Full-time Faculty

Ed Cheetham, B.F.A., M.A.
Department Head

Drake University (Graphic Design; Minor - Journalism); Ohio State University (Art Education - Computer Graphics/Animation). Ed was part of the early Computer Animation Department at Ringling College of Art and Design in 1991. He currently owns and operates his own animation/design company, Digital Artistry. He is responsible for concept, design, and production of 2D and 3D motion graphics and animation. His client list includes national cable channels such as Country Music Television, The Gospel Music Channel, Great American Country, and the Cartoon Network, as well as Viacom, NBC, CBS, ABC and Fox affiliates.

David Brodeur, B.F.A.

Ringling College of Art and Design (Graphic & Interactive Communications). David is an award winning Creative Director, Senior Art Director and Lead Cinema 4D Artist. Through his work at Leviathan in Chicago and his own freelancing, he has worked with world class brands including HBO, Starz, Showtime, Sundance, Fox Sports, A&E, BMW, Dodge, Toyota, Google, Adobe, Beats Audio, Callaway and Nestle.

Among David's most high-profile projects is Amon Tobin's "ISAM Live."  This project won the 2012 FITC Best Animation Award and was featured in the 2012 Communication Arts Interactive Annual. He also worked interactively with musical artists Drake, Mikky Ekko, and Skrillex. While at Leviathan, David was instrumental in concept development, design, animation, Cinema 4D technical support and motion graphics. He also mentored and taught staff to use software Cinema 4D and design techniques. David was a guest speaker for the Adobe Generation Professional Animation Class where he taught students about design and animation as well as mentoring on the motion graphics industry. Alongside the industry work, David has created award winning personal projects such as his "Organic Geometry."  This artwork won the 2014 Communication Arts Design annual, Behance Portfolio Award and Art & Engineering Challenge showcased in a global art exhibit. 

Dante Rinaldi, B.S.

State University of Buffalo, NY (Graphic Design). Dante Rinaldi possesses over 15 years of industry experience and is a veteran digital artist in the fields of Advertising and Graphic Design, Film, Animation, Visual Effects, and Video Games. As a Creative Director in Advertising and Design in New York, Dante has worked in both creative and corporate agencies and has had the pleasure to work with worldwide clients such as Toyota, Sony, Scholastic, Fuji, NCAA, BlueCross BlueShield, Verizon and AT&T. As a senior User Interface and Cinematic artist with the video game company THQ Kaos Studios, he has developed products for popular game systems, including XBOX360, PlayStation 3, PC and mobile devices, as well as directing and implementing extensive marketing and web presence collateral. While at Digital Domain, Mr. Rinaldi was a Computer Graphics Generalist in the VFx Department, where he was instrumental in Concept Development, Organic and Hard Surface Modeling, Surfacing and Textures, Shader Development, Compositing, and Motion Graphics creation. He has been honored with multiple industry awards, including a Silver ADDY® Award in the category of Visual and Audio Elements of Advertising- Illustration for the NCAA GatorBowl. 

Jill Taffet, B.F.A. 

The Cooper Union, New York (Fine Arts). She is an EMMY® Award-winning Creative Director who has worked broadly in the motion design industry and as an educator in the profession. She has been recognized with numerous design awards from BDA, AIGA, The Art Directors Club, The Type Directors Club, Graphis and The Academy of Arts and Sciences for her work with E!, ESPN, MSNBC, Discovery Networks, Oxygen, and TV Land. She has served as professor and chair of Motion Design, Media Arts and Animation at San Francisco Art Institute, Savannah College of Art and Design and Otis College of Art and Design. She teaches classes in Motion Design, Experimental Animation, Visualization and Concept, Network Design and Branding, Main Title Design, and Portfolio. Ms. Taffet is in progress towards a M.F.A. in Design and Technology from the San Francisco Art Institute.  

Morgan Williams, B.F.A.

Minneapolis College of Art and Design (Film). Mr. Williams has been a professional animator and animation director for over 20 years. He has created work for numerous clients including Sony Pictures, the BBC, Comedy Central, and WGBH Boston and has been the recipient of several awards including an ADDY®, a Telly, and a Best in Show at Minnesota Siggraph.  His short film work has been screened at festivals around the world including the Philadelphia International Film Festival and the Annecy International Animation Festival.  Mr. Williams continues to be active in the industry through his company Club Cocoanut Animation (http://www.clubcocoanut.com), creating original character animation and providing animation services to a variety of clients.

Ron Zeitler, B.F.A.

Louisiana Tech University (Graphic Design); Ringling College of Art and Design (Computer Animation).  Ron worked for Walt Disney Feature Animation in Orlando, FL, where he worked on PocahontasMulanEmperor's New GrooveTarzanLilo & Stitch, and Brother Bear.  After Disney, he worked in Ringling College's Department of Computer Animation. Later, Ron worked as a story artist for a new Feature Animation division of Digital Domain (DD) on their first Feature Film, Tembo.  His time with DD has been “mind altering and the toughest job that I have ever had...but so rewarding and educational.  I now understand that, as artists, we are all trying to tell stories no matter what the media or medium.” 

Full-time Visiting Faculty 

Nora Gaffney, B.F.A.

University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN (Graphic Design). As an Art Director and Designer with Country Music Television, Nora has over twelve years of professional experience developing award-winning, creative design across motion, web, and print platforms. Her design and marketing work has received national recognition from PromaxBDA, Creativity International, CTAM, and Communication Arts. As owner of her own studio since 2012, she continues to focus on creative and concept development, art direction, and cross-platform design. Current projects include company and venue brand development, and a corporate multimedia promotion featuring live action and motion design spots.

Adjunct Faculty 

Kris Larson, B.F.A.

International Academy of Design and Technology (Recording Arts). Kris is the owner of Sounds Creative Inc., a creative business staging company located in Sarasota, FL. Kris is a disabled veteran of the United States Marine Corps where he served honorably as Sergeant of Marines up until April 2004. In 2011, he was selected by Florida State University to participate in the EBV (Entrepreneurial Boot Camp for disabled veterans) Program. While at FSU he was awarded 1st place for his award-winning business plan for Sounds Creative, Inc. which communicated the power of music, audio, sound, creative production and the arts and its significant role in business and society.