About Me

I’m an enrolled member of the Caddo Nation and have been published several journals and magazines: Illusions, Trauma Magazine, Native Peoples Magazine, Games for Windows: The Official Magazine, New Plains Review, and First American Art Magazine. My book, Native Americans in Comic Books: A Critical Study, is available from McFarland publications. I received two separate Bachelor degrees, both cum laude, from the University of Oklahoma: one in Native American Studies and another in Film – and earned a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in 3D Modeling from the Academy of Art University. I achieved the rank of Shodan (1st degree Black Belt) in Okinawan Karate in 2011 and was awarded the rank of Nidan (2nd degree black belt) in 2013.

 

I’m formerly both a Gates Millennium Scholar and a Ronald E. McNair Scholar. I was awarded the Smithsonian Institution’s Native American Award and appointed as an intern at the National Museum of American History in Washington, DC. I previously served as appointed Tax Commissioner for the Caddo Nation and held a seat on the Board of Trustees for the Caddo Heritage Museum.

Some professional achievements include: Director of Animation for a feature film, credits on a shipped video game for Nintendo Wii, Android App published on Google Play, and art purchased for the Red Cloud Museum’s permanent collection.

My comic book character, Dark Owl, is featured in INC’s Universe #0. Literati Presents “What The Stars Must Think Of Us”, features a story written by Mary Skaggs and illustrated by me. I wrote the story “Strike & Bolt”, illustrated by George Freeman (Captain Canuck), which appears in AH Comics’ Kickstarter-funded, MOONSHOT: The Indigenous Comic Collection. I wrote, “Do Wild Turkeys Dream of Electric Drums?”, illustrated by Kim Hunter which was featured in AH Comics’ Kickstarter-funded, MOONSHOT: The Indigenous Comic Collection, volume 2.

Publications

978-0-7864-3565-4NATIVE AMERICANS IN COMIC BOOKS: A CRITICAL STUDY

McFarland Books
My book was published in 2008. In it, I take the reader on a journey that investigates how we Indigenous people have been and are portrayed in comic books. You can purchase my book on the aNm website at https://alter-native-media.com/product/native-americans-comic-books-paperback-edition-copy/.

moonshot-cover-sampleMOONSHOT: THE INDIGENOUS COMIC COLLECTION,
Volume 1

MOONSHOT volume 1 features my story, Strike & Bolt, illustrated by George Freeman and a foreword / introduction written by me. You can buy a copy of MOONSHOT vol. 1 at the aNm website at https://alter-native-media.com/product/moonshot-indigenous-comics-collection/.

MOONSHOT-VOLUME-2-COVERMOONSHOT: THE INDIGENOUS COMIC COLLECTION
Volume 2

MOONSHOT volume 2 features my story, Do Wild Turkeys Dream of Electric Drums?, illustrated by Kim Hunter and introduction authored by me. Purchase your copy of MOONSHOT vol. 2 at the aNm website at https://alter-native-media.com/product/moonshot-the-indigenous-comics-collection-vol-2/.

gfwmCoverGAMES FOR WINDOWS: THE OFFICIAL MAGAZINE

“Native Resolution: A Look at Native Americans in Age of Empires III and Prey”

My article outlines some historical stereotypes in popular media and discusses Prey and Age of Empires III video games in relation to Native American representation. Neither of these games are perfect, but they do come closer to getting it right (in some areas) than many others. I close by challenging us Indigenous people to get more involved in the creative process of this and all media that depicts us. Read the article using this link.

72ppi-Fall-09-Cover-FONT-247x300NEW PLAINS REVIEW

On Second Thought

As part of the University of Central Oklahoma Department of English, New Plains Review is a a student-run literary journal focusing on prose, poetry, & visual art. On Second Thought is my musings on identity and self-identification. You can read a PDF copy of my contribution using this link.

0107cvr1-300NATIVE PEOPLES MAGAZINE

“Searching for D.I.H.: Digital Indigenous Heroes”

My article, “Searching for D.I.H.: Digital Indigenous Heroes” was published in Native Peoples Magazine, JAN/FEB 2007. In it, I discuss some Indigenous video game characters including Prey’s central protagonist, Tommy Tawodi. You can read a PDF copy of my article using this link.

cdcVulPopReportASPH/CDC PUBLICATION

2006-2007 Vulnerable Populations Collaboration Group Preparedness Resource Kit

After being appointed to one of the CDC’s Collaboration Group that focused on Vulnerable Populations, I was fortunate enough co-author this important document along with many other Public Health leaders from academic institutions around the nation. I chaired the committee on Ethnic and Cultural Minority Populations, which produced that section within the publication. Select the image or this link to view the document.

cover_illusions_31ILLUSIONS – NEW ZEALAND’S FILM JOURNAL

“Native American Film Making: Chris Eyre and Smoke Signals”

I interviewed Cheyenne filmmaker Chris Eyre about his work on Smoke Signals.

