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Graphic design professor Alan Hashimoto dies in department office

February 12th, 2013 Posted in Opinion

LOGAN—Alan Hashimoto, an associate professor of graphic design at Utah State University, died in his Art Department office Monday morning of an apparent heart attack.

Alan_HashimotoA colleague found the longtime USU specialist in digital art and design in his office by a colleague after he was late for a meeting. An ambulance transported him to Logan Regional Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Craig Jessop, dean of the Caine College of the Arts, expressed “profound sadness” at Hashimoto’s death.

“This is a huge loss for many of us personally and for the college,” Jessop said in a statement to the college. “Alan was a man of boundless energy and enormous vision, and he will be sorely missed by all of us.”

As word of Hashimoto’s death spread across campus, colleagues and students expressed shock.

“Simply put, Alan Hashimoto was a force of nature. His energy was boundless as was his creativity,” said Art and Design Department head Laura Gelfand. “He touched so many lives in such positive ways, he will be terribly missed by everyone who was lucky enough to know him.”

In his 25 years at USU who taught courses ranging from typography to interactive media and film, Hashimoto, 58, was known as a creative and innovative artist and teacher whose students were devoted to him. A working artist who expanded traditional graphic design into digital media, video and Web applications—including video games and simulations—Hashimoto produced many creative works and exhibitions, and authored a 397-page book, Fundamentals of Design: A Digital Approach.

He also was an art director and consultant in digital applications for a variety of outlets, including Poptropica, an interactive online environment for kids developed by Family Education Network that has more than 20 million Internet users. He was part of a research group that created a variety of online interactive games. Hashimoto also was director and video/animations designer of a 2006 USU production of Macbeth, and helped create a digital design department and degree at the University of Utah.

A Facebook page has been created as a place for Hashimoto’s friends and students to “meet” and exchange thoughts on his career and impact.


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