Ryan Lothian

versatile human


Versatile human—what does it mean? Well... it means I do (and like) a wide variety of work. And that I’m not a robot.

I design for web and print. I code HTML and CSS proficiently (and know enough PHP and JavaScript to get what I, or you, want). I write and edit for web, video, social media, marketing, and academic projects... and boy can I write a nice email. I illustrate. I edit video. I analyze data and do research, then use it to make decisions and plans. I manage creative projects for myself and for teams. I like teaching people all these things—in formal and informal settings. And I especially like learning new things and adding them to this paragraph.

I’m available for freelance projects.

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web development
project management
project management
art direction
designposter design
web development
video editing
web development
designjaff designillustration

A couple of older items people seem to enjoy: “The Sign of a Lifetime,” an article profiling the man behind the Shawon-O-Meter; and The Flaming Lips Zaireeka video experiment, winner of a “Best Interactive Media Design” at the DePaul University WRD student awards.

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Web ManagerForest Preserves of Cook County (2014-)

The Forest Preserves of Cook County is one of the oldest and largest preserve systems in the United States. Established from 1913-1915, the agency protects and manages nearly 70,000 acres of woodland, prairie, savanna and wetlands. Some things I do there:

  • Manage and execute digital media projects (websites, apps, interactive features)
  • Lead digital storytelling efforts using video, photography, and social media
  • Collaborate on communications strategy
  • Write content for the blog, email newsletter, interpretive displays, and signage
  • Implement improvements to the existing website while planning a new, modern website
  • Manage social media efforts (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram)
  • Respond to website contact form and social media inquiries and feedback
  • Collect and analyze digital project data

Award: 2014 “Golden Leaf”—Presented to employees who go above and beyond required duties (based on nominations and votes from their peers).

Restoration VolunteerCentennial Volunteers / Forest Preserves of Cook County (2014-)

I volunteer doing hands-on restoration work (at its simplest: removing invasive plants and collecting/spreading native seeds) in forest preserves and other natural areas. I do most of my volunteer work at LaBagh Woods, a wonderful urban refuge for wildlife (and humans). Interested in helping? Contact me or visit here for more information.

Master NaturalistUniversity of Illinois Extension (2014-)

The University of Illinois Extension's Master Naturalist program requires 40 hours of training in nature-related topics, stewardship of natural areas and effective communication of these concepts to varied audiences. Certification as a Master Naturalist also requires 60 hours of volunteer service within two years of the final training session—plus 30 hours of volunteer service and 10 hours of continuing education annually. I entered the program in fall 2014 and became a certified Master Naturalist in fall 2015.

Adjunct LecturerDePaul University (2012)

After graduating from DePaul in 2011, I was asked to teach a graduate level class in the New Media Studies program. I taught “Web Content Management Systems: Theory & Practice” during the fall of 2012. Here’s what I did:

  • Assembled a course outline and pitched the class to department leadership
  • Created a course syllabus, assignments, and weekly lesson plans
  • Taught the 10 week course on content management theory and use of the WordPress content management system (CMS)
  • Worked with students individually outside of class

Marketing DirectorJohn J. Lothian & Co. (2009-2014)

John J. Lothian & Co. is a family run business comprised of an online news service focused on the futures industry and a video production studio. Some things I did there:

  • Managed digital media projects—individually or with a team
  • Designed and managed WordPress-based websites, HTML email newsletter templates, and MediaWiki-based websites
  • Created illustrations and wrote scripts for promotional and educational videos
  • Wrote and edited promotional and editorial copy
  • Trained colleagues to use of content management systems (CMS), HTML, social media, and MediaWiki software
  • Led social media efforts
  • Collected and analyzed digital project data
  • Communicated with vendors and current/potential sponsors

M.A. New Media StudiesDePaul University (2007-2011)

I attended DePaul in the evening while working full-time. Relevant coursework:

  • Communication and Technology
  • New Media and Culture
  • New Media, Old Media
  • Database and Narrative
  • Document Design
  • Text and Image
  • Principles of Graphic Design
  • Interactive Media Projects
  • Writing For Magazines

Award: “Best Interactive Media Design” at the 2011 DePaul University WRD student awards for The Flaming Lips Zaireeka video experiment.

Marketing CoordinatorOcean Tomo (2006-2009)

Ocean Tomo provides intellectual property consulting and services. Some things I did there:

  • Designed and maintained company websites
  • Planned, designed and executed advertising, direct mail, and email marketing campaigns
  • Wrote and edited copy for press releases, websites, and marketing collateral
  • Designed and coordinated production for brochures, 200+ page catalogs, event materials, and promotional items
  • Aided in the planning and execution of multi-day events with 400+ attendees

PresidentLothian Media Design (2004-)

Lothian Media Design is a business I started to support my freelance work. Some things I do:

  • Design and maintain a variety of business and personal websites
  • Develop branding and logo designs
  • Create print and digital collateral, including catalogs, marketing materials, and advertisements

B.S. Media StudiesUniversity of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (2001-2005)

I also earned a minor in sociology. Relevant coursework:

  • History of Communication
  • Communication and Popular Culture
  • Law and Communications
  • Mass Communication in Democratic Societies
  • Social Aspects of Mass Communication
  • Advertising History
  • Communications and Public Opinion
  • Media Ethics
  • Economic Structure of Communication
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Want to work together?

Contact me at rlothian@gmail.com. Connect with me on LinkedIn.

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