General Studies

Profiles on General Studies Faculty

Select a story below to read more about FIDM's talented and successful faculty in General Studies.

Nino Surdo - Faculty
FIDM General Studies

I live. I love. I teach.”

Nino Surdo earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communications, and has had a career in film and television, acting, producing, and writing. He enjoys the freedom he has as an instructor at FIDM, teaching Professional Practices, Effective Speaking, and Critical Thinking.

Describe a favorite class project:
Researching the job markets in Professional Practices and seeing the joy when they land a job or internship. It's nice to see the payoff.

Do you have a particular style or philosophy about teaching?
I don't feel you can separate life from teaching. The students appreciate honesty. Encourage, don't dominate. Entertain, but keep organized. Foster independent thinking. Have a sense of humor and look at it as a performance, for in a lot of ways, it is.

Nino Surdo is an Outstanding Faculty Award winner, an award given by the student body to outstanding faculty members.

Please Note: The information contained herein was confirmed at the time of original publication.

Carolyn Robertson - Faculty
FIDM General Studies

General Studies instructor Carolyn Robertson is a consummate artist, and her impressive résumé includes everything from acting in commercials (Target, Foot Locker, Vytorin) and film and TV (Wedding Crashers, The Apprentice), to appearing in print campaigns (Ralph Lauren, Heart Start, Microsoft) and being the contributing editor on textbook publisher Prentice Hall's A Basic History of Western Art.

"Art comes from our experiences and it is important to view the history of art and fashion through not only a cultural and historical, but also a personal lens," says Carolyn who holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Texas and a Master of Fine Arts from The Claremont Graduate University, where her studies focused on sculpture, painting, and art history.

How do you apply your experience to teaching at FIDM?
I draw upon my experience as an artist when I teach Color & Design Theory, Art History, and Costume History courses. As an actor, I feel I bring a particular ease to the classroom when speaking about topics that many may find removed from their own experience. Being a naturally shy person, I hope to inspire students to be proud of what they know and to be able to share that with others in any capacity.

My experiences as a Set and Costume Designer for local theatre have certainly been a reflection of both my skills as an artist and as an actor. I give practical advice to students wanting to design for TV, film, and theatre. Together, we evaluate how well a Costume Designer has captured the fashions of a particular time period and analyze how they may have remained true to the period or how they have adapted the styles to suit 21st century tastes.

Carolyn Robertson is an Outstanding Faculty Award winner, an award given by the student body to outstanding faculty members.

Please Note: The information contained herein was confirmed at the time of original publication.

Chris Williams - Faculty
FIDM General Studies

Instructor Chris Williams has taught at FIDM for 21 years and has received the Outstanding Faculty Award from students eight times. The author of a textbook and study guide covering basic principles of accounting and finance, Chris has also written several articles on various related topics and developed four online classes for FIDM's eLearning program.

What do you enjoy most about teaching at FIDM?
I've always enjoyed the support given by the administration as well as the freedom to utilize my own teaching techniques and strategies to help students learn the objectives of a particular course.

Do you have a particular style or philosophy about teaching?
I don't feel that there is such a thing as “teaching.” The instructor can only facilitate the learning process by using a combination of effective presentations, student interaction, and the instructor's passion for the subject. I look at all activities in my classroom, including tests, as vehicles for learning. I attempt to show, illustrate, explain, play devil's advocate, etc. to allow students to understand, assimilate, and then apply what they've been exposed to in my class.

Chris Williams is an Outstanding Faculty Award winner, an award given by the student body to outstanding faculty members.

Please Note: The information contained herein was confirmed at the time of original publication.

Kevin Keele - Faculty
FIDM General Studies

General Studies instructor and FIDM Graduate Kevin Keele is a freelance consultant who specializes in giving workshops for clients on trends, product development, and the retail industry. He also works in the Career Center as a Career Advisor. “It keeps me in tune with what's happening in the job market,” explains Kevin. The fashion industry pro came to FIDM from Nashville, Tennessee. His first job after graduating was Assistant Buyer for Robinson's Department Store.

What do you enjoy most about teaching at FIDM?
Teaching is wonderful and I love it. I'm proud to say that I've received the Outstanding Teaching Award four times from FIDM Students. It was my love for teaching that motivated me to get a B.A. in Marketing and an M.B.A. My favorite part of teaching is interacting with the students in the classroom.

Do you have a particular style or philosophy about teaching?
My teaching philosophy is that education is a life long learning experience.

Kevin Keele is an Outstanding Faculty Award winner, an award given by the student body to outstanding faculty members.

Please Note: The information contained herein was confirmed at the time of original publication.

Jeremy Miller - Faculty
FIDM General Studies

Instructor Jeremy Miller earned his M.A. in Art History with a focus on 18th century Venetian art, a topic he became interested in after completing an internship at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice, Italy in 1999. He is currently researching artistic and public identity in fashion photography circa the 1920s and 1930s. Jeremy teaches topics ranging from Survey of Western Art to History of Costume Design.

What do you enjoy most about teaching at FIDM?
My favorite moments are when students tell me how much my class helped them in other classes and outside of FIDM.

Do you have a teaching philosophy?
I believe in challenging students, treating them with respect, and helping them become confident when digesting and discussing art.

Jeremy Miller is an Outstanding Faculty Award winner, an award given by the student body to outstanding faculty members.

Please Note: The information contained herein was confirmed at the time of original publication.

Arshak II, an opera by the Armenian composer Tigran Chukhadjian, at the San Francisco Opera.