TLI Spotlight: Ben Hytrek

This is part 4 in a series of blog posts to highlight the work of our Teaching & Learning Innovations team. Each team member was asked to write a post about the work of one of their colleagues.

Ben Hytrek is many things; young, creative, funny… he’s quite the peacock. As the unofficial “media specialist” for TLI, he is the editing mastermind behind almost all of our videos, and, as a result, has quite the reputation across campus… he’s even filmed President Beck a time or two. Because of his role, Ben is the guy behind the camera so I thought this was the perfect opportunity to invite him into the sound booth for an on-camera chat. I prepared a number of questions but wanted to “keep it casual” with no scripts or advanced warning… just Ben in FRONT of the camera. Now keep in mind, the three clips below were edited by me so there’s no Ben magic.

So without further ado…

The first clip focuses on Ben’s life from childhood to college.

Next, I moved on to questions about his professional life.

In addition to his on-campus fame for video production, Ben also supports our Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) efforts. With that in mind I took a few moments to get his opinion on Extended Reality (XR), his process when working on video projects, his favorite TLI project, and “what makes Ben…Ben”.

As the clips above demonstrates, Ben truly cares about supporting the CI community by producing high-quality media that benefits students, faculty, staff, and our larger community. He aims to simplify the video production process and meet faculty where they are while also making them feel less intimidated and comfortable enough to be recorded.

Don’t just take my word- here are what others have to say about Ben:

“Ben is the kind of person you want on every team – creative, funny, and always willing to help. Ben makes everything better.” – Michael Berman, Chief Innovation Officer and Deputy CIO

“Ben… Ben, Ben, Ben… what can I say about Ben that isn’t already evident from my children making a song for him? One of my favorite things about working with Ben is his sense of humor, how he can make a stressful situation quickly diffused, and how the camera in my face isn’t so intimidating when he is behind it.” – Jaime Hannans, Associate Professor in Nursing

For those of you who haven’t had the time to stop by the FIT Studio to chat with Ben about an idea, problem, or his peacock spirit animal, there’s no time like the present.

Below is a small collection if you’d like see some of his creations.

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