Graham Curry (Class of 2020)

photo of Graham Curry

  • senior double major in English:Professional Writing and Interactive Media Studies
  • from Dayton, OH
  • developed a medical education boardgame, Diagnosis, which he presented at a major conference
  • founder, student organization HOPE: Helping Other People Everyday
  • recruitment chair, English fraternity Sigma Tau Delta
"As college students, we have resources available that others don't have. Take advantage of this. Go to libraries, look into the software we have access to, and utilize that to better your own education or hobbies. Pursue what you are interested in — college students have the time and space to do this."

Why Miami?

"Of all the colleges I visited while in high school, I felt most comfortable at Miami. The campus is beautiful and just the right size, and I attended a Redhawk overnight program where I met a lot of students. That's when I knew I wanted to be a part of the Miami community.

"Now that I've attended Miami for a few years, I've found that it's so nice to recognize people when I am walking around campus. I've realized that at a large university, I wouldn't run into as many friends on my way to class. That sense of familiar accessibility is my favorite part of the Miami community."

Best Miami Experiences

Graham Curry's medical education boardgame, Diagnosis

"During my first semester, I had a lot of fun meeting really cool people and expanding my social circle. I was also really excited about my classes. At the time I didn't know what I wanted to study, but I loved knowing that there were so many possibilities for me.

"I first chose my interactive media studies (IMS) major. Shortly after that, I realized that most of my IMS classes were cross-listed with English, which would be good to improve my communication skills. I also wanted to brush up on my writing skills, my clarity, and my use of language in order to be a more effective facilitator of groups in a working environment. That's how I came to choose my second major in professional writing.

"I took the course IMS 225 - Games and Learning a couple semesters ago, taught by Bob De Schutter, C. Michael Armstrong Professor in the Armstrong Institute for Interactive Media Studies. I developed a medical education boardgame, titled Diagnosis, with specific learning objectives — namely, to diagnose and treat patients correctly. The highlight of my summer work culminated in an invitation to present this game at the 2019 North American Simulation and Gaming Association (NASAGA) conference in Chicago.

"Last year, I founded a student organization called HOPE: Helping Other People Everyday. We focus on everyday acts of kindness and have a weekly service challenge. For example, one week the challenge was to let someone go in front of you in line. Another week the challenge was to pay for the person behind you. This way, the service is peer to peer. We want to promote an uplifting sense of service on campus. It's been nice to have a tight-knit community wanting to engage in this activity together!"

Miami and the Liberal Arts

"My general goal for after graduation is to find something that I enjoy while maintaining a life that I am proud of outside work. Being a dual major, I've been exposed not only to graphic design and coding but also publishing and editing. I'm looking for a way where I can take a little of both and create something new.

"My two majors enable flexibility, which is important to me because so far it's been a struggle to lock down one career path. I never want to be classified as just one thing, so I'm happy with my liberal arts education — it will help me to always maintain my individuality!

"IMS is an interdisciplinary major that has exposed me to a broad range of skills within a wide number of disciplines. It involves the media that you interact with in your day-to-day life., which can be apps, websites, and video games. It's all about learning how to create that experience for others. I've learned Adobe Photoshop, coding, and principles of design.

"Professional writing helps me to further hone my communication skills and expression of ideas. It focuses on communication with people who fulfill different roles, translating and conveying information to others who might not understand. It is the ease of communication and brushing up on writing skills.

"I have learned a lot about communication. From IMS, I have learned design principles that are even important in professional writing because I have learned how to design a paper, flow from one idea to the next, and adapt to the audience. Empathy is also a big one. As a developer or as an author, you have to anticipate what your audience would want or need."

Learning Project Development for the Gaming Industry

Graham Curry (right) explains the rules of play for Diagnosis at the NASAGA Conference in Chicago.

"My medical education boardgame, Diagnosis, emphasizes collaboration with other players to gather treatment resources and key information in order to make a diagnosis. I spent last summer refining the game, which included getting the art for cards and a board, playtesting, designing a website, and creating social media pages.

"I then presented my game at the 2019 NASAGA conference in Chicago, where I was very fortunate to be the only undergraduate student presenting a game project. Professor De Schutter, my advisor, attended as well to support me. I talked to a lot of professional game designers who were interested in my project and got a little peek into how the gaming industry operates, especially the relationships between creators.

"A lot of creators have different roles: some are teachers, some are professional designers, and others are both. Seeing them interact with one another was very interesting. I assumed that the conference would be very professional, but the interactions were casual. Everyone seemed to be very buddy-buddy, and I loved seeing how passionate everyone was about what they were doing.

"The conference was a great opportunity to interact and network with some kinds of people I hope to be working with in the future. The experience also enabled me to explore more about my career path. NASAGA has connected me to people that I wouldn't have met otherwise, and it has exposed me to a culture that I hadn't known. It helped me realize that even as a student, I can still be involved in meaningful activities outside Miami."

Advice to Students

"Both of my majors are great programs that have taught me so many useful skills. IMS is a growing major that, along with professional writing, has provided me lots of ways to develop my critical thinking, analysis, and communication skills. Everyone needs to know how to hone their communication skills.

"As college students, we have resources available that others don't have. Take advantage of this. Go to libraries, look into the software we have access to, and utilize that to better your own education or hobbies. Pursue what you are interested in — college students have the time and space to do this.

"Use your time wisely at Miami, but also know that it's okay to not know what you want to do and to change your mind!"

[January 2020]