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Boise State Student Creates Augmented Reality Experience to Celebrate College Declaration

Receiving a college acceptance letter is one of life’s most thrilling moments. This accomplishment calls for celebration with friends and family. And committing to attend Boise State marks the start of an exciting new chapter!

In celebration of this special occasion, Boise State Admissions reached out to current Games, Interactive Media and Mobile Technology (GIMM) student Derek Pyatt to create an augmented reality (AR) face filter for Boise State’s Admission’s social media pages. He was up to the task.

Derek Pyatt holds a phone demonstrating the face filter he created.

While Derek had never created a face filter before, he tackled the project incrementally, drawing on skills he’d sharpened in GIMM classes to learn a new piece of software and thinking back to his own experience as an incoming student to create a celebratory digital filter. When Derek thinks back to his college decision three years ago, he recalls that, while he had many schools across the country to consider as an out-of-state student, he was initially drawn to Boise State’s culture of innovation.

“Other schools I was looking into were doing great things,” says Derek, “but I didn’t think I was going to [find] the hands-on experiences that Boise State’s robust CID (College of Innovation and Design) programs offered anywhere else.”

The College of Innovation and Design at Boise State

The College of Innovation and Design at Boise State explores the creative side of technology and offers students a transformative educational experience through its emphasis on hands-on, enriching opportunities. With majors such as GIMM and Digital Innovation + Design, the CID gives students like Derek a competitive advantage with its nontraditional alternatives to popular majors like Computer Science.

“Programs like GIMM that focus on specifically emerging technology like IOT (Internet of Things) and XR (Extended Reality) are more future focused and more oriented towards training students on how to learn and how to teach themselves what they need to do (in the workplace),” says Derek.

Derek Pyatt shows the software he used for this project in the GIMM lab

Recognizing the importance of practical application in today’s rapidly evolving world, the college provides students with a wide range of experiential learning opportunities, like giving senior-level students the opportunity to work with professional clients in their classes. At the time of his college decision, this was a big selling point for Derek.

The CID also plays a vital role in supporting students’ professional development. With a forward-thinking approach, the college offers a plethora of resources and opportunities that prepare students for successful careers. The college fosters a supportive and inclusive environment that encourages creativity, critical thinking, and problem-solving. Through these experiences, students like Derek are prepared to become adaptable, innovative thinkers who are well-equipped to make a positive impact in their chosen fields.

Learn more about the College of Innovation and Design!

Video: Games, Interactive Media and Mobile Technology

Learn more about the program with this video. Closed captions are available and a transcript is provided in the Video Transcript section of this page.

Finding Community

Within his first year, Derek quickly discovered that the community within the GIMM program is an integral and vibrant aspect of the major itself. The program cultivates a strong sense of camaraderie and collaboration among its students.

Through weekly Friday lab sessions, where students voluntarily gather even when there are no classes scheduled, Derek has forged a tight-knit group of friends. It is during these informal gatherings that students have the opportunity to spend quality time together, exchange ideas, and collaborate on projects.

Derek also attributes the closeness of students within GIMM cohorts to the fact that they often take most classes together throughout the duration of their major.

Derek Pyatt poses on the quad at Boise State

In addition to the informal gatherings, the GIMM program organizes networking opportunities and events like GIMM Jam, where students are challenged to create a game within a limited timeframe, centered around a specific topic. This friendly competition not only hones their creativity and problem-solving skills but also fosters a sense of healthy competition and teamwork.

It didn’t take Derek long to discover that students collaborate, inspire, and learn from one another, making the journey through the major both enriching and memorable.

What’s Next for Derek

Through various digital media projects, Derek is now able to share what he loves about Boise State with prospective students as a student employee for the Admissions department.

“To me, Blue Turf Thinking means exploring your potential and working on something that interests and challenges you,” says Derek. “I hope people who are interested in showing their school pride use the filter and stay tuned for more AR experiences.”

Derek is excited by emerging technologies and the opportunities that lie ahead. Having the opportunity to apply the skillsets obtained in class settings to projects like this one in a professional setting has left him with one key takeaway: “I feel confident that with enough time and determination I can learn how to use any program I need to.”

Check out the #OfficialBronco Face Filter

Explore Next Steps for Incoming Students

About the Author

  • Isabelle Dela Rosa

    Isabelle Dela Rosa

    Content Writer

    Isabelle is a Boise State Marketing major student from Dublin, California. In her spare time she likes to lift, spend time with her friends, and listen to music. She loves being part of Tri Delta at Boise State, going to football games, and making social media content for Boise State Admissions.  

    Isabelle is a Boise State Marketing major student from Dublin, California. In her spare time she likes to lift, spend time with her friends, and listen to music. She loves being part of Tri Delta at Boise State, going to football games, and making social media content for Boise State Admissions.  

Video Transcript

(upbeat music fades in)

Ryna Hall: GIMM, it stands for Gaming, Interactive Media, Mobile (Technology) because that kind of breaks down the genre of what we go through. We go through gaming, we go through interactive media, and we go through mobile development. Especially like in your first year, you’ll start off with some interactive media and just general arts, you kind of get an idea of what the rest of the degree will look like.

Why Boise State?

James Sennesael: What brought me to Boise State’s GIMM program was that I’ve always been really interested in video games. Game design is something that I really wanted to pursue, and I looked into it and I lived in Idaho and I thought that Boise’s GIMM program kind of sounded like it would really fit that so that I could study game design or anything that’s in that adjacent field.

What do you expect from the program?

Jessna Rodriguez: I think it’s pretty much what I expected. A lot of people expect it to be a lot of game development and playing games, and while we do do some of that, it’s more than that. It’s innovative technologies, and so we do mobile apps, we do 3D modeling, art. Our senior game is a VR game that we make on our own, but we also make like serious games for doctors and other real life scenarios. More than just video games.

What has the program given you?

Rodriguez: I think the program definitely has given me some professional experience. I’m part of the GIMM’s dev team, so I come in 10 hours a week and we do projects for clients. A lot of it is building apps. We work with Gear Up Idaho, it’s a program that works with Idaho high schools and middle schools and tries to teach them some of the technologies that we work with. And so we do a lot of client work, and I think that’s definitely relevant experience. What I love about GIMM is that it’s a really great community, I think. I think a lot of us are here just to make cool stuff. We just want to have fun and be creative and make really cool things. And yeah, I think a lot of the people here are just here are just here to have a good time, be creative and have fun.