships available; register today!

Luminari’s 2013 Teen Writer! camps really do carry on the spirit of Emily Dickinson’s words:  We want to show young writers the true power of their words, and give them the tools to write ones that will shine!

Gina Catanzarite is a published author and Emmy-award winning television producer; and an Associate Professor of broadcast journalism at two Pittsburgh universities. She serves as the Program Director and Instructor for all Teen Writing! camps.
Luminari launched the I Want to be an Ambassador! camp in the summer of 2010, and for the first time in Pittsburgh, teenagers from around the region were introduced to an innovative program with global implications. This novel summer camp specifically for teens is now in it's fourth term, and has been the catalyst for collaboration and cultural engagement among local youth to improve the world around them. 

Sign up today!Global Focus, Local Impact 
by Nathan Browne, Director, Ambassador Camp

Our growing world continues to experience the continuing effects of developing technologies and expanding communication. This year’s “I Want to be an Ambassador!” Camp will be addressing these emerging and important issues while working with some new and familiar faces. We are excited to announce the participation of several Pittsburgh-based organizations, including the Saturday Light Brigade, the Pittsburgh Area Jewish Center, Gemini Theater, and Global Solutions Pittsburgh. This year’s camp, like those of the past, aims to instill in its participants the art of diplomacy and ambassadorship, not just on an international scale, but in daily interactions with people from all backgrounds. We have several sessions focusing on communication and media literacy, foreign languages and cultures, understanding religious differences, and conflict resolution. There will also be several simulations of past and present international crises, as well as a business round-table table with local CEO’s and professors to discuss the importance of diplomatic relations in a very real-world sense.  
 
The week will culminate with a trip to Washington DC, where teens will visit the New Zealand, South African and Royal Thai Embassies, as well as the U.S. State Department, to have meaningful dialogue with foreign ambassadors and international politicians. During this trip, participants will also visit numerous museums and war memorials to stand face-to-face with the dire consequences of what can happen when diplomacy fails. The goal is to create a “ripple-effect,” wherein our participants take their skills and awareness into their own communities. The Luminari Team is proud to report that several past students have implemented diversity projects and diplomacy weeks in their own school districts!


About Luminari 
Luminari is a Pittsburgh-based nonprofit organization founded to foster activites that broaden minds, inspire innovations and promote community engagement.

Web: www.luminari.org  |  email: luminari@luminari.org  |  phone: 412.877.1888

Copyright © 2013 Luminari, All rights reserved.
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