Lectures & Presentations

“EZ360: Use Blender Create Custom 360° Video” Online Learning Conference 2018.
“3D Clearance Rack: Add Affordable 3-D Content to eLearning Simulations, AR, and VR”
 Realities360 2018.
“EZ360: Using Blender to Create Custom 360-Degree Video” Realities360 2018.
“How to Choose an Authoring Tool: Essential Checklist” webinar, eLearning Industry website 2018.
“Get Graphic: eLearning Tips from Comic Book Theory” Learning Dev Camp 2018.
“BYOD: Add Affordable 3D Content to Your eLearning” Learning Solutions Conference & Expo 2018.
“Create More Advanced Content Using iSpring, Right Out of the Box” DevLearn 2017.
“How to create great eLearning content from A to Z” online webinar series, iSpring Solutions. https://www.ispringsolutions.com/blog/how-to-create-online-course/
​”Create VR on a Shoestring Budget” Learning Solutions Conference & Expo 2017.
“How to Choose an Authoring Tool: Essential Checklist” Learning Solutions Conference & Expo 2017.
“BYOL: Story Hero: Create Comics and Motion Comics Interactions with Storyline” DevLearn 2015.
“Fantastic 5: Use the Power of HTML5 for Good” Learning Solutions 2014.
Native American Comic Book Workshop. Tulsa City-County Library 2014.
“Fantastic 5: Use the Power of HTML5 for Good” DevLearn 2013.
“Touch & GO: Quickly Enhancing Lectora for Gesture-Based Mobile Interaction” Mobile Learning Conference & Expo (“mLearnCon”) 2013.
“BYOL: Touch & GO: Quickly Enhancing Lectora for Gesture-based Interaction” Mobile Learning Conference & Expo (“mLearnCon”) 2013.
“Touch & GO: Quickly Enhancing Lectora for Gesture-Based Mobile Interaction” Lectora User Conference 2013.
“Natives in Comics: How to Create Comic-Book Art” American Indian Festival of Words Writers Award 2013.
“How to Create Comic-Book Stories” American Indian Festival of Words Writers Award 2013.
“Holy HTML5, Batman: Tips/Tricks from Digital Comics to Enhance Your eLearning” Heartland eLearning Conference, University of Central Oklahoma, 2013.
“Nuff Said: Tips/Tricks from Digital Comics to Breathe Life into Your HTML5 mLearning” mLearning DevCon 2012.
BYOL: “Learning on the Go: Mobile Learning with Adobe FlashBuilder” eLearning DevCon 2012.
“Hi-5! Leveraging HTML5’s Power for Gaming/Simulation in Online Learning” eLearning DevCon 2012.
“Augment Your eLearning with Augmented Reality” eLearning DevCon 2012.
“KAPOW!!! Comic Book-Styled Exercises to Increase Interactivity and Engagement” Lectora User Conference, 2012.
Panel: “Graphic/Comic/Art Stories” 2012 Indigenous Book and Authors Festival, Institute for American Indian Research (IFAIR), University of New Mexico, 2012.
“Indigenous Representation in Comic Books” Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA), 2010.
Guest Lecture: “Representation Gender in Comics/Video Games” American Indian Studies | GEO 3323/ENG 3990, University of Central Oklahoma, Fall 2009.
“Native Americans in Pop Culture” Sherman Chaddlesone Arts and Letters Lecture Series, University of Central Oklahoma, February 12, 2009.
“(Not so) Funny Books: Native Americans in Comic Books” Indigenous Nations Library Program, University of New Mexico, 2008.
“Native Americans in Comic Books” Part of the exhibit, Reflecting Culture: The Evolution of American Comic Book Superheroes, Montclair Art Museum. December 6, 2007.
Panelist for Native American Portrayals in Comic Books (special program), Eiteljorg Museum. March 11, 2007
“The Pros and Cons of Digital Technology for Training and Evaluation” 2007 Public Health Preparedness Summit. 2007
“Translate! Hasinai Language in the Information Age” 47th Caddo Conference, 2005
“The Hasinai E-Project: An Interactive Learning Interface for Caddo (Hasinai) Language” Research presented at University of North Texas, 2003.
“The Haystack’s Needle: Evaluating Graduate Programs in the United States for Native American Students” Research presented at University of North Texas, 2002.
“IFS: The Indigenous Film Series” Research presented at University of Oklahoma’s Honors College Undergraduate Research Day (URD), 2001.
“I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing in Perfect Harmony: A Discussion on Retention of Cultural Identity Utilizing Multimedia” Paper presented at the Big XII American Indian Student Conference, University of Columbia, Missouri, 2000.

