JRA Owner/CEO Keith James recently had an opportunity to return to his alma mater, University of Cincinnati, and share insights and experience from his fifty-year career in the attractions industry.
James served as a guest lecturer for the UC course, “Industry and Experience of Theme Park Design,” which aims to “pull back the curtain on how one of the largest and fastest growing industries in the world really operates.” This course introduces students to the industry and professional world of amusement and theme park design. Through experiential and active learning, they learn about how amusement and theme parks are designed, operated, maintained, and transformed. The course explores “the social, cultural, and economic factors that have influenced the proliferation of amusement and theme parks world-wide.”
This class is run through the University of Cincinnati’s Co-Op Division: The Division of Experience-Based Learning and Career Education. UC is committed to exposing students to topics and subject matter through experiential pedagogy. This course is based around guest speakers, reflection writings, discussions, and then a class trip to Orlando at the end of December to not only experience the theme parks of Disney and Universal, but the students will also be conducting informational interviews that they will be setting up due to connections that they are hopefully setting up as the semester goes along!
“Having Keith James, an industry icon in the theme park design and operation, as a guest speaker in our Industry and Experience of Theme Park Design class here at the University of Cincinnati provided students with first-hand subject matter expertise of the rarest kind,” said UC Professor, Cindy Damschroder. “His generosity of spirit in sharing his 50-year career with our students provided them with industry insights, networking suggestions, and perspective of the industry from a true industry insider. We were honored to host Keith James and JRA as a speaker!”
“I’m a proud University of Cincinnati alumnus, and had a great time being back on campus,” said James. “It was fantastic to be able to spend time with such an incredible group of students. It makes me very very excited about the next generation, and the future of our industry.”
Stay tuned for more information on where members of the JRA team will be speaking throughout the rest of the year.