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Photo of  Karl  Gude

Karl Gude

Media Sandbox Director
School of JournalismMedia Sandbox


Karl Gude is the former Director of Information Graphics at Newsweek magazine and The Associated Press. Karl left Newsweek after a decade to spearhead the first information graphics program at Michigan State University’s School of Journalism, and has been a faculty member since 2006. Karl also teaches a large, Media Sandbox class on creative thinking and problem solving.

Karl is a visual storyteller who has consulted with corporations, PR and news organizations, academic and scientific institutions and government agencies, including the CIA, to help them create understandable infographics. He is an avid sketch artist and painter and writes (or draws) a regular column for the Huffington Post.

From middle school kids to professionals, Karl enjoys finding ways to motivate and inspire people to get creative and to do great work. He values a multidisciplinary approach to solving creative challenges and feels his best work has often been collaborative. He believes a respectful and playful environment is best for engaging minds and generating new ideas and solutions.

Karl has presented at three TEDx talks, including Detroit, and has spoken twice at the South by Southwest (SXSW) technology conference on the “Power of Visual Storytelling.” Karl recently gave a talk at the “Political Analytics Conference” at Harvard University and is just wrapping up a National Science Foundation grant where he collaborated with several universities on an evolutionary biology project. In 2013, Karl was recognized with the Faculty Impact Award.


“I love this college and the people in it and, after teaching for ten years, I have learned a great deal about the needs and interests of students, faculty and alumni. The time feels right to see if I can help to expand the creative and collaborative experience both inside and outside the college and to find ways to empower students with even greater thinking and making skills, stronger creative abilities and more opportunities for networking with professionals in their chosen field.

I hope to find ways for faculty to have rewarding experiences working on projects of their own choosing beyond the classroom alongside gifted and motivated students. I will also explore new pathways to enable some of our amazing alumni to share their knowledge by mentoring students. In my playbook, all boats rise with the tide.”

Roles & Responsibilities
Active and enthusiastic member of the Media Sandbox! The Sandbox offers our creative students special courses and a community with other creatives. Study abroad: Faculty member, Cheryl Pell, and I take about 20 students to Spain every year to study visual communication. Fun! Instructive! Life changing!

Awards, Honors and Recognitions
Winner of the CAS 2013 Faculty Impact Award for teaching.

JRN 338 Communicating with Graphics I CAS 110 The Creative Process

Special Projects
I am currently writing a book on visualizing information with infographics

Project Title & Source
AVAToL: Awarded a three-year, $280,000 National Science Foundation grant in 2012 to build the a public Tree of Life for education and outreach purposes. http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2011/nsf11534/nsf11534.htm

What are three things you want your students to know about you?
I respect young people and really LIKE them! They energize me. It’s an honor to be able to teach them, and often they teach me.

Describe in one sentence what you hope your students learn from you, your scholarly work or teaching
I hope they learn that they are unique, that their voice needs to be heard, that success means viewing failure as part of the journey and it comes with passion, skills and hard work and that they will make it.

Describe yourself in five words or less.
Tall, loud, bad dresser, compulsive doodler, loyal.

Work 404 Wilson Road, Room 271 Communication Arts and Sciences Building Michigan State University East Lansing MI 48824 United States
Work Phone: (517) 432-2485 Website: http://karlgude.com/
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