Pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts
Specialization in Computation Arts
“The Concordia environment is conducive towards pursuing your goals.”
As a mature student, Chip Limeburner takes their coursework one step further by engaging in undergraduate research in the world of themed entertainment.
This is my second undergraduate degree, so I came back to school with a targeted plan. I graduated from Neuroscience at McGill in 2015 already knowing that I didn’t want to continue down that path. I started working as a scenic designer, particularly with escape rooms and tech integration into the built environment. I did that for five years and felt like I hit a point in my career where I needed to formalize my background to push my skills further if I wanted to continue down that career path.
I stumbled across Concordia’s Intermedia program which seemed promising and came to the Open House. There, I discovered the Computation Arts program and signed up for the portfolio review for both programs. But I was sold on the variety of technical art programs in Computation Arts.
What’s it like coming back to university as a mature student?
Coming back as a mature student has been much easier than I expected. There’s a diversity of perspectives that really enriches my program. I have found that my faculty seems to have a much broader range of ages for students and significantly more mature or returning students. I don’t stick out like a sore thumb because I’m 5-7 years older than the average peer in my class because there are plenty of people who are a decade older than me.
What are your courses like?
It’s interesting to be studying in a program that is on the cutting edge. There’s a sense that the topics being discussed are very culturally current, which is exciting. You talk about something in class then there’s a major headline about it three weeks later.
You were recently named one of the Milieux Institute’s Undergraduate Fellows. What research do you hope to explore through Milieux?
I’ve already been doing research on tech integration in theme parks, and even presented at a conference last fall in Florida. The paper I presented was looking at how theme parks tailor interactive experiences to guest aspirations. My project at Milieux will be an extension of that work while exploring more broadly how technology’s deployment in themed entertainment requires certain sensitivity to the specific ways that people interact with themed entertainment.
Do you have any tips for future students to create a focus in their own studies?
Don’t limit yourself to your program, department or faculty. Really do your research on course offerings. Sometimes you’ll find a perfect course hidden in another program. I’m in Computation Arts but have taken a lot of courses in the Intermedia program, and in the Art History department where I took a course on World Fairs.
Also, don’t be afraid to ask permission to pursue your own academic goals. Be open to asking a professor if you can do something a bit different with a final project or substitute a course. In my experience, you will get a yes, and sometimes an enthusiastic yes because a lot of the faculty get excited about students with specific interests.