University of Florida officials are closely monitoring updates related to COVID-19. More Information

Digital Worlds Institute

Institute Information

2020

Industry Advisor 2020
Fatimah Abdullah
Executive Producer at Primal Screen in Atlanta

Fatimah Abdullah has served as a community activist, mentor and as president of the International Association of Animated Film-South over the course of 15 years producing animation and branding projects. Prior to joining Primal Screen, the Georgia State grad spearheaded linear, VFX and immersive enterprise-level projects for Fortune 500 companies and industry leaders including Delta, IHG, CSE, and CNN. Abdullah also has an extensive background in co-branding projects with award-winning agencies, having produced content for companies as varied as HBO, AMC, Food Network, Bravo, USA, and Discovery.

Industry Advisor 2020
Don Benson
Senior Executive

Don Benson is an accomplished Senior Executive offering 45 plus years of the caliber of successes and functional skill sets sought after by leading enterprises and corporations today. Benson’s positions have ranged from being manager of command and control systems for The Pentagon, The White House and the Pacific Theater to senior executive positions in defense, insurance, financial services, healthcare and real estate management. He has served as CEO of three companies. Benson’s successes serving on Boards of Directors have included a wide and diverse group ranging from non-profits, to private for-profit companies to public boards.

Industry Advisor 2020
Fraser Bowie
Advisor/ Author/ Augmented and Virtual Reality Industry Leader/ XR Consultant

Fraser Bowie is an advisor, speaker and founder of Maros, an immersive Virtual and Augmented reality learning solutions provider that drives future business improvement through learning technology. He is implementing award-winning state-of-the-art technology solutions for both physical and digital experiences. As a learning and development leader, Fraser has immersed himself in Augmented and Virtual Reality, delivering solutions at scale, to field technicians, retail employees and customer service workers across businesses.

Industry Advisor 2020
Zac Burke
Director of Media & Interactive at Multi Image Group (MIG)

Zac Burke is the Director of Media & Interactive at Multi Image Group (MIG) in Orlando. As a part of their R&D team, he has changed the digital engagement game for big brands such as ABB, Draft Kings, FPL, Veeam, Honeywell, Bank of America, Direct Energy, and AdvoCarean. As an experienced software engineer, creative visionary and strategist, he has written code in practically every language known to mankind. Since 2015, Zac has been helping the some of the world’s leading brands imagine, design, engineer and deliver software and digital experiences to their clients and consumers

Industry Advisor 2020
Doug Grimmett
President and Founder of Primal Screen

Doug Grimmett is President and Founder of Primal Screen, an Atlanta-based design studio with an emphasis on animation for clients in the film, broadcast, online, education, and gaming industries. With more than thirty years’ experience in design for motion media, Doug has received over 200 national and international awards in advertising, design and broadcast. As the founder of Primal Screen, he has served as Creative Director on all Primal Screen projects. His deep experience emphasizes children’s entertainment brands including Nickelodeon, Disney, Cartoon Network, and Boomerang. He is an AIGA Fellow and teaches motion design at Georgia State University.

Industry Advisor 2020
Richard Kidd
CEO of Perilous Orbit & Executive Producer

Richard Kidd is CEO of Perilous Orbit & Executive Producer for the award winning and top selling VR game, Pool Nation VR.  In this role he oversees all publishing, licensing, & strategic partnerships and their US development team. He has worked for over 20 years in the Los Angeles area as a Director, Producer and VFX Supervisor for international clients and major productions. His Digital Effects and CG work appears in iconic motion pictures including The Mummy, The Matrix, Twilight, Castaway and What Lies Beneath. He was the Lead in R&D & Production for the Ocean Water VFX Team of Titanic.

Industry Advisor 2020
Kathy Sohar
Director of the Collaboratory for Women Innovators

Kathy Sohar is the Director of the Collaboratory for Women Innovators. Professionally, her experience spans both the public and private sectors, has a strong technology focus, and includes extensive grant writing, grant administration and educational outreach. A seasoned executive with over 25 years of experience in the telecommunications field, Dr. Sohar was an early employee in two technology start-up companies (both acquired), managed a 20+ land-grant university emerging tech collaborative, and has served as Assistant Director of UF Innovate-The Hub, a 100,000 sq. ft. technology incubator.

Industry Advisor 2020
Traylor Woodall
Executive Creative Director and Founder of Fivestone Studios

Traylor Woodall is the Executive Creative Director and Founder of Fivestone Studios in Nashville, USA. When you meet him for the first time, two qualities stand out. First – he loves what he does. Second – you have to look up to him because he’s so tall! Fivestone was born out of Traylor’s desire to couple major market creativity with small-town ideals. As a self-proclaimed “graphics geek,” he has an infectious passion for compelling storytelling. His drive for creative excellence is equaled only by his passion for the people around him. Outside of work, you can find him with his model-worthy family (of course) and enjoying quiet time in the wilderness.

Industry Advisor 2020
Trevor Backlin
Senior Enterprise Account Executive at ThirdEye Gen, Inc.

Trevor Backlin is Senior Enterprise Account Executive at ThirdEye Gen, Inc. of Princeton, New Jersey. Over the last fifteen years, he has joined the ranks of Industrial Manufacturing, AR/VR/XR and Enterprise software companies. He has developed extensive consulting and business development experience with AR hardware and software applications and helped position enterprises to accomplish successful AR use cases, KPI's and ultimately large-scale deployments. He has significant expertise in manufacturing, field services, pharma/life sciences, automotive, oil & gas, retail, telecom, AEC, and healthcare.

Industry Advisor 2020
Steve Walker
VFX Supervisor and Founder of KickIt Six Creative

Steve Walker has been creating images on film, video, and digital media for over 40 years, spanning many different disciplines, with a primary emphasis on filmmaking, motion graphics, and visual effects. In 1997, Steve came to Turner Studios in Atlanta as Director of Visual Effects and Animation and led both the CGI and Film Effects departments through ten years of growth while also working as Director, VFX Supervisor, and Digital Artist.  In recent years Steve has returned to large scale production as an on-set Visual Effects Supervisor for films and episodic cable television shows.

Alumni Guest
Salma Bouftas
Emerging XR Technologies, VR Design Engineer

Salma Bouftas recently graduated with honors from the Digital Worlds BADAS program with a minor in Anthropology. She is currently doing postgraduate work in Virtual Reality at the University of the Arts London. Her expertise and interests include emerging XR technologies and how the application of these new technologies provide opportunities for innovation and creative risk-taking. She continues to use digital media to better society; namely, in the pursuit of enhancing online education in Morocco and the African continent.

Alumni Guest
Matt Ebling
Marketing Artist at Jam City

Matt Ebling graduated from the Digital Worlds Master’s program in 2018. Originally from Gainesville, he studied at Florida State University before moving to New York, where he developed an interest in pursuing digital arts and animation. After returning to the University of Florida for a Master's degree, he now lives in California as a motion graphic artist with expertise in 2D/3D animation and design. He has experience in the San Francisco Bay Area including AirBnB, Grammarly, and GoPro. Currently, Matt is engaged as a Marketing Artist at Jam City in San Francisco.

Connect with the Digital Worlds Institute

Keep up with the latest news about faculty, alumni, friends and current students.