Professional Career

CIO & CREATIVE TECHNOLOGIST – ANM
2005 – Present

aNm is a Native American–owned studio that provides custom creative and technical solutions: comics and graphic novels; software and mobile app development; interactive 3D simulations and video games; and 2D animations. aNm leverages cutting-edge technology and tools such as HTML5, CSS3, Bootstrap, JavaScript, jQuery, WebGL, Storyline, Captivate, iSpring, Android Studio, and more. aNm is proud to count among its numerous clientele various Native American tribal entities such as the Caddo Nation of Oklahoma, Chickasaw Nation Industries, the Comanche Nation Cultural Center and Museum, the Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma, and the Pawnee Nation. aNm also has US federal contracts with entities such as the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian.

“Michael is a talented professional who brings creative, innovative approaches to any project he undertakes. His knowledge of the latest technologies is truly unparalleled. He would be a strong asset to any team!”

Karen Paul, CFRE
Director of Development | Grants | Foundations

SENIOR WEB DEVELOPER – PEARSON
2016 – Present

Integral part of Pearson’s Learning and Development team that designs and develops innovative and engaging learning solutions. Works with team members to create custom learning solutions that enable personalized and engaging experiences for Pearson employees while meeting business needs — all of which support the Pearson global learning and development initiatives. Builds and develops web-based solutions and applications using current scripting languages and authoring tools. Responsible for various web-related coding and programming tasks, from the construction of front-end to embedded applications. Develops code that integrates artwork, text, video, and sound. Ensures that content is functional across different platforms and conforms to WCAG 2.1 accessibility standards. Keeps abreast of the latest updates and trends in browser specifications and technology. Key highlights: serving on enterprise-level learning management system migration team; establishing recurrent meetings and in-depth discussions among various members of Pearson’s accessibility team on establishing best practices to ensure eLearning content meets WCAG 2.1 conformance; working closely with team’s Lead Developer to develop code for high-visibility learner-centric web application in Ember; providing vital informational presentations and real-world demonstrations of innovative technology for more engaging and immersive learning content to key line-of-business participants; and working extensively with internal and external customers to author and deliver bespoke learner-centric eLearning content.

“I have had the great pleasure of working with Michael across various projects during our time together at Pearson and I always learn something new when I partner with him. Michael is extremely creative, thoughtful and considered and helps those who may not have the same level of knowledge to really understand the details and learn at the same time. Michael is a fantastic thought partner with a high level of integrity and I would not hesitate to either work with him in the future or recommend him as he would be an asset to any team and business.”

Jennifer Parry
Global Learning and Development Manager at Pearson

DIRECTOR OF LEARNING TECHNOLOGY – ADVANCED NETWORK INFORMATION (ANI)
2014 – 2016

Provided highly customized, reliable, and relevant learning and development solutions for ANI’s eLearning initiatives, operating within an Agile development pipeline. Provided customized instructional design and content development, utilizing various development tools and IDEs – such as Storyline, Captivate, iSpring, and Dreamweaver – as well as various computer programming codebases, libraries, and frameworks, such as HTML5, CSS3, Bootstrap, JavaScript, jQuery, Perl/CGI, RESTful API, SCORM, and more. Focus included primary point-of-contact for development of custom learning solutions for Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), Visa, and Cisco.

“I worked with Michael and his team to develop a large-scale training program (targeting 1000+ employees) in our division at Cisco. ANI effectively translated basic learning material of varying maturity into an end to end interactive, dynamic two-hour training. In our engagement with Michael’s team at ANI, our expectations were either met or exceeded. We received the support we needed in terms of progress reports, showcase/demonstration and technical clarifications. Michael is not only skilled in his field, but a great collaborator and communicator. I recommend him without reservation, and hope to work with him again in the future. Thank you, Michael!”

