Grant Gives Media Arts Lab an Interactive Makeover

December 6, 2016

This winter, the Media Arts Lab at St. John Fisher College will be transformed into an interactive learning space, thanks to a $99,255 grant from the Gladys Brooks Foundation.

tv studio acting

Housed in the Department of Media and Communication in the School of Arts and Sciences, the Lab serves students specializing in video and film production, web and graphic design, video game production, and graphics programming, among other interactive media. In honor of the Foundation’s generosity, the Lab will be named the Gladys Brooks Media Arts Lab.

The grant will help the department expand its inventory of technical production equipment in the Media Arts Lab, which will feature five large collaborative work stations in an environment that fosters student engagement. Professors teaching in the lab will be positioned in the center of the room, as opposed to the front, and have the ability to project information on all four sides of the classroom. The grant will also fund the purchase of new professional grade video and film production equipment.

“We are thrilled and honored to receive this grant from the Gladys Brook Foundation,” said Jeremy Sarachan, chair and associate professor of media and communication and director of the digital cultures and technology program. “With the renaming of the lab as the Gladys Brooks Media Arts Lab, we will be creating a more pedagogically sound space that will encourage collaboration and interactive learning for our students.  In addition, the upgrades to our television control room and field cameras will allow us to increase the quality of our course offerings in the area of film and television.”

The lab’s new infrastructure will impact 28 courses, as well as three student clubs, serving approximately 170 media and communication majors and minors per semester. Some of these classes integrate service-learning projects into the coursework, challenging students to develop websites and other interactive media products for use by local non-profit organizations with limited budgets or personnel to complete such tasks.