After working 25 years for the Department of Defense, newly retired Jeff Kutneski was looking for an outlet for the creative ideas he’s always had but lacked the requisite skills and knowledge to bring into fruition. Learning the necessary technical skills and software were his primary motivation and major factors to continue his education. Audio/music production, audio engineering, and digital media have always been fascinating fields to Jeff, and he wanted an affordable way to build a fundamental skill set and also bring his creative ideas to life.

When choosing to attend MxCC, Jeff thought the facilities were fantastic, especially the Center for New Media in Chapman Hall, which includes a state-of-the-art broadcast studio. The class sizes were small and provided plenty of one-on-one time with instructors and staff. The variety of programs in the Center for New Media are also second to none. Also, all faculty and staff Jeff has had the pleasure and privilege to interact with have been beyond amazing!

Once Jeff began to take classes at MxCC, he realized he had a completely underdeveloped creative mind. Much of the course content (especially the technology and software) was all new to him. Initially, Jeff placed a lot of undue pressure on himself to get his creative output to a very high level—within the framework of his abilities. In the process, however, he was losing sight of the importance of the respective creative exercise at hand. Jeff’s classes with Professor Rick Eriksen changed his outlook on the concept of creative play—especially as it pertains to project/assignment development. Jeff explains, “Understanding that creative project completion is much like going to the gym, and one must simply ‘get under the hood’ and tinker around with creative elements, ideas, and especially the software, as a means by which to get in the necessary repetitions necessary for an adequate foundation.” This has had a profound impact on his outlook of his coursework, his creative process as a whole, and his confidence navigating the myriad of creative software. Jeff loved all the professors he’s had so far, but standouts are professors Rick Eriksen, Aaron Moynihan, and John Bergeron.

When asked about how Jeff manages challenges or obstacles while achieving his goals, he states, “Challenges and obstacles are meant to be overcoming. Dedication and intense work ethic have always served as my springboards over or around them. Understanding that confronting the challenges and obstacles of daily life with the mindset they present opportunities for solutions and growth, has always facilitated my goal attainment.”

Presently, Jeff has a 4.0 G.P.A., and he’s a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. He is looking forward to taking the more courses—Principles of Sound Recording, Audio Mixing and Processing with Professor Moynihan, and Digital Illustration with Professor Eriksen. Although Jeff has no specific plans after graduation, he is interested in further developing his audio production and engineering skills and would be interested in doing part-time work in a recording studio, or live music venue, while continuing to pursue other creative hobbies and interests. He’s also considering continuing studies for another degree at MxCC.

When Jeff is not in college, he enjoys collecting music on vinyl, collecting vintage home stereo equipment, listening to and finding new (old) music, learning about audio engineering, fumbling around making music, attending concerts and live music events, rehabilitating vintage guitars, travel, and spending time with family, friends, and his three dogs.

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