Mike Vasas is an Instructor and IT Systems Administrator for the Department of Advertising and Public Relations, and his been working for MSU since 2019. From 2007-2020, Vasas worked in public K-12 education, teaching music and creative arts, managing district social media and video, and leading curriculum development. Vasas received his B.A. from Kalamazoo College (Kalamazoo, MI) and his M.M. from Michigan State University.
Vasas's instructional focus has been on creative education with students preschool through senior citizen. In 2005-2006, as a graduate assistant at MSU, he facilitated and taught creativity in a special topics IAH course in songwriting. In 2013, Vasas developed and led a creativity course for MSU Alumni LENS; designed for adult learners.
In 2011, Vasas founded a private music studio for lessons and musical marketing. As a freelancer, he has done web design projects, special projects for the Archives of Michigan, and videography and media content for the Michigan Community Service Commission.
As a creative multimedia producer, Vasas focuses on music production, arrangement, performance, and promotional technology for video, print and web design. He has produced digital and vinyl records, mixtapes, videos, photography, websites and print advertising.
Music from his 2004 LP “Grace Monica” was featured in the Rogue Artist Ensemble theater pieces in Los Angeles. Mike Vasas and The Beasts of Burden, an alt-Americana group active from 2005-2010, promoted two records in performances across Michigan, including The Intersection in Grand Rapids, the Royal Oak Music Theater and The Palace of Auburn Hills.
An avid studio musician, his Songs Not By Me blog project had Vasas recording and releasing 365 free covers in 2010. In 2016, Vasas received Kickstarter campaign funding for a limited vinyl release of “Mike Vasas III.”
At Michigan State University, Vasas is teaching/will be teaching/has taught:
ADV 326 - Advanced Creative - Media 1
Advanced Creative - Media 1 is a creative advertising course focused on various design briefs for a single fictional brand. The course fosters positive self-image, wellness and reflection related to the student's personal creative process.
ADV 492 - Mixtape MSU
Mixtape MSU offers students a safe space to create, tell stories, honor feelings, and bring comfort to themselves and others. Through the development of original songs, words and/or instrumentals in any style, students will find or refine their voices. Students need no background in playing musical instruments, writing music or working with music technology; just an urge to create and a willingness to develop their process. Students experienced in music production or performance are also welcomed. Students will explore the process and impact of storytelling including its value and use within advertising and public relations and how creativity can elevate empathy, reflect a societal moments and usher change. Students will consider and integrate creative communication strategy and the basics of music promotion into their understanding of the creative process. With a focus on self-reflection, support and wellness, the course will foster community and healthy perspectives regarding work and creativity.
CAS 208 - Interactivity in Media Settings
A course meant to further define interactivity with both an informational component and a creative and simple coding component, Interactivity in Media Settings is focused on branching narrative and/or choose-your-own-adventure game play, creation and the concept of storytelling and connection as it relates to creator and user.
CAS 203 - Design in Media Settings
A course focused on both the fundamentals of design and some basics concepts and best practices regarding the use of design software, including Adobe InDesign, Design in Media Settings is a way for students to make something for a project and develop how they look at the world and some basic tech design skills.
CAS 204 - Web Design in Media Settings
This course is about professional web authoring techniques including technology standards, aesthetics and production in media settings. The course is a blend of design principles and development skills through course material and hands-on activities related to the web.
ADV 492 - All Things Digital
Organized around a partnership with MediaCom, All Things Digital provided students with digital advertising topics presented by current working professionals.
Portrait of Mike Vasas