Published Jul 28, 2021
Khalil Nasir Wants to Create His Own Holodeck
The grad’s Digital Cinematography and Instructional Design & Technology degrees help him shape futuristic teaching ideas as he works for NASA and the Army.
Many Star Trek fans appreciated the entertainment value in the show’s interactive Holodeck. But for Khalil Nasir, the Holodeck is an inspiration for the type of learning environment he’d like to create. The military veteran has a passion for photography, videography, and teaching, and his time in Full Sail’s Digital Cinematography bachelor’s and Instructional Design master’s programs helped him develop real-world skills to find work that met all of his interests. He’s currently an Instructional System Specialist for the Army and a consultant Multimedia Technical Specialist for NASA — and his next career move might involve his own Holodeck.
“I was a Trekkie growing up,” Khalil recalls. “The Holodeck was used to train people and create this environment where people can learn or interact. That was my vision.”
Khalil spent 14 years serving his country in the Army. He saw combat and worked as a Technical Writer and Instructor, where he created procedural instructions for Army officers. He enjoyed teaching and became interested in how photography could bolster his training materials. After he left the Army, he took a few defense contract jobs before realizing that he wanted a formal education to combine his passions. He found Full Sail’s Digital Cinematography program online and decided to take the plunge.
"My interest in digital cinematography was to learn lighting principles… I was already doing it as a photographer, but that doesn’t mean I was doing it right," he says.
Khalil was excited take his first step towards his Holodeck dreams with Full Sail’s hands-on assignments and seasoned instructors.
“Every instructor I had was knowledgeable and they brought more to the table than just the assignment… The one person that still sticks out is [Producing instructor] Jennifer Miller. I went through her course and wound up getting the Course Director Award.”
After he graduated from the Digital Cinematography program, Khalil used his portfolio to help him land a job doing photo and video work for NASA. He also rolled straight into his Instructional Design & Technology master’s degree to enhance his skills. He particularly enjoyed the Filmmaking Principles for Instructional Design course, where he learned how to do lighting and film for corporate videos and training products.
Armed with his dual degrees, Khalil continued working for NASA as a photographer and cinematographer, then later as a consultant. He currently specializes in NASA’s virtual reality content.
“A typical day on the job at NASA consists of looking over the plan that they want to do for virtual reality media. It’s showing that we get buy-in from shareholders and the equipment, making sure they have the right equipment, explaining the setup, and then of course, shooting, editing, then packaging that particular product,” he says.
In addition to his work as a consultant, Khalil recently returned to the Army as an Instructional Systems Specialist.
“I specifically am in charge of leveraging distributed learning technologies — such as interactive multimedia instruction, e-learning, video teletraining, and simulation — to support soldiers' and Army civilians' training and education,” he explains.
Saying that Khalil stays busy is an understatement: In addition to his two jobs, he’s currently pursuing a PhD in Education. He loves supporting the Army as a civilian and looking to the stars with NASA, but he’s still got interactive education on his mind.
“Going back to the Star Trek example, the Holodeck. That is where I see my future,” says Khalil. “Maybe, once I write a few books and so forth, I’ll create an immersive design company to push the boundaries of conventional learning.”