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Donte’ Payne (’19)

Digital Entertainment and Technology

ACU wasn’t his first choice when he was accepted, but after visiting during his senior year of high school, Donte’ Payne, a senior Digital Entertainment Technology major from Killeen, Texas, knew that ACU was the college for him. Donte’ loved the community and liked that the school was the perfect size for his needs. Payne said, “You aren’t just another student on the roll call; the teachers are able to talk to you one on one and really get to know every student.”

Donte’ began his ACU career as a kinesiology major but when he learned about the Digital Entertainment Technology major, he decided to pursue his passion for animation. He is currently working on the first 3D animated film to be entered into ACU’s Film Fest. Animation can seem like a daunting field to enter into, but Donte’ said, “It is okay to go in not knowing anything, that’s what the program is for… [The professors] are here to help you learn and to help you figure out what you love.” When asked what drew him to animation Payne said, “Being able to make someone laugh and tell a story with your drawings, making an impact on people’s lives – it’s just amazing.”

One of Payne’s favorite courses was a special topics course, DET 340: Game Engines, saying, “It provides you with a different aspect of what people look for in gaming … and the different perspectives towards it.” He liked that the class was less of a lecture and more of a conversation between not only the professor but also his peers. Donte’ remarked that some of the most enlightening conversations he has had have been with his fellow classmates.

Since coming to ACU, Payne has been very involved on campus as well as in the department. He works for the Residential Life office, is president of the DET Club, works as a teacher’s assistant for Dr. Brian Burton, and helps throw events for Gamers Guild. Donte’ really enjoys all the chapel options available to the student body such as DET Chapel, Gamers Guild Chapel, and Midnight Worship. Since enrolling at ACU, Donte’ believes that every year, student life on campus gets better and better.

Donte’ is set to graduate this May and is hoping to intern with Pixar but is also exploring master’s degree programs for animation. Want to know more about the DET major or the School of Information Technology and Computing? Click here to learn more.