school of technology

school of technology

Fashioning a Future
JWU Technology Program, Students, Dionte Noble and Michael Ghattas

Dionte Noble ’10 came to Johnson & Wales intent on using his time to do more than just earn a degree. A full-time student in the Computer Graphics & New Media program, he now co-owns and operates an urban fashion line that he founded in his freshman year with Michael Ghattas ’09. In addition, he works two part-time jobs and volunteers weekly as a mentor at two nonprofit agencies.

His company, named Crack Artist to project “the addiction of art,” and the slang use of “crack” as meaning “out of the ordinary or extravagant,” is poised to explode into the mass market. Over the past four years, he has staged close to a dozen fashion shows at colleges around the state, drawing outside interest. Noble’s classroom experiences have fed his business savvy and graphic skills. “I’ve learned so much about networking, branding, marketing and overall promotion,” he says. Classes in website development and content management have helped solidify the enterprise.

Through the collection of t-shirts and sweatshirts with their pencil logo, Noble and Ghattas also try to inspire young people to realize they have options and don’t always have to conform. In addition to growing a business, Noble commits time to that mission as well. Every Tuesday he mentors students in an after-school program, working with them on graphic arts at New Urban Arts in Providence. On Fridays, Noble goes to South Providence Neighborhood Ministries where he talks to middle and high school students about college and possibilities. In between, he works for University Design & Editorial Services at JWU and at a retail store in Providence Place. His community work won him a Leadership Rhode Island 2010 Emerging Leaders Award.

“It’s been a journey,” he says. “It’s my senior year and I’m on the verge of taking business to the next level, tying up loose ends and working on collaborations for the future.” A very crack future it would appear

Image: company founders Michael Ghattas ’09 (left) and Dionte Noble ’10, both wearing Crack products.

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Marketing in Cyberspace
As senior manager of production for Aberdeen Group in Boston, Mass., one of Karen Yetter’s ’05 responsibilities is to put relevant industry information into the hands of Aberdeen’s 2.5 million readers in 40 countries.

JWU Technology program, alumna, Karen YetterAberdeen does research in manufacturing and information technology, surveying high-level “decision-makers” about the technology they use, which works best and what they want to see in the future. Analysts at Aberdeen then report that information to more than 644,000 companies around the world including giants like Microsoft, General Electric and Adobe.

Yetter relies heavily on social media — LinkedIn and Twitter, and the social networking sites Technorati, StumbleUpon, Digg and Delicious — to promote the reports. Her Twitter group has more than 9,000 followers. She belongs to about 30 LinkedIn groups for each industry Aberdeen covers, posting short blurbs about newly released reports on their news sections. On a typical day Yetter spends 30 minutes to an hour on LinkedIn. She schedules Tweets to be broadcast on Twitter at 30-minute intervals. “We can put our content out to those sites and people can see it and it becomes viral,” she says.

“These are very exciting times because both areas [marketing and technology] are changing rapidly. It’s not something that you can just sit back on your laurels and do whatever you’ve done in the past. It’s constantly keeping up with the advancements and innovations … and being able to adapt.”

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