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January 24, 2013
New grant boosts ULM communications department; funds first 3D animation course
To provide better facilities, equipment, and a new 3D animation course for students pursuing careers in digital media, John Rodriguez, assistant professor of communication at ULM, was awarded the ULM Student Technology Access Plan grant totaling $27,081.
“The grant will help us expand the digital media course offerings, add more seats in the classrooms, and provide new equipment like eight new, high-end Mac computers, new camera equipment to help produce content and make upgrades to existing video production software and equipment,” said Rodriguez.
The grant also provides the department the ability to offer new experiences for students.
In fall 2013, a new 3D animation course—a first for ULM—will be offered as a digital media elective and will be available for any ULM student to take.
“I’ve heard from students in many different programs expressing interest in this course,” continued Rodriguez. “I want the 3D Animation course to be for all students, especially general studies majors or those freshmen who may be undeclared.”
The course will serve as an entry level offering that would be a feeder course to other digital media courses, while supporting other concentrations as well.
Rodriguez said, “By the end of the semester, students will have a good understanding of 3D animation and modeling animation. They will be able to do a lot of the basic things like character modeling, logo modeling, and animation.”
During the course, students will learn about the growing movie industry in Louisiana.
The class will offer insights into movie production in relation to 3D animation and how it is used in commercials and television broadcasts.
“The digital media tax break in the state is bringing a lot of businesses into the area,” said Rodriguez.
“The movie industry is booming in Louisiana, and there is a shortage of skilled graduates. This course gives students an idea of what is expected.”
Rodriguez said he created the course with the community and the job market in mind.
“This course shows the university and the surrounding community that we are trying to keep up to date with the current needs of employers throughout the state,” he said.
“The studios that are popping up around the state are employing young graduates with these skills. We are showing potential students, community members, and businesses that we’re providing students with the skills to become critical thinkers and the skills that are needed for success in business. Our focus is to show employers that when they get a graduate from ULM, they are getting a valuable employee.”
Rodriguez, who has taught at ULM for four years, earned a B.F.A in graphic design from Louisiana Tech University and an M.F.A in computer arts/digital media from Memphis College of Art.
About ULM STAP:
The Student Technology Access Plan is dedicated to the acquisition, installation, maintenance, and appropriate use of state-of-the-art technology solely for the purpose of supporting and enhancing student life and learning so that, upon graduation, ULM students are prepared to assume meaningful and useful positions in the workplace of the 21st century.
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