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Ringling College Wins Educause 2016 Pitch IT! Challenge for DRAW Learning Portfolio Platform

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SARASOTA, Fla., Oct. 28, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Ringling College of Art and Design today announced that the College's DRAW Learning Portfolio Platform was chosen as the winner of the Pitch IT! Challenge at the 2016 Educause Conference in Anaheim, California. Educause is the higher education Information Technology association.

DRAW is the acronym for Ringling College's Digital Resource Archive Warehouse. Developed over the past three years, DRAW is a learning portfolio platform for archiving, downloading and searching student artwork, photography and other digital works. DRAW was presented at Pitch IT! on Wednesday by Jeff Schwartz, Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs for Ringling College to a panel of judges made up of representatives from Amazon Web Services, Dell, EdSurge and USA Funds.

Ringling was chosen to compete with three other institutions out of a field of 25 in this Shark Tank-like challenge for the opportunity to have Educause and its members throw their weight into further developing DRAW into a higher education product applicable to Art and Design institutions worldwide.

In his presentation, Jeff detailed that DRAW "became a game changer for us." The Pitch IT! judges agreed, bestowing winner status to Ringling College and DRAW Thursday afternoon. DRAW was developed to find a solution to offer students of art and design an opportunity for reflection, engagement and assessment of meaningful student learning along with the ability to share and search the enormous volumes of work created in the educational process.

According to Jeff, "We are thrilled to have won the 'Pitch IT!' challenge. The opportunity to work with industry leaders to further develop DRAW is amazing and we are humbled and grateful to have achieved success at this level. We will spend the next year in partnership with Educause and their industry-leading member companies to further develop DRAW, resolve some of the challenges with the platform to allow for greater integration as well as increasing storage capacity and the addition of long-awaited features. It has been a team effort working with IT, our faculty and students. It is going to be very exciting to see what we develop over this year with our partners and we look forward to sharing our results at Educause 2017 in Philadelphia."

Jim Burnett, Educause Senior Manager for Strategic Sales and Business Development, said that "We were very excited with the level of technological application to meet higher education challenges presented by our finalists. Ringling's DRAW really captured the interest of our judges and attendees for both the depth of its application and its potential for Art and Design schools across the globe. We look forward to seeing what Ringling brings to Educause next year.

DRAW was developed by Ringling College's Information Technology and Academic Affairs departments, led by Dr. Mahmoud Pegah, Director of Information Technology; Randall Alberts, IT Project Manager; and Jeff Schwartz and David Jackson, Interim co-Vice Presidents of Academic Affairs. Implementation of DRAW with the incoming student body was driven by Ringling College Instructors and First Year Coordinators Karen Sullivan, Claudius Cumbria-Jones, Angela Leed and Nathan Skiles.

About EDUCAUSE
EDUCAUSE is a nonprofit association and the foremost community of IT leaders and professionals committed to advancing higher education. EDUCAUSE programs and services are focused on analysis, advocacy, community building, professional development, and knowledge creation because IT plays a transformative role in higher education. EDUCAUSE supports those who lead, manage, and use information technology through a comprehensive range of resources and activities. For more information, visit www.educause.edu

About Ringling College of Art and Design
For 85 years, Ringling College of Art and Design has cultivated the creative spirit in students from around the globe. The private, not-for-profit fully accredited college offers the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in eleven disciplines and the Bachelor of Arts in two. The College's rigorous curriculum employs the studio model of teaching and immediately engages students through a comprehensive, first-year program that is both specific to the major of study and focused on the liberal arts. The Ringling College teaching model ultimately shapes students into highly employable and globally aware artists and designers. www.ringling.edu

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Rich Schineller
Ringling College of Art and Design
941.780.8100