Electronic Media, Arts, and Communication (EMAC) major Zach Appio says that he chose to study at Rensselaer to have the opportunity to study and graduate with his brother, who was already a student, and a desire to stay close to home. The Altamont, N.Y., native and accomplished multimedia artist will receive his bachelor’s degree from Rensselaer on Saturday, May 30.
“My fondest experience is meeting and collaborating with other great artists on campus,” said Appio. “The campus has a rich environment of talented people.”
While at Rensselaer, Appio has worked to develop his skills through a variety of projects that included serving as part of a music video production team that involved the completion of over 20 music videos for independent musicians. The experiences have also provided him with an opportunity to serve as a guest lecturer in the Digital Filmmaking class led by Kathy High, where he talked about professional freelance work that he and his brother have been involved in.
He also co-created the short film The Baby Monitor with his brother Frank, which went on to win numerous awards, and will soon be featured on PBS’ TV/Film Series.
In addition, Appio’s thesis project titled The YooZH, which was a comedic installation environment, received rave reviews during the annual reception for the Electronic Arts and EMAC (EART/EMAC) senior show that was held at the Fulton Street Gallery in Troy, N.Y. Appio also worked to create the video backdrop that accompanied the 2014 Rensselaer Holiday Concert at EMPAC.
“I have a tremendous amount of determination as a person, so there is very little that can deter me from what I want to achieve,” Appio said. “While I have a variety of minor health issues, I never let it affect me. It is also very helpful to have a sibling at the school who I live with, so I have been able to lean on my brother when dealing with any challenges at school.”
Beyond Rensselaer, Appio interests have led him to co-create the framework needed to develop a successful youth animation workshop. After hosting the first event with his brother at the Altamont Free Library, Appio was able to raise funds to have the materials donated to the library for more workshops to be held.
In his spare time, Appio and his brother started participating in a new sport called Drift Triking and have built a successful social media page around it. Drift trikes are tricycles that have slick rear wheels, normally made from a hard plastic, often PVC. They are designed to drift by intentionally initiating loss of traction to the rear wheels and counter-steering to negotiate corners. They are usually ridden on paved roads with steep downhill gradients, with corners and switchbacks. The duo are part of a upstate New York team known as Skid Roads.
With graduation on the horizon, Appio says that the best advice that he can offer to students is “to give your maximum effort with everything that you do in life.” Future plans for Appio include pursuing a career in the film industry or starting his own independent production company.
Listen to Appio talk about his experiences at Rensselaer.