Apr 29, 2015

New Multimedia Center is Up and Running

On April 27, the O'Grady Library held an open house celebrating the opening of the new Multimedia Center.  The project is part of the movement towards a learning commons model of the library and has been two years in the planning and making, according to Scot Harrison, Dean of the Library.

Key players in the development of the new Multimedia Center, from left to right: Serin Anderson, Scot Harrison, Dr. Irina Gendelman, and Philip Cheek.
Previously, the Multimedia Center consisted of 8 workstations, three study rooms with audio and video editing tools, and the library's video and audio collection.  Now, the center has 19 new workstations with 27-inch monitors--8 stations have dual monitors--all loaded with Adobe Creative Suite 6 and an 84-inch SMART Board.

As the planning team looked at other schools in the area with learning commons, they also saw that several have similar media creation labs.  Harrison noted that they were particularly drawn to similar spaces at Seattle University and Pierce College.

Fr. Peter Tynan, O.S.B. tries out the new 84-inch SMART Board

Dr. Irina Gendelman, director of the new Communication Studies program at Saint Martin's University, is especially pleased to help students follow the advice of musician and community organizer Jello Biafra, who is famous for telling people to stop complaining about the media and "become the media."  Dr. Gendelman looking forward to using the space for instruction.  "One of the things I was interested in," she said, "was having access to the technology for teaching production classes."

The previous iteration of the Multimedia Center was not sufficient for production on the scale Dr. Gendelman had hoped for.  The workstations were not powerful enough to run the editing software and booted slowly, causing many students to become frustrated. 

With Dr. Gendelman's interest in podcasting and the interest of incoming faculty member, Dr. Sonia De La Cruz, in documentary film and filmmaking, this space should see extensive use.  In fact, Dr. Gendelman's course on podcasting and a digital video course have already used it.
Dr. Irina Gendelman shares student-produced podcasts and videos during the open house.
Dr. Gendelman is excited about being able to offer a new set of classes that will tap into students' creativity and interests.  "Now we can offer more production classes," she said.  And, with the recently created KSMU, a student-run radio station, this boost in production capability will allow students to create more podcasts, vlogs (video blogs), and other multimedia pieces.

Harrison said the upgraded space was paid for by the library's building endowment.  "Part of that endowment is to upgrade, keep the building in like-new condition," he said.  Another part of the endowment is for technology improvements, the new Multimedia Center fits in with both aspects of the endowment.

1 comment:

  1. Really exciting, guys. Great upgrades and I look forward to all the amazing student work that will come from having this technology available. Nice job!