Digital Media Academy Celebrates 10 Years of Excellence

By Phill Powell

Time flies when you’re having fun…especially when you’re teaching young people about the latest technologies and how to use them to follow their creative passion or start a career. It’s been ten years since Digital Arts Academy launched its first summer computer camp program on the Palo Alto campus of Stanford University.

Digital Media Academy founder and president, Phil Gibson (R) with comedian and entertainer, Sinbad.

The location of that first 2002 camp was no accident, since DMA’s founder and president, Phil Gibson, was himself a Stanford Academic Technology manager. It was his dynamic vision of an immersive summer camp experience—taught by professionals with proven records of industry success, and conducted on the nation’s most celebrated college campuses—that has led DMA to its tenth anniversary.

Partnered with Prestigious Universities
Gibson’s vision was wholeheartedly embraced and due to the success of its Stanford program, DMA was able to branch out, and that expansion continues to this day.

Now DMA offers its program on many of America’s most beloved campuses: a Harvard University tech camp, UCLA tech camp, George Washington University tech camp, Swarthmore College tech camp, Drexel University tech camp, UC San Diego tech camp, and the University of British Columbia tech camp in Vancouver, Canada. DMA’s home campus is the Stanford University tech camp.

Technological Pioneers
With DMA’s corporate headquarters located in the heart of Silicon Valley, the company has the pulse on the area’s technological innovation. Silicon Valley technologies were driving Phil Gibson during the 1990s, when he served Stanford’s Academic Computing Department and led efforts to integrate new media technologies. As part of that work, Gibson developed a video-streaming service and a UNIX-based authentication system that he pioneered in Apple-based public computer labs on the Stanford campus. He first experimented with the DMA model of computer camp during 1999, and within three years Gibson left Stanford to devote his energies full-time to the concept.

With hands-on learning provided by industry professional or world-class technology educators, it’s no wonder DMA was ranked the World’s Best Tech Camp in 2011 by Worth.com. “What inspires me,” says Gibson, “is building an organization that makes a difference in people’s lives—young and old.” Unfortunately, there’s not much time to celebrate the ten-year milestone, as the entire DMA staff are busily preparing for the Summer 2012 camp season.