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Kirk Engel Appointed CEO at Ex’pression College for Digital Arts

Expression College for Digital Arts has appointed Kirk Engel as ceo, replacing Peter Laanen. Engel comes to Expression with nearly 10 years of dedicated education management experience, and will execute and implement a clear set strategic direction, market position and education vision for Expression. Together, with the board of directors and senior staff, Engel will work to maintain aggressive objectives in the following areas: curricula design; the development/delivery of courses; student enrollments, acceptances, graduation rates and graduate placement, as well as alumni relations; and partnership arrangements.

Peter Laanen did a great startup job taking the school from nothing to the reputable accredited college it is today, said Eckart Wintzen, chairman of the board of directors for Expression College. I respect his decision to resign and I wish him all the best in pursuing new opportunities. Kirks extensive background is a perfect fit for us as we continue to build upon the solid foundation weve created here at Expression. His skilled leadership will enhance the already solid reputation of Expression not only in the digital arts marketplace, but also with the business and alumni communities.

The environment of Expression feels stimulating and challenging, added Engel. I feel confident that after being awarded accreditation in April 2005, we can build this business to a multi-campus organization across the U.S.

Before joining Expression, Engel was corporate director of Student Finances for Alta Colleges, where he managed Financial Aid compliance, customer service and cash flow for more than 10,000 students at 19 campuses in five states for the privately held chain of career colleges. Engel was also exec director at Chubb Institute of Technology in Illinois, where he managed all aspects of an ACCET accredited career school offering diploma programs in Computer Networking Security Systems, Java Programming, Multimedia Design and Medical Administration.

Engels other positions with educational institutions include vp of the Private School Division for Aramark Educational, director of Education for Westwood Colleges Denver North Campus and exec director for Westwood Colleges, Denver South Campus in Colorado.

Engel holds an M.B.A. from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, an M.A in Education from the Stanford Graduate School of Education and a B.S. from Cornell University.

Founded in 1999 by Gary Platt and Eckart Wintzen, Ex'pression ( is a unique training ground for animators, visual effects artists, recording engineers, producers and designers. Emeryville, California-based Expression teaches and grants Bachelor degrees in three programs: sound arts; digital visual media (including animation, 3D modeling and visual effects); and digital graphic design. Utilizing the concept of Total Immersion as its teaching philosophy, students live and learn in the digital arts and new media culture for approximately two years. Every five weeks a new class starts, and each class is limited to a small number of students to insure the best professional training and hands-on learning. The student to computer ratio is one to one.