News release from the University of Saint Francis:
USF music technology student receives elite Women in Toys scholarship
(April 25, 2013) – University of Saint Francis music technology student Emily Fitch is one of only seven students internationally to be awarded a $1,400 scholarship from Women in Toys, Entertainment and Licensing (WIT), a trade organization that supports women involved in all aspects of the toy, licensing/merchandising and entertainment/media industries.
Manhattan-based WIT announced scholarship winners at the ninth annual Wonder Women in Toys awards dinner during the Toy Industry Association’s New York Toy Fair in February. Besides USF, this year’s scholarship recipients attended such elite institutions as the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles, the Ontario School of Design in Canada and the Holon Institute of Technology in Israel.
Georgean Johnson-Coffey, secretary of the board for WIT and co-owner and president of Blue Vision Music headquartered in Fort Wayne, was instrumental in bringing the scholarship opportunity to Fitch and USF. Blue Vision Music has provided media and music services for children’s CDs, games, toys, TV shows and films for over 15 years.
“This is the first time WIT has awarded a scholarship in sound design and the first time a student attending a Midwestern university has been chosen,” Johnson-Coffey said. “The others are from design schools in major cities such as LA, NYC and Toronto.”
Fitch’s interests and career plans make the WIT scholarship a perfect fit.
“I always knew I would want to do something creative, and there are few things I love more than movies and video games,” the USF sophomore said. “One thing that really got me thinking about music, though, was this YouTube video I watched. It was a short â€˜making of’ documentary for my all-time favorite game, â€˜Silent Hill 2,’ and in one part they interviewed series composer and sound designer Akira Yamaoka. Just watching him record in his studio and seeing all these crazy monster sounds he created and implemented so well in the final game really inspired me to want to do the same.”
She has translated her love of videos and music to a solid career plan.
“My dream job is to be a composer and sound designer for video games,” she said. “Sound is such an important aspect in creating the world of a game, and I want to be able to create that and let players share some of the wonderful experiences I’ve had.”
While initially daunted by USF’s advanced technology, she works in it with ease now.
“When I first arrived at USF, that big mixing board in the studio was probably the scariest thing I’d ever seen,” she said. “But as a sophomore, I’m in that studio recording for projects every week, and I couldn’t be more comfortable there. I’ve gained so much technical knowledge so far, and I’m very excited for all the new things I’ve yet to learn.”
Fitch also received a two-year free membership to WIT, which has chapters in New York, Florida, northern and southern California, Chicago, Minneapolis, Australia, Canada, Germany, Hong Kong, Israel, Scandinavia, Spain and the United Kingdom.
“It’s a wonderful honor to be recognized by WIT for my work,” she said.
Johnson-Coffey spoke of the benefits of the organization, especially for women in the industry.
“What has been wonderful about my involvement with WIT is the networking with the executives such as the CEO of The Toy Industry Association and vice presidents at Hasbro and Sesame Street Workshop,” she said. “WIT’s mission is to provide a professional networking base for women working within the toy, entertainment and licensing industries and to acknowledge and promote their achievements. It is a wonderful supportive group. WIT engages the talents and skills of its members to advance our mission.”
About the University of Saint Francis
The University of Saint Francis, founded in 1890 as a comprehensive university in the Catholic Franciscan tradition, offers more than 80 undergraduate and graduate programs through the School of Health Sciences, School of Arts and Sciences, Keith Busse School of Business and Entrepreneurial Leadership, School of Professional Studies and School of Creative Arts. The university’s College of Adult Learning designs focused curriculum for working adults by offering online and accelerated programs, through its Virtual, Fort Wayne and Crown Point campuses. More than 2,300 students from a broad geographic region attend USF for its academic excellence.