Recent Kent State Grad Puts Multimedia Degree to Work at His Alma Mater   

When Jaiden Morales, BS ‘22, was in high school in Lorain, Ohio, he joined a multimedia club and developed a love for digital media, which was fostered by a few guardian angels at his high school. 

At Kent State’s fall commencement on Dec. 17, 2022, Morales earned his bachelor's degree in digital media production, an accomplishment motivated by passion that was ignited in high school. The Kent State program has prepared Morales to succeed his mentor, Joseph Bock, as the multimedia coordinator at Lorain High School, where his future began. 

“I was just kind of trying to find myself,” Morales said of his early interest in multimedia. “When they made an announcement asking students to participate, I was like, you know what? This might be something I'm interested in. I went and participated, and I’ve never stopped.” 

Starting this month, Morales will step into the shoes of one of  the guardian angels, who put him on the path to recognizing his passion for multimedia early in life and encouraged him to pursue it as a career. 

And his coursework at Kent State put him in the position to assume the opportunity. For one of his final courses at Kent State Morales chose to create a project about his high school's career tech program. "The opportunity to do this project is what really started the talk for my full-time position. They really enjoyed my work and because Joe Bock is retiring, they found it a perfect opportunity."

Morales will assume Bock's duties as the new multimedia coordinator for the Lorain City Schools. 

“The guy I’m taking over for made it one of his goals to pour all his knowledge into his students,” Morales said. “He taught me. And now, I will be taking over for my mentor.” 

Terry Traut, another teacher at Lorain High, taught Morales about video production and helped him get Adobe certification before he even left high school. “He is also someone who helped me be who I am today,” Morales said. "He’s still there too, and still very involved with the program.” 

Jaiden Morales couldn't resist taking a photo during his high school graduation as one of his mentors Terry Traut looked on.

Morales came to Kent State in 2019, after participating in Kent State’s TRIO Upward Bound Health Professions pre-college program. Morales spent many years volunteering his time in his school district and community.  

As if multimedia production didn’t keep Morales busy enough during high school, he earned his associate degree from Lorain Community College through the College Credit Plus program.   

Morales said he would have graduated from Kent State in 2021, however, a plan to double major and double minor did not work out for him. Still, it only took him three and a half years to complete his degree. The Kent State community offered tremendous support for Morales as he completed his education. 

“It's just been a whole whirlwind for me,” he said. “From getting into college and getting a scholarship to being here for 3 1/2 years.” 

 As the coordinator of media at his alma mater, Morales will follow in his mentor’s footsteps by involving students in the process. “It’s a student-based approach,” Morales said. “We like to make it a teaching experience.” 

As his mentor, Bock, retires from the school district, Morales is seeking his guidance and presence in helping him make the transition.  

“Of course, I don't want him to go. I told him ‘Yes, I will be taking over for you, but I would love for you to be here part time. I would love for you to just be here and help out. He’s the one that gave me this crazy idea and he put me on the path to what I would do with the rest of my life.” 

POSTED: Tuesday, January 10, 2023 01:44 PM
Updated: Wednesday, January 11, 2023 05:01 PM
April McClellan-Copeland