Alumni Update - Caroline Kenworthy (Media Arts '11)

Caroline Kenworthy headshot.jpg

Caroline Kenworthy (Media Arts ‘ 11) graduated from The Academy with a Dean’s Scholarship to Sarah Lawrence College where she studied writing. During her senior year she took a course in web design, and after graduating, she participated in a short-term web developer intensive. She now works for the creative agency Someoddpilot, focusing on front-end development. Recently she has worked on designing interactive experiences for Wolverine Worldwide (Saucony, Sperry, Sebago) and Nike. Caroline recently stopped by to talk to computer science students at The Academy!

One of the things I wanted to stress is that coding is a concretely creative thing. If you have a computer, it costs nothing to start making something on the Internet. It’s a creative endeavor—you can make something that wasn’t there before. Coding and web design is another medium you may not have considered. I also found structuring programs similar to writing essays. Structure matters to us: it matters that code is well-thought-out, that it makes sense and is accessible. Code is made up of human language (often English) because it’s for humans. Computers don’t care how they get their instructions. The people are the ones that need things to be readable and understandable.

She stressed the importance for Academy seniors to stay aware and mindful of where their path is taking them.

I had plenty of friends go straight from studying poetry in undergrad to an MFA. Going for an MFA in something that you love is great, but many of them felt like they had no choice. There is no reason to feel limited by your path with the Internet around. Go learn new skills. There is a lot of opportunity to be self-taught.


Caroline credits The Academy for teaching her the value of critique.

The value of critique was something that I, hands down, learned at The Academy in the workshop sessions of Media Arts. Having the mental capacity to not take things personally, and understand the value of critique without it being an attack, can make you a trustworthy colleague. These skills have been fundamental to my ability to think critically and approach projects without necessarily holding anything too dearly. That has proven just as valuable in engineering as in writing.


Caroline was recently featured in Sneza Zabic’s (Academy Media Arts Department Faculty) online journal Packingtown Review. She has also participated in hackathons for charity, where she has donated her time and skills to developing websites for organizations in need. Most recently she participated in the Nerdery Overnight Website Challenge where she helped create a website for a social services organization in the south side of Chicago. You can find Caroline's work featured in the latest edition of the Media Arts Department online journal Germinate.