Silma Lange
People Development | Diversity and Inclusion | Sales Enablement

SOFTWARE DEVELOPER – ICF INTERNATIONAL
2011 – 2014

Authored education and training content across all formats: instructor-led, asynchronous online, blended, and mobile platforms. Development Lead on various eLearning software and programming efforts; digital media design and creation; development of visual rhetoric and associated graphic solutions. Developed and tested content for Section 508 conformance. Designed and delivered 3D modeling, animation, simulation, video games. Spotlight on the following integral contributions: developing custom eLearning content for various federal clients, including the US Army, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Aviation Safety Inspectors (ASIs) program; and creating custom 3D models and authoring immersive 3D simulations for the US Air Force’s Air Force Medical Modeling and Simulation Training (AFMMAST) program and the Defense Security Service (DSS), and the FAA’s Aviation Safety Inspectors, Interactive Systems Review (ISR).

“Michael is one of the most creative individuals I have had the pleasure of working with. He has the rare ability to easily traverse between technical, creative, academic, and artistic worlds. He has an ability to pull disparate team members together and to accomplish complex tasks under tight deadlines. His ability to communicate effectively with other team members and his expertise in eLearning technology made Michael a ‘go-to’ person for many important projects and proposals. Michael also published and presented at conferences represented ICF skillfully, and helped to establish connections with valuable partner organizations and businesses. Michael is a tremendous asset to an organization or team.”

George Napier
Managing Principal at Soundware Media

DESIGNER – 3D GRAPHICS ARTIST – RAYTHEON PROFESSIONAL SERVICES
2008 – 2011

Developed interactive media and curriculum used in FAA Air Traffic Control curriculum with focus on 2D and 3D models, assets, simulation, and animation; video graphics; and various computer programming languages. Highlights: creation of an interactive visual aid demonstrating the relationship and difference between true and magnetic north (built in Flash) and creation of 3D models of various aircraft for use in curriculum.

“Michael is a creative professional whose rigorous love for learning and exploring new ways of visualizing have propelled him to success in very dynamic fields. He is a consummate professional whose talents are many and varied; during the time we worked together on the ATISS Contract at the FAA Academy, I had several opportunities to witness his creativity, meticulous attention to detail, and going ‘above and beyond’ firsthand. He is an excellent communicator, a fantastic artist, and an all-around great guy.”

Tammara Williams-Dias
Instructional Systems Designer, Educator and Academic Technologist

INSTRUCTIONAL DESIGN SPECIALIST – COLLEGE OF PUBLIC HEALTH, UNIVERSITY OF OKLAHOMA HEALTH SCIENCES CENTER
2005 – 2008

Provided support and consultation in the following areas: instructional design techniques for eLearning; active learning methods and instructional technology; simulation training; and serious game development. Investigated funding for innovative delivery technology, such as virtual 3D training modules and serious game simulations. Designed and maintained department websites. Facilitated Web 2.0 interfaces: departmental blog, Podcasts, and streaming video. Administrated custom Learning Management Systems (LMS). Major accomplishments include migration of .NET services from version 1.0 to 2.0 on our internal Microsoft Windows Server; initiating development of a virtual simulation training module for first-responders; and chairing the committee on Ethnic and Cultural Minority Populations and co-authoring that section for the CDC’s publication “2006-2007 Vulnerable Populations Collaboration Group Preparedness Resource Kit.”

“Michael has been a tremendous asset to the Southwest Center for Public Health Preparedness. He has served as the lead for development of game and simulation training modules, designed a newsletter and blog to disseminate timely information and announcements, developed and maintained a learning management system and tools, and has been an integral figure in determining future goals of the agency. He is a pleasure to work with, is conscientious and meticulous, and has been committed to identifying future funding opportunities.”

Tracey Burton
Program Coordinator, Southwest Preparedness and Emergency Response Learning Center

MULTIMEDIA EDUCATION SPECIALIST – COLLEGE OF NURSING, UNIVERSITY OF OKLAHOMA HEALTH SCIENCES CENTER
2003 – 2005

Maintained, scheduled, and provided technical support for college’s videoconferencing and distance learning technology and supporting staff. Subject Matter Expert: Multimedia/Digital Media, 2D/3D Animation; Audio/Video capture, streaming media compression. Developed and conducted various training workshops. Created Request for Proposals (RFPs) for technology upgrades. Served as backup LAN Administrator. Significant accomplishments: provided consistent hands-on maintenance of videoconferencing equipment and authored custom code for CD-ROM media.

