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Michael Hunter poses with 3D map of APSU campus

Michael Hunter

“There’s a lot of personal growth that I’ve experienced here. It’s really changed my outlook and perspective on not only my career path but life in general.”
Major: Graphic Design
Hometown: Clarksville, Tennessee
Involvement: APSU Geographic Information Systems Center

Being a Gov means to lead, be proactive and constantly look to give back in some way. Senior graphic design student Michael Hunter encompasses that in all aspects.

When he retired from the military, he decided to enroll in the graphic design program here.

“It was the best graphic design program in our area,” he said. “It’s making me a well-rounded person in the art community so I’m able to see more than just one aspect of a job market and it is preparing me to have multiple focuses or skill sets so I can have a broader job market to get into.”

Austin Peay students lead the way, like Michael Hunter who created a 3D printed faceshield model to help the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency. Story continues below video.

Whenever he can, he likes to attend artist workshops that CECA provides at APSU. He’s been able to walk away from those workshops with a new outlook and inspiration to dive into projects that develop himself, both as a designer and as a person. Because of his determination, he has accomplished two projects that give back to the campus and the community.

In 2019, Hunter worked with Disability Services to design and 3D print a tactile map of campus. Austin Peay GIS Center Director Mike Wilson was contacted by Disability Services to create a tactile map, and Wilson tasked Hunter with the job, as he was a student worker for them.

He said he was thankful for the opportunity, as it was a way for him to venture into a new aspect of design. Countless hours were spent doing research, looking at acrid maps, and designing for a 3D rendering software. Although there was some trial and error, Hunter spent part of the summer creating the map from start to finish, which was ready to use by the fall of that year.

Earlier this year, Hunter had also put together a face shield prototype that was approved for Tennessee healthcare workers to use. Prior to getting the project, he had previously seen face shields and masks being produced by people and thus was familiar with some of the specifications that go into making them. With the help of the GIS center, the prototype was created in about three hours.

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Looking back on his time here, he is very thankful for every experience he’s had.

“It’s the moments and the learning from others, whether that be from teachers or students. There’s a lot of personal growth that I’ve experienced here. It’s really changed my outlook and perspective on not only my career path but life in general. It’s been a very large, but good, eye-opener into the future and the world in general.”

Michael Hunter poses with disposable face shields
GIS has shipped ~18,000 face shield frames and ~180,000 disposable face shields to TEMA.

As he approaches his last year, Hunter plans to do more training, watch lectures and continue to improve his skills on different programs whenever he can. He’s already started venturing into animation and audio production, as well as 3D modeling and sculpting. “I’m just trying to be a jack of all trades,” Hunter said.

As a senior, Hunter had some words of advice:

“You have to look at your life and the entirety of the program you’re going to be going through and realize that you’re signing up to learn something new. You’re going to have those really hard days, but those days are going to become easier as the time goes on. Really listen and try to develop yourself."