2016-2017 Catalog and Handbook 
    Jan 19, 2022  
2016-2017 Catalog and Handbook [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Media Design Faculty

Tony Conrad
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Anthony began teaching at Southeast Tech in 2007. He has accrued extensive industry experience, having:
• worked as a prepress technician at the Argus Leader from 1998-2000
• worked as a lab specialist in the Graphic Communication program at Southeast Tech from 2000-2002
• worked as a graphic designer/pre-press supervisor at Western Commercial Printing from 2002-2007
• designed and built custom cabinets and fireplace surrounds for Conrad’s Custom Cabinetry in 2005
• served as Southeast Tech’s student organization director for AIGA and SDAF
• served as a member of AIGA and SDAF since 2007

“The field of Media Design is vast and ever changing. To account for this, I believe in establishing a strong foundation for students to build their skills and futures upon. Being able to adapt to new technologies and trends while understanding the variety of mediums used will keep students relevant and successful in this constantly changing field.”

Anthony has several interests revolving around his family and the many various mediums of design.
Education: BA, University of Sioux Falls; AAS, Southeast Tech
Romy Klessen
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Romy has taught at Southeast Tech for over twenty years. Her role has evolved as the technology has changed. Primarily she teaches courses related to print media, along with page layout and applied graphic design. Students also work with Romy to improve their writing skills, as commonly used in preparing media for their clients.

Romy earned a BA in English, Summa cum Laude, from the University of Sioux Falls and has completed coursework related to teaching adult learners and incorporating new trends in media technology. Initially, her computer and visual design skills were self-taught. She has used online resources extensively to update her knowledge, as well as learning on-the-job and with her peers.

She has been an active volunteer in many non-profit and community organizations and has served as a committee chair and on various boards of directors. She is an advocate for non-violent conflict resolution.

Romy comes from a long line of self-sufficient people who make things. She believes in acquiring and using the best possible tools for the job at hand—whether it’s her grandfather’s wire cutters or the newest software version on her Mac. When still in high school, Romy first began to teach knitting and crocheting courses to adults and children. This led to her first career in retail, in the fabric and needlework business. She was also responsible for technical writing, designing garments and writing patterns to produce them. Romy says the most complex math she has ever done is adapting intricate knitting stitches to sweater patterns over a wide range of sizes.

She has worked in a wide variety of jobs and volunteer positions. She has been a reporter and broadcast writer, an editor and proofreader, a technical writer, a political strategist, a print production and layout specialist, an office manager, a small business retail buyer, a window dresser, an inventory controller, a costumer and mask-maker, and has restored vintage garments, millinery and books. She has a large costume collection; Hallowe’en is her favorite holiday.

“In my work, I strive for clarity and effective reasoning. I’m driven to solve problems and fix things, and I always hope this rubs off on the students. Learners have to understand the ‘whys’ just as much as use established methods and best practices. Teaching is inherently an altruistic profession. Our greatest rewards come as we reflect on the success of our students. My favorite thing about being a veteran instructor is getting surprise visits from past grads who come back to Southeast, dropping by just to tell us about their work, their families, and their accomplishments.” Romy considers herself fortunate to have worked with many ethical, broad-minded, skilled, and thoughtful individuals throughout her life, including younger and older mentors.
Education: BA, University of Sioux Falls
Rick Warkenthien
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Rick began teaching in 1999 as a pre-press technician, and in fall of 2000 developed the web curriculum for the Graphic Communications program.

He specializes in online media including web design/development & mobile content. He also teaches Digital Photography and Photoshop courses. Rick has worked as a professional commercial and portrait photographer for 13 years having photographed over 200 weddings. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Visual Arts with emphasis in graphic design from South Dakota State University. He is an active member of South Dakota Advertising, AIGA, National Association of Photoshop Professionals, and Wedding & Portrait Photographers International.

Education: BS, South Dakota State University