“Michael was our technical support contact for OUHSC IETV classes. Michael was always eager to help resolve the technical difficulties and get the students back online. We’ve worked together on many different occasions troubleshooting IETV issues, resolving some and finding working alternatives for others. It’s been my pleasure to work with Michael; his helpful, eager attitude and knowledge of telecommunications issues made solving IETV problems almost fun.”

Terry DeBock
Academic Center Math Instructor/Coordinator at Autry Technology Center

Education

MFA – 3D MODELING, 2011

Master of Fine Arts, 3D Modeling and Animation for Video Games and Film. School of Animation & Visual Effects, Academy of Art University, San Francisco, CA.

BA – FILM AND VIDEO STUDIES, 2003

Bachelor of Arts, cum laude, College of Arts and Sciences and Honors College, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK.

BA – NATIVE AMERICAN STUDIES, 2003

Bachelor of Arts, cum laude, College of Arts and Sciences and Honors College, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK.

eLearning Content Examples

Storyline

“Affirmative Action Basics”
link: https://alter-native-media.com/sl/aa-basics/story.html

Why I include this example:

This simple course started as a text-heavy PPT slideshow that was handed to me to create into eLearning for online deployment. I leveraged Storyline 360’s many various existing templates to add more interest, additional user interaction, and to ensure the content didn’t suffer from ‘death by PowerPoint’-ism.


“Guiding Team Through Change”
link: https://alter-native-media.com/sl/gyttc/story.html

Why I include this example:

This content came to me for vastly-needed update. Aspect ratio was changed from 4:3 to more of a 16:9; all images were refreshed; and extensive (programming) logic was revisited and reinvented, where needed. The content has extensive use of numerous variables and triggers which are constantly calculated based on user interaction to provide simple, color-coded feedback through the course.


“Multilanguage Microlearning Supplier”
link: https://alter-native-media.com/sl/lang-vids/story.html

Why I include this example:

I used this course to test Storyline’s ability to easily incorporate and implement various languages/localization. The core content was created to include custom triggers, enforcing learners to watch the intro video before moving on, as well as the freedom to jump between any of the subsequent videos at-will, and leverages Storyline 360’s improved video Closed Captioning. This main content scene was duplicated, renamed, and a translation file was generated where Portuguese was added, where applicable. The result is a simple course with custom triggers that was easily translated to another language.


Ember

“Acme Policy Acknowledgement”
link: https://alter-native-media.com/ember/acme/

Why I include this example:

Leveraging the open-source JavaScript web framework, Ember.js, this simple course demonstrates the ability to create elegant eLearning content and web apps using the Model–view–viewmodel (MVVM) framework. Customized style is handled via centralized .LESS code and various NPM plug-ins were used to create this content.


iSpring

“Nekro NomIcon: Story-Driven Mobile Game”
link: https://www.alter-native-media.com/nekro/

Why I include this example:

Originally created for the eLearning Guild’s DemoFest at the mLearning Conference 2016, this fun and playful homage to “Army of Darkness” character, Ash, was created with iSpring and pulls-off some pretty cool things, including an interactive FAQ section made with iSpring’s TalkMaster and an embedded 3D model that can be manipulated in real time, leveraging Sketchfab.


Unity

“Beechcraft C90 Flight Deck”
link: https://alter-native-media.com/3d/C90

Why I include this example:

This simple proof-of-concept show-off the Beechcraft C90‘s interior flight deck and instrumentation. Created from various aircraft 3D models and photo references, it includes a custom avionics display, the 3D model was finalized in Autodesk’s Maya and uses Unity game engine for package deployment.


“HAL”
link: https://alter-native-media.com/3d/HAL

Why I include this example:

Originally included as part of a larger training for the US Air Force’s Air Force Medical Modeling and Simulation Training (AFMMAST) program, several Unity interactions were created to demonstrate proper installation and maintenance of 1 of 4 medical mannequins. I created each mannequin by extensively augmenting organic 3D models from the open source software, MakeHuman, editing in Maya, and using Unity for game-like learner interaction.


“Secure Office”
link: https://alter-native-media.com/3d/scif

Why I include this example:

Rudimentary user interactions – such as opening doors, climbing ladder, inspecting locks, doors, and ventilation system, and pause menu – was created by authoring succinct C# programming code within the Unity game development environment.