Dakota Myrick has been named the Employee of the Quarter at IUPUC for Q3, 2021. Since the beginning of 2016, IUPUC has recognized an employee every quarter for contributions made that go above and beyond regular work responsibilities.
Myrick began working as the Digital Media Specialist for the Office of Communications and Marketing in May 2018, providing IUPUC with a unique opportunity to leverage his skills in visual storytelling in order to address the increasing need for video and other forms of digital content expected by today’s students. In addition to providing videography and photography for the campus, Myrick creates and implements content on the IUPUC websites, and manages the social media accounts.
During the last academic year, he produced more than 100 individual videos as part of 52 separate projects, and created more than 500 social media posts which generated 850,000 impressions leading to 23,000 engagements and more than 5,000 clicks – a 7 percent increase year over year.
“What makes these achievement so exceptional is that Dakota was able to accomplish them with COVID-19 restrictions in place, meaning he had to create engaging content for social media without the aid of campus events and other activities, and had to work around guidelines to shoot in-person interviews and video footage,” said Jay Lesandrini, Director of Communications and Marketing at IUPUC.
Originally from Columbus, Myrick attended Ball State University where earned a bachelor’s degree in Digital Video Production, Film/Screenwriting, and History in 2016. He earned an M.A. in Digital Storytelling from Ball State in 2018, working as a Graduate Assistant teaching beginning video courses while completing his degree.
Myrick’s interest in storytelling began as a child watching films like Star War and reading the Harry Potter series. With the help of the family camcorder, fellow neighborhood kids, home-made props and a fog machine, Myrick would re-create scenes from Lord of the Rings and other action films. This led to a desire to better understand the history of narrative structure, character development, and the technical knowledge to visualize ideas.
After three years at IUPUC, he still finds new challenges and enjoys the variety of responsibility that his job brings. Whether it is photography, livestreaming, broadcast, or just a simple post to social media, Myrick finds a way to bring his own unique perspective to portray the IUPUC community in the best light.
“What I like most about my job at IUPUC is that I have the ability to have an impact outside of my department, but more importantly that I have the opportunity to better my skills in all of the areas that I care about whether it is behind the camera or on the web,” Myrick said.
In his spare time, He enjoys studying history, in particular European history from WWI through the Cold War. Growing up with his great-grandmother around, who herself lived under the Third Reich of Nazi Germany, created a curiosity in history and political propaganda that led to his thesis work on the subject in 2018. He is also a dog lover. “We have a Pit Bull we saved in college, a Cane Corso I found for free in The Republic, and a mut I found outside my front door one day. They are all spoiled.”
When asked how he felt about receiving the honor, Myrick responded, “As someone who typically shies away from the spotlight, it is appreciated to be recognized once and a while. It gives me the drive to continue on enhancing my digital storytelling skills to highlight IUPUC faculty, students, and staff in more interesting and engaging ways.”