Student Profile: Wayeera Robertson ‘22

Wayeera Robertson

Graduation Year
2022
Major
Immersive Media

Wayeera graduated from CCAC with an Associate’s degree, and her parents urged her to check out Chatham, where her older brother was studying, to continue her education. “I was thinking of studying animation, but then I found out about Chatham’s Immersive Media program, so I decided to come for that,” she says. It was in the IMM program that Wayeera began to see art and physics coming together.

“Since I was little, I really enjoyed drawing, and then I developed this passion to bring my drawings to life,” says Wayeera Robertson.

After high school, Wayeera studied art for two years at Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC), then switched her focus to mathematics and science. “I wanted to combine art and physics,” she explains.

Wayeera graduated from CCAC with an Associate’s degree, and her parents urged her to check out Chatham, where her older brother was studying, to continue her education. “I was thinking of studying animation, but then I found out about Chatham’s Immersive Media program, so I decided to come for that,” she says.   

It was in the IMM program that Wayeera began to see art and physics coming together. It was her first experience with virtual reality, and, she says, “It was really cool. It was mind-opening, really. I wasn’t really into playing video games, but when I started working with things in VR, I was like ‘This was really enjoyable and really fun and a way to pull people deeper into an experience’.”

Coming to Chatham was Wayeera’s first experience with programming. “It was definitely hard in the beginning,” she says. “It was a process, learning how to think in that way. The teacher was really helpful and made sure we had our projects finished and things like that, so now I have a bit more practice. It’s better now,” she laughs. “Getting to feel confident in what I can create was a process.”

Getting to feel confident in what I can create was a process.

One of Wayeera’s first projects was a group project, where they created an outdoor space, in a hilly area, under really bright stars, where you could sit and listen to music (“chill house,” Wayeera says). “The fact that we got to a point where someone could experience it and say ‘This is really cool’—I was so proud of that.”

Over the summer, to keep her skills sharp, Wayeera participated in an online game jam called the “I Can’t Draw But I Want to Make a Game” Game Jam. “It wasn’t a VR project but it was my first time creating my own game from beginning to end. I had to think about everything, work through the logic of the scripting and the visuals.”

After college, Wayeera is thinking about going on to do an MA in Human-Computer Interaction or in Computational Design. “Currently I’m minoring in physics,” she says, “and I want to take that and kind of mix everything around and see what kinds of things I can create. If I could show someone atoms and how they behave, but they’re in that space, experiencing it–I would like to create educational simulations like that.”

What advice does Wayeera have for incoming students in the program? “Come in not expecting to be the best already, but expecting to get better,” she says. “Don’t take the first thing you create and think it’s all you’re capable of; see it as your first step in becoming what you want to be. Allow yourself to grow and be patient with yourself as you grow.”