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Majors & Degrees

Honors student wins poster award at conference

May 14, 2019

Gareth BrewerDakota State University honors student Gareth Brewer won an award for the presentation which most addressed the conference theme “Embracing Failure,” at the Upper Midwest Honors Conference.

Brewer enjoyed the conference theme, noting that the whole point of failure is learning to fix your own mistakes. “I’d say failure is a step to success that most people don’t want to take, but it’s always there,” he added.

Brewer, a junior digital arts and design production animation student, joined the General Beadle Honors Program to participate at this conference with his personal design project. Brewer will complete a thesis next year as part of the honors program.

His poster, titled “Constant Failure/ Constant Growth,” featured the design of a creature character that he created, with Brewer’s initial idea failing, and showcases the changes he made to the project throughout the process.

“I was working on this project before learning about the conference, and it wasn’t working out, so that was a really nice coincidence,” Brewer said. “At the end I tied it into how this goes with every project – every design, animation – there’s a point you’ll reach where the project gets worse and worse and you have to figure out how to fix that while also continuing to work on it.”

Additionally, participating in the conference helped Brewer work on his presentation skills. He learned different ways to present to people based on their interest level, and found sharing his failures was a relatable moment that helped others understand his design process.

“Failure is a part of learning something new,” Brewer explained. “When I was getting into 3D-design I actually taught myself software and that’s kind of how this got started. It’s trying something, terribly failing at it, and completely redoing it from the ground up every single time.”

These mistakes and failures have taught Brewer more efficient ways of doing things, improving every project that follows.

Brewer enjoyed his experience at the conference and was excited to be recognized for some of his work outside the classroom. He hopes to have a speaking spot at next year’s conference.