HOLDING A CUMBERSOME prototype for a design project while skateboarding around campus with ease, Michael Moran, a sophomore, gathers a fair share of double takes. For Moran, who is majoring in computer science, skateboarding is much more than a mode of transportation. Growing up, he would stop by his neighborhood skate park before and after school, and he even wrote his Rice application essay on his passion for skateboarding. “Skateboarding is accompanied by a whole creative culture,” he said. “There’s the creativity of making the board and building the skate park as well as skate music, film and photography.”
His passion for skate culture led him to develop a college course, “Skateboarding on Film,” which he’s teaching this spring for the first time. “Skating started right around the time portable cameras became affordable, so the two really evolved together,” Moran said. The class will spend ample time on their boards during skate park field trips, as well as behind the lens creating original skate films for the final exam. “Through this class, I hope to shift the perception of skateboarding on campus,” he said. “My next goal is to build a half-pipe behind Martel College and continue to encourage more of a skate culture at Rice.” Until then, you can find Moran cruising on his board around campus.