September Staff Spotlight: William Guth

by Loren Guay

Staff Spotlight: William Guth

This month, we’re spotlighting Senior Instructional Technologist William Guth! In the post below, William tells us more about his work with Distance Learning. 

How long have you worked here? How did you come to join the DL team / get involved in distance education?

10 years. I joined the team in a unique temp-to-hire scenario in 2013. Prior to joining SPS, I was working as a freelance web project manager, web developer, and social media campaign manager. I leveraged my skills from web project management, coding, and media design to hit the ground running as a technologist and slowly discovered the parallels between design for commerce and design for learning.  

Staff members who recognized my skills and talent encouraged me to apply for the open position at a time when I had no idea what I would be doing next. Long story short, I fell into it from the web design world. One master’s degree and instructional design certificate later, here I am at your service. 

Describe your typical “Day in the Life.”

In a typical day I attend meetings, review content, and some combination of edit or produce media that complements the subject matter and adds measurable learning impact to the content being presented. Before I do all that, I think about all the content through the eyes of a student. “Am I getting this? What would it take for me to get this?”  

After I figure that out either on my own, or by workshopping with development partners, I turn to the tech: HTML coding in Canvas, image manipulation in Photoshop, image creation in Adobe Illustrator, audio editing in Audition, video editing in Premiere Pro or Camtasia. On a good day I don’t just open one of these programs; I open them all. On a bad day, the only software I’m using is Zoom. 

What’s your favorite resource or tool that not many people know about?

The NU Library, the library staff, interlibrary loan, and chapter request services. It’s as true for my role as it was when I was a student at NU. And I get even more out of the NU library personally than I do when I’m leveraging it for a work project.  

After the library, Camtasia. Not enough people really know about Camtasia. I’d also say the Adobe Creative Suite, though it’s not something you can just “pick up” on your own—not quickly, anyway. 

Tell us something you’re passionate about.

An example of William’s portrait photography, feat. DL Learning Designer Heather.

I am passionate about building my skills as a photographer. This includes capturing great images and producing evocative imagery using the latest software and techniques.

My current focus is on portrait photography. took some hands-on flash photography courses over the past year and set up a small home studio for shooting professional portraits. I have been fortunate to practice with volunteers from my photo classes and alumni networks and I’ve received very positive and constructive feedback from my instructors.  


The Distance Learning team is part of the Northwestern School of Professional Studies (SPS). To keep up with news, staff spotlights, online education insights and more, subscribe to the DL newsletter (The DL Digest) and check out the rest of the Distance Learning blog