New Mac Lab Up and Running

Dr. Glen Robinson teaching communication students in the mac lab.Communication majors now have access to creative tools with cutting-edge applications, thanks to the opening of the department’s brand new Mac Laboratory.

The laboratory, located between the radio and TV station on the north side of campus, opened this past week, according to Robert Mendenhall, chair of Southwestern’s Communication Department.

The decision to create the Mac Lab was made following a departmental evaluation in December. Mark Bond, communications director for the Southwestern Union Conference, and David Bullock, professor of communication and the distance education director at Walla Walla College, were hired by the University as consultants to conduct the evaluation.

“We have been inquiring about building this laboratory for a while and the evaluation gave us the final confirmation and funding we needed to make it a reality,” says Mendenhall.

According to Mendenhall, the Macintosh computers will be used by the department to teach a variety of courses including Publication Design, Digital Graphic Design, Visual Communication, Broadcast Journalism, Digital Photography and Editing, as well as all writing courses.

“Our professors will be able to provide students with up-to-date knowledge and expertise that will enhance their marketability upon graduation,” says Mendenhall.

Along with being used by faculty to teach graphic communication and desktop publishing, Mendenhall says the state-of-the-art facility will provide students with access to specialized software and tools needed for specific assignments and research.

All 15 of the new Macintosh computers have been installed with Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 software, which includes Photoshop, InDesign, Dreamweaver, Fireworks, Illustrator and other programs needed for classes in writing, design and publication.

The laboratory is also equipped with projector capability.  According to Mendenhall, the facility should have the sound system working soon. “We will be able to use the lab for other Communication courses such as Announcing, taught by Mike Agee, once we have the speakers mounted.”

“In today’s work environment, its important that our communication students have a well-rounded knowledge in how to use both a Mac and PC,” says Trent Truman, the new faculty member responsible for all graphics courses.

Truman has began teaching his Publication Design class in the laboratory, which was previously being held in the library classroom on PCs. “The lab is a breath of fresh air,” he says.

The facility is now open to communication students about 10 hours per week outside of class times, and the department is working on a proposed schedule for extended hours of operation.

 

Samantha Spalitta

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