Dr. James M Burkett, FTC
Dr. James Michael Burkett has an extensive background in higher education and a life-long commitment to public service. He is a Marine Corps Veteran and former Police Lieutenant. He has more than a decade of experience in higher education as an instructor, Program Director, Dean of Academics, and Campus President before being named President of Florida Technical College and the DAVE School in December of 2016. During his tenure Florida Technical College has added blended learning options, Spanish only programs, expanded trades and hospitality program offerings, and achieved MSCHE accreditation as an academic unit of NUC University, among other innovations in academic offerings.
Dr. Burkett himself was a non-traditional student and began college after his service in the Marine Corps and while working full time and raising his son as a single parent. He graduated with high honors with an Associate’s degree in General Studies from Daytona Beach Community College, and then graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelors in Criminal Justice from the University of Central Florida. Dr. Burkett continued his education by earning a Master’s of Business Administration from the New England College of Business and Finance, a Masters of Public Administration from the University of Central Florida and a Masters in Criminal Justice from the University of Central Florida. He completed his academic journey by earning a PhD from Capella University.
Gina Rhodes is a veteran in both creating and managing productions to build relationships for organizations and individuals. Her Industry career began over 20 years ago with the creation of Wahi Media, Inc., a SIM based interactive and development platform used with Fortune 500 executives for training and educational purposes. She also launched a crowd sourced app used for distributing short films called Red Movie House, which led to her appointment at the FSU Film School, Dean’s office. She served as a Producer and Managing Director for FRAME | A Production Company, and has won several awards including a National Webby, A Regional Emmy, and has been a key advising member for numerous student productions receiving Student Emmys at the Academy Awards. Gina holds a Master’s Degree in Organizational Communication and Leadership. She is a co-author of “The Conflict Lens,” and “A Closer Look at Conflict” and has worked with high-performing teams all over the globe. Gina is currently the Executive Director of the DAVE school and is dedicated to building its legacy of excellence in the VFX and Gaming arenas.
Gina was born in Winter Park, FL but moved shortly after and has since lived all over the world, including: Tallahassee, FL, Colorado, New York, California, London and Oxford, England. She just recently returned to the Orlando area when she became Executive Director of The DAVE School. She carries her trusty GPS with her wherever she goes.
Director of Career Services
Michael is a Visual Effects Society Member and VFX community member since 2008. He has worked as a VFX compositor, a production coordinator, an editor, a recruiter, and his primary role at DAVE School is as our Director of Career Services.
Michael was born in Santa Maria, California but he has been living in Orlando since 1976. He is an avid motorcycle enthusiast and can often be found cruising around Central Florida or the Great Smoky Mountains on his Harley Davidson!
VFX Program Supervisor
Seth was raised in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and is a December 2008 DAVE School graduate. Seth has worked as a compositor with various studios, including Digital Domain Florida, Awesometown, Stereo D, Deluxe, and Spindlehorse.
Seth has worked on over 80 projects, including MCU Phases 2 and 3, Disney’s Star Wars Episodes 7-9, Solo, Rogue One, and The Mandalorian Season 1.
Now, Seth has returned to DAVE School to help train the next generation of artists, bringing with him over a decade of experience along with a great deal of experience as a lead artist for many years running teams and training artists in the field.
Game Program Supervisor
Russell is from Georgia and has a strong passion for the gaming industry. Russell has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer Animation from Full Sail University and has also taken courses in 3D Modeling.
Russell started his career as a 3D Generalist and worked on Air Force, Navy, and Army projects in the Military Simulation Industry for over 10 years. He has also led junior 3D Artists on Projects for Navy training systems and has movie credits through his work at Digital Domain.
In his off-time, Russell enjoys learning new workflows, creating assets for a personal game project, creating jewelry from 3D modeling software, and utilizing 3D Printers.
Cindy M. Mullins, M.Ed.
Online Degree Program Supervisor
Cindy hails from Matewan, West Virginia. Her background includes 8 years of military service as a Military Police Officer and Human Resources in the Department of Defense before making the switch to education. She taught high school History and English and moved up in the ranks as a school curriculum director and assistant principal. She holds a BA in History and a MA in Education in Curriculum and Instruction.
Her family moved to Florida in December 2020 for her husband’s new position and she enjoys camping, hiking, and bike riding with her husband and three daughters. She’s also a huge Naruto fan!
Student Accounts Coordinator
Jennifer joined the DAVE team in August 2020 after moving to Florida from New Jersey. Jennifer has extensive experience in education and has managed districts throughout the state of New Jersey and Pennsylvania for the past 15 years. She has a passion for education and loves helping our students become a part of DAVE’s program.
In her free time, you can find Jennifer heading to the coast with her two children and their dog, to enjoy the beach and sunshine!
Student Services Coordinator
Joan joined the DAVE School in August 2019 as a student services coordinator. Working closely with the students from the first day of school, until they graduate, the student services office provides resources and support to promote student’s educational success at the DAVE School. Prior to the DAVE School, as an international student advisor, Joan has advised, mentored and guided international students who pursue higher education in the United States, away from their home countries. She is passionate about working with students to help them reach their educational goals.
Marketing Producer & Social Media Specialist
Lauren is an Orlando native who started her career in film and television production with positions held at The Golf Channel and HSN before making the shift to Marketing in 2019.
Lauren joined The DAVE School in September 2020 and specializes in Marketing and Social Media. Lauren loves creating content and is passionate about all things social media.
In her free time, Lauren spends her time traveling, hanging out with her dogs, or working on her Florida lifestyle blog.
Amy has worked in “guest-facing” industries for most of her life, honing her skills at companies such as Disney, Indiana University, and AAA.
She was born and raised in Connecticut and relocated to Indiana, where she attended college. She was also in the Walt Disney World College Program, which had a huge impact on her decision to move to Florida.
Amy is a huge fan of all things Disney, Marvel, and Harry Potter, and can often be found with her nose in a book during her time off.
Anthony was born and raised in Yorktown, New York and moved to Florida to attend college at Webber International University. Anthony loves bowling and was a 2-time collegiate National Champion. He graduated with a background in the hospitality and tourism industry and joined the DAVE School Admissions Team in May 2020. Anthony loves working with students to help pursue their dreams.
In college, Anthony participated in Phi Beta Lambda Business Fraternity. Outside of his position at The DAVE School, Anthony enjoys golf, traveling, and watching sports, and cooking.
Taylor was born and raised in Long Island, NY. She holds an Associate in Communications, Bachelor’s in Visual Presentation Design, and a Masters in Themed Entertainment Design. She moved to Florida to work for Walt Disney Imagineering, working on projects such as The Disney Skyliner, NBA Experience, and many Disney resorts.
Taylor’s mantra is: “Every day may not be great, but you can always find something good in every day”. In her free time, she loves to play golf, travel, spend time with family, and work on her creative designs.
Marc grew up in Orlando. In 2001, he moved to Miami where he attended Florida International University with International Relations as a major. In 2015, fulfilling a childhood dream, Marc opened a small pizzeria in Coral Gables. It was successful but he decided to sell to finish his degree at FIU.
Marc moved back to his hometown in 2020 to be closer to family and friends. After discovering DAVE school, he fell in love with its environment and close-knit community. He joined the Admissions Team in April 2021. In his time off, Marc enjoys playing games and exploring Central Florida.