An affinity for design and creativity runs in Joe Mack’s family: both of his parents are artists, while four of his five brothers have established careers as designers. While he acquired his family’s talent and desire for artistic expression, Mack also had an equally strong interest in computers.
Mack lists Gary Bertoline as an early influence during his time at Purdue and cites the college as instrumental in allowing him to hone his technical skills and his confidence. Both have been key in his success in a rapidly changing and competitive industry.
Mack’s career has led him through a variety of positions in interactive media, illustration and computer graphics. He spent three years creating computer- generated illustrations for a college-level engineering graphics textbook and CD-ROM before moving to a position that provided promotional graphic support for clients such as Apple Computers and Burton Snowboards.
After a four-year stint as a game designer, Mack returned to the education industry. For the past 11 years, he has worked as senior interactive media developer for SAS in Cary, N.C., where he serves as lead designer on all math products for SAS Curriculum Pathways, an online resource for high school and middle school teachers and students.
Away from the office, Mack enjoys gardening, camping, and building things with his kids. As a homeschool family, he says, they see every opportunity as a teachable moment.
He and his wife, Nancy, reside in Apex, N.C., with their six children.
This was originally written for the Distinguished Technology Alumni Awards in 2011.