Computer Information Science 2022
Current Position: Co-Manager, IconINK LLC and Web Developer
Story posted: Fall 2021
Job title updated: Fall 2022
At GMercyU, Ethan majors in Computer Information Science with a concentration in Web Design & Multimedia. He’s always been interested in technology, but he became obsessed with virtual reality at an unlikely place.
In 2016, Ethan had to spend several weeks at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia due to a chronic illness.
“CHOP had recently been gifted a PlayStation that came with a PlayStationVR. I got to try it out, and that was it for me,” Ethan explained. He began teaching himself how to use virtual reality and has been hooked ever since.
Virtual Reality Projects
Ethan spends his free time building on Rec Room, a free virtual reality app that can used with consoles like PlayStation, Xbox, and PC. He documents his work on his YouTube channel; one of his tutorials has garnered more than 20,000 views.
“In this video, I’m standing in my room with a big box on my head and holding two controllers that track my movements in 3-D and then translate them into the third-party perspective that you’re seeing in the video. It’s complicated,” he laughed.
All of the multimedia tools he uses as a GMercyU CIS major have improved his VR work, from photo editing to audio editing and video editing.
Working and Volunteering in the VR Field
Ethan has monetized his time on Rec Room; the program offers a compensation program for creators like Ethan. “They compensate me because essentially, I’m helping them showcase their product,” said Ethan.
He also volunteers as a community moderator for their game platform, helping to control the player base in terms of toxicity or misbehavior. Rec Room has already invited Ethan to apply for full-time work after graduation.
Ethan also runs a volunteer-based company called Pooks and Company. “It’s a group of about 15 volunteers – we work on VR projects together and go to virtual reality conferences together,” he said. In September 2021, Ethan co-hosted a virtual panel for Rec Con 2021, which drew more than 1500 people.
His Experience in the CIS Program
Ethan feels his major and concentration in Web Design & Multimedia are a perfect match for him. “Multimedia, photo editing, video editing – I have a passion for all of that,” he said. “In CIS, you learn a whole host of skills, from programming to hardware assembly, and you earn valuable certifications.”
Ethan recently earned the IT Fundamentals certification. “I couldn’t wait to put that on my LinkedIn profile,” he said, adding that his CIS professors have helped him shape his profile and resume into a professional format to prepare him for job searching.
To gain more real-world experience, he and a classmate teamed up last year for an internship. They co-designed a new website for a local nonprofit.
Ethan also appreciates the community of the CIS program, and the time his professors have given him.
It’s a close-knit program, everyone knows everyone, and you get one-on-one time with the professors who will work through a project with you. Computing is difficult so it’s good to have that time.
After graduation, Ethan plans to pursue opportunities in multimedia, IT assistance, and VR game development – his